Is wire mesh required to install radiant tubing to all under concrete insulation systems?
There are various ways to install tubing in hydronic radiant heat applications. Hydronic tubing can be installed directly to plywood floors using a clip system or stapled directly to the plywood in conjunction with a gypsum over pour. If installing a radiant heating floor system to a concrete slab, it is critical to have the proper insulation underneath the floor heating system.
Hydronic tubing can be installed directly onto INSTA-PANELS® using staples as the fiberglass skin holds the staples. As such, the tubing is installed easily and efficiently. A specialized clip system can also be installed onto INSTA-PANELS®. Once the clip system is installed, the hydronic tubing can be installed quickly. Staples and clips are common fastening methods in homes where radiant tubing is installed onto under slab concrete floors; however, wire mesh is usually required for radiant floor heating systems in a garage, shop, or engineered slab.
Concrete floor slabs in shops and garages typically carry heavier loads, which is why these concrete slabs typically get reinforced with wire mesh. The hydronic heating tubing can be fastened directly onto the wire mesh with zip ties, wire ties, or specialized tie systems with an automated tool.
The benefit of systems without wire mesh is that you save on the wire mesh cost and the labour associated with installing it. The benefit of wire mesh is it could be easier to raise the floor heating system in the radiant slab. Not all concrete slabs require wire mesh. There are fiberglass mesh reinforced concrete systems that work well in conjunction with heated floor slabs. Consult with a radiant floor heat specialist for the best option to fit your heated floor requirements and budget. It is always best to follow the hydronic radiant heat manufacturer guidelines and recommendations.