Radiant Heating: The Untapped Market
Jack Boesch, MP Global Products director of marketing, believes radiant heating is ideal for warmer climates, too. “In warm regions, where there is a lot of tile installed, retirees appreciate that extra bit of warmth that electric radiant heat underlayment imparts to the floor.”
Radiant heating systems can be as relatively simple as underfloor mats, films or wires (electric heat) or as relatively complicated as heated water flowing through a system of underfloor pipes (hydronic heat). Radiant heating may often be a feature that many customers dream about, but could potentially be scared away by the price. However, according to manufacturers, simple systems can be installed under certain portions of the room, such as in a bathroom next to the sink. This allows the customer to keep costs down and use the system only where it is most needed.
There remains untapped potential in other areas as well. Boesch said he was seeing more opportunities in the residential remodeling markets. Mark Hudoba, LEED GA, senior product manager, Heating & Cooling at Uponor, agreed. “I see the segment continuing to remain strong in the luxury residential market, while expanding into the standard home and also the residential remodeling markets,” he stated.
Peter Thomson, director of sales, Nuheat, noted that radiant heating systems can offer unknown benefits to customers by being extremely versatile. “We are seeing Nuheat in conjunction with other radiant heating options (such as water) and also replacing heating systems like baseboard heaters, as homeowners prefer an invisible heat source.”
While tile is arguably the most popular choice for radiant heating, Boesch also saw opportunities for other types of flooring during a remodel. “Our QuietWarmth [underlayment] can be used under floating wood, laminate, and ceramic and porcelain tile flooring,” he said.
Hudoba also discussed the different types of flooring radiant can bring extra warmth to: “The vast majority of floor coverings, including hardwood, carpet, tile, slate, linoleum and even concrete, can be used with a radiant floor heating system.” It all comes down to understanding what the customer wants and what solution will work best for them, he added.
The bottom line. Manufacturers see a lot of room for growth across the southern states. Additionally, with the down economy more people are looking to finish floors themselves, creating untapped potential in the DIY and remodeling markets. Understanding what customers are looking for and offering solutions that they might not have originally considered are ways to enter into these untapped markets. Manufacturers say despite the bumpy economy, the future of the radiant heating market looks bright.