Distribution of ceramic tiles went through deep changes in Italy and the whole of Europe. What about distribution of ceramic tiles in the USA?
In 2017, in terms of total consumption, the U.S. ceramic tile market surpassed 3 billion square feet (over 278.7 million m2), for the first time since 2006. U.S. shipments of ceramic tile rose by 4.1% from 2016 to 2017. Domestic production, which has increased each year for the last eight years, has also been boosted recently by the expansion and opening of additional manufacturing facilities in Tennessee.
Although exports decreased since 2016, the total consumption increased by 5.1%. Imports also increased by 5.6%. Italy remained the largest exporter to the U.S. in 2017, comprising 33.7% of U.S. imports, with China second at 26.6% and Spain third at 13.9%.
How relevant is the choice of installation products for ceramic tiles in North America?
It is crucial that installers and contractors select the correct types of installation products. There are various mortars and materials that have been formulated with different properties, which are suited for specific situations. To ensure a long-lasting tile installation, it is also pertinent to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines/instructions.
Is sustainability a plus in the choice of ceramic tiles and related products in the USA?
Ceramic tile in itself is one of the greenest products available on the market. It is made of natural materials, with a lifecycle of several decades. It also emits no VOCs. Architects, designers, contractors and installers alike are always looking for ways to be sustainably sound in their design approaches. Many professionals have made a positive impact on the environment by using ecological tiles and building materials that are eco-friendly.
How do the eco-sustainability standards (LEED, etc.) effect the US market of ceramic tiles?
Manufacturers of tile and installation materials are always looking for a way to lessen their carbon footprint, especially since LEED-certification is a large focus in the U.S. They recycle old materials for re-use, use wastewater and recycled materials to create their new products, and even utilize solar panels to power their factories and plants. Various efforts are being made in order to save natural resources and contribute to improving the environmental performance.