Heated paver sidewalk

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Drew Gemma, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. Drew Gemma

    Drew Gemma LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,508

    Is it worth it to run radiant heat throuh my walk. Will it cause any side effects over time. Also what would be the best techinque for doing this. this walk is for my new house which we just finished now I ma working on steps and walks.
  2. MarcusLndscp

    MarcusLndscp LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 634


    I've done alot with heated pavers and they work quite well. I can't think of much for negative thoughts with heated walks other than they add quite a bit of $$$$ to the budget. I would say you need to look at how much you're gaining from having your walk heated. Is it a small walk....maybe just 100-200 SF? Or is it much bigger where it will help drastically with snow removal.

    Prep you gravel base as you normally would for pavers except leave the grade 3" lower than you normally would. So from finish grade your gravel should be down 6". This step is somewhat optional.....some companies use a fabric to cover the gravel that aides in heat loss through the ground....I've never personally used it. Next lay 2" foam board insulation (2'x8' sheets) over the entire surface area. I like to tape my joints of the boards to keep sand from migrating through the small cracks. Either duct tape or typar tape works well. Next have your plumbing contractor staple his pex tubing to the foam board. Make sure the feed and return lines are run together so heating is consistent throughout the paver area. If one constant line was run by itself the heat loss would be quite substantial in the water by the time it got to the end of the line and back into the boiler. Once the pex is down you're ready to lay pavers. Just make sure all nooks and crannys are properly filled with sand to prevent unwanted settling spots. Lay your screed pipes on the pex and screed your sand as usual then lay your pavers.

    Note there will be some "spring" to the foam board unless you get your base prep absolutely perfect so take the time to do this as you normally would do under pavers. If there's a little (and I emphasize A LITTLE) flex in spots don't sweat it too much though the weight of the sand will make the foam seat tight to the base. Compact and edge as usual.

    Side note be careful of wheel barrells and sharp objects when your pex tubing is exposed. It's very durable but I have seen small pin holes and lacerations in the tubing. The coolant they add can be incredibly costly in large systems. Also, make sure the lines are pressure tested before you start laying pavers.

    You will also need a sensor in the paver surface to tell the system when to turn off and on that your plumber should supply and locate for you. Ours usually asks for it under a drip line if possible.

    After all that there are also electric systems that I am not familiar with at all so I won't even try to discuss it with you.

    Good luck and let me know if you have any further questions

    Happy holidays
  3. Pavers Plus

    Pavers Plus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 83

    Consider using electric radiant snow melt systems for areas under 800sf in size. much easier to install with less problems overall.

    Orbit manufacturing

    the cost to the consumer is probably about $7-9/sf
  4. Drew Gemma

    Drew Gemma LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,508

    I think we are going to go with the electric cables.
  5. Drew Gemma

    Drew Gemma LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,508

    Could someone give me an idea on what type of insulation to use for those cables.

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