About Heat Transfer Plates
PEX heat transfer plates improve performance and comfort levels produced by the radiant floor heat system. They are snapped over PEX tubing and secured to plywood or wooden subfloor surface with nails, screws or staples. By dissipating the heat from PEX to the flooring, plates allow for a more even distribution of heat and effectively reduce or eliminate cold spots on the floor. With increased heat transfer efficiency, the system can run at a lower supply temperature, resulting in lower operating costs.
We carry (2) major types of plates: USA-made plates are Omega-shaped, 5" wide and 0.018" thick. Imported plates are U-shaped, 4" wide and 0.016" thick.
Heat transfer plates can be used both for beneath subfloor installations where PEX tubing is attached to the bottom of a subfloor, and for “sandwich” installations where PEX is installed between the subfloor and finished floor.
If it is necessary to cut the plate, tubing channel must be reamed out with pliers (i.e. needle-nose pliers) or smoothed with a round file to avoid scratching of PEX pipe.
Frequently Asked Questions about this product:
Q: What is the difference between domestic and imported plates?
A: A side to side comparison:
Tubing channel shape: Domestic - Omega-shaped, Imported - U-shaped
Width: Domestic - 5", Imported - 4" (25% difference in heat transfer area)
Thickness: Domestic - 0.018", Imported - 0.016" (~12% difference)
Omega-shaped heat transfer plates can be snapped over the pipe and will not fall off. They also transfer heat more efficiently than U-shaped plates. In essence, U-shaped plates are simply an economy version of the same product at a lower price.
Q: How many plates will I need?
A: A rough estimate for joists with 16" OC (On Center) spacing would be (60) 2ft plates for every 100 sq. ft of space. It is recommended, however, to perform your own calculations, considering that a single joist bay will have (2) parallel runs of plates spaced at 0.5"-2" apart and that a “buffer” space of ~1.5ft on both ends of the bay is needed to route the PEX pipe to the next bay.
Q: Can heat transfer plates be used in DIY solar collectors?
A: They can be used in a variety of applications, including solar water heating. The channel would accept 1/2" CTS standard copper pipe (K, L or M) as well.
Q: How to reduce noise associated with PEX heat transfer plates?
A: Applying a thin layer of clear silicone glue to the tubing channel prior to installing PEX will help to reduce noise level. Some manufacturers also recommend securing only one side (wing) of the plate, leaving the other one hanging and thus eliminating direct contact of PEX tubing with the subfloor surface.
Q: Are plates compatible with 1/2" PEX-AL-PEX?
A: Yes. 1/2" PEX-AL-PEX could be a good choice over regular oxygen barrier PEX tubing since it's easier to install and expands less.
Q: How far apart should I space these plates?
A: For parallel runs, radiant heat transfer plates should be spaced at 8" apart OC (On Center).