Senior GTT Super Slacker
Very nice sennister. :good2:
We were at a home remodel show this past Jan and I started looking at floor finishing contractors while shopping gutters which was our main purchase at the time. I knew we were a long way out for worrying about that but the 30 day min was a common comment. They all said they would be doing a moisture test as well because there are a lot of variables in how quickly it cures. I guess one good thing about the delay in pouring is that we got on the other side of this heat wave.minimum of 30days on epoxy (done a lot of industrial grade epoxy floors) best to moisture test the floor
on the zip strips they pour them in (hopefully strait) then finish the floor then pull/zip the top off to leave a cavity to fill.......i personally liked zip strips buy my concrete guy prefered to saw cut so we didnt use them very often
We were at a home remodel show this past Jan and I started looking at floor finishing contractors while shopping gutters which was our main purchase at the time. I knew we were a long way out for worrying about that but the 30 day min was a common comment. They all said they would be doing a moisture test as well because there are a lot of variables in how quickly it cures. I guess one good thing about the delay in pouring is that we got on the other side of this heat wave.
I did ask if he was going to do saw cuts and he said he prefers to do zip strips when there is in-floor heat. He just doesn't want to risk it which I understand.
As I mentioned, I couldn't stay until they were totally done so I didn't get to see the finished product until later on yesterday. My father in law was there and I guess that the cement contractor asked if we were going to finish (epoxy) the floor and he said that yes, it was something we were planning in. He seemed a bit dissappointed because the cement turned out so good.
I just laughed and said that the other day I went into the barbershop to get a hair cut. There was only one barber on duty at the time and when the person ahead of me sat down, the barber started to do his usual, he stopped and asked who the heck cut his hair last time. He commented that he was out of town and got it done at some random place. He just chuckled and said he can fix it but he will have to go shorter than normal or he can cut it like normal and it will be jacked up still until the next time he comes in. Keep in mind this is one of those real barbers where you just walk in and sit down. He knows how you want your hair cut. He said to fix it and he went through with the hair cut. As he gets up to walk over to pay he puts a hat on and the barber starts to yell at him. Don't you go putting that hat on after I fixed your hair. Everyone in there is laughing. He pays and walks out the door. I get up and sit down in the chair and I see the barber run over to the window and watch him walk through the parking lot. All of a sudden he starts banging on the window and yelling "Take off that damn hat!!!!" :nunu:
I guess he didn't want his hard work covered up. Maybe the cement guy feels the same way... :hide:
I am not sure, I assume it was related to how well it turned out as he said it was shame to cover one that came out like that. He had brought in a different concrete guy that did all the finish work as he was working on the patio. It wasn't technically him saying "look at how good I did my job".i agree with him considering the floor heat on the zipstrips....wouldnt want to cut a floater
he might have been asking about the floor finish so he could determine what form of floor cure he was going to apply or not (makeing sure it was compatable)...would be a good thing to ask him if you need to do something special to promote a correct floor cure
also when you consider epoxy floor contractors .....the quality of the job is directly related to the type of floor prep process the more agressive the more likely you will get a good floor/epoxy bond...you will see everything from screening,bead blasting, etc....in industrial we actually abraided the floor surface (scabbler) to a very rough finish then added back 3/8" plus of floor surface (obviously not what your considering for a garage floor) .......
you might consider a urethane floor coatings such as sherwin williams, corothane or rexthane you might find they are superior in every way for your ussage and less expensive to apply (less likely to chip and less moisture dependent)
just tossin out thoughts looks like you are doing a great job
They didn't look that deep but I also didn't stick anything down them to gauge their depth. Being the cement was a little over 24 hrs old at that point yesterday I didn't want to mess with it much. However knowing they were walking on it Monday afternoon without pontoons and yesterday doing the saw cuts, I figured I was fine walking on it lastnight with my blower to clear out some of the dust.Looks great! How deep are the cuts?
This is an easy question. Have one of each. That is what I have... :bigbeer:Been reading this since the first post. I must say Im overly jealous.
I have a question about the heated flooring though. One of my friends here in New Jersey has a heated floor and he said if he had to do it all over again, he wouldnt have. His reasoning was that in the winter,if he turns it on,he has to wait awhile for the building to warm up. Im not sure if he is being cheap and turns it off when he isnt there, or if he is concerned about leaving it on 24/7. Knowing Im going to be building a garage like yours next year, can you shed some light as to whether you need the heated flooring, or would overhead heaters work just as well, or anything else I should be considering down the road.
Also, if you dont mind me asking, can you estimate what the heted flooring and the added labor is to have that installed?
Actually, your points are exactly the kind I need to make my decision. When it comes to my friend, he works with me so, Im assuming he is only using his garage on the weekends so it probably makes sense for him to shut the system down.This is an easy question. Have one of each. That is what I have... :bigbeer:
Now on to address your question seriously....
