The UK wall and floor tiles market delivered a strong performance between 2014 and 2017 with overall growth of 8%, according to AMA's latest market report. However, growth rates have slowed to around 2% in 2016-17, with this more modest growth likely to continue into the medium-term.
Ceramic and porcelain tiles dominate the product mix, with natural stone accounting for around a fifth value share and the others sector accounting for the remainder. Consumer demand for durable, hardwearing and easy to maintain flooring has benefited the porcelain tiles sector, in particular, in recent years. A degree of polarisation is still evident at the lower end of the market where white and single coloured ceramic tiles remain popular, while in the mid-upper sectors of the market there is high demand for more decorative ceramic products as well as natural stone and stone- and wood-effect porcelain tiles.
Textures and design elements have become increasingly important within the market with production and printing innovations allowing manufacturers to replicate the appearance of natural materials. In addition, new technologies have meant that production turn-around times have been improved which has resulted in manufacturers being able to supply limited runs of higher value products aimed at the upper end of the market.
The market is dominated by imports with around 70% market penetration, predominantly from Europe. UK-based manufacturers are under increasing pressure and this is likely to continue as the Brexit process advances. This may result in restructuring and the moving of manufacturing bases.
“International trade is a key element of the market given the low number of UK-based volume manufacturers but high levels of demand,” says Jane Tarver of AMA Research. “Sterling exchange rates are, therefore, likely to continue to have an impact on pricing into the medium-term as imports become more expensive. However, the ‘openness’ of the UK market to tile imports is unlikely to be reversed into the longer-term given the limited UK manufacturing base.”
Medium-term prospects for the floor and wall tile market remain relatively optimistic with the market forecast to grow by around 7% between 2017 and 2021. Going forward, floor and wall tiles are likely to experience significant competition from other surfacing materials, such as waterproof panels, thin porcelain panels, LVT and other materials, as well as the use of prefabricated bathrooms/wet room pods used in the contract sector.
The Floor and Wall Tiles Market Report – UK 2017-2021 Analysis report is published by AMA Research. The report is available now and can be ordered online at www.amaresearch.co.uk or by calling 01242 235724.
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