Sally Gunnell – Home with modern Heating system

A Modern Update for Olympic Medalist’s Home Renovation

Polypipe’s underfloor heating provides a future proof home heating system, and a touch of luxury, to Olympic Gold Medalist Sally Bigg’s (née Gunnell) home renovation.

When the Bigg family took on the task of renovating their property, they had a few goals in mind: to create a warm and inviting space for family living, whilst maintaining the property’s original character. Part of their plans to achieve this involved installing underfloor heating.

Having consulted with their chosen heating engineer, Ryan Faint of FMS Contractors, the family chose Polypipe to provide their underfloor heating system. Sally says, ‘We chose Polypipe because of our plumber, he recommended it and has used it lots of times. We wanted something that was reliable and longstanding because we plan to be in this house for the next 20-30 years

The family chose Polypipe’s Overlay® Plus system as it provided the most efficient heat output with minimal disruption to their renovation project during installation.

Overlay® Plus is installed directly over an existing solid or timber deck floor. The large and lightweight boards can cover large floor spaces very quickly and whilst they are sturdy, they can be easily cut to shape with a blade – meaning they are quick and easy to install without need for specialist or heavy-duty tools.

The boards have a dense insulation core and an aluminium lining which increases the product’s heat output by 15% compared to traditional Overlay®. And at only 18mm thick they add minimal height to the finished floor.

The Bigg family have paired their Overlay® Plus system with Polypipe’s Smart controls.

Paired with our Smart Hub, Polypipe’s Smart controls can be controlled via an app on your phone or tablet or via your smart home assistants – so you can ask Alexa, Siri or Google to turn the heat up in the lounge!



Modern Heating for Family Home


Sally Bigg


  • Underfloor Heating
  • Overlay® Plus
  • Autobalancing Manifold
  • Smart Controls

But where these controls really come in to their own is their geolocation capability. They can interact with your family’s smart phones and respond to your comings and goings. With Polypipe Smart controls, the underfloor heating system can be set to each member’s personal preferences and run the preferred programme when it senses that family member’s smart phone within a pre-set radius of the house. For example, the Bigg family has three teenage sons and the various family members are often arriving home at different times. They could choose to set the teenagers’ bedrooms to reach their preferred temperature in time for the occupant to arrive home, ahead of the rest of the home becoming warm to welcome the whole family later in the day.

The Smart controls also offer the more typical energy-saving functionality and the ability to create custom zones and programmes throughout the home, giving you more flexibility than ever before.

Sally says, ‘With three teenage boys we’ll definitely be using the smart system. We’re in and out of the house a lot, away bits and pieces, but they’re old enough now and love those sorts of gadgets. Smart systems fit the way we’re remodeling the house and we’re just really excited by it.’

More space and design freedom

So aside from being a comfortable and future-proof home heating system, why would you choose to fit underfloor heating in your home?

Sally says, ‘We wanted to have the space, this house had a lot of radiators in it and was freezing cold as well. Having underfloor heating will really change the whole outlook of the house, it’s made it more modern than it ever was. We’re very short of space so we didn’t want to have the radiators, we wanted to have cupboards. We wanted to make it a contemporary house with lots of glass windows and good insulation so underfloor heating just made sense.’

Sally Gunnell – Former British Track and Field Olympic Medallist

A word from the installer

Ryan Faint of FMS Contractors, who installed the underfloor heating in the Bigg family home, says, ‘Polypipe Underfloor Heating is easy to use, well designed it’s a recognised brand and it’s a premium brand. It’s helped my business because from start to finish it’s an easy process: each project is designed by Polypipe, it’s readily available from local merchants, in stock, easy to install and ultimately works really well. We’re fitting Polypipe systems on a large percentage of our projects, both new build and refurb.’

British former track and field athlete Sally Gunnell has competed at the highest levels of sprinting and hurdling and even broke a world record during her sporting career. She remains the only woman to hold the World, Olympic, European and Commonwealth Gold medals at the same time.

Following her retirement from professional athletics, Sally joined the BBC Sport team as a broadcast journalist reporting track side and appearing regularly as a panel list on breakfast shows and conducting radio interviews.

Today, she also undertakes corporate work to help companies bring health and well being into the workplace.


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