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AllTrade's picture

Anyone know the cost per sheet for Warmboard here in North Jersey and a good place to purchase at the best price? Also any tips for install and what to watch for would be helpful.

(post #113975, reply #1 of 32)

i had that quoted a year or so ago at about 200 per sheet...it was in PA

(post #113975, reply #2 of 32)

Wow , that is up there don't know if i can justify it.


Thank you .

(post #113975, reply #4 of 32)

It can be a good trade off if this is new work, or as in my kitchen, the subfloor was a goner anyway. The savings on installing the radiant tubing directly into Warmboard, plus the uniform spacing that can be used saves a lot of time and money. It cuts and screws just as easily as regular subfloor and comes with a nice kit to align the panels or modify them around penetrations, so there is no real learning curve or extra install time to it.

...that's not a mistake, it's rustic

...that's not a mistake, it's rustic

(post #113975, reply #3 of 32)

I talked to a rep last week... $199 per sheet, price break at 61 sheets I think... drops to $189.

(post #113975, reply #5 of 32)

same price, anywhere.. generally you buy direct from Warmboard.

how big is the project?

-------------------------------------
-=Northeast Radiant Technology=-
Radiant Design, Consultation, Parts Supply
www.NRTradiant.com

-------------------------------------

-=Northeast Radiant Technology=-

Radiant Design, Consultation, Parts Supply

www.NRTradiant.com

(post #113975, reply #6 of 32)

I would need 18 sheets.

(post #113975, reply #7 of 32)

then the price is $199/sheet. I know of no way to get it lower than that.

-------------------------------------
-=Northeast Radiant Technology=-
Radiant Design, Consultation, Parts Supply
www.NRTradiant.com

-------------------------------------

-=Northeast Radiant Technology=-

Radiant Design, Consultation, Parts Supply

www.NRTradiant.com

(post #113975, reply #8 of 32)

I have tried to justify the price of that product, but I just can't see how it should cost anywhere near $200 a sheet.


It's made very simply out of relatively cheap materials.  It seems to me if they lowered the price by a substantial amount, they would increase sales dramatically. 


Maybe it's all made in one location and the cost of freight to distribute it is that high?

(post #113975, reply #9 of 32)

I believe it is all made in california, and I don't know the details of the construction costs. I know they have router machines to work the plywood.. not sure how the aluminum is bonded to it.. though, if you're thinking "cheap materials" a la the warmboard of several years ago, they are using a much higher grade of plywood now then they were then. I doubt that entirely justifies the price by itself!

It's definitely a premium product though. It can have economy if your labor rates are high as the install is pretty easy compared to many other methods, or if the performance needs are great as there isn't much that rivals it for output. It can shift efficiency with low temp heat sources a bit... so It has *value* in many cases (even if it's not the most economical), but it's certainly not for every project.

In the interest of full disclosure, we do a lot of work with Warmboard clients, so I'm not unbiased. But I can say with full honesty that the performance is very impressive, or we wouldn't be working with them ;) The only thing I know if that can beat it is a naked slab (no finished floor). Raupanel is good too.. I'd consider it comparable.. but that won't save you any money.

There are some DIY methods (sandwich) that do pretty well when labor is cheap and time is not a problem, we do a lot of those too. As long as the loads aren't too bad, you don't take too much of a hit in performance either... 15 to 20 degrees in water temp is a common differential. But if your time is worth $75/hr plus, that shifts economics in a hurry.

-------------------------------------
-=Northeast Radiant Technology=-
Radiant Design, Consultation, Parts Supply
www.NRTradiant.com

-------------------------------------

-=Northeast Radiant Technology=-

Radiant Design, Consultation, Parts Supply

www.NRTradiant.com

(post #113975, reply #10 of 32)

I agree with you about the benefits of Warmboard.  We use it when it is the best solution to the problem.....but for the life of me, I can't see how they arrive at a cost that high.


