The countertop industry was hit hard over the last few years as it actually contracted in light of macroeconomic recessionary conditions and a drastic downturn in the housing market. A recovery in new housing construction will drive countertop demand, while in the larger remodeling market lower unemployment and greater credit availability will provide incentive for consumers to reinvest in their homes, including countertop installation as part of a kitchen or bathroom remodel. In value terms, gains will be aided by the growing market penetration of high-end countertop materials, such as natural stone and engineered stone. These and other trends are presented inCountertops, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

The residential market dominates countertop demanddespite being unfavorably impacted by a decrease in residential improvement and repair expenditures and the collapse of new housing construction between 2005 and 2010. Gains in demand for countertops in the residential market will be promoted by a rebound in housing completions from the depressed levels of 2010.

Through 2015, the large remodeling segment will also support gains in the residential market, as residential improvement and repair expenditures are set to increase, and kitchen and bathroom renovations are among the most common home improvement projects. Homeowners frequently replace older or worn countertops and vanity tops with more attractive and larger-sized surfaces during such renovation projects.

Laminate countertops will continue to lead the market, in both value and area terms, but countertops made from engineered and natural stone will experience the fastest gains through 2015. Consumers view engineered and natural stone materials as durable, aesthetically pleasing surfaces that are highly resistant to scratches and extreme temperatures. Engineered stone will benefit from its minimal maintenance requirements, resistance to biological contaminants, availability in a wide array of colors, and resemblance to natural stone.

Countertops(published 09/2011, 374 pages) is available from The Freedonia Group, Inc., 767 Beta Drive, Cleveland, OH 44143-2326. For further details, please contact Corinne Gangloff by calling (440) 684-9600, fax (440) 646-0484, or Information may also be obtained