So, there are two ways of looking at heating a garage space. Well I guess really there are three but the third is less commonly found for a few reasons. There still are two main methods because there are very real advantages to each method and no right answer for everyone. I will start off by saying you only realistically have one shot to add in floor heat but you can always go back and add a forced air heater. Even if you just insulate the slab and put the tubes down there, keep in mind PEX is cheap to do when doing the pour compared to ripping out the cement and redoing it. This way you always have the option.
You really have to seriously sit down and assess how you are going to use the space and how often. When it is not in use, what temp do you want it.
In-floor heat provides heat by heating the slab. The cement slab has a large thermal mass to it. This means it takes a long time to heat up but it also takes a long time to cool down. The thicker the slab the slower the change in temp. So like your buddy if you are only trying to heat it on the weekends and turning it down during the week, you are going to have slow response times. You are better off heating a space that you want to maintain a constant min temp year round. In this case the garage where I will be parking. Because of the large thermal mass when I open the large garage doors and pull a several ton frozen chunk of steel in there, the air temp will actually recover very quickly without the furnace kicking on. That is because the slab retains the heat. Once hot, the boiler shouldn't be running that often. This is why it is much more efficient to keep it a constant temp. If your buddy is out there every weekend and doing that heat/cool cycle every week, he may find there is very little cost to just leave it warm out there all winter. That is provided he has proper insulation in the slab and the building.
Forced air is better when you have a space you don't use very often. My pole barn is heated this way. I keep it at 36F or so all winter. If I go out there I bump the heat to 60 when I get home, I go in, change and maybe have dinner, by the time I get out there it is comfortable. I turn the heat back down an hour or so before I am done and it is fine. This work pretty well for the most part. The problem is if I am doing something on the ground the slab is really cold. I use a creeper or some old carpet and it is fine. But that slab is 36F. The other problem is in the summer. My slab out there is still cold. We had that heat wave with hot humid air. There are still puddles of water out in the shop. It is a constant battle with rust and my tools. If I were to do it again with forced air, I would build a small tool room to keep all tools in and keep that much warmer. Also if you maintain warmer temps all winter, you are heating the air so as soon as the garage door opens you loose all your heat and have to start over. This is why they work in a garage where you park all the time but only make sense if you are keeping the temps low. Then you battle condensation.
The third one that you don't see often in residential is an infrared heat tube. It heats objects like in floor heat does. You want to maintain temps but you get most of the benefits of in floor without ripping out the slab. If you had forced air and were not happy with it, if your ceilings were high enough, you would probably be better off looking at a heat tube. I wouldn't install it in a garage unless you are at a min 10' high with the ceilings. Higher is better though.
Does forced air make sense in some cases. Sure, install is way cheaper. However depending on how you use it, even the higher cost of one of the other options can pay off in the end.
As far as costs. It is hard to say. I am paying a general contractor and we went through all the stuff that he is responsible for (heated floor is one of the items) and he gave me a price which isn't broken down. A big chunk of the cost is the boiler unless you have one. The Lochinvar Noble boiler we are going with isn't cheap. I am not sure what size we are going with but they come in 3 sizes and range from around $2K-3.5K. The PEX isn't too expensive but then you have all the pumps and other components. If I were to guess, about $5k for the complete system. A lot of that depends on size and they have to do calculations on how the building is insulated as well. But then we are doing multi zones because I ran insulated PEX to the pole barn as I will be adding a heat exchanger out there to help offset my forced air heating costs. We are also going to run a zone to our forced air furnace in the house. Then there is another zone to the mud room and laundry room. A lot of this adds quite a bit to the cost and is why we needed a more expensive boiler. By comparison, we have a tankless water heater that can run in boiler mode (1 zone) I think I paid maybe $1000 for that one.
Does that help? Sorry I don't have direct answers to the cost, but I have a ball park idea. Also I kind of mentioned it before but if doing infloor you have to insulate under the slab. If not doing in floor, I would have done that anyhow. The insulation isn't that expensive.
Actually that brings up another point.Actually, your points are exactly the kind I need to make my decision. When it comes to my friend, he works with me so, Im assuming he is only using his garage on the weekends so it probably makes sense for him to shut the system down.
But Im retiring and then building my garage,where I expect it to be in use every day due to hobbies and whatever small jobs I take in to keep busy in retirement (Im a mechanic by trade)
The costs you are using (which Im sure are going to be different for me based on zones, size and location) arent much of a concern if I can keep it in the $5K range for the total job.
Thus, I really appreciate your input as I have come to rep sect the opinions coming from people like you here.
Next I have to find out whats the best way to put A/C in. :hide: Theres window units (not willing to go that route) a whole unit like a house with forced air, or those new stand alone units that go through the wall and half of it sits outside.
We recently got a couple of those stand-alone units on wheels but to me they take up too much floor space ad quite honestly, too new-fashioned for my likings.
great post explaining the IR pros/cons in more detailActually that brings up another point.
