Kitchen and bathroom worktops market sees growth

The kitchen and bathroom worktops market is estimated to have reached a value of more than £200 million in 2015, according to new figures.

The latest ‘Domestic Kitchen and Bathroom Worktops Market Report’ from AMA Research found that the market has experienced steady growth since 2011 as a result of increasing consumer confidence. The worktops market has also grown faster than the kitchen furniture and bathroom products markets.

The kitchen worktops market increased by around 5% in 2015, with an average of 4% to 5% year-on-year growth over the past few years.

In recent years, there has been a shift in distribution shares with growth in the builders merchants sector and a drop in market share for the DIY multiples sector.

Key influences on this market have been the emphasis on aesthetics and stylish design, the blurring distinction between kitchen and dining room, a move towards open- plan living, the demand for professional-style kitchens and appliances, and a trading up to higher-value materials and products.

The bathroom worktops market saw growth of 8%, but in value terms only regained the level seen prior to the economic downturn. Bathroom worktops remain a small market in overall value terms, with builders and plumbers merchants being the major distributors with around 40% of the market, followed by DIY multiples and bathroom equipment specialists.

Major influences on this market include rising levels of consumer confidence, increased popularity of solid surfaces for worktops, and a growth in the number of second bathrooms in the new housing market.

However, with a relatively high number of flats and apartments in this sector and generally small-sized bathrooms in the UK, there is limited growth in the bathroom worktops market.

“As the kitchen market continues to grow, both natural stone and composite materials are forecast to gain market share, with granite and quartz in particular likely to become more competitive as a result of imports from lower-cost producers,” said Keith Taylor, director of AMA Research. “However, the affordability and versatility of laminates means that they are likely to continue to dominate the market in the foreseeable future, particularly in volume terms.”

AMA Research predicts relatively positive growth over the next four to five years, which will be driven by a more secure and growing new housing market. Growth in the kitchen worktops market is likely to continue with the bathroom worktops market likely to slow to modest growth until 2020.

However, in the medium to long-term, projected growth should increase with rising house building levels, which may lead to increased requirements for bathrooms and kitchens. One key factor likely to limit growth is the high level of competition at the retail level, which is anticipated to continue.

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