If you can envision 14,062 football fields covered with countertops, you've got a handle on the area of the U.S. countertop market by 2019, according to the Freedonia Group. The Cleveland-area market research firm estimates that American countertop demand will reach 810 million square feet in the next four years, with a value of $29.3 billion. Freedonia says residential construction makes up about 80% of the countertop market.
Rebounding new construction and increased spending on improvements and repairs will drive category growth. Gains in market value will also get a boost as countertop product mixes shift away from laminates and toward higher-priced alternatives. The Countertops report anticipates that engineered stone, natural stone, and other niche materials are going to see above-average gains through 2019. Granite will continue to enjoy a large share of the market, but may see a slide. Freedonia Group says granite prices declined over the last decade, making the material more widely available. As such, it's been the material of choice for consumers in recent years, but has consequently become more of a commodity.
"While the continued mainstreaming of the material bodes well for overall granite countertop sales, it also suggests that high-end homes, as well as businesses, are in the process of moving to other, less commonly used surfaces," says Freedonia analyst Pamela Safarek. "As a result, engineered stone, natural stones other than granite, and niche materials, such as various metals, concrete, 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."
According to the report, laminates are still the largest product type, accounting for about one-third of sales through 2019. That said, laminate's market share will also continue to slide due to competitive pressure from alternative materials.
The National Kitchen & Bath Association also reports trends toward countertop market growth. According to NKBA's 2015 State of the Industry Report, 43% of kitchen and bath dealers surveyed see an increase in countertop purchasing activity. Nearly all dealers surveyed (95%) carry countertop products, with 33% of dealers saying they expect to change countertop displays in the next 12 months, and 23% plan to add them.
In early 2015, NKBA's 2015 Trend Report spotted granite's anticipated slide in market share. "While both quartz and granite countertops were specified by more than 80% of respondents in 2014, only quartz is expected to increase, while NKBA designers expect fewer granite countertops in 2015," the report says. Multiple respondents to the survey cited quartzite natural stone and soapstone as trends to watch, while marble, and other stone materials also seeing growth.
New product introductions also insist that quartz is getting more attention. Flip through the slideshow above for five new introductions to the quartz market. Do the countertop trends reported here match what's going on in your showrooms and dealerships? Share your thoughts in the comments.