There has been good growth in the domestic kitchen and bathroom worktops market in recent years. Between 2014 and 2017, the UK overall worktops market is estimated to have grown by 13%. The worktops market has performed fractionally better than in the kitchen furniture and overall bathroom markets over the last few years, reflecting a shift to higher value worktops and a trend for larger worktop areas, such as islands and peninsulas with waterfall worktops.
Kitchen worktops account for 95% of the overall domestic worktop market. Value growth has been slightly higher in the worktops market than in the overall kitchen furniture market, reflecting a slow shift to more expensive materials such as granite and solid surface, following the relatively buoyant economic conditions over the last five years. This trend is continuing, and it is expected that value growth in the worktop market will be slightly ahead of the wider kitchen furniture market in the medium term.
The bathroom worktops market has followed a growth pattern similar to the bathroom furniture market, mainly due to a lower level of separate worktop replacements in this sector compared with the kitchen sector. Overall, the bathroom worktops market has grown, due to factors such as the increasing popularity of bathroom furniture, but as for kitchen worktops, the market has also benefited from the use of more expensive materials, including quartz, solid surface and granite surfaces, and features such as worktops with integrated basins.
Laminates continue to dominate the kitchen worktops market, making up just under half of all kitchen worktops installed by value, and almost 75% by volume. However, the share of laminates has declined notably in recent years, something which has been accelerated by the development of stone and engineered stone products for worktops in bespoke installations.
In the bathroom worktops sector the material mix is somewhat different. Laminates still dominate this market, making up over 60% of material used in terms of value, followed by solid surface and composite materials, whose shares has increased partly because of their flexibility in structure. The rest of the market is made up by stone and other materials, but so far, stone has not made the headway in this sector that it has in the kitchen worktops market.
The UK kitchen worktop supply chain is complex, with builders and plumbers’ merchants accounting for the largest distribution share by value. This channel has grown significantly in recent years followed by the retail kitchen specialists, while the DIY multiples sector has lost some market share. The sale of kitchens with installation included is likely to continue to increase, with many large suppliers now promoting this service.
Within the bathroom worktops market, builders and plumbers’ merchants are also the major distribution channel, followed by bathroom equipment specialists and DIY Multiples. One of the major differences between the kitchen and bathroom worktops sectors is that within the bathroom sector a larger proportion of worktops are incorporated into the furniture itself.
“The market for kitchen and bathroom worktops is expected to achieve reasonably good growth and is forecast to increase by 21% in value terms between 2017 and 2022, although the volume and price of imported materials is expected to account for a proportion of that increase” said Hayley Thornley, Market Research Manager at AMA Research. “Kitchen worktops are expected to account for around 15% of the total kitchen furniture market by the end of the forecast period.”
This article is based on insight, statistics and analysis from AMA Research’s ‘Domestic Kitchen and Bathroom Worktops Market Report – UK 2018-2022‘ which is available for purchase now.