Top Growing Home Improvement Product Categories Among Consumers and Pros

Top Growing Home Improvement Product Categories Among Consumers and Pros

May 02, 2024

While the home improve­ment mar­ket as a whole is sub­ject to influ­ence from sev­er­al eco­nom­ic fac­tors — as well as the state of the hous­ing indus­try in the macro­eco­nom­ic U.S. econ­o­my — we also see vari­a­tions in mar­ket per­for­mance among dif­fer­ent prod­uct categories.

Affect­ed by what’s trend­ing in terms of home improve­ment and new con­struc­tion projects and activ­i­ties, dif­fer­ent prod­uct cat­e­gories expe­ri­ence dif­fer­ent growth rates over time. These fore­casts are nec­es­sary for build­ing prod­uct man­u­fac­tur­ers and retail­ers as they make impor­tant busi­ness decisions.

Macro-Economic Variables Impacting Home Improvement Spending

From a broad per­spec­tive, the home improve­ment prod­ucts mar­ket is expect­ed to grow steadi­ly over the next five years. The con­sumer mar­ket accounts for about two-thirds of spend­ing, while pro­fes­sion­als con­tribute the oth­er third, accord­ing to find­ings in HIRI’s U.S. Home Improve­ment Prod­ucts Mar­ket Fore­cast.

Based on the most up-to-date data, com­piled in HIRI’s Month­ly Eco­nom­ic & Indus­try Update, the pro­fes­sion­al mar­ket was hit the hard­est in 2023, but it is expect­ed to grow in 2024 by about 1.4% and con­tin­ue steady growth through 2028. Mean­while, the con­sumer mar­ket for home improve­ment prod­ucts is expect­ed to aver­age approx­i­mate­ly 3% growth each year, from 2024 to 2028.

US Home Improvement Products Market

Of note, the home improve­ment prod­ucts mar­ket is quite sen­si­tive to the health of the hous­ing sec­tor, as well as to basic indi­ca­tors of con­sumer demand, includ­ing real income and rel­a­tive prices. 

For exam­ple, the growth of dis­pos­able income con­tin­ues to sup­port spend­ing in 2024. Research from the U.S. Bureau of Eco­nom­ic Analy­sis shows real dis­pos­able income has remained steady over the past three months, with an increase of 1.7% com­pared to Feb­ru­ary 2023.

Real Disposable Personal Income

How­ev­er, the strength of the eco­nom­ic recov­ery over the next one to two years is sub­ject to con­sid­er­able uncer­tain­ty, which affects the mar­ket out­look for home improve­ment prod­ucts. Addi­tion­al­ly, infla­tion remains ele­vat­ed. HIRI has fore­cast­ed that Per­son­al Con­sump­tion Expen­di­tures (PCE) infla­tion will be over 2% for the next 4 – 5 years.

Even still, accord­ing to our Quar­ter­ly Home Improve­ment Activ­i­ty Track­er, con­sumer project plan­ning is still strong with rough­ly 3 in 4 home­own­ers plan­ning to start home improve­ment projects.

Consumer Project Planning Incidence

This bodes well for the sale of mate­ri­als, equip­ment, and sup­plies among DIY home­own­ers tak­ing on new projects and activ­i­ties in 2024.

Each cus­tomer base — indi­vid­ual con­sumers and pro­fes­sion­als — demon­strates dif­fer­ent habits and pref­er­ences when shop­ping for and pur­chas­ing prod­ucts and mate­ri­als. There also tend to be dif­fer­ent growth rates for var­i­ous prod­uct cat­e­gories among home­own­ers and professionals.

To bet­ter under­stand what to expect for your com­pa­ny over the next 5 years, it is help­ful to nar­row in on spe­cif­ic home improve­ment prod­uct cat­e­gories, and take a clos­er look at the nuances and what changes are pro­ject­ed to take place among them. 

Top 5 Growing Home Improvement Product Categories for Consumers

The top five home improve­ment prod­uct cat­e­gories that are fore­cast­ed to increase the most among home­own­ers are:

  1. Soft-sur­face floor coverings

  2. Hard-sur­face floor coverings

  3. Oth­er build­ing materials

  4. Paint and preservatives

  5. Roof­ing and supplies

1. Soft-surface floor coverings

Soft-sur­face floor cov­er­ings include all tex­tile floor cov­er­ings and acces­sories. This prod­uct cat­e­go­ry has tend­ed toward steady growth over the past five years, and it is pro­ject­ed to increase by about 5.1% from 2025 to 2028, in terms of com­pound annu­al growth rate (CAGR).

