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 said 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.

Demand for plumbing fittings is expected to expand at a slightly faster pace than its fixture counterpart, the study reported, because of product developments such as a broader palette of finishes, electronic functionality and universally accessible control design.

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 boost 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.