Water underfloor heating is one of the most popular ways for homeowners to create a sense of warmth, luxury, and comfort throughout the rooms of their homes. It provides an excellent solution for creating even and consistent warmth, improving your energy efficiency and it can add value to your property, too.

What you might not know, however, is that the tradition of bringing warmth and comfort into our homes has existed for thousands of years, and that underfloor heating has been an advancing technology since the Neolithic period.

Read more about ancient practices for underfloor heating, and how millennia of work and innovation has gone into the design warming our homes today.

5,000 BCE

The first signs of a recognisable underfloor heating system can be seen in present-day North Korea where, around 7,000 years ago, thick stone floors were built on top of the furnace flue to provide heat to the residents above. This technique later became known as ‘ondol’, which translates to ‘warm stone’, and was refined and popularised across Asia for thousands of years.

80 BCE

The Ancient Romans developed an underfloor heating system known as ‘Hypocaust’. The furnaces, which required constant attention, were built below the floors; they would circulate hot air through tile flues called ‘caliducts’, and had the ability to heat multiple rooms above. Because they were so labour-intensive, Hypocausts were used only in public baths and larger villas, but archaeological remains have been found in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

A similar system was also used to heat the Turkish Baths of the Ottoman Empire, and versions of the Hypocaust system were still being used in Western architecture as late as the 20th century. Liverpool Cathedral, built between 1904 and 1978, features a more modern version of the ancient Hypocaust design.

The 20th Century

Following the discovery of polyethylene at the tail end of the 19th century, innovations were made in water underfloor heating systems throughout the 1900s most notably in 1960, when the first water underfloor heating system was installed using polyethylene pipes.

By the 1980s, water underfloor heating was being used much more widely, even in areas of the world that had continued to use the traditional ‘ondol’ method first seen thousands of years earlier. By the end of the century, the use of underfloor heating in residential buildings had become a popular option for homeowners.

The 21st Century

It has been thousands of years since the first plans for underfloor heating were created, and today’s water underfloor heating systems exude a sense of modern luxury far removed from their ancient roots.

These days, we install a network of pipes that carry warm water throughout our floors, and transform our homes with an even, sumptuous warmth. Water underfloor heating systems can transform a home, and create an inviting atmosphere for your household.

If you are looking to add a touch of luxury to your days and nights, while increasing your energy efficiency and the long term value of your property, consider a water underfloor heating system for your home.