US & Global Economic Impact Analysis and Forecasts

Freedonia analysts and economists are sharing their insights on how major events are impacting different parts of the US and global economies.

Increases in Working from Home Boosts Interest in Radiant Floor Heating

Among the many changes that have taken hold in the US since the COVID-19 pandemic, that of working from home appears to have achieved a level of staying power. For employers, the realization that workers can be just as productive from their homes – while also minimizing the potential spread of coronavirus in a crowded office – has been crucial. Similarly, many employees value the many conveniences of working from home – no more commutes, flexible schedules, and an everyday casual dress code.

Many workers are choosing to make their “temporary” home offices more permanent, and according to a recent report, one of the ways in which they are doing so is to add radiant floor heating to their residences. For many homeowners, radiant floor heating – in which heated water is pumped through a pipe network installed beneath the flooring of a room (or the whole house) – eliminates the memories of a too-cold office while adding an “affordable luxury” to a home.

For the building construction industry, this increase in demand for radiant floor heating will support demand for a wide range of building materials, such as:

  • pipe, particularly the highly flexible crosslinked polyethylene (PEX) pipe often specified for these projects
  • plumbing products used to connect radiant floor heating systems to existing plumbing lines, such as fittings, manifolds, and supports
  • higher-capacity water heaters (for homes heated by natural gas) or wiring systems (for homes with electric heat)
  • flooring materials (such as decorative tile or LVT), as many homeowners replace older or worn floors during the installation of radiant floor heating systems

For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, particularly in Construction and Building Products, including Behind the Wall Plumbing, Plumbing Fixtures & Fittings, Plastic Pipe, Global Flooring, and a fresh update of Hard Surface Flooring coming soon. Freedonia also offers an expanding catalog of COVID-19 Economic Impact reports, which highlight how various industries are responding to the current crisis with a comparison to recent recessions. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.