According to Freedonia, laminate accounts for more than one-quarter of global countertop sales, with nearly 40% of those countertops sold in North America. Solid surface and natural stone countertops each comprised one-fifth of global demand, but roughly 70% of solid surface countertops are sold in the Asia/Pacific region, Freedonia said.
Engineered stone, which is primarily used in more developed countries due to its high cost, is expected to achieve the most rapid gains through 2013, albeit from a very small base, Freedonia researchers noted.
The research firm also forecast that U.S. demand for decorative tile will increase 4.4% per year through 2013, with the residential construction market generating the most rapid gains in demand. Porcelain and natural stone tiles will account for the fastest gains of all tile types through 2013, while ceramic tile will continue to account for the vast majority of total demand, Freedonia said.