Bathroom refurbishment: How well prepared are we for the renovation wave?

Pop up my Bathroom Magazin zum Thema Sanierung auf der ISH digital 2021

Relaxed round on a hotly debated topic: host Jens J. Wischmann (VDS) talks to Jörg Pütz (Puetz Marketing to go) and Dirk Engelhardt (Geberit) about the current status of the renovation wave in the bathroom.

The renovation wave is in full swing – that’s undisputed. And as a study by B+L Marktdaten (presented by Managing Director Martin Langen of B+L Marktdaten in a video) confirms, the bathroom is leading the field, accounting for close to 42% of refurbishment measures. What’s more, the budgets deployed for renewing bathroom furnishings and sanitaryware have been increasing continuously since 2014. Which, as presenter and Managing Director of VDS Jens J. Wischmann, remarked in his introduction, is a clear indication that Germans’ interest in their bathrooms has greatly increased.

The market outlook is definitely positive, then. Up until now, the bathroom sector has come through the corona crisis well. Jörg Pütz, owner of Puetz Marketing To Grow, agrees: “I’m in constant contact with tradespeople, and in some cases their companies had up to 30% more contracts than in 2019.” According to the market data that the VDS gathered together with Messe Frankfurt and the VDZ (Germany’s umbrella association for building technology), the sector as a whole reported a 5% increase in turnover for 2020.

But is the sector sufficiently prepared for the renovation wave – especially in view of trends like sustainability and the smart bathroom? “To be honest, no,” answered Jörg Pütz candidly. “Because of the lack of skilled workers and insufficient capacities when it comes to fitters, the implementation side of things is a limiting factor right now, unfortunately.” Support could come from firms that are otherwise more active in the public or semi-public sphere. “We’ll have to see how things develop after Covid,” said Dirk Engelhardt, Regional Sales Director Technology at Geberit, with a cautious eye to the future. “Perhaps companies from the skilled trades sector who are more active in this area will have more capacity – even if they tend to be set up to deal with large-scale projects,” said Engelhardt, hoping for support from this quarter.

Pop up my Bathroom Magazin | Bathroom refurbishment: How well prepared are we for the renovation wave? How are bath­room plan­ners, the trades and deal­ers respond­ing to the ren­o­va­tion wave? Which sys­tems can pro­vide sup­port for the trades? These are the issues we’ll be focus­ing on in the Pop up my Bath­room Mag­a­zine on day four – together with our guests.

As for the issue of smartness in the bathroom, Pütz is confident that the processes involved will become smarter too: “Nowadays a lot of fitters are digital-savvy themselves, up to the point where they create digital platforms for bringing the different trades together so that bathroom projects can be coordinated better. That can mean a time saving of up to 70% in the planning phase and up to 20% in the construction phase.”

Integrated solutions are also available on the product side, especially when it comes to the interfaces – such as between installation and tiles. Prefabrication is another important aspect and plays a particularly important role in large-scale projects, although it’s also a great way for smaller companies to excel when fitting out individual bathrooms. “I can make up a GIS wall in the company workshop, load it into my van, drive to the client and screw it into the wall,” said Engelhardt of the benefits such solutions provide. “That’s a lot more professional, faster and more likely to achieve the desired result than sawing the profiles to size in the customer’s garden.”

Pop up my Bathroom Magazin zum Thema Sanierung auf der ISH digital 2021

Final preparations: host Jens J. Wischmann and ISH moderator Carina Bastuck discuss the introduction.

A lot of users find inspiration for their new bathroom in hotels, where interesting bathroom projects are often implemented in the smallest of spaces – and then serve as models for upscale private bathrooms. “Even less expensive hotels are well equipped these days; they often feature solutions that stay in guests’ minds when they go home and provide them with ideas for what they want implemented in their own bathrooms,” said Stefan Hoske, Senior Consultant Architecture + Design at Axor.

All in all, it seems as if the HVAC and bathroom sector has every reason to be optimistic about the renovation wave, and that both the trades and manufacturers are making every effort to resolve the shortage of skilled workers.

All the pro­grammes can be viewed in full length on our new YouTube channel.

Further information:

The modernisation trend gathers pace: 16.7 mil­lion Ger­mans are plan­ning to invest in their bath­rooms in the near future and no less than 6.2 mil­lion of them are con­sid­er­ing a com­plete over­haul.