According to a recent report by market research company Freedonia Group, plumbing fixtures and fittings demand in the United States is expected to advance 2.6 percent annually through 2011 to $11.4 billion. The study says growth will be supported by increasing applications in improvement and repair markets in both residential and nonresidential construction. Gains also will be aided by ongoing trends toward larger bathrooms and kitchens in residential markets.

The group says these factors will “help to offset weak single-family housing completions and a moderation in raw material pricing for metal and plastic.” U.S. shipments of plumbing fixtures and fittings are forecast to increase marginally through 2011.

Demand for plumbing fittings is expected to expand at a slightly faster pace than its fixture counterpart, the study reports. “Advances will be supported by product developments ― such as a broader palette of finishes, electronic functionality and universally accessible control design ― that will help generate demand for plumbing fittings.”

Also, consumer interest in higher-end amenities, particularly those with European influence, will also bolster value growth. Higher-end fixtures, including whirlpool bathtubs, enhanced showers, and hot tubs and spas, across all markets will aid value demand gains for plumbing fixtures. Additionally, product developments aimed at adding value, such as chromotherapy, lighting and sound systems, will spur demand.

In addition, consumer interest in nontraditional materials (e.g., glass, concrete or teak) will aid value growth through 2011.

The Freedonia study analyzes the $10 billion U.S. plumbing fixture and fitting industry. It presents historical demand data (1996, 2001, 2006) plus forecasts for 2011 and 2016 by material, type, market and region of the United States. In addition, this study assesses key market environment factors, evaluates company market shares and profiles 32 industry competitors.