The total market for suspended ceilings and partitioning systems saw an improvement in 2014 with growth estimated at 3% during the year, following years of little or no growth according to research from AMA Research.

The market for suspended ceilings and partitioning systems in the UK is forecast to be worth in excess of £340m by the end of 2019.

AMA found that growth in 2014 was due to a recovery in refurbishment projects and smaller scale new build projects, with clients focusing on re-developing and re-branding existing properties.

Andrew Hartley, Director of AMA Research, said:“Factors influencing the market for suspended ceiling tiles and partitioning systems in the short to medium term include raw material price fluctuations and improvements in product performance, in particular in terms of acoustics. There is also increased demand for a wider range of product options in terms of colours, designs and materials.”

The higher growth levels were seen in the suspended ceilings market and have been supported by price increases and a shift towards higher quality products and complete systems. The ceilings market also has a wider spread of end-use applications, and the sector has benefited from some growth in the office sector over the past 2 years.

Mineral fibre, including soft fibre, ceiling tiles account for the largest share of the market, this share having remained fairly stable in recent years. Metal ceilings also remain popular and account for a significant share of the market, followed by gypsum.

The partitioning segment has seen only marginal rates of growth over the past two years, largely due to the high level of refurbishment and also due to their re-locatable nature. Price competition and office trends such as the growth of open plan workplaces has also influenced this market negatively. The dominant sector within the partitions market is demountable/relocatable partitioning, which has performed modestly in recent years though supported by the growing popularity of glazed partitioning.

The performance of the overall market has been variable in recent years and while growth was achieved in 2011, largely due to a value increase in the ceiling systems market, market performance in 2012 and 2013 was relatively static.

The growth seen in 2014 is expected to mark the beginning of more substantial growth in this market, with the outlook for fit-out and refurbishment work remaining positive for 2015 and 2016, particularly in the office sector, where new build and refurbishment are expected to drive the market, especially in the south east and London in particular, where there is a shortage of prime Grade A office space.