The UK commercial washrooms market is estimated to have increased by 10% in 2016 compared to the market size in 2015. This growth is largely due to a strong performance across several key sectors of the non-domestic construction industry including entertainment, offices, education and health. New Work construction activity as a whole has performed better than non-domestic RMI over the past two years, with a boost in Offices, Health, e.g. Care homes, Education and Entertainment & Leisure, all of which has supported demand for commercial washroom products.
Washroom panel systems continue to represent the largest sector of the commercial washroom systems market, followed by sanitaryware, brassware showers/mixers, and baths. It is estimated that almost three quarters of commercial washroom products are distributed via trade channels; this includes builders / plumbers’ merchants and distributors. Direct sales to end users and dedicated online channels represent the remainder, with growth in internet sales.
The market trend towards streamlined contemporary design has continued, driven by aesthetics, ease of cleaning and perceived improvements to hygiene. Safety is also a key consideration within the washroom sector, especially for the disabled and elderly market. Ease of maintenance remains of prime importance in the commercial washrooms market, given the potential to extend the refurbishment cycle by ensuring that sanitaryware and other finishes continue to look good for as long as possible. Furthermore, customisation of design is increasingly significant, both as a means of differentiating a corporate brand and to incorporate particular features. Branded goods, from leading manufacturers, continue to constitute a key area of the commercial washrooms market as they represent a perceived endorsement of quality. Natural finishes incorporating real stone or wood are also popular; more authentic and expensive materials tend to be used in the higher end of the market. There is also an increasing focus upon using advanced technology.
The commercial washrooms market has performed strongly in the past couple years, with prospects also remaining strong into 2017. However, growth rate is expected to ease off over the next few years, reflecting the current economic and political uncertainty. Public sector construction has suffered due to lower budgets in recent times and this is unlikely to change with the focus remaining only on essential spending. The private sector will remain the key driver of growth for the commercial washrooms market, however, fortunes vary across each sub sector. Office construction, for example, is highly influence by levels of business confidence and investment and construction output is expected to fall in the short term following a significant period of growth. On the other hand, the entertainment & leisure sector is forecast to see modest annual growth rates to 2021. The weakness of the sterling will increase the cost of imports impacting the wetroom products market. Overall, the commercial washrooms market is forecast to see consistent yet modest growth until 2021.