Global Nonresidential Plumbing

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Plumbing

This study analyzes the global nonresidential market for plumbing products, which are comprised of plumbing fixtures and fittings. Plumbing products used in residential buildings and transportation equipment (e.g., RVs, aircraft, boats) are excluded.

Plumbing fixtures covered in this study include:

  • bathtub and shower fixtures (bathtubs, whirlpool bathtubs, and shower stalls and receptors)
  • toilet fixtures (water closet bowls and flush tanks, urinals, bidets)
  • sink fixtures (lavatories, kitchen sinks, and other sinks – such as those installed in bars, laundry rooms, utility rooms, and washrooms)
  • other fixtures (hot tubs and spas, bottle filling stations, drinking fountains, wash fountains, patient care stations, emergency wash stations, portable chemical toilets, and all other fixtures)

Faucets and taps covered in this study include:

  • bathroom sink faucets
  • bathtub and shower faucets
  • kitchen sink and other faucets including bar faucets, sediment and sill (i.e., outdoor) faucets, and faucets for laundry and other utility sinks

Plumbing fittings covered in this study include:

  • bathtub and shower fittings, such as antiscald valves and miscellaneous hardware used in bathtubs and showers
  • other plumbing fittings, including:
    • miscellaneous sink fittings (sink strainers, pot fillers, spray attachments)
    • lawn and hose fittings (spray guns, sprinkler fittings, flow-switching attachments)
    • flush valves and controls (toilet levers, flappers, float/tank balls, sealant rings, seals, seat discs, flapper chains, repair valves)
    • drains and overflows
    • P- and S-traps
    • all other plumbing fittings, including escutcheons; mechanical connecting fittings for iron pipes; compression fittings; fire sprinkler heads and related components; hangers, brackets, and supports; spa pumps; plugs and caps; strainers; drain outlets; drain gates; and fittings not mentioned elsewhere)

In addition, major manufacturers of plumbing products are identified. Historical data for 2009, 2014, and 2019 and forecasts to 2024 and 2029 are provided in current dollars (which are not adjusted to account for inflation) for each major product segment. Historical and forecast demand by market sector (new nonresidential construction and nonresidential improvement and repair) is provided in current dollars.

Plumbing

Demand by Product

Global demand for plumbing products used in nonresidential applications is forecast to rise 2.8% per year to $21.0 billion in 2024. Sales will be driven by:

  • growing sales of higher value touchless faucets and toilets for public restroom facilities due to their improved hygiene and sanitation (an elevated concern amid the COVID-19 pandemic)
  • rising access to water delivery and sanitation networks in developing countries enabling more nonresidential buildings to install sinks, toilets, fittings, and other plumbing products
  • increasing replacement of basic plumbing fixtures with higher value water-efficient types, such as low-flow toilets, faucets, and showerheads

Sustainability & Water Conservation

Water conservation is an important factor affecting purchases of plumbing products, with many governments mandating or incentivizing installations of higher value water-efficient products – particularly in North America and Western Europe, but also in parts of the Asia/Pacific and Africa/Mideast regions, where water scarcity is a recurring issue. Additionally, businesses often prefer water-efficient plumbing fixtures due to the long-term savings they can represent in terms of lower water and sewage bills.

A plumbing fixture’s water efficiency is typically defined by industry and government standards that can earn product certifications such as the US Environmental Product Agency’s WaterSense label. Examples of water-efficient plumbing products include:

  • dual-flush toilets, which give users a choice between a full flush (which usually uses 1.6 gallons) or a half-flush, whereas traditional toilets typically use about 3.5 gallons per flush
  • low-flow faucets and showerheads (i.e., models with a flow rate of 2.75 gallons per minute or less), which can reduce water usage by as much as 60% compared to standard fixtures
  • low-pressure sprinkler heads for outdoor sprinkler and irrigation systems, which can be coupled with smart controls to optimize water savings, as the system will automatically adjust its water use based on environmental factors such as moisture levels

Growing demand for water-efficient plumbing fixtures in both new and improvement and repair applications will continue to boost the value of the global plumbing product market, especially as efforts expand to curb the effects of climate change, such as water shortages.

Smart Restrooms

Though still a small niche of the global nonresidential plumbing product market, market leaders are developing high-value, electronic plumbing products that can be integrated with commercial Internet of Things (IoT) systems.

Investment in smart technology is increasing in the nonresidential building sector as a way to improve operational efficiencies, including plumbing systems. For example:

  • In January 2020, TOTO, in partnership with Georgia-Pacific’s GP PRO, unveiled the “Public Restroom of the Future” at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the US.
  • The Smart, Fully-Connected Restroom System features TOTO's EcoPower flush valves and faucets, as well as IoT technology developed by GP PRO that monitors product usage, jams, outages, and leaks, and alerts custodial staff to housekeeping and maintenance issues in real time.

Going forward, use of smart technology in plumbing products will continue to rise from a small base, boosting market value. However, penetration is expected to remain limited due to the often prohibitively high cost of these products.

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