Behind-the-Wall Plumbing

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Plumbing Products

Demand for behind-the-wall plumbing in the US is forecast to increase 8.1% annually through 2025 to $17.9 billion, with market value driven up by strong price growth for key raw materials, particularly PEX and all metal materials. Though demand in real terms will be more moderate, real growth in the market will result from a:

  • rebound in commercial building construction
  • continued high level of new housing construction coupled with a move toward larger bathrooms
  • high level of home renovation activity, continuing trends begun during the COVID-19 pandemic

A shift in product mix toward plastic behind-the-wall pipe and fittings – which are less expensive than metal products – is expected to restrain even faster value growth.

Market for Plastic Behind-the-Wall Plumbing Products Continues to Strengthen

Although metal products hold a greater share of the market in value terms, plastic products are the most widely used in behind-the-wall plumbing applications and they are expected to continue gaining share:

  • PEX is growing in popularity because of its low cost, resistance to breakage, and durability relative to both copper and PVC.
  • PVC is inexpensive relative to metal and is also easy to cut and install

Despite these advantages, metal products continue to benefit from their resistance to impact damage, and the ability to withstand high pressures, which boosts their use in high-value applications.

Commercial Market to Remain Leading Behind-the-Wall Plumbing Segment

Commercial buildings account for the majority of behind-the-wall plumbing demand, largely because they are mandated to include extensive fire suppression systems. Though demand fell in 2020 and commercial building construction remained depressed in 2021, it is expected to rebound in 2022 and continue to grow through 2025. As the market rebounds, demand in plumbing-intensive structures like offices, hospitals, hotels, and senior living facilities – which require not only extensive fire suppression systems but also multiple bathrooms and kitchen facilities – will gain a boost from a low base.

New Home Construction & Design Trends to Boost Residential Demand

Strength in new single-family home construction is anticipated to boost behind-the-wall plumbing products, as a wide variety of plumbing products are installed during initial construction. Additionally, new homes are expected to include more and larger bathrooms with elaborate features – such as his-and-her sinks – that require more plumbing fixtures, further driving gains. Interest in renovation among homeowners spending more time in their homes should also boost residential behind-the-wall demand growth, as many of these projects are anticipated to involve kitchen or bathroom renovations.

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