It has the material equivalent of two pieces of aluminum soffit material and 1 1/2 pieces of 3/4" CDX plywood along with a quart of contact cement.  You can by all that retail for about $60 or less.  If you are using tons of this material and producing large quantities, your cost would be some fraction of that.


I think they are shooting themselves in the foot. 

(post #113975, reply #11 of 32)

could be, but they did double last year, so I wouldn't expect that price to go down anytime soon!

They do also build panel/tubing drawing time into the price, which I can say is rather time consuming.

-------------------------------------
-=Northeast Radiant Technology=-
Radiant Design, Consultation, Parts Supply
www.NRTradiant.com

-------------------------------------

-=Northeast Radiant Technology=-

Radiant Design, Consultation, Parts Supply

www.NRTradiant.com

(post #113975, reply #12 of 32)

Rob, and Bojangles...


In a new construction situation, wide open, do anything you want, would you use Warmboard or gypcrete, and why?

(post #113975, reply #14 of 32)

I am primarily in the home building business.  My brothers and I run an "in house" operation where we do every phase of construction including the heating systems.  Therefore, we can do basically anything we want and keep the work flowing.


We never use Gypcrete.  We use both Warmboard and lightweight concrete, although I much prefer lightweight concrete for its unbeatable comfort level. 


Contractors who are into remodeling may prefer Warmboard because it's very efficient from an installation standpoint and also from a heat emitting standpoint.


Installing lightweight concrete involves extra work and materials, but in our case, it is not that big a deal.


 

(post #113975, reply #15 of 32)

personally I'd use warmboard coupled with a good control strategy to get my minimal water temps with as near to constant circulation as I can get. but thin slabs are not a bad choice either.

-------------------------------------
-=Northeast Radiant Technology=-
Radiant Design, Consultation, Parts Supply
www.NRTradiant.com

-------------------------------------

-=Northeast Radiant Technology=-

Radiant Design, Consultation, Parts Supply

www.NRTradiant.com

(post #113975, reply #16 of 32)

As I have learned so far. Which has not been very long mind you.


Is lightwieght concrete or gypsom have more mass thereby letting you run cooler temps  and better savings over the warmboard. Is this true?


Warmboard would seem to have a faster heat up rate with less mass but would also lose its heat a little sooner.


So go with light concrete or gypsom as long as your floor can handle it. This would save money on start up cost compared to warmboard by a little and do the better long term job.Yes?


I would guess then that warm board is the best solution  in applications that cant handle the load.


As for me and my job I am leaning toward 3/4 osb sub floor on 9 1/2" tji's filled with r-30 and dbl sheetrock below to code.  Fiber glass would have its kraft face vapor barrier facing up toward the floor .


On top of osb and inline and nailed to rafters I would install 5/4 x3 sleepers and staple 1/2" pex to osb floor and fill in between bays and flood pex. I would then nail hard wood to 5/4.


1. I was thinking would it be a good idea to use adhesive on osb and install foil rolls before installing anything else?


2. Do I need to leave a gap between osb floor and r-30 below?


3. Should rosin paper be installed under hard wood over gypsom and nailers?


Edited 3/1/2007 12:06 pm ET by AllTrade

(post #113975, reply #17 of 32)

Warmboard would seem to have a faster heat up rate with less mass but would also lose its heat a little sooner.


Wrong!  It will lose its heat instantly.  Warmboard has basically no capacity whatsoever to store heat.  That's why I prefer 1 1/2" thick light weight concrete.


Rob likes Warmboard because it responds quickly and can provide almost continuous heat if you continuously circulate the right temperature water through it.


I find lightweight concrete to be a more forgiving and comfortable way to heat if you are willing to put a little more work in up front.  Some people don't want to do this or can't handle the weight of the concrete so they would be better served with the Warmboard if they could find a heating contractor that can set their heating plant up properly.

(post #113975, reply #19 of 32)

So gentlemen how much $ and weight lbs would 576 sq. ft of light concrete be? AVG that is. I'll have those tji's at a 14'5" span.


