Countertop Market Opportunities to Watch Through the COVID-19 Pandemic & Beyond

Countertop Market Opportunities to Watch Through the COVID-19 Pandemic & Beyond

The global countertop market is forecast to rise 2.6% per year to 602 million square meters in 2024, according to a new Freedonia Group analysis. The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to have a significant impact on near-term demand levels:

  • Steep anticipated declines in 2020 amid weakened home construction activity during the COVID-19 pandemic will restrain the long-term outlook.
  • Global economic output declines and production disruptions for popular materials such as engineered stone will also hinder growth.
  • Nevertheless, near-term losses will be offset by booming renovation activity, as many homebound consumers are investing more in improving the living spaces in which many are spending more time than ever.

Beyond the Pandemic, Developing Countries to Propel Global Countertop Market Gains 

As the pandemic recedes and economic and construction activities renormalize, global countertop demand is expected to recover quickly, with long-term market advances driven by:

  • rising income levels, resulting in increasing demand for cabinets and countertop products in developing markets
  • a rapidly expanding nonresidential construction sector in the Asia/Pacific region, supporting demand for countertops in buildings where usage of these products is high, such as hotels, schools, universities, and hospitals
  • rising installations of countertops in both residential and nonresidential buildings, as countertops are increasingly selected over freestanding or wall-mounted fixtures in kitchens and bathrooms

Developing countries with strong building construction activity and relatively low countertop usage rates will see the fastest growth in demand going forward. Among the countries that will post the fastest advances are Brazil, India, Mexico, and Thailand. China, the world’s largest countertop market, will account for 17% of all market gains in absolute terms through 2024.

Home Renovations in Developed Countries Will Support Global Market Value Growth

Global countertop demand in value terms is forecast to increase 5.1% per year through 2024, supported in part by rising average prices for all major countertop materials. Advances will be bolstered by increased spending in developed countries for remodeling projects, which often involve consumers upgrading to higher value countertop surfaces. For instance:

  • In the US, kitchens are the center of the living space due to trends toward open concept homes, and consumers are more willing to spend significant amounts to remodel kitchens compared to other rooms.
  • The majority of countertops are sold to the remodeling markets in these areas because they have large, highly developed housing stocks and access to home improvement loans.

As a result, low-priced laminates are losing share of these mature markets as higher value engineered stone products are gaining share.

Leading Asia/Pacific Market to Drive Global Countertop Demand Growth Through 2024

The Asia/Pacific region is projected to account for 45% of global countertop market area gains through 2024:

  • The residential market will continue to account for the vast majority of regional countertop demand through 2024, with remodeling applications seeing more demand than new applications.
  • Demand in the residential market will be sustained by increases in new housing construction and rising income levels, which supports remodeling projects.
  • The smaller nonresidential countertop market will grow at a faster rate through 2024, boosted by strong growth in building construction activity in developing countries.

The Asia/Pacific is also the largest regional market for engineered stone countertops, supported by a rapidly expanding production base that is making the material more widely available, as well as increasing penetration rates for engineered stone in nonresidential construction projects. Production in the region will continue to outpace that in all other regional markets, as over 300 new companies have begun producing quartz surfacing products in China and India alone since 2014.

Despite Tariffs in the US, Engineered Stone Countertops to Outpace Other Leading Materials

Through 2024, engineered stone will see the fastest growth (in area terms) of the top four major countertop materials (solid surface, laminates, granite, and engineered stone, respectively) due to:

  • expanding manufacturing capacity
  • greater consumer awareness of its aesthetic versatility and favorable performance properties

In the US, the world’s largest national market for engineered stone countertops, engineered stone has made rapid inroads since 2014 due to robust growth in the availability of aesthetically diverse product options. Through 2024, demand will continue to grow at a strong pace. However, an even faster rate of growth will be prevented by trade tensions and steep tariffs on quartz slab imports from China and India, as other sources of quartz slab have been unable to meet surging US demand for these products.

Want to Learn More?

Global Countertops and Global Engineered Stone Countertops are now available from The Freedonia Group.

About the Author:

Peter Kusnic is a Content Writer with The Freedonia Group, where he researches and writes studies focused on an array of industries.