Uponor Solutions:
Residential Radiant Floor Heating

Radiant Floor Heating FAQs for Homeowners

How does radiant floor heating work?
What is PEX tubing?
What makes radiant floor heating so comfortable?
How long has Uponor Radiant Floor Heating been around?
What is the difference between PEX-a, PEX-b and PEX-c tubing?
Can the floor get too hot?
What if the tubing leaks?
Is a radiant floor heating system noisy?
Can a radiant floor heating system help people with allergies?
Do you have to break up an existing concrete slab to install radiant floor heating?
Does Uponor install the radiant floor heating systems?
What if my contractor doesn’t know how to install a radiant floor heating system?
Does Uponor offer a warranty on its radiant floor heating system?

In a radiant floor heating system, warm water flows through flexible plastic tubing called PEX that is located underneath or within the floors. (PEX is an acronym for crosslinked polyethylene.) The PEX tubing carries the warm water into specific rooms or “zones” to effectively heat people and objects in every corner of the room.

PEX is an acronym for crosslinked polyethylene. It is a flexible, durable, corrosion-resistant product that possesses distinctive properties that make it ideal for radiant floor heating and plumbing systems. There are three different types of PEX tubing: PEX-a, PEX-b and PEX-c. Uponor manufactures PEX-a tubing, which is considered the superior type of PEX in the industry.

Unlike traditional heating systems that just warm the air, radiant heating warms the floor and the objects in contact with the floor. The entire floor distributes a consistent, even and quiet heating. There are no drafts and radiant floor heating takes the chill out of cold tile, marble and wood floors.

Uponor (formerly Wirsbo) was the first to bring radiant floor heating to North America more than 40 years ago. And the concept of radiant floor heating has been around since ancient Roman times. Radiant floor heating has been, and continues to be, used in many countries around the globe to effectively bring comfort in even the most extremely cold climates of the world.

All three PEX manufacturing processes generate tubing that is crosslinked to varying degrees and are acceptable for potable-water and hydronic radiant floor heating applications.

  • PEX-a is manufactured using the  Engel or peroxide method
  • PEX-b is manufactured using the Silane method
  • PEX-c is manufactured using the E-beam (electron beam) or radiation method

Uponor manufactures PEX-a tubing. The PEX tubing industry considers PEX-a superior because the crosslinking is done during the manufacturing process when polyethylene is in it amorphic state (above the crystalline melting point). Because of this, the degree of crosslinking reaches around 85% (higher than PEX-b or PEX-c), resulting in a more uniform, more flexible product with no weak links in the molecular chain.
No. A properly designed radiant floor heating system will deliver comfortable, energy-efficient warmth that is a pleasure to walk, sit or lay on. If additional heat is needed to satisfy the heat load of a room or structure, it is possible to add radiant walls or ceilings to supplement the heating requirements.

Leaks are not a concern with an Uponor radiant floor heating system when the system is properly installed. With a life expectancy of more than 100 years, Uponor PEX tubing has withstood the most extensive tests in the industry for more than 40 years. What's more, all Uponor PEX tubing is thoroughly inspected before it leaves our manufacturing plant to ensure a quality product is going into your home. And, we also offer a 30-year limited warranty on our PEX tubing and ProPEX® fittings when installed by an Uponor-trained professional.

The circulator pump that is used to slowly move the water through the tubing is almost inaudible, so the system functions very quietly. With a radiant floor heating system, you won’t hear the loud boom of a furnace turning on or blowers or fans running constantly.

Yes. A radiant floor heating system is very clean because it does not use fans or blowers which can circulate dirt, dust and other allergens throughout a home. And warm radiant floors can eliminate the need for carpeting which is a breeding ground for dust mites, a very common cause of allergic respiratory disease.

Absolutely not! Uponor offers two systems that work ideally on top of a concrete slab or plywood subfloor. Our radiant panel system called Quik Trak® features a low, ½" profile that makes it easy to install a radiant floor heating system in an existing structure without having to alter mouldings, baseboards or doors. And our Fast Trak™ knobbed mats make it easy to install radiant by just laying the panels and snapping the tubing where ever you want it to go. It offers the fastest, easiest way to install radiant floor heating.

Uponor partners with trade professionals who are trained and knowledgeable about radiant floor heating system design and installation. To find an Uponor-trained radiant floor heating system installer, visit our Find an Installer page.

Uponor can train your contractor on how to properly design and install a radiant floor heating system. To learn more about training opportunities for professional installers, call 800.321.4739 or visit www.uponorpro.com/training.

Yes. Uponor proudly backs the PEX tubing and ProPEX® fittings in its radiant floor heating systems with a 30-year limited warranty when installed by an Uponor-trained professional.