According to the “Q4 2020 & Annual Industry Report” published by WarmlyYours, a manufacturer specializing in electric floor heating, it appears that lockdowns during 2020 were responsible for a huge upswing in floor heating sales. 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 many areas of the world were under lockdown orders as a part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. WarmlyYours specifically saw floor heating sales increase by 8% year-over-year. Q4 2020 was the most dynamic quarter with floor heating sales up 37% over prior-year-period.
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,” said Billen. “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, homeowner sales grew by 42.6% over the prior year, along with strong sales with big box home improvement retailers like Home Depot (up 56.4%) and Costco (up 32.6%) that serve both homeowners and some trade professionals.
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,” said Billen. “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.”