AT HOME WITH TURKEL DESIGN
Since the beginning, Warmboard has had incredible relationships with many firms across North America. And one of those firms has been Turkel Design. Based in Massachusetts, Turkel is a design-build practice devoted to clean lines and natural materials. And they are revolutionizing how houses are designed and built. Turkel works directly with clients using online interactive tools to design homes that suit their needs and desires. Whether customizing a standard design, or creating a completely custom solution, Turkel manufactures their homes in a factory as prefabricated panels, then ships and assembles them on sites worldwide
For a company like Turkel which manufactures their homes, they rely on quality building materials. We spoke with Meelena Turkel about the firm's history with using Warmboard in their homes.
MEELENA TURKEL // PRINCIPAL
“Turkel Design has been using Warmboard for as long as there has been a Turkel Design. In fact, it was [nearly] twenty years ago— when some of our senior staff were younger and worked in other offices— that a sales rep from Warmboard showed up and introduced the product. In each year since we founded Turkel Design, we’ve used Warmboard on more and more of our projects. Half of the houses, now in design or under construction, employ it.
We like to make the living spaces of our homes open and expansive, with living, dining, and kitchen areas flowing seamlessly into each other, with no intervening walls. But “no walls” means that ceilings often have to span a long way between supports. Warmboard’s stiff subfloor system helps us achieve those long spans.
We also like to expose the post and beam structure of our houses in the spaces where people gather, to give family and guests a sense of “how the house holds itself up.” But threading bulky ductwork through those spaces (and hiding it in drywall soffits) can ruin that effect. With the heating-system entirely within the floors, we can show off those beams, clear across the width of the room.
One of the hallmarks of our houses is that bedrooms are not ganged together but are carefully placed at the house’s periphery, so that each feels like a special “refuge.” The Warmboard system is so adaptable and flexible that we can give each bedroom its own individual heating zone.
To make the Warmboard system work correctly— so that the warm-water tubes can snake their way seamlessly across the floor— each panel has to be oriented correctly and installed in exactly the right place. We have found that not only are the panels cut precisely, but that the diagrams accompanying them are clear and unambiguous. We’ve also found that the panels arrive just as we need them: not too early, so they have to be stored, and not too late so we have to wait around. Notable experiences - when the client asks for a last-minute change in the room layout, and the pattern of floor panels has to be reconfigured. Several times, Warmboard has re-prioritized their shipping to accommodate us.
We’ve now got some years of Warmboard installations out there, and our clients seem uniformly happy with the results. Our homeowners of course appreciate being able to get out of bed in the morning to find the floor warm beneath their feet, and their home perfectly comfortable. They’re also happy that they can get a radiant-heated floor that’s not the usual concrete slab but beautiful hardwood. Our clients appreciate the acoustic separation that their floors provide and tell us that their floors don’t have that “echo-ey” quality that hardwood floors sometimes have. We know that that’s because of the stiffness of the Warmboard subfloor beneath their hardwood.
With every [Warmboard project] comes a Warmboard rep. These representatives not only know their product inside-out, but they’re able to talk with builders in a way that is precise but patient. We’d like to single-out Zak Warren for special praise: He takes phone calls. He takes in the situation. And he explains exactly what to do. Their field reps, also show up on site to provide additional support and guidance, which has proven very useful on some of our projects."