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Through 2026, demand for ceiling products in the US is forecast to increase 3.1% annually to $2.4 billion. Going forward, market advances will be driven by:
a rebound in commercial building construction – bolstered by increased renovations in office and institutional buildings – following the declines of 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic
design trends favoring enhanced acoustics and aesthetics in commercial buildings, resulting in a shift away from drywall and building plaster to ceiling tiles and specialty products
increased market penetration of specialty products, including greater use of these products in conjunction with open plenum designs in retail buildings
rising use of decorative wood and metal ceiling tiles in residential renovation projects – on ceilings as well as on walls and other surfaces
However, the market will continue to be restrained by the popularity of drywall and building plaster in residential applications, as well as in some commercial applications.
Supply Chain Disruptions Exacerbated Price Increases in 2021, Boosting Value Demand
In 2021, pandemic-driven supply chain disruptions and other factors led to a sharp increase in average prices for ceiling products in 2021, boosting value demand growth in that year. In addition to shifts in the product mix toward higher value products, ceiling product prices were also affected by changes in the cost of raw materials such as metals, mineral fiber, wood, fiberglass, and plastics, many of which saw above average pricing growth during the pandemic. Going forward, pricing growth is expected to moderate from the elevated levels of 2021, causing a deceleration in ceiling product demand growth in value terms, despite demand in area terms accelerating over the same period.
Office & Retail Buildings to Fuel Ceiling Market Growth
Office buildings will remain the leading outlet for ceiling products in the US and see some of the fastest growth rates among building types, boosted by increasing renovations attributable to telecommuting workers transitioning back to the office on part- or full-time bases. Rising improvement spending on retail buildings, the second largest ceiling market, will also be a significant driver of gains. Additionally, strong growth in the construction of healthcare buildings – the need for which spiked during the pandemic and will continue to grow going forward due to the aging US population – will boost gains in that market.
Ceiling Tiles to Remain the Leading Product, While Specialty Products to See Faster Growth
Ceiling tiles and the suspension systems typically required for their installation together accounted for 85% of US ceiling product demand in 2021, and they are expected to continue driving demand gains through 2026. However, market growth in value terms will be boosted by rising demand for specialty ceiling products. Above average growth for these higher value products will be fueled by their expanding usage in commercial buildings where both acoustics and aesthetics are a priority, including in open plenum designs where ceiling tiles do not compete.
Technology & Innovation
Product development helps ceiling producers compete in the industry in a variety of ways, including to:
meet changing aesthetic demands of architects and commercial end users
comply with new regulatory standards and offer more environmentally friendly products
improve performance or product durability
improve acoustics and/or provide noise abatement
Development of new ceiling tile products is important as it helps manufacturers maintain sales growth in a competitive market.
For example, new, more stylish products can help suppliers penetrate the untapped residential market, where ceiling tile use has traditionally been limited to drop-in, commodity-type products installed in basements, garages, and other areas outside of the main living areas.
Residential building owners increasingly look to customize their homes through the addition of unique, aesthetically pleasing ceiling tiles on both the ceiling and, in some cases, on walls and other flat surfaces. To meet demand, manufacturers are introducing products that minimize the grid-like appearance of typical tiles and offer other benefits. For example, Armstrong World Industries’
WOODHAVEN medium density fiberboard ceiling planks have a wood-like appearance and tongue-and-groove edges that show no visible grid.
Specialty ceilings, which have historically been high-end custom products from designers and architects, are becoming more accessible to a wide consumer base due to advances in both software design technology and fabrication processes:
Parametric modeling – while not a new development – is gaining traction among architects and ceiling manufacturers as software improves. This software allows production of “mass customized” ceilings for large commercial buildings such as libraries, educational facilities, airports, museums, and hotels.
Laser cutting and perforation technology allow ceiling products – particularly those made of metal – to be customized into unique shapes, designs, and to improve both acoustics and light. While some manufacturers offer standard patterns, others offer unique ones that can change from one panel to the next.
New manufacturing techniques are also increasing the size of ceiling products, such by allowing production of ultra-flat, lightweight honeycomb metal panels and large, custom-sized stretch ceilings.
While limitations to widespread use of 3D printing as a manufacturing process remain, the technology offers great potential for the creation of unique ceiling products and even entire ceiling systems. Because 3D printing is an additive manufacturing process, it has the potential to significantly reduce material usage and waste. In turn, less material can lead to weight reduction – demonstrated by the concrete ceiling ETH Zurich printed for its DFAB House, which weighs half as much as ceilings made of slabs.
This study analyzes US ceiling demand by product, market, and region. Demand is presented in current dollars (which are not adjusted for inflation) and square feet for ceiling tiles, and current dollars for suspension systems, specialty products, and other ceiling products.
Historical data are provided for 2011, 2016, and 2021, and forecasts are presented for 2026 and 2031.
Demand for ceilings is segmented into the following product types:
ceiling tiles (mineral fiber; fiberglass; metal; and wood, gypsum, and other materials including vinyl and polystyrene)
suspension systems (steel and aluminum and other materials, including vinyl)
specialty ceilings (clouds; baffles; stretch ceilings and other specialty ceiling products, including ceiling islands, ceiling planks, and open cell ceilings)
Ceiling tile demand is also segmented by performance grade (standard, good, better, and best).
Ceiling tile pricing per square foot at the manufacturers’ level is provided for the major material types.
Excluded from the scope of the study are:
drywall (which itself is typically covered by paint, joint compound, or some form of spray coating)
open plenum (open deck or exposed upper structure) surfaces
return vents and other in-ceiling non-ceiling products (such as recessed lights)
The major ceiling markets analyzed are:
new commercial buildings
commercial building improvement and repairs
new residential buildings
residential building improvement and repairs