U.S. demand for countertops is forecast to increase 5.1% per year to 750 million square feet in 2017, representing a brisk turnaround from the declines of the 2007-2012 period. Going forward, countertop demand will be spurred by a recovery in U.S. building construction, and in particular, gains in single-family housing completions through 2017. Advances will also stem from a relaxation in credit requirements, providing homeowners with needed financing to go forward with countertop remodeling plans. These and other trends are presented in Countertops, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

The residential market is critical to the countertop industry and typically accounts for nearly four-fifths of total countertop demand. Accordingly, rough times for the residential construction market over the last few years did not bode well for countertops. In terms of new construction, the number of single-family homes completed in 2012 was 40% of 2007 levels. Tougher financing standards imposed by banks over the 2007-2012 period also restricted remodeling activity and reduced existing home sales. As a result, countertop demand actually declined over the five-year time frame. Coming off of this low 2012 base, however, countertop demand is poised for a significant rebound. Through 2017, demand for countertops in the smaller nonresidential market is anticipated to advance 5.8% annually to 131 million square feet.  Approximately 70% of demand in the nonresidential market is from the institutional, office, and commercial segments.

Laminates are the countertop material of choice due to their favorable performance characteristics at reasonable price points, and just a decade ago laminates accounted for 60% of countertop surface area. While laminates will maintain their leading position, their share will continue to slide as they face rising competition from a wider variety of surfaces. A drop in the average price for granite (partially due to an increase in low-cost imports) has extended the availability of this material to a larger portion of the mass market. As such, concrete, engineered stone, natural stone other than granite, high-end tile, stainless steel and other metals, and recycled materials will benefit as high-end homeowners and business owners seek novel, higher-value materials to distinguish their countertops from the mass market.

                                                                                                                                               

US COUNTERTOP DEMAND

(million square feet)

% Annual Growth

Item

2007

2012

2017

2007-

2012

2012-

2017

 
Countertop Demand

670

585

750

-2.7

5.1

Laminates

353

277

330

-4.7

3.6

Natural Stone

88

90

130

0.5

7.6

Solid Surface

87

77

97

-2.4

4.7

Engineered Stone

36

54

77

8.4

7.4

Cast Polymers

53

40

55

-5.5

6.6

Tile

43

35

44

-4.0

4.7

Other Materials

10

12

17

3.7

7.2

 

 © 2013 by The Freedonia Group, Inc.

Countertops (published 07/2013, 382 pages)is available for $5300 from The Freedonia Group, Inc., 767 Beta Drive, Cleveland, OH  44143-2326.  For further details, please contact Corinne Gangloff by phone 440.684.9600, fax 440.646.0484 or e-mail pr@freedoniagroup.com. Information may also be obtained through www.freedoniagroup.com.