As someone else mentioned there is the heat pump option. That is kind of like a forced air system. If you had geothermal to run off of they can work pretty well. I don't. However there are heat pumps like the Mitsubishi. Think of it like the units that a lot of hotels have over by the window. The interesting thing about them is they can heat and cool the space. You can even set them up with different zones. We are not installing one right now but I am going to prep things to make the install easier should we want to. The problem with them is they don't work well for heat when the outside temp dips below 20F or so. We spend quite a bit of the winter below those temps so I wouldn't want it as my primary heat. If you are in an area that doesn't see as many days below that, it is an option. One of the benefits is that it heats and cools so my thought is lets see how much the in floor system costs to run. Everyone keeps saying not much. Not much is very different from one person to the next. I think I mentioned this before but I want to take our coldest months and run a test keeping the garage at 50f one month and 60f the next. Or maybe 40f and 60f. I don't think there will be a huge difference in cost but if there is, then I may consider adding the heat pump to have cheaper heating costs when I am not out there and then bump the heat when I go out to work there in the weekends. Kind of like I do now with the pole barn.
Also to touch on something that another person mentioned. You can keep the heat at a lower level with in floor. To explain that a bit more, with forced air you are heating the air like I mentioned. Heat rises so you are heating the space from the top down. Sure you can run a ceiling fan to help keep that air mixed up but that is the way it works. If you heat with in floor you are heating the slab and the heat actually stays down near the ground where you are. Who cares if the air is cold 12' up unless you are spending all your time in the space in a loft or on a ladder. You are probably spending all your time in that 6' and lower part of the room. That is where the heat is radiating from because the slab is warm.
I spend some time in the military. For a while I was a door gunner on helicopters (Huey and Blackhawk). Our hangers were heated with IR heat tubes. It could be the dead of winter in these huge hangars and they would open up the entire wall to wheel out some helicopters or bring them back in. All that heat would instantly be gone. However because we had really high ceilings IR Heat tubes worked really well at heating all the objects in the room. So as soon as the doors were closed, in about 5-10 min the room was right back to the same temp it was before the doors were opened. It really needs tall ceilings. Many people will say yeah I can do it, I want 14' ceilings because I am going to put a hoist in there. That is fine but if the car/truck gets too close to the IR heat tube you may have issues. Also they heat things in line of sight. So the closer something is to it, the more it blocks that IR energy from heating the rest of the room. These are reasons they are seen more in commercial use rather than residential. I wanted to mention it as an option technically because it is out there and in some cases when doing a retrofit, it might work and would be a lot cheaper than tearing out a slab. I considered adding it to my pole barn but I have 12' ceilings, I want to put a short lift out there (that is why I didn't do a lift in here) and ultimately I knew I would build a garage with in floor so I didn't know that I would want to run it all the time. Like in floor, you don't want to raise and drop the temps. You won't be happy with how it works.
Like I mentioned earlier, I would always tell someone at a minimum, always add the PEX and insulation. The insulation in the slab helps no matter what heat you do. Even if you don't do in floor heat today, you will likely retire at some point a you mentioned and then it would be nice as you may spend more time out there. At that point you can just go add the boiler and other parts that are the bulk of the costs. Or even if you never hooked it up, it is going to help come resale time when you down size. You might spend $1000 to put the stuff in the slab during construction. To try and do that later could easily cost $10K to get to that point and you would still have to buy all the other parts like the boiler and such.
Yeah I think the mini split system I was looking at is something like $3K not installed. The other reason we are thinking about it is for that mu/laundry room part of the addition. There isn't an easy way to heat/cool that space. It is vented to the outdoors under the floor. The floor is insulated on 2x10 or 2x12 floor joists. Not sure which yet. For heat we want to add in floor heat there but we also don't want to raise the floor. From that room you enter the kitchen and we are trying to avoid a big transition. One thought was to rip up the sub floor and add PEX under it. Normally you would add those aluminum heat spreaders which isn't really possible when doing it from the top. It won't be cheap but it is a small space so we are going to go with Warmboard. We will rip up the subfloor then replace it with their subfloor that has the loops to run the PEX through it. That solves heat but not cooling out there. That is where we will see how hot it gets and have two options. We found out our AC for the house died so that needs to be replaced. I am holding off until we get some final numbers on the garage budget. We might wait till spring at this point. In the mean time we bought a portable AC that is actually a heat pump for $500 from Lowes. That has been doing a good job of cooling the main part of our house. With that and fans we got through the last heat wave. I figured we could later move that to the laundry/mud room. It can cool that space but if we want something more permanent then we could do the mini split. They make one that is dual zone and could have a unit in the garage and one in the laundry/mud room. Not sure how big of a space they can do though. That will be the issue.great post explaining the IR pros/cons in more detail
mini-split heatpumps are a good option if you want cooling also.....spot on analysis on the issues with using them for heat in cold climates
i think if $ were not a issue i would do what your considering..... floor heat + mini-split.....set floor heat 60ish...balence and cool with the mini-split (great option for a home also)
fwiw....i have electric floor heat in all the bathroom and tiled areas of my home (over concrete slab with no insulation)(between tile and slab) we set it to 73deg years ago have never changed it and cant tell any difference on electric bill ....turned it down from higher 70s due to it seemed to warm up whole room and fight the AC in the summer its been a set and forget thing i would not want to go without