Floor warmers?

After watching HomeTime before leaving for a 10:00 a.m. meeting this morning, I have a question. They briefly, very briefly, showed putting down floor warmer panels on a basement floor, "concreted" in (wasn't watching that closely) and then covered with flooring. On the surface (no pun intended), it looks like a good idea for the workshop end of my garage until I'm able to do what I really want to do which is many years away (and very expensive). On my way to the meeting, I really don't have a lot of time to research it yet and will stop at HD (since they sponsor, thought there's a remote change they might carry them) after the meeting and hit the web tonight, but in the meantime . . .
Because of previous leg issues (mine not the furniture or tools), I'll need to put some sort of flooring on the concrete where I will spend most of my shop time and was thinking 3/4" plywood on furring strips and then covered with that shop rubberized padding, so now would be the time to do this if that's the plan.
Has anyone here had any personal experience with these panels (appear to be maybe 3' by 3', electric) or know anyone who has? It looks like it would be a great alternative for finishing also since there would be no open flame as with pilot lights. Is this "real" or "fluff" or a questionable idea?
Glenna
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On Sat, 08 Jan 2005 09:16:59 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@pmug.org (Glenna Rose) wrote:

This is not the personal testimonial you asked for, but here is a link with some basic background info -- look esp. at the "plate-type systems" near the end. http://www.taunton.com/finehomebuilding/pages/h00028.asp
Here is a link to the company mentioned on the show. http://www.suntouch.net/ I think TOH also showed this system once, or one like it.
-- Igor
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Glenna:

I put these same panels in my new home - in the bathroom on top of a wood underlayment with ceramic tile on top - not concrete. The product is not carried by every Home Depot. Even tho, Robin and Dean buy their products from HD, it seems that individual and regional HDs have some say in the products carried. I had to order mine from a supplier in Calif (where I'm located). The product works as advertised. It does warm up the floor quite a bit. I have it set with a thermostat so that it goes on just before we wake up and then off most of the day until we go to bed. There's a manual setting as well.
We have had it for 7 months now and it works like a charm for our bathroom. The company has a website (Suntouch?, check the Hometime website for a link or name) and it has a planning guide to allow you to determine your need. I don't know if I would put these in a garage. I mean the warming factor is really at your feet and not higher.
If I were to put under concrete heating system, I look into a radiant heating system like they do a lot of on This Old House. The output seems to be much higher in BTU's and would warm the air around your body.
Good luck!
MJ Wallace
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I have newly installed electric radiant in my LR, very happy with it, as it heats the LR without cooking the 2nd floor BR. Seems cheaper to run than the furnace as well. Needs insulation below it for good efficiency. Can you add another 2" height to your proposed floor for the insulation? Otherwise, the slab sucks btus downward. Mine produces 30btus/sq ft., enough to warm the room 10 degrees in about 45 minutes. Here are some links I came across while researching this: http://tinyurl.com/4znaz http://www.heatinghelp.com / http://www.taunton.com/finehomebuilding/pages/h00028.asp http://www.pexconnection.com / http://www.radiantec.com / http://www.rpa-info.com/forums/Ultimate.cgi
That ought to get you started. I was at first going to use water, but my contractor pointed out that electric is pretty much zero maintenance, whereas water systems need to be regularly flushed and maintained. Also, if you're in an area of the contry that freezes, special mixtures must be used. My system is from here: http://www.heatizon.com /
Good luck, let us know how it works out.
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