Believe it or not, under-floor radiant heating actually dates back to prehistoric times. Recently, archeologists digging in the Aleutian Islands have come up with solid evidence validating that thousands of years ago inhabitants channeled smoke from fires through stone-covered trenches dug under the floors of their dwellings. This hot smoke heated up the floor stones, which then radiated into the living spaces. The principal behind this process was -- and still remains -- quite simple, the floor radiates heat to a person’s feet, warming that specific person all over.
From this ancient technique, fast forward to today and discover that two modern floor-warming systems have evolved. One is hydronic heating, which uses tubing to run hot water beneath the floor, along baseboard heaters or through radiators to heat the building where it has been installed. The other is electric radiant floor heating, which has become very affordable and quite easy to install, and incorporates an electric heating element to warm up the surface above it.