We know that warmboard alone would cost me 3582 plus tax = $3796 Total


The concrete would cost ? dollars plus 5/4 x3 =  $170 plus double plates in my case =$45 total is $215 plus concrete= ?


I think the labor of installing warmboard over osb cancels out the labor of extra plates and sleepers. So the only extra labor is in the concrete pour . thats not a problem for me. screeting is easy , with clean up maybe 4 hrs in my case.


I think from all I have listened to here and elsewhere is that both systems are good if set up well and should be driven by cost set up and floor streanth. My floor is strong so cost will drive me from here on. 


By the way any you guys in NJ in a few months when I am ready to set it up and fine tune? Just got the foundation done! Still wondering on if I should heat garage slab below while Im doing all this . I have just begun to research the on furnace vs hot water heater debate! LOL


 


Edited 3/1/2007 1:30 pm ET by AllTrade

(post #113975, reply #20 of 32)

You will have to ask your local concrete supplier for his particular weight and price.  Many local suppliers don't even have the aggregate to mix it, so they couldn't provide it if you wanted it. 


You are aware that you don't need to put OSB under Warmboard??


Use 2x2s for sleepers.

(post #113975, reply #21 of 32)

Oh yes I forgot . So thats another $500


2x2's don't spilt when hardwood is nailed to them?

(post #113975, reply #22 of 32)

Well, not usually.  If you want a wider target, you are going to be giving up sq. ft of concrete. 


One thing you must be very careful of...is that the concrete surface is absolutely flush with the tops of the sleepers.


I really don't like regular t&g hardwood over these floors.  I think you are better off with some kind of floating floor.

(post #113975, reply #23 of 32)

actually bojangles, were you saying you don't use gyp?

one good thing about the newer gyp products is that they supposedly don't shrink, so the sleeper method works a little better than with 'crete products that do shrink.

any thoughts on that? I have been recommending floating floors too, but I'm always looking for more field feedback on different 'crete methods.

-------------------------------------
-=Northeast Radiant Technology=-
Radiant Design, Consultation, Parts Supply
www.NRTradiant.com

-------------------------------------

-=Northeast Radiant Technology=-

Radiant Design, Consultation, Parts Supply

www.NRTradiant.com

(post #113975, reply #24 of 32)

Well floating floors are hard for me to swallow because I want to match existing homes hardwood oak floor.

(post #113975, reply #28 of 32)

The  main reason we use lightweight concrete is that I like the end results and we can do it ourselves.


I'm not familiar with the new gyp products tho.  I'm always interested in taking a look at anything new related to the industry.

(post #113975, reply #25 of 32)

We've done warmboard installs, gypcrete, groved plywood, and concrete both with and without hardwood flooring.  We are also the hardwood installers and see the project from start to finish so our prospective is on the overall process and end results.  I take every chance to inspect others' installs and wall all over the floors to see how they feel and sound.


The labor costs associated with sleepers and concrete, gypcrete, etc. are pretty high to get a good surface to nail a floor to.  Good hardwood flooring needs a flat base and nailing surfaces that are spaced pretty close together.  It's not enough to be pretty close to flat since pretty close is what causes squeeky new floors.


I have yet to walk across a sleepered gypcrete floor that doesn't have problems.  Time and time again even when full-time flooring guys say, "It'll be just fine," the results turn out yet another new floor with soft spots, squeeks or worse.  That can't be considered good carpentry.


To do a good job over sleepers you need a flat surface and nailers in the right place.  Simply take a look at the nailing pattern of a new floor, especially with regards to the board ends and compare that to your sleeper pattern, especially going around curves.  On curves I've watched many installs with short boards that don't get nailed at all because they are off the nailer--not good at all.


How much time are you allowing for cutting curves in the sleepers?  Most greatly underestimate the time involved.


4 years back while a finish carp for a GC who also was the local warmboard distributor we quit stocking warmboard when the price jumps were seen as price gouging. Yep, warmboard is overpriced, but for a hardwood install that's not adding much per sqft to the job over other systems.


