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Speaker spikes and underfloor heating ok?

RationalGaze

Established Member
I posted this in the furniture section, but I think someone here also might be able to help me.

I'm moving to a new flat soon with carpets and underfloor heating and I've ordered some Wharfedale 9.1 bookshelf speakers and Atacama Nexus speaker stands. Apparently you should use spikes for the speaker stands to improve the sound, but I'm afraid I'll damage the underfloor heating if I use them i.e the spikes will stab the wiring under the floor. Is this a valid concern? Is it possible for the spikes to stab through the carpet into the wiring?

Thanks for any advice!
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Electric or hot water underfloor heating?

Is there any way to tell where the wires or pipes run under the floor?

Could you use a relatively inexpensive stud detector to find the location of the wires or pipes?

To my knowledge, this is the first time this has come up in the forum, and might take some deep thought to resolve it.

Usually, whether tubing or wire, it is not actually exposed. I believe it is layed down then covered with a thin layer of liquid subflooring. Vaguely like concrete. Then the carpet is layed on this subflooring. I'm not sure how hard the subflooring is, and don't know whether the spikes would penetrate or not.

Maybe others will have some ideas.

Steve/bluewizard
 

ChrisAV

Established Member
It depends how thick the floors are - spikes shouldn't cut deep (so for example they wouldn't cut through a typical floorboard). I'd be surprised if was a problem, but ask what the flooring is under the carpet to be on the safe side.

Chris
 

RationalGaze

Established Member
I have some documentation about the heating which says it is electrical. It has a warning in it which says do not pierce the floor since I could damage a wire. I don't know if the spikes can do this, since I don't really know how electrical underfloor heating is laid.
 

ChrisAV

Established Member
I do have underfloor heating (until it failed this week, along with the hot water), and there is a warning not to put nails through the floor. Regardless of whether the heating is electrical or otherwise I wouldn't want to go through it. My floors are laminate so I'm not using spikes anyway, and wish to isolate rather than couple the speakers anyway, but as I said you need to find out what flooring separates carpet from heating to be safe.

Chris
 

CLIVEEDWARDS

Established Member
If its electric DO NOT use spikes. It will have latex levelling compound over it which will only be a few mm thick and speakers that are heavy will pierce it and could possibly become live with 240 volts.
On the other hand a water based system should have either a concrete screed of about 2'' or 18mm + of wood flooring, so should be ok for spikes.
 

k13 wjd

Established Member
Personally, I wouldnt worry....but then i seem too be immune to 250v AC !

wired underfloor heating is like a big electric blanket ( very like it ) in that its just a heating wire, often in a funny protective tube.

The chances of going through the carpet, and into a wire is slim, and even if it DID.......the spike would be live......so get the metre out.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
Could you not put down a granite slab (or equivalent) and then sit the stands on that using the spikes?
As an aside I did not realise they did underfloor heating with carpets (surely the carpet acts as an insulator meaning the heat does not come up into the room very effectively?).
 

021C

Standard Member
Carpets can be used on top of under floor heating systems, but they need to be the correct type (a subject for a different forum).

On the subject of spikes, you can get surface protectors (spike shoes) for the spikes to stand on and stop the weight piercing the carpet.

sspikeshoes.jpg


Any electrical under floor heating system should be backed up by an inline RCD or on board RCD that prevents voltage leaks. If the continuity of the device wavers over a certain level the RCD will kick in a prevent any nasty electric shocks...

I have no professional experience of the subject but have fitted water and electric systems in my house renovation project (ongoing).

It's always better to be safe... get some spike shoes ;)

Stu
 

Nobber22

Prominent Member
II'm moving to a new flat soon with carpets and underfloor heating and I've ordered some Wharfedale 9.1 bookshelf speakers and Atacama Nexus speaker stands.

I use my Nexus stands without spikes on my carpets and they sound exactly the same as they do with spikes that pierce the carpet & underlay and reach thru to the concrete floor underneath.

Just use the stands without spikes. :smashin:
 

IanW

Prominent Member
Having put down both wet and dry (electrical) under floor heating in my house, I can safely say that you should NOT put spikes into your floor if you have electrical heating.

As mentioned above, wet UFH tends to have around 75mm of screed above it - you aren't going anywhere near the pipes! Dry UFH tends to sit right at the surface of the floor. Ideally you would not have carpet over UFH as it stops the heat from coming up. But yes you can have certain types of carpet that will allow the heat to come through. I would imagine that the carpet would be quite thin, and therefore the spikes will go through to the floor.

You many not hurt yourself if you were to spike the heating element, but it is going to be VERY expense to put right! ;)

I think that your safest bet is either stone slab on the carpet then spike the speakers to the slab, or use spike protectors.

Ian.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Are your spikes very narrow and 'spike' like or are they the wider cones?

Spikes-
Parts Express:Speaker Cabinet 3/8" Toe Spike Set 4 Pcs.

Cones-
Parts Express:Dayton DSS4-CH Chrome Speaker Spike Set 4 Pcs.

If you could get some replacement spikes, you could round the ends off so they would penetrate the carpet but not sharply penetrate the sub-floor.

Here are some link to give you an idea of exactly what is under your floor. There are a variety of underfloor heating systems but these are typicial.

Radiant Floor Heating, Underfloor Heating - ThermoSoft

Heavenly-Heat - floor heaters radiant

Underfloor Heating :: Heated Floors :: In Floor Heating :: Electric Radiant Heat - SunTouch Floor Heating Mats

Just a few thoughts.

Steve/bluewizard
 

RationalGaze

Established Member
Thanks for the replies everyone, I think I will use the stands without the spikes. I just discovered recently though, that my new Cubo TV stand has spiked feet (the short, fat kind, not the long pencil ones), and I think I will have to get protectors for them. Hope I don't crush anything under all that weight!
 

UFH Supplies

Standard Member
If a warm water underfloor heating is installed with a 60mm screed you would need to sledge hammer the spike in to penetrate it. Low profile underfloor heating systems are available on the market for projects where floor build up is an issue.
 

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