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Re: Substrate for fish room


Don't discount concrete with a floor drain yet...

I would vote with Bob.  Go to a local flooring expert, and discuss your
needs and desires.  To solve the eyesore problem, you can dye the concrete
or inset tiles or flagstones.  As for the cold factor, you can do what many
folks do.  Warm water infloor radiant heat.  This stuff is the greatest.
Case in point...

My mother lives in Maine, and 10 years ago put concrete in the floor of a
new room and greenhouse.  She has to bring all her plants inside for the
winter and the greenhouse is not big enough.  The plant vessel of choice is
a wooden tub about 18" in diameter.  The concrete floor is dyed a dark red
color, and has plastic tubing laced throughout.  The circulating water is
only heated to 80 deg or so, and the floor is always warm under foot.  As
the heat rises, the room is also heated.  Heated evenly and without drafts,
radiators, or other fixtures.  When it comes time to water the plants, she
just runs a garden hose from the kitchen sink, and slops water about from
container to container.  Even some of the water that gets into the tubs
seeps out. It gets all over the floor, runs down the drain, and what
doesn't is evaporated pretty quickly by the heated floor and the dry winter
air.  The convenience can't be beat.

Cost? Very competitive.  Sure installation cost a bit more, but
operationally it is pretty good as the water is not heated to radiator
temps, and is handled by natural gas.  It also recirculates so that it
doesn't need massive heating on each circuit.  What is surprising is how
effective this floor is.  The new room and green house are not on a
foundation.  They are effectively just enclosed, insulated decks built off
the side of the house with latice skirts.  I think the floor schedule was
joists, plywood, 4" of foam, and 2" of concrete with heating pipes.  Maine
can get plenty cold in the winter.  The first year with the new rooms
convinced her she had done the right thing with 35 consecutive days below 0
deg F, and the house stayed cozy.

A few throw rugs would hide the floor as much as you wanted, and could be
moved when anticpating spills.


>Date: Tue, 7 Sep 1999 09:02:54 -0500 (CDT)
>From: Scott Slezak <saslezak at theory_uchicago.edu>
>I'm not thrilled with concrete because I intend to live in the room as
>well.  It will actually be an office/fishroom.  So concrete is an eyesore.
>Also, I am in Chicago, which means concrete basement floors in the winter
>are very cold.  So I'd like something covering it, even if it is just a
>layer of vinyl flooring.
>Has anyone figured out a way to insulate basement floors and still put
>tanks on it?
>> What's wrong with concrete?  You can seal it if you feel the need, but it is
>> really ideal for the purpose.
>> Bob Dixon

Thayer Syme
San Francisco
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