A division of Gateway Mechanical Services Inc.
Ice Rink Floor Systems

Under Floor Heating
The purpose of the Under Floor Heating System is to prevent frost build up under the rink floor.  Frost under the floor will eventually cause heaving of the rink.  The heating piping is contained in sand below the insulation, as can be seen in the cross sectional picture above. An Under Floor Heating System is typically used if the ice will be installed in the facility more than 50% of the time, when considering the operation of a whole year.  The temperature of the sand is regulated automatically to about 38 F. to ensure there is no frost build up.  The heating floor pipe is usually spaced at 12 to 24 inches.
Floor Insulation
The rink floor insulation is usually installed in two layers, with the joints being staggered.  This will ensure a frost spike is not able to penetrate through to the sand and grade below.  Compressive strength of the insulation must be considered to withstand the loading of the floor.
Pipe Chairs
The Pipe Chairs hold the rink pipe and the reinforcing steel in place while the concrete is being poured.  The chairs are flexible in dimension to accommodate different floor designs.  It is important to ensure a sufficient number of chairs are installed to eliminate pipe droop between them.
Concrete or Sand
Concrete or sand can be used to encase to cooling piping.  When sand is used, no reinforcing steel is required and the depth of sand is usually less than the depth of concrete.
Most rinks today use polyethylene piping for the cooling and heating pipe.  The polyethylene pipe is a thin wall pipe set at a spacing of 3 to 4 inches (center to center).
Header Location
“Headers” are the manifolds at the end of the rink which the floor piping feeds from.  Typically in a full size rink (85 feet by 200 feet) the headers will be 8 inch diameter steel.  PACE Industrial installs the headers in two different locations:
      Under Floor
  • Headers are located across the rink, usually at about the “Blue Line”
  • Negative issues concerning an open trench are eliminated, such as cost and method of covering trench
  • Should a piping leak occur in either the cooling or heating underfloor system, the leak is difficult or impossible to repair.  Although the possibility of a leak is slim, should this problem arise, it is devastating!
  • Headers are located in an accessible trench at the end of the ice rink.  Removable covers are set over the trench, made of wood, steel or concrete.
  • An additional cost to the project is associated with the open trench
  • Trench covers can be an appearance issue.  Usually they are covered with a heavy rubber mat.
  • The main features of the accessible trench are:
    • A leak on the headers can be easily repaired
    • Headers can be painted occasionally to help reduce external corrosion 
    • The open trench allows the elimination of a faulty circuit in the heating system, if necessary.  The heating system can still function effectively, even with one circuit eliminated, if the pipe spacing has been designed not too far apart.
   Downloads (.pdf) :    
        Download typical concrete floor cross section       

Privacy  | Terms of Use

 Edmonton (Head Office): 


Toll Free: 

1-800-414-0990 (USA and Canada)