Decorative Tile Demand Expected to Accelerate



Cleveland, Ohio – Jan. 05,
2010 –
demand for decorative tile is forecast
to increase 4.4 percent per year to 3.3 billion square feet in 2013.  Flooring applications accounted for 81
percent of total tile demand in 2008, and will continue to spur demand for
decorative tile, as consumer preferences shift away from carpets and rugs.  Flooring demand for tile is expected to
increase 4.5 percent annually through 2013 to 2.7 billion square feet.  Gains will be boosted by the residential
market, as housing completions rebound and consumer spending on improvement and
repair projects increases.  These
and other trends are presented in Decorative Tile, a new study from The
Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry research firm.


Foreign trade plays a crucial
role in the industry.  In 2008, 74
percent of all tile sold in the US was imported.  Most imported tile is produced in
countries with low labor costs and good access to inexpensive raw
materials.  However, imports of
high-end tiles from countries such as Italy also account for a considerable
share of overall demand. 


The residential construction
market will generate the most rapid gains in tile demand.  Advances will be spurred by a rebound in
housing completions from the low levels experienced in 2008.  Further gains will be promoted by
spending on kitchen and bathroom renovation projects.  The nonresidential building construction
market for tile will see slower growth than the residential market.  Advances will mainly be derived from the
improvements and repairs market, as building owners and property managers
replace worn and older floors with tile surfaces.  Designers and architects will opt for
tile due to its durability, minimal maintenance requirements and slip


Porcelain and natural stone tiles
will account for the fastest gains of all tile types through 2013.  Demand for porcelain tile will be driven
by its aesthetic advantages. 
Porcelain tile is more durable than ceramic tile, and can be fired to
resemble natural stone, making it a less-costly alternative to genuine stone
tiles.  Demand for natural stone
tiles will be spurred by interest for stone surfaces in mid-range and high-end
residences.  However, ceramic tile
will continue to account for the vast majority of tile demand in both value and
area terms through 2013, primarily due to its low cost.

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