Accord­ing to our 2023 Project Deci­sion Study for floor refin­ish­ing and replace­ment, use of car­pet is steadi­ly increas­ing. It was used in 19% of projects in 2023. While not the most pop­u­lar option on the mar­ket, this cat­e­go­ry is increasing.

Floor Refinishing/Replacement Type of Flooring Material

2. Hard-surface floor coverings

Hard-sur­face floor­ing cov­er­ings — from hard­wood floor­ing and tile to sheet goods — are a sim­i­lar sto­ry. Our research shows hard-sur­face floor cov­er­ings grow­ing by about 4.8% from 2025 to 2028.

When it comes to mate­r­i­al selec­tion, shop­ping, and pur­chas­ing, HIRI found that the top fac­tors that influ­ence con­sumers floor­ing pur­chase deci­sions include:

  • an attrac­tive appearance

  • dura­bil­i­ty (being long lasting)

  • price

Addi­tion­al­ly, con­sumers express above-aver­age con­cern about these char­ac­ter­is­tics for floor­ing mate­ri­als com­pared to those used for all home improve­ment projects, in general. 

Lam­i­nate options has secured sig­nif­i­cant mar­ket share over the past few years as prod­uct inno­va­tions have pre­sent­ed con­sumers with cost-effec­tive, durable options that look good. Lam­i­nate floor­ing options were used in 42% of projects in 2023.

3. Other building materials

Oth­er build­ing mate­ri­als” encom­pass items such as con­nec­tors, steel studs, glass, mason­ry sup­plies, heat­ing and HVAC units, refrig­er­a­tion equip­ment and sup­plies, and heat­ing stoves (lum­ber mate­ri­als are part of a sep­a­rate category). 

This prod­uct cat­e­go­ry spiked dur­ing the 2019 to 2023 time­frame, with a growth rate of near­ly 15%. Although it still ranks as one of the top five prod­uct cat­e­gories among home­own­ers, take note that the antic­i­pat­ed growth rate of 4.2% from 2025 to 2028 is sig­nif­i­cant­ly less than what we’ve seen in recent years.

4. Paint and preservatives

Paint­ing projects are con­sis­tent­ly one of the most com­mon home improve­ment projects, and one that home­own­ers are like­ly to take on by them­selves, with­out the help of pro­fes­sion­als. Paints and preser­v­a­tives will expe­ri­ence slow growth in 2024 — or a CAGR of approx­i­mate­ly 1.4% — before speed­ing up in sub­se­quent years. The antic­i­pat­ed growth rate for paint and preser­v­a­tives from 2025 to 2028 is 3.9%.

5. Roofing and supplies

Over­all, the roof­ing mate­ri­als and sup­plies cat­e­go­ry is expect­ed to grow by about 3.6% from 2025 to 2028 and prod­uct type demand ratios have shift­ed back to pre-covid levels.

Inven­to­ries through­out the 2020 sup­ply chain were dimin­ished. The econ­o­my rebound­ed with force in 2021 and demand for roof­ing mate­ri­als increased, putting addi­tion­al strain on roof­ing mate­ri­als sup­ply chains, espe­cial­ly among asphalt shin­gle man­u­fac­tur­ers. This cre­at­ed space in 2021 for met­al roof­ing sales to increase as it was more available. 

Find­ings from our 2023 Project Deci­sion Study for roof replace­ments show that by 2023, mate­r­i­al demands had most­ly shift­ed back to pre-covid norms as sup­ply chain issues were resolved due to rebal­anc­ing of sup­ply and demand.

The incor­po­ra­tion of solar pan­els and shin­gles is also increas­ing. About 12% of con­sumers con­sid­ered and installed solar mate­ri­als in 2023, com­pared to just 4% in 2019. More and more peo­ple also are con­sid­er­ing them, with price being the main deterrent.

