Bremer Bay – Warmboard


Our underfloor hydronic heating system Warmboard arrives on site. This product is being used to heat the first floor. 5- 23kW modulating heat pump is being used as the heat source to drive the system.

The background to the use of this product in our house is a story in itself. while we do not use heating or cooling a lot as in other parts of Australia or indeed the world, but we do want some heating at times during the year. Cooling is not such a big a deal. We have a swimming pool the size of an ocean not 400m away. Although my better half puts her toes in the water only about once every leap year at best, it is there.

I am not a great fan of reverse cycle, as the hot air expelled into the room is usually delivered from the ceiling (and hot air rises) so that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. And I don’t think it is a pleasant heat to be in for long periods. Alternatives for heating a timber floor on joists seemed to be fantasy, unless you used clip up systems or as was suggested to us at one stage by laying aluminium diffuser plates, see the photos below, on top of the joists, each one notched out to take the grove where the pex piping would run

We were told it would take about 3weeks to notch out the joists, fix the diffuser plates and lay the pex. A plumber @ $100/hr an apprentice @ $55/hr plus accommodation…. not going to work is it!!

Internet search

So began a search for an alternative. I came across Australian Sun Energy’s site and so began the journey. I emailed for more information and  a reply came back from Peter Taylor with information on the board. After a bit more research we decided to go with Warmboard S, it’s a structural 28mm ply board with the top laminate being  a grooved aluminium diffuser plate. We have not opened the pallet yet and have only had a sneak peak. So that the rest of the house floors are on the same plane as the heated floor we needed a sub-floor of 28mm. Now that was hard to find in Western  Australia. Peter Taylor helped us by finding a source in Melbourne who I believe make this ply for the floors of shipping containers.

I don’t know what was used previously on other builds in Australia. I think we have a problem we will have to address, most joists in Australia are set at 450mm oc, however in America (where the product originates) they have (16″) 406mm oc joists I believe. So our warmboard being(2400mm) 8ft by (1200mm) 4ft will not be joined on a joist. It is tongue and grooved on the long 2400mm side but not on the short (4ft ) 1200mm side.

More to Follow

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