Radiant Floor Heating


Old made new


Radiant floor heating isn’t new – it was used in ancient civilization thousands of years ago – what IS new is how technology was able to improve on the ancient art of under floor heating. Radiant floor heating is simply using hot water running through pipes under your floors to create warmth beneath your feet. Since hot air rises & cold air falls radiant floor works with nature the cooler air closest to the floor is warmed then rises while cold air falls to the floor to be warmed again – it is actually quite simple in concept but the application today is quite complicated.

Hot water is circulated through piping now made Pex tubing which is what made radiant floor heating a viable form of heat today.  Pex tubing is a cross linked polyethylene pipe that has a molecule memory. It knows what shape it was made in. In other words it will always return to its original shape if frozen or expanded. An essential characteristic of pipe embedded in concrete or built into floors.

Radiant floor heating is simply Pex tubing laid & locked in place over a surface floor area where each tube is laid in parallel to maximize floor coverage equally.  You can get a good idea of the quality of a radiant floor install by how well measured out each pex tube is laid  out (equally spaced out).

When radiant floor heating is done right there will not be any cold spots or hot spots in the room – it will be perfectly comfortable… when done wrong you end up with cold spots in the room, warped flooring where too much heat is being released, and a wide array of ongoing problems. (Be sure to ask for a copy of our free report Buyers Guide to Radiant Floor Heating)


Each run of Pex tubing is called a loop and each loop is connected through a manifold to pumps and a boiler system that pushes hot water through the pex tubing continuously as heat is called for.


Wirsbo now going by the parent company name Uponor is a leading manufacturer of Pex tubing and all the other components of a modern radiant floor heating system. Today there are many competitive companies creating more and more options for radiant floor heating but with the longevity and quality material reputation our company prefers the use of Uponor.

Francis Plumbing & Heating is an authorized dealer of the Uponor radiant heating systems. Dave Francis (owner of Francis Plumbing & Heating and Francis ClimateCare) has passed the advanced design course and has vast experience in designing and installing residential radiant floor heating systems. In fact, last we checked, Dave Francis is one of only 3 licensed Master Plumbers in Ottawa certified in radiant floor design. Dave has taken his design training and expertise sharing his knowledge and skills with his licensed team of plumbers and gas fitters making Francis Plumbing & Heating one of Ottawa’s premier residential hydronic companies. When manufacturer representatives run into problems it is not uncommon for them to contact us for advise and expert guidance in resolving radiant floor issues.

One last important note with regards to radiant floor heating – the infloor heating alone will not be enough to keep you warm on the coldest winter days in Ottawa – so you will need to have supplemental heat (usually this is done in stylish baseboard radiators that work with the same boiler system). You will only need the supplemental heat source when the temperature drops below -15°C (for most radiant floor system, some may require additional heat at different temperatures depending on how it was laid out, the kind of boiler used, and the type of flooring that the radiant floor is running through).

Radiant floor heating is not cheap – in fact it is one of the most expensive heating systems to install – but operations can be cheaper to run (saving you money over time) and there are many health benefits to having radiant floor heating that out weight the initial installation costs.  Some homeowners are doing these installs themselves but we do not recommend it as it can negate their homeowner insurance policy if they end up with water damage from a damaged pex pipe or leak at a connector.  All work done by Francis Plumbing & Heating comes with our 5 million dollar liability insurance in addition to manufacturer warranties and extended warranty options.


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