Growth was particularly strong in 2015, with more modest rates in 2016/17 of around 3% per annum. Moderate growth is currently forecast to 2021, when the market is expected to have increased by 18% compared to the market size in 2017.
Demand for wet rooms has increased significantly in recent years as the showering area has become an essential part of bathroom design, with householders increasingly choosing to shower rather than bathe. Key market drivers in 2014/15 included increasing levels of new housebuilding, particularly the retirement/care sector, where wet rooms are more common. In 2016 and H1 2017, the wet room market experienced modest growth, largely a result of the political and economic uncertainty in the UK at present.
The floor formers and level access trays sector dominates the wet room market in terms of value, followed by waterproof tanking kits, glass wet room panels and drainage products. While traditional shower trays and enclosures have lost some market share, the 25mm level access shower tray that can be set flush into the wet room floor is in greater demand and often used as an alternative to the wet room floor former. Glass frameless wet room panels have also seen good growth, and can be used to ‘zone’ the wet room, creating a wet and dry area.
Recent product developments include pre-moulded wetroom floor formers with a built-in gradient and membrane waterproof tanking systems, which are easier to install and provide greater installation accuracy, saving a significant amount of installation time. Developments in the drainage products sector include wall mounted and linear drains for a seamless finish and digital drainage pumps that operate wirelessly when the shower is turned on.
One of the key reasons that wetrooms have become more appealing is their versatility, which can be attributed to product innovations and improvements. It is now possible for wetrooms to be installed in any room of the house and on most types of floor. Prices have also fallen, making wetrooms a more affordable choice to the mainstream consumer.
Going forward, demand will also be supported by the emerging trend towards multi- generational households. These properties would need to be adapted inclusively to suit the needs of all family members living at home, and the accessibility of wetrooms compared to traditional bathrooms for elderly and disabled consumers represents a key driver of growth. Wetrooms is one of the most popular bathroom adaptations paid for by a Disabled Facility Grant (DFG), which is set to double over the next 2-3 years.
New housebuilding volumes are set to stabilise despite the uncertainty currently surrounding the UK’s exit from the EU and the 2017 General Election. Prospects remain positive in this sector and will support demand for wet room products installed in new housing, including self- build housing. Wet rooms also represent a popular method of designing easy access and space efficient showering areas in commercial buildings including hotels, leisure facilities, specialised housing, care homes and hospitals, while the use of prefabricated wetroom PODs is also expected to increase.
The ‘Wetroom Market Report – UK 2017-2021 Analysis’ report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services with over 25 years’ experience within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at www.amaresearch.co.uk or by calling 01242 235724.
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