Roof Replacement Material(s) Used

Top-Growing Home Improvement Product Categories for Professionals

Mov­ing onto home improve­ment pro­fes­sion­als, the top five home improve­ment prod­uct cat­e­gories that are fore­cast­ed to increase the most among home­own­ers are:

  1. Lawn and gar­den equip­ment and supplies

  2. Nurs­ery stock and soil treatments

  3. Tools

  4. Hard­ware

  5. Major house­hold appliances

1. Nursery stock and soil treatments

Nurs­ery stock and soil treat­ments, used for projects that enhance out­door liv­ing, saw a CAGR of about 8.1% from 2019 to 2023 before slow­ing down con­sid­er­ably in 2024. Now, HIRI research indi­cates this prod­uct cat­e­go­ry will bounce back, with antic­i­pat­ed growth of about 4.9% between 2025 and 2028. This prod­uct cat­e­go­ry pri­mar­i­ly encom­pass­es out­door nurs­ery stock, includ­ing trees, shrubs, sods, seeds, fer­til­iz­er, chem­i­cals, and oth­er soil treatments.

2. Lawn and garden equipment and supplies

The lawn and gar­den equip­ment and sup­plies cat­e­go­ry—which includes farm machin­ery and oth­er farm sup­plies, along with fenc­ing, irri­ga­tion, equip­ment and sprin­klers — fol­lows a sim­i­lar pat­tern to nurs­ery and soil mate­ri­als: A high growth rate between 2019 and 2023, bare­ly any growth in 2024, and a swing back to 4.8% in the upcom­ing years. 

Based on research in HIRI’s 2023 Project Deci­sion Study for gar­den­ing and land­scap­ing, mate­ri­als in these cat­e­gories are pri­mar­i­ly pur­chased through brick-and-mor­tar chan­nels. Only 17% of shop­ping and pur­chas­ing hap­pens through Inter­net retail­ers. Home improve­ment cen­ters — such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Menards — are the most pop­u­lar place to shop for these prod­ucts, fol­lowed by gar­den centers. 

Gardening/Landscaping Material Shopping & Purchase

3. Hardware

The hard­ware cat­e­go­ry includes cab­i­net hard­ware, screws, nuts and bolts, door hard­ware, and oth­er sim­i­lar prod­ucts. These prod­ucts are used by pro­fes­sion­als (both gen­er­al­ists and spe­cial­ists) in a wide vari­ety of home improve­ment projects, from kitchen remod­els and addi­tions to bath­room ren­o­va­tions and home expan­sions. The antic­i­pat­ed growth rate for this cat­e­go­ry is less than 1% for 2024, but HIRI is fore­cast­ing a 4.8% CAGR from 2025 to 2028.

4. Tools

As a cat­e­go­ry, tools are expe­ri­enc­ing a more steady growth rate. This prod­uct cat­e­go­ry — which includes pow­er tools, equip­ment and acces­sories — is fore­cast to grow by about 4.7% over the next four years, which is a sim­i­lar growth rate to that expect­ed for 2024; this comes after a growth rate of 11.2% between 2019 and 2023.

5. Major household appliances

Between 2025 and 2028, major house­hold appli­ances will return to a CAGR that is clos­er to what was expe­ri­enced between 2019 and 2023. This growth rate of 4.7% is a stark con­trast to the antic­i­pat­ed growth of 0.6% in 2024. 

Major house­hold appli­ances include refrig­er­a­tors, freez­ers, dish­wash­ers, ranges, wash­ers and dry­ers, and microwaves. It excludes vac­u­um clean­ers, sewing machines, dehu­mid­i­fiers, room air-con­di­tion­ers, and out­door gas grills. 

Many of these prod­ucts are used in kitchen ren­o­va­tions and expan­sions. Dish­wash­ers and microwaves are replaced in about 30% of kitchen remod­els, on aver­age, accord­ing to our 2023 Project Deci­sion Study for kitchen remod­els. Range hoods are changed in approx­i­mate­ly 20% to 27% of kitchen projects, based on data from 2015 to 2023.

Kitchen Remodel Parts of Kitchen Changed

Tracking Changes in the Home Improvement Products Market

Depend­ing on your busi­ness objec­tives and indus­try focus as a man­u­fac­tur­er or retail­er, there may be cer­tain home improve­ment prod­uct cat­e­gories that are of more inter­est than others. 

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