Is underfloor radiant heat viable in my case?


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Hi,
Here's a picture of radiator that I've been talking about that I've been wanting to remove and replace with underfloor heating.
http://freeboundaries.com/radiator.jpg
I would also like to say this: I don't really mind doing something that's wrong and then redoing it. HVAC and plumbers in my area want $1200 per person a day so whatever funds I pore into this will be nothing compared to having someone else come out and do it right. Plus I'll learn a lot.
So my plan is this. I would like to determine the BTU of this unit (can you help?) , cut it out, install PEX tubing at, let's say, double the BTU output and put a valve on it that will allow me to control the amount of heat. If this throws the whole system off balance, I will shut it off and and use a space heater until I figure out how to do it right. We are talking about an area that is about 60 sq ft.
What do you think?
Thanks a lot in advance,
Aaron
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Lets try again. The radiator in your picture is small, it is in a small room, so it probably gives out less 1 Kwh.. So lets ignore its output as its irrelevant. Lets look at the size of your boiler, if you intend to fit underfloor heating, then the first issue is, the size of the boiler, its output, in Btu or Kwh. Does it keep your home comfortable at present? Is it flat out in cold weather, or at say three quarters output? If you have the spare heating capacity OK?
Now, let look at the room you intend to heat with underfloor heating. What type of floor do you have at the moment?
How do you intend to fit the underfloor heating?
The recommended standard, is to lay four inches of styrofoam insulation on the floor. Cover that with a waterproof membrane. Then starting in the middle of the room lay a spiral of pex pipe over the styrofoam, fixing it in place with plastic staples, then poor three or four inches of concrete over and level.
Or lay four inches of styrofoam on the floor, then lay strips of wood in parallel lines on the styrofoam, laying the pex between the wood strips and cover with three quarter thick ply.
Either way the floor level goes up, requiring alteration to things like -doors, baseboards etc; adding a lot of work.
If you don't use four inches of more of styrofoam or similar, then a lot of your heat input will be wasted as heat always goes to cold.
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Hi, let me try to answer as much as I can.
The boiler heats the house comfortably and there is plenty of heat even on the coldest days (meaning even on the coldest days the boiler shuts off periodically.
The heating will go between joists under the suflooring. The floor is 3/4" oak over plywood. Above it is a total demolition job. I'm doing everything myself with friends so any additional work is inconsequential. There are two radiators of which I'm removing one.
Thanks again in advance,
Aaron
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