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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Default 1891 Victorian with cast iron radiators - temporarily remove for new flooring install

    We recently purchased an 1891 Victorian, and are having new hardwood floors put in, it has the original flooring. The house has 4 existing, working hot water radiators that are huge (and beautiful) (also a new boiler that is 3 years old). The flooring contractor wants us to have the radiators temporarily taken out for the new floor install, then reinstalled. We are hesitant to do this because they obviously have never been removed, and with raising them up 3/4" for the new flooring, the connections will all be different and could be hard to reconnect, opening us up for more problems down the road (leaks). I did a preliminary call to a plumber for a ball-park to do this and was told without seeing it 2k-3k. The flooring contractors has "a guy" who will do it for about 1K. We worry about that! We would prefer to leave them as it, sitting on the original flooring (which will be used as the subfloor for the new floor) and frame around them and maybe put in tile or rock under them to finish it. Please advise if anyone with experience would tackle this. We are spending a lot of $$ already for the entire house to have new floors, and an extra 3K is almost impossible right now.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    86

    Default Re: 1891 Victorian with cast iron radiators - temporarily remove for new flooring ins

    Carolyn,

    I would say find another flooring contractor (the Yellow Pages are full of them) who is familiar with HW radiator systems and IS WILLING TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for removing & re-attaching the rads for a reasonable fee & is willing to put it in writing---$2k to $3k is way too much to even think of paying for this---the rads only have to be moved far enough from the wall to install the new hardwood flooring & then re-installed---in other words, pulling them away from the wall for only a few feet should be plenty while the new flooring is installed along the wall---the rad is then simply pushed back against the wall & reconnected.

    $2k to $3k???? they've got to be out of their minds!

    I've been moving CI rads around rooms for many years without any problems---it's done all the time---make sure you have a written clause in the work agreement that states the flooring contractor will make any repairs if any leaks occur after the installation.
    Last edited by dodsworth; 05-11-2014 at 07:24 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    1,227

    Default Re: 1891 Victorian with cast iron radiators - temporarily remove for new flooring ins

    Quote Originally Posted by dodsworth View Post
    Carolyn,

    I would say find another flooring contractor (the Yellow Pages are full of them) who is familiar with HW radiator systems and IS WILLING TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for removing & re-attaching the rads for a reasonable fee & is willing to put it in writing---$2k to $3k is way too much to even think of paying for this---the rads only have to be moved far enough from the wall to install the new hardwood flooring & then re-installed---in other words, pulling them away from the wall for only a few feet should be plenty while the new flooring is installed along the wall---the rad is then simply pushed back against the wall & reconnected.

    $2k to $3k???? they've got to be out of their minds!

    I've been moving CI rads around rooms for many years without any problems---it's done all the time---make sure you have a written clause in the work agreement that states the flooring contractor will make any repairs if any leaks occur after the installation.
    The problem will be the lines feeding the radiators will be too short after the flooring is installed and being as old as they are I'm betting the lines are threaded pipe. It may not be as easy a job as you think. Without seeing it how could you say the quote is to high?
    John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    3

    Default Re: 1891 Victorian with cast iron radiators - temporarily remove for new flooring ins

    That is our concern also, that with disconnecting and lifting these 400lb+ radiators (they are huge) 3/4" and then reconnecting will be an issue. They are threaded connections as you said, and original, so 120 years old. They are beautiful and work amazing, but messing with them could lead us to future problems. We don't plan on converting the 3 year old boiler any time in the future. Its not just pulling them away from the wall, they will have to be raised up to accommodate for the new flooring, and the lines feeding them have zero give.

    My real question is do we mess with these and try and get them on top of the new hard word..is it worth it to take that risk...or just frame around?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Default Re: 1891 Victorian with cast iron radiators - temporarily remove for new flooring ins

    If it were mine I wouldn't move them at all. Keep them in place and cut the flooring around the legs. It may take some more effort on the floor layers part but you would be far better off by not moving the radiators at all.
    John

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    3

    Default Re: 1891 Victorian with cast iron radiators - temporarily remove for new flooring ins

    Quote Originally Posted by johnjh2o View Post
    If it were mine I wouldn't move them at all. Keep them in place and cut the flooring around the legs. It may take some more effort on the floor layers part but you would be far better off by not moving the radiators at all.
    I think we have decided to do that, its good advice and just to "iffy" for us to take the risk for potential problems to arise next winter, after the floors are in and then big potential disaster. Thank you for your input!

    Carolyn

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