Increasing applications in repair and improvement markets in both residential and nonresidential construction will spur growth in demand for U.S. plumbing products over the next four years, according to a new study by The Freedonia Group, an industrial market research firm.

Continuing trends toward larger bathrooms and kitchens in new residential construction also will aid in this growth, the study said.

Gains in upscale fixtures will help drive demand for plumbing fixtures to $4.75 billion in 2006, the study noted. Bathtub and shower fixture demand will be boosted by growth in jetted baths and integrated shower systems. Because many of these fixtures are made from plastics such as acrylic or fiberglass, shipments of plastic plumbing fixtures will show the highest increase.

Demand for plumbing fittings should exceed $5 billion in 2006 on annual increases of nearly 3%, the study said. Kitchen renovations and additions of bathrooms will contribute to above-average growth for lavatory, kitchen and other sink fittings. The trend toward multiple sink installations in kitchens and bathrooms will further enhance demand.

The greatest growth in demand for both fixtures and fittings will be in the South and West regions of the United States due to income gains and a favorable housing outlook, according to the study, which can be purchased for $3,900 from The Freedonia Group. Visit