Radiant heating is dated to ancient times, when Romans warmed some rooms by running the flues for slave-tended, wood-burning fires under elevated marble floors, keeping toes and togas evenly warm.

Some centuries later, Frank Lloyd Wright installed copper pipes in the concrete floors of his homes and warmed them with hot water. But when the pipes eventually corroded, most home­owners abandoned their radiant floors rather than bring in the jackhammers.

Today, plastic PEX tubing has replaced metal as the best means of carrying heated fluid through floors, making in-floor radiant heat a more affordable option than ever before.