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Figure 5 2. Increasing construction activity in the

growth rate of 28 percent between 2012 and

institutional markets.

reasons for this trend are the product’s durability,

countertop-intensive office, retail, lodging, and 3. Healthy growth in single-family housing


4. A favorable lending environment that will

encourage borrowers to take out home equity

loans, a common source of home improvement funds.

To account for the value gains through 2022, the report states they “will be boosted by a shift in

the product mix from laminates to higher priced

materials such as natural and engineered stone.” Freedonia predicts that residential remodeling

applications will remain by far the largest market for countertops, with lower-end products being replaced by natural and engineered stone and

(although from a small base) niche materials such as stainless steel, concrete, wood and recycled

materials. “Rising numbers of home improvement projects involving the expansion of kitchens and

master bathrooms – as well as increased additions and expansions of other countertop-intensive rooms – will fuel demand,” states the report.

“Healthy growth in institutional, office, retail and

lodging construction activity will continue to boost

demand for countertops in the commercial market as these building types are intensive users of countertops.”

Following a surge in demand during the 2012 to 2017 period, states the report, engineered

stone countertops are projected to be the fastest growing surface material through 2022 (4.5

percent per year) reaching 152 million sq. ft. This is a continuation of a decade-long trend of increased market penetration (with an average annual

2017, according to Freedonia). It further claims the color uniformity and lack of porosity, in addition

to more awareness via distribution networks and greater visibility in big box stores.

Charts from the report peg natural stone as the

second place material in terms of growth through

2022, at more than 2.5 percent, with solid surface

being third most popular countertop material near 2.5 percent growth going forward.

diversification should be considered to serve as a potential safety net. However, it is certainly possible that U.S. market expansion stabilizes and continues going forward. Editor & Publisher Kevin Cole can be reached at The author would like to thank the federal government for

a variety of statistical information, as well as acknowledge the following sources used in the creation of this article:

The American Institute of Architects (AIA),, a professional membership association for architects

“Despite being the dominant surface material

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID),

laminates are expected to continue their long-term

representatives, educators and students committed to

in both the residential and commercial markets, decline in market share,” states the Freedonia study. “However, use of laminates will remain

widespread, particularly among budget-conscious consumers, due to their relatively low price

points and minimal maintenance requirements.

Additionally, laminate countertop manufacturers have tried to combat the market penetration of other surface materials by expanding and diversifying their offerings of specialty and, a community of designers, industry interior design

FMI,, a consulting and investment

banking services company for the construction industry The Freedonia Group, a research firm that recently

released a “Countertops Market in the US” study that is available for purchase at

The Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS), www.jchs., Harvard University’s center for information and research on U.S housing

Kiplinger,, a publisher of business

decorative laminates.”

forecasts and personal finance advice

Putting It All Together, a nonprofit representing cabinet and

When viewed as a whole, it seems safe to say that 2019 will be another year of growth for

the countertop/surfacing industry, but perhaps slower than that of recent years. Of course,

political factors and/or unforeseen economic

circumstances could certainly affect that, and looking beyond 2019 it’s difficult to predict if the general economy, and subsequently the

The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA), decorative laminate manufacturer

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), www., representing more than 140,000 members that construct about 80 percent of the new U.S homes The National Association of Realtors (NAR), www., representing more than 1.1 million members composed of residential and commercial realtors The Survey of Professional Forecasters, www.

countertop market, will slow significantly.

survey-of-professional-forecasters, a quarterly survey of

Taking that into account, while business is

States issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

still strong, any challenges such as labor or

safety issues should be tackled, and market

30 • Vol. 12 / Issue 1 • International Surface Fabricators Association

macroeconomic forecasts for the economy of the United The Wall Street Journal,, a businessfocused international newspaper.

Profile for ISFA

ISFA's Countertops & Architectural Surfaces Vol. 12, Issue 1- Q1 2019  

Countertops & Architectural Surfaces is the official publication of the International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA). It contains th...

ISFA's Countertops & Architectural Surfaces Vol. 12, Issue 1- Q1 2019  

Countertops & Architectural Surfaces is the official publication of the International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA). It contains th...

Profile for isfa