If warmboard is $4 a sqft, what are the other systems when all the labor, materials and extra time is factored in?  Warmboard is quick to install, so a day saved is time that can be spent on another project.


My favorite suspended floors for hardwood, if designed for the weight, are thin slabs of normal concrete covered with full coverage 1-1/8" ply to nail the hardwood to.  It cuts down on noise transmittion, provides a solid feel to the floor, is easy to properly nail to, and has a little mass so the floors don't have wide temp variations.


It's ok to compare the different systems, but when reliable time estimates are missing it's human nature to be overly optimistic, which doesn't necessarily help the end product or the bottom line.


Best of luck.


 


 


Beer was created so carpenters wouldn't rule the world.

 

Beer was created so carpenters wouldn't rule the world.

(post #113975, reply #26 of 32)

No curves in my project at all. So in your opinion warm board is the way to go because of my hardwood install. I was worried about the slight gaps created by the pour from sleeper to sleeper and possable shrinking also. i guess they dont make anything like the pergo underlayment that would squish so to speak between the hardwood and sleepers/crete that would also let the heat rise well through this barrier?

(post #113975, reply #27 of 32)

IdahoDon gave you a good list of why I don't like trying to nail hardwood floors over sleepers in concrete floors. 


Warmboard is definitely easier to work with in a situation like yours.


Actually, what we do if we have to lay strip flooring is lay the concrete, let it shrink to just below the surface of the sleepers, and then thinset over the top for a perfectly even surface.  All of that amounts to a bit of work, but the end result is great.

(post #113975, reply #30 of 32)

interesting technique, I'll have to remember that one.

-------------------------------------
-=Northeast Radiant Technology=-
Radiant Design, Consultation, Parts Supply
www.NRTradiant.com

-------------------------------------

-=Northeast Radiant Technology=-

Radiant Design, Consultation, Parts Supply

www.NRTradiant.com

(post #113975, reply #31 of 32)

Maybe a stupid question here for the application, but how do you all feel about Wirsbo QuikTrac? I was thinking of using it in my home under qtr sawn wht oak.

 

"It is what it is."

(post #113975, reply #32 of 32)

I personally think it's wildly overpriced for what you get. It can heat a space, but water temps are fairly high, and it doesn't have a whole lot of wiggle room.

Ultimately, a sandwich install isn't much harder, would be much cheaper, and would perform better.

-------------------------------------
-=Northeast Radiant Technology=-
Radiant Design, Consultation, Parts Supply
www.NRTradiant.com

-------------------------------------

-=Northeast Radiant Technology=-

Radiant Design, Consultation, Parts Supply

www.NRTradiant.com

(post #113975, reply #29 of 32)

I was worried about the slight gaps created by the pour from sleeper to sleeper and possable shrinking also.


One of the most challenging problems early in my career was a floor just as you've described.  I was told by the big boss to lay sleepers randomly, roughly 16" oc for a lightweight concrete pour.  We though 12" oc or less would be much better, but were overruled.


Sure enough the concrete was probably 1/16" to 1/8" shy of the top of each sleeper.  We then wanted to use a floor leveler or thinset to screed between sleepers to fill low spots, but were again overruled by the big cheese.  He drove up with a stack of ply and said to put it over the sleepers and quit complaining.


Predictably the plywood didn't have good support on the edges since the sleepers were rather random, cut to fit around the tubes, instead of the other way around, but when we brought it up were again told to just do it--the hardwood installer said it would be ok. 


That was the worst new floor I've ever been a part of, and all together spent close to $2 sqft in labor and maybe $.75 sqft in materials to install the sleepers and fix it the "easy way" which didn't work.  Back then just that it would have paid the cost of warmboard.


I'm less likely to try that appoach again since it had such a bad ending the first time around.  Maybe others do it all the time with better results.


Best of luck.


 


 


Beer was created so carpenters wouldn't rule the world.

 

Beer was created so carpenters wouldn't rule the world.