U.S. demand for countertops is expected to rise 4.8% per year to reach $24.6 billion in 2015, according to the latest forecast by the Freedonia Group.

The Cleveland-based research firm said a recovery in the new housing industry will drive demand. Meanwhile, lower unemployment and more available credit will allow homeowners to reinvest in their houses, thus driving remodeling's contribution to the rise in demand.

"The resident market dominates countertop demand despite being unfavorably impacted by a decrease in residential improvement and repair expenditures and the collapse of new housing construction between 2005 and 2010," said the Freedonia Group.

Laminate countertops are expected to remain the most sought after countertops with a predicted demand of 395 million square feet by 2015 despite only a 3.2% annual growth. Solid surfaces are forecast to be second with 94 million square feet in demand, with annual growth of 5.2%. Natural stone is predicted to grow in demand 8.6% annually to reach 80 million square feet by 2015. Engineered stone, meanwhile is expected to see the greatest rise in demand of 9.6% annually to reach 68 million square feet in 2015.

"Engineered stone will benefit from its minimal maintenance requirements, resistance to biological contaminants, availability in a wide array of colors, and resemblance to natural stone," said the Freedonia Group.