According to a recent industry report, it appears that lockdowns during 2020 were responsible for a huge upswing in floor heating sales. WarmlyYours, a manufacturer specializing in electric floor heating, released its “Q4 2020 & Annual Industry Report” last week. This quarterly report analyzes the sales of radiant heating products within the wider context of the national housing and remodeling markets. One of the primary conclusions drawn in the report was that there appeared to be a huge uptick in floor heating sales that occurred in the same period during which huge swaths of the world were under lockdown orders as a part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, WarmlyYours saw floor heating sales increase by 8 percent year-over-year. Q4 2020 was the most dynamic quarter with floor heating sales up 37 percent over prior-year-period.
The products leading this growth were the company’s Environ Flex Roll (up 82.1 percent), TempZone Cable (up 42.2 percent), TempZone Easy Mat (up 29.2 percent), and TempZone Flex Roll (up 13.1 percent). The biggest sales volume variation was from TempZone Cable, which was followed by the TempZone Easy Mat product line. However, TempZone Flex Roll continued to lead the way as the flagship floor heating product for WarmlyYours at 33 percent of all floor heating sales (down from 36 percent in 2019). Julia Billen, owner and president of WarmlyYours, said that the reason floor heating sales as a whole grew so much during 2020 is pretty simple.
“I really think it has to do with comfort—it’s just human nature,” Billen notes. “When we’ve faced what we have in the last year, it’s totally understandable that people have tried to find every little bit of comfort they could. Does a heated floor solve the world’s problems? Of course not! But it does make it easier to get out of bed in the morning when you don’t have to face both a pandemic and a cold floor.”
From WarmlyYours sales data, it does appear that homeowners have been a crucial driving force, in terms of customer segments, for growth in floor heating. In 2020, the company saw homeowner sales grow by 42.6 percent over the prior year, along with strong sales with big box home improvement retailers like Home Depot (up 56.4 percent) and Costco (up 32.6 percent) that serve both homeowners and some trade professionals. And while many homeowners have historically been “one-and-done” customers for floor heating, Billen thinks that this year’s emphasis on many homeowners choosing to heat non-traditional rooms like home offices, will lead to those homeowners choosing to heat more traditional locations like a bathroom and an increase in “word of mouth” advocacy.
“There is no greater advocate for radiant heating than actually experiencing it,” Billen adds. “Our expectation is that for these homeowners that have installed floor heating in their office, a lot of them are either going to want to incorporate it into their next bathroom remodel or they’re going to inspire their friends and family to do so themselves.”