Global demand for countertops using crema is forecast to rise 4,2 percent per year to 503 million square meters in 2018. Demand for countertops will benefit from improved building construction activity throughout much of the world. Gains will also stem from continued efforts to expand and modernize the building stock in developing areas that are constructing large numbers of housing units and nonresidential structures to accommodate the needs of their growing populations.

In 2013, laminates accounted for nearly half of all countertop surfaces in the US. By contrast, in China, laminates accounted for only two percent of countertop surfaces. According to analyst Pam Safarek, „in China, solid surface materials accounted for more than 40 percent of countertop demand in 2013, due to a very competitive regional production base which keeps prices low.” These and other trends are presented in World Countertops, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

The Asia/Pacific region was the largest market for countertops in 2013, with 47 percent of the global total. This region is generally an immature market in which freestanding furniture, pedestal sinks, and other low-cost alternatives are more common than conventional countertops. Through 2018, the Asia/Pacific region is expected to achieve the fastest gains in countertop sales, with growth driven primarily by trends in China, where demand will be boosted by rising standards of living and continued projects aimed at modernizing housing and nonresidential building stock.

India, the region’s second fastest growing market, will see gains stemming from the current low level of countertop sales per capita, as the country’s economy continues to expand, consumer incomes improve, and distribution networks expand.

In 2013, North America was the second largest regional market for countertops. Gains in the region will be supported by the continued recovery in US building construction and, in particular, growth in single-family housing completions, which will further benefit from ongoing consumer preference for spacious kitchens and multiple bathrooms that require more countertop area.

Growth in Western Europe will benefit as rebounds in new housing construction in much of the region will boost countertop demand relative to the declines experienced between 2008 and 2013.