Demand for wetrooms 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 wetrooms are more common. In 2016 and H1 2017, the wetroom 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 wetroom market in terms of value, followed by waterproof tanking kits, glass wetroom 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 wetroom floor is in greater demand and often used as an alternative to the wetroom floor former. Glass frameless wetroom panels have also seen good growth, and can be used to ‘zone’ the wetroom, 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 wetroom products installed in new housing, including self-build housing. Wetrooms 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.