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shop heat

I am considering putting up a new shop and was wanting some comments on the different types of heating options.  Will probably spray foam the walls and put in a ceiling and blow some insulation over that.  Was thinking of in-floor heat.  The people who don't like it are the ones who don't have it.  Will probably not spend every day in there but want to keep it warm enough to keep things from freezing.  The shops that I have been in with the radiant tubes seem to have cold spots thruout, not very even.  Do you not have that with in-floor?  The up-front costs don't scare me if it will be more efficient in the long run.  Appreciate any thoughts.

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5 Replies

Re: shop heat

There might be cheaper ways to "install" your heat in the shop...but you'll never find one that has as many "advantages" as radiant floor heat. Just remember to put some insulation between the concrete and the ground. Heat goes to cold....and it will go down through the concrete to the ground too.

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Honored Advisor

Re: shop heat

We have had it for 5 years and my uncles place has had floor heat since built @ 40 yrs ago.  Older one 48x80, newer 72x80

I know the initial cost was a little high,  but there are not many negatives beyond that.  Both systems have been operating with little or no maintenance.

If it is insulated well, you can't get more even heat, and it doesnt leave when the door opens.


We did not insulate much under the concrete.  


The only negative I can think of is reheating is slow if the gas or propane has been off for a while.  But once the cement is warm, maintaining warmth is easy and fairly cheap.

Our building is 24' tall so it can get pretty warm in the top it we run the thermostat above 60.



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tree fmr

Re: shop heat

One of my brothers has the floor heat in his basement.  I don't think I would ever poor a slab without it now.  He has a corn boiler for heat, very efficient but does require a little maintenance i.e. cleaning every few weeks.  IMO you just can't beat the benefits, come in late soak and wet no problem, throw your clothes on the floor, by morning everything is dry.  He has carpet in some of the rooms and had a flooding incident one summer.  Started the floor heat on high and the air conditioner, less than 24 hours everything bone dry.  Did not have to replace the carpet!

Having your shoes/boots warm to start the day is worth it to me!

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mvp farms
Veteran Contributor

Re: shop heat

I found out that benefit after I put floor heat under the tile in my bathroom.  Come in cold, lay your pajamas on the bathroom floor and take a hot shower, warms a guy to the heart.

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Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

In-floor heat

I have in-floor heat in my shop and love it.

My one regret is that I didn't put in some jib boom cranes.  Now, if I want to do something with the floor, I have to deal with the water pipes in it.

If I were to do it over again, I'd pour at least two pads where I expected to put the jib booms, even if I didn't put them in right away.  That way, there'd be places I could drill into without fear.

I have cut a water line and it is not the end of the world to fix it - but it's easier if I'd done it right the first time. 

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