Demand for residential kitchen and bath countertops is forecast to increase 1.7 percent annually to 509 million square feet in 2009. Advances will be driven by modest growth in kitchen and bath remodeling expenditures, which are forecast to continue to outpace other housing improvement expenditures. Additionally, there is an ongoing trend toward larger kitchens and more bathrooms, with less square footage allotted to formal living rooms and dining rooms. Although the new multiple unit and manufactured housing markets are forecast to rebound through 2009, countertop sales will be limited by declines in new single unit housing completions, a much larger market for new countertops. These and other trends are presented in "Residential Kitchen & Bath Countertops," a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industrial market research firm
Countertops made from engineered stone (i.e., quartz surfacing) and natural stone will experience the strongest gains, in both value and volume terms, through 2009. Demand for natural stone will be aided by consumer interest in the luxury and style that most stones offer. Demand for engineered stone will benefit from its ability to combine the minimal porosity of solid surface with the heat and scratch resistance of quartz. Laminate countertops will continue to account for the largest share of countertop sales, with nearly 30 percent in value terms and approximately 55 percent in volume terms by 2009.
Advances in countertop demand will be stimulated by growth in the remodeling segment, which accounted for 70 percent of sales in volume terms in 2004. Kitchen and bathroom improvements are among the more popular home remodeling projects, and countertops are a key aspect of many of these projects. Although new single unit housing completions, the largest market for new countertops, are forecast to decline through 2009, residential kitchen and bath renovation expenditures are projected to remain positive over the same period. In value terms, sales of kitchen countertops will continue to outpace those of bath countertops through 2009, a reflection of ongoing interest in larger kitchens, as well as the shift in focus from viewing the kitchen as a work area to a social space.