Demand for cast polymers in the US is forecast to increase 6.3 percent per year to 251 million square feet in 2016. In most applications, cast polymers offer performance advantages such as minimal maintenance requirements and resistance to stains, impact, moisture, and other damage caused by wear and tear. Further advances will be restrained by competition from other surfacing options, including granite and laminates. These and other trends, including market share and product segmentation, are presented in Solid Surface & Other Cast Polymers, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.
The market for cast polymers underwent a significant transformation over the past decade with engineered stone rising from a niche product to controlling over a quarter of sales. Demand for engineered stone grew rapidly from a small base during the 2001-2006 period due to its significant performance advantages over competitive products. Engineered stone continued to gain market share during the downturn, buoyed by sales to higher-end customers who were less impacted by the weak economy. While growth will continue to be above average, increases in demand will decelerate, tempered by the material’s high price, limiting further market penetration.
Demand for gel-coated composites will rebound strongly through 2016 from the significant losses during the previous five years. Gel-coated composites registered the biggest declines during this time due to their heavy use in new construction. Going forward, gel-coated composites will benefit from the recovery in new housing construction, as well as design trends featuring a greater number of and more elaborate bathrooms in homes since gel-coated composites are primarily installed in bathrooms.
Countertop applications will account for more than 85 percent of cast polymer demand in 2016. The new housing segment will provide the most rapid gains, as housing completions rebound and builders looking to make homes more marketable increasingly offer cast polymer countertops as an upgrade option over laminates or tile. Nevertheless, the residential remodeling segment will continue to account for the majority of cast polymer countertop demand as homeowners are more willing to invest in higher value cast polymer materials at that stage.
The Freedonia Group is a leading international business research company, founded in 1985, that publishes more than 100 industry research studies annually. This industry analysis provides an unbiased outlook and a reliable assessment of an industry and includes product segmentation and demand forecasts, industry trends, demand history, threats and opportunities, competitive strategies, market share determinations and company profiles.