Making changes to a house with hot water radiant floor heating

We are considering buying a home that has hot water system installed on all 3 levels of the home (basement, main floor and 2nd floor) and the garage. Love the home but think we may want to do remodelling that may involve moving walls, expanding the size of the bathroom and maybe installing a tub. Would the installation of the floor heating system present us with major challenges? The system uses tubing installed in cement foundation. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  • Will need to know where the tubing is for anything(pipes, cables) going though the floor/s. Hopefully there is a tubing path map for the house with proper dimensions.
    – crip659
    Sep 26, 2023 at 17:23

1 Answer 1


You'll either need to accurately locate and avoid the pipes, or be prepared to break additional concrete and repair the pipes if you hit them when drilling holes for plumbing/electrical or fastening new wall plates to the floors.

If you happen to have accurate details about where they are located, that would be handy. If not, you may be able to locate them using something like a thermal camera to identify the warmer stripe that means a pipe is below (obviously the heat has to be on for that. And as can be seen in the example image, you need bare floors, not carpets, when looking for them that way.)

Example image:

radiant floor heat on a thermal camera

Image source https://www.homeconstructionimprovement.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/Radiant-heat-in-the-floor.jpg no endorsement implied.

  • 2
    Think I would trust a thermo map than even a detail paper map. A paper map might not show if any adjustments had to be made when laying down the tubing. Forgot about those heat cameras.
    – crip659
    Sep 26, 2023 at 17:55
  • 1
    Flir cameras etc are awesome for that task. Sep 26, 2023 at 18:43
  • Thank you! That's very helpful. Oct 1, 2023 at 3:47

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