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One partial answer is to deliberately decouple the pex from the floor. E.g. if you have a crawl space, mount the pex a couple inches below the subfloor. Fill in the joist space below with paperbacked 4" insulation bats. (Less if you want the crawl space warmed.) The Pex now warms the air, which in turn warms the subfloor. This gives more even heating, ...


That could definitely be causing a ticking sound if the pipe is moving it will clink against the mortar and possibly loud enough to hear. There is nothing wrong with having mortar around it other than a PITA if you need to replace it. What you need to do is make sure that the pipe is secure as possible (tie-downs, clamps, whatever) on each side. You could ...

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