UNDERTILE HEATING: An Affordable Luxury for Customers and a Profitable Upsell for you
July 1st, 2006

July-August 2006

Whether you think of it as “affordable luxury” or necessity, undertile heating is an increasingly popular—and profitable—upsell for new construction and remodeling. As much as we all love the look of tile, it feels cold underfoot, especially so in more temperate climates in the Midwest and northeast.

But the advent of affordable, easily installed undertile heating units has made the chilly bathroom or kitchen floor a thing of the past. And it has allowed homeowners and designers to consider tile in additional spaces—on basement floors, on shower benches, even counter tops where a cool surface may not be conducive to eating a bowl of cereal on a chilly winter morning.

In fact, Ben Abraham, general manager of DK Heating Systems, says one of the most important reasons to include undertile heating in your product mix is to keep your customer happy. Woe to the dealer whose customer discovers—after an expensive remodeling or installation—that they could have had under tile heat installed if they had consulted another vendor. If the customer doesn’t know about it now, they will eventually. And they’ll want it.

What’s new in undertile heating are the continuing innovations that make it easier than ever to sell, install and enjoy.

Technical innovations

The sale is always easier with new and improved products and all of the manufacturers in the category have worked hard recently to deliver the latest technology for your customer’s floors.

Warmly Yours’ Monica Irgens says the company’s product has a long history in the marketplace, but the recent boom in remodeling paired with a desire for more energy efficiency and the growing marketplace for both wood and tile floors has lead to even more growth.

Warmly Yours is also the only self regulating product. Irgens likens the black carbon and plastic mat to one large sensor that will detect a warm spot of sun, a rug or even towels left behind and adjust that area only. The floor stays uniformly warm but cannot overheat in those places.

EASYHEAT’s Warm Tiles® electric floor warming division has introduced a new convenient dual conductor cable. Traditionally, electric floor warming was designed with two cold leads; one at the beginning of the installation that attached to the electrical box and one for the end of the floor warming system, which required being routed back to the original electrical box.

Engineers at EASYHEAT realized the two lead system was cumbersome and awkward. They completely redesigned the cable and mat systems to be outfitted with one cold lead only. By eliminating the need for snaking the second lead around the room, Warm Tiles has successfully redesigned two customer friendly options for your floor warming needs.

The Warm Tiles Cable system provides unlimited design configurations for even the most difficult shaped room. The cable allows you to install full floor warming coverage by lacing the cable on the floor wherever you require a heated area. Two different spacing options enable these extremely flexible cables to be installed virtually anywhere.

The Warm Tiles Mat system provides a quick and easy pre-fabricated installation by using the same Warm Tiles cables mounted onto a mesh backing. Warm Tiles Mats are ideally suited for concrete slab or multi-unit applications, as well as square or rectangular installations where the mat fits the shape of the room. These standardized rectangular mats help reduce installation time and labor costs. Custom mats are available for a variety of shapes and areas.

“The new Warm Tiles system is quick and easy to install. An average size bathroom of 30 square feet should take about 2 hours to install the floor warming component of the system,” stated Ben Shoemaker, Warm Tiles National Sales Manager. “Additionally, your Warm Tiles thermostat will regulate only enough electricity to heat your floor to the desired temperature. When the floor reaches your preset temperature, the electricity will cycle off. Since the electricity is generating warmth about one-third of the time, the cost savings are significant. On average, the operating cost is 1c per heated square foot per day, regardless of the size of your installation,” added Shoemaker.

Smarter selling

WarmlyYours wants to make it easier than ever for you to introduce the idea of undertile heating and then sell their product with new, easy-to-install electric floor warming kits, conveniently designed to cover most of today’s bathroom floor plans. The kits, which are available in three sizes to accommodate most bathrooms, are specifically designed to help dealers capture immediate sales and build in-store awareness for the comfort and luxury advantages of including undertile warming in remodeling projects.

The in-store presence of ready to install kits is seen as a way to bundle floor warming systems sales with bathroom flooring purchases, and to increase custom orders of larger bathrooms or kitchen systems using WarmlyYours free overnight design service. All kits are backed by the WarmlyYours exclusive 24/7 installation support service and lifetime technical assistance plan for maximum customer confidence and convenience.

EASYHEAT’s® Warm Tiles® Floor Warming system has recently earned the prestigious Good Housekeeping Seal, a highly recognized statement of the magazine’s renowned Consumers’ Policy. (The Good Housekeeping Consumers’ Policy states that if a product bearing the Seal proves to be defective within two years of purchase, Good Housekeeping will replace the product or refund the purchase price. )

The Good Housekeeping Seal is a hefty endorsement. Founded in 1900 for the purpose of improving the lives of consumers and their families through education and product evaluation, the Good Housekeeping Institute evaluates the actual product and reviews all advertisements submitted to the magazine; only those that it finds acceptable are published.

The company has also introduced multi-lingual retail packaging and brochures and a high speed web site featuring new web tutorial that simplifies the installation learning curves for electricians, tile installers and homeowners.

DK Heating offers a new self-adhesive mat to make installation easier than ever. The company’s products are also double-insulated for safety.

Danfoss Inc.’s new LX floor heating system is also supplied as a self-adhesive mat, which can be rolled out quickly on the subfloor or, in a renovation, on top of an existing floor. The company has also introduced the Danfoss LX thermostat with dual voltage capabilities (120V or 240V), four-event seven-day programming, and built-in GFCI functionality. Danfoss LX comes with an industry leading, non-prorated 10 year warranty on the heating mats and a two year warranty on the electronic thermostat.

Abraham believes that the demand for under tile heating “is growing by leaps and bounds.” Consumers are increasingly knowledgeable about it, making it an affordable luxury that thousands of Americans are adopting in new homes and renovations. For dealers, under floor heating presents an ideal opportunity to increase the bottom line on every floor installation.

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