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Demand for countertops in the US residential building market is forecast to rise 4.8% per year to 941 million square feet in 2026, valued at $52.1 billion, with growth boosted by:
- the large stock of older homes nationally that require kitchen and bathroom remodeling, either to meet the current homeowner’s needs or to add value to the home for its eventual sale
- trends favoring larger kitchens and multiple bathrooms
- increasing interest in outdoor kitchens, islands, and wet bars
However, new housing construction and home remodeling began to normalize in 2022 following exceedingly high levels in 2021. This trend will continue through the forecast period, limiting even greater demand gains.
Demand Gains Will Be Primarily Derived from Kitchen & Bath Renovations
Remodeling activity drives residential countertop demand. As countertops are a key design component in many homes, they are often updated when homeowners renovate kitchens and bathrooms, particularly when they are selling or buying a home. Value gains will be driven by homeowners increasingly opting for engineered stone and porcelain slab countertops during remodeling projects, as these in-demand materials can improve a home’s value.
Engineered Stone’s Leading Market Position Continues to Expand
Engineered stone is expected to continue to see market share gains, as the material becomes more widely available and favored for its durability and aesthetics. This trend began in the previous decade, when the rapid increase in low-cost slabs from foreign markets – particularly China, India, Turkey, and Vietnam – made engineered stone countertops more affordable for middle-class homeowners. As less expensive types of engineered stone proliferated and color availability expanded, consumers became much more willing to purchase higher cost countertops and grew to strongly prefer the aesthetics and quality of engineered stone over competitive materials, particularly laminates.
From Low Base, Porcelain Slab Countertop Demand to Grow Rapidly
Similar to the rapid advances seen for engineered stone over the past decade, porcelain slab demand has risen robustly since 2016 and is expected to be the fastest growing countertop material in the US (albeit from a relatively low base). Porcelain slab’s popularity is rising quickly as consumers seek alternatives to engineered stone and granite. These consumers want to differentiate their homes but still install countertops with a natural appearance and favorable performance properties. In addition, porcelain slab has become more widely available as the number of suppliers offering this material increased in recent years.
Historical Market Trends
Residential countertop demand is driven by a number of factors, including:
- new housing construction
- single-family residential remodels, which often include the replacement of countertops or the addition of a bathroom, outdoor kitchen, or wet bar
- shifts in consumer tastes, such as a change in preference toward countertops with a more natural stone aesthetic and away from laminates, resulting in increased demand in the residential remodeling market
During the 2011-2021 period, residential countertop demand grew at a 4.9% annual rate, with only slight declines in 2019 and 2020 due to weakness in new construction. Demand grew nearly 11% in 2021 due to a sharp increase in new housing construction. Significant single-family housing remodeling activity in the US supports a rather steady level of residential demand for countertops in any given year.
Demand by Project Type
Through 2026, demand for residential countertops is forecast to rise 4.8% per year to 941 million square feet:
- Remodeling will remain the larger residential countertop project type due to the popularity of countertop replacement as a means of adding value to a home and the nation’s large and aging housing stock in need of remodeling.
- New residential countertop demand is expected to grow at a slower pace than remodeling due to a normalization in new single-family housing completions through 2026, although levels will remain elevated throughout the forecast period.
Demand by Surface Material
Through 2026, demand for residential countertops is forecast to rise 4.8% per year to 941 million square feet. Growth will primarily occur in the near term, as single-family housing construction and home remodeling have begun to normalize from their pandemic-related surges.
Going forward, the material mix used in the residential market is expected to shift significantly:
- Laminates are expected to continue their decline following years of market dominance due to the rising popularity of more durable surfaces such as engineered and natural stone.
- Rapid market share gains are expected for engineered stone, as the material becomes more widely available and favored for its durability and aesthetics.
- Granite will continue to be a major product in both kitchen and bathroom countertops.
- Porcelain slab, albeit from a small base, will be the fastest growing material by a considerable margin, supported by rising consumer awareness of its favorable performance properties.