Creatherm: A Simple, Flexible Radiant Slab

Radiant flooring is a popular method for heating a space. Typicaly, installing a radiant slab on grade has required the time- and labor-intensive process of laying down wire mesh and then tying the tubing to the grid of the mesh to provide an even layout. But using the Creatherm radiant floor panel makes it faster and easier to install radiant tubing, as well as providing an insulation layer beneath the floor.

Creatherm panels allow for rapid installation of PEX since the installer can “walk-in” the tubing as they unroll it by just pressing it in place with a foot. The knurled knobs in the Creatherm panels act to hold the PEX tubing in place, and their open grid configuration allows for a much more varied and flexible installation of radiant tubing. Creatherm panels also feature interlocking edges, so that the underlayment will not shift.

The panels additionally provide insulation value depending on their thickness. Creatherm panels are available in 1.8”, 2.8” and 3.3” thicknesses which provide R-5 to R-11 insulation. In many cases, Creatherm panels would serve for both the under slab insulation as well as the attachment for a PEX radiant tubing system, allowing for faster installation with fewer materials and less labor required.

Other products, such as Warmboard also are designed for faster installation of radiant tubing, but Creatherm offers more flexibility in the layout than Warmboard, although the thickness of the Creatherm panels might limit their use in above ground floor systems.

Being able to have the flexibility to quickly lay out radiant tubing, and to readily adapt to unusual configurations, especially with irregular rooms, makes this an especially intriguing product. And many will find it a real benefit to have the combination of an under slab insulation material which incorporates a system to quickly install the radiant tubing.

[+] More info about Creatherm interlocking floor panels.

Photo credits: Creatherm Photo Gallery.

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  • Chris

    How does this compare to gypsum ? Cost, weight? What actually dictates the pour thickness? Deadload weight? Gyp about 15-20lb DL. Also it appears these panels act like Ditra. So this would help for underslab insulation and help if using tile on top. Very interested, increased deflection L/360-480-720. we need to make a decision this week.

    • Philip Proefrock

      This is the underlayment, not the slab material itself.  It looks like the installations they are showing in their photos are primarily for concrete slab on grade, but I expect that it could be used with gypcrete, as well.  

      Let us know if you find out more information at your end.

  • JC

    Thank you for reporting on the BEST stuff.  I can’t wait to use some of this on my projects!

    • Steve Bez

      What do you got cookin’ JC?

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  • Dan

    Is this available without insulation at a good cost?

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