U.S. demand for decorative tile is forecast to increase 3.5% annually to 3.1 billion sq ft in 2020, according to a recent study from The Freedonia Group. Growth in building construction expenditures will drive advances. Porcelain tile is expected to register the fastest growth in area demand terms through 2020. The rise in popularity of thin porcelain tile (TPT) will especially bolster demand. TPT’s larger size and light weight, as well as performance attributes such as resistance to scratches and cracking, make it a popular choice in both residential and commercial markets.
Ceramic tile will continue to account for the largest share of decorative tile demand by far. Ceramic tile remains the most popular type of tile in both residential and non-residential applications because of its affordability and low maintenance requirements. However, value alternatives such as porcelain and stone tile are perceived to have superior aesthetic and performance properties. Flooring is the predominant application for decorative tile, and demand is expected to grow faster than any other application through 2020.