Demand for residential bathroom and granite kitchen countertops is forecast to increase 1.3 percent annually to 540 million square feet in 2011. Demand growth will decelerate from the pace of the 2001 to 2006 period, primarily due to weakness in the new single unit home market. In the renovation market, kitchen remodeling expenditures will increase, but at a decelerated pace from the 2001 to 2006 period. Continued consumer preferences for larger kitchens and more bathrooms will promote growth. These and other trends, including market share and company profiles, are presented in “Residential Kitchen & Bathroom Countertops,” a new study from The Freedonia Group.

Countertops made from engineered stone and natural stone will experience the strongest gains through 2011. 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. Demand for natural stone will be aided by consumer interest in the luxury and style that granite and other stones offer. As the price of these materials declines, middle-income consumers will be able to afford them, further stimulating demand. Laminate countertops will continue to account for the largest share of countertop sales. Growth will be constrained by the rise of natural and engineered stone, as some consumers find laminates to be a low-end surfacing choice.

Advances in countertop demand will be stimulated by growth in the remodeling segment, which accounted for 70 percent of volume sales in 2006. Kitchen and bathroom improvements are popular home remodeling projects, with countertop replacement a key aspect. Although completions of new single unit housing, the largest market for new countertops, are forecast to decline through 2011, residential kitchen and bath renovation expenditures are projected to remain positive over the same period. Sales of kitchen countertops will continue to outpace bathroom countertops.