Tile Executive Forecast: Expanded applications, new tech to drive revenue

Home Inside FCNews Tile Executive Forecast: Expanded applications, new tech to drive revenue

Dec. 9/16, 2019: Volume 35, Issue 12

By Megan Salzano

 

While the category is expected to remain flat for the coming year, there is no lack of innovation entering the market from suppliers determined to grow sales. This innovation comes in the form of larger formats, realistic visuals, new finishes and decoratives. The unpenetrated areas for tile also represent an upside for 2020, and suppliers are touting opportunities within wall and outdoor installations.

Greg Mather
President
Crossville
What is your projection for category growth/decline in 2020?
I would characterize the current environment as difficult. While ceramic has been gaining placement on walls, the category has lost some share to LVT on the floor within the residential space. What are the challenges the category must face in the coming year?
Labor and LVT will continue to be two factors with notable impact for the tile category. Labor for tile installation has been in tight supply, leading to higher installation costs and longer lead times for projects. At the same time, LVT has positioned itself as a flooring solution with lower labor costs and quicker installation times. Where do you see opportunity within the category for 2020?
Innovation continues to be a strong point for ceramic tile. With larger formats, new looks and reliable performance, tile is increasingly a viable solution for more and more surfaces beyond just floors and walls. What segments/products will illustrate innovation/fuel growth in 2020?
Wall tile and large format porcelain tile panels have been growth areas for the category over recent years, and porcelain slabs represent a new growth area going forward. What are your biggest initiatives for 2020?
In 2020, we will introduce new products and solutions that drive growth of our wall tile, porcelain panel and slab products. We will continue the focus on educating the marketplace on the benefits of tile versus LVT to ensure specifiers are making informed decisions. Gianni Mattiolo
Executive vice president
Dal-Tile Corporation
What is your projection for category growth/decline in 2020?
We expect 2020 to be slightly down or flat compared to 2019. What are the challenges the category must face in the coming year?
We think the economy will soften next year across the board. Being an election year won’t help. Also, the lack of manpower for installation continues to be a problem as well as the growth of alternative flooring products. Where do you see opportunity within the category for 2020?
Ceramic tile continues to be an aspirational product. Technological evolution, like digital printing, larger formats, etc., will continue—increasing demand. What segments/products will illustrate innovation/fuel growth in 2020?
Polished materials, large sizes and more realistic finishes and structures will all spark innovation. What are your biggest initiatives for 2020?
Dal-Tile will continue to make investments in key technologies and in our manufacturing to ensure that our brands maintain their leadership positions. In addition to investing in new products, we will also continue to invest in our websites, social media initiatives and servicing our customers. Raj Shah
President
MSI
What is your projection for category growth/decline in 2020?
Tile continues to be one of the best options for the floor and wall. We do believe there should be close to 5% growth in the category due to all of the fundamental attributes of the economy and tile. What are the challenges the category must face in the coming year?
There are numerous challenges for the tile category. Trade wars continue to upset stability of supply chains. This has led to retailer unease and ultimately consumer unease with the product line. In addition, LVT continues to be a threat to tile. Where do you see opportunity within the category for 2020?
There is no lack of opportunity for tile. We need to inspire homeowners on the value of having tile floors. With today’s aesthetics, sizes and finishes, tile has to be the No. 1 choice for flooring. Technology has only improved, giving more and more choice to consumers. What segments/products will illustrate innovation/fuel growth in 2020?
The wall is where the biggest innovations are happening. There has been so much development in this area. It’s almost as though we are going through a renaissance for walls. Today, there are different looks, sizes, finishes and even 3-D tile for the wall. What are your biggest initiatives for 2020?
Inspiration—continuing to inspire consumers. To show consumers and retailers how tile products can be used to beautify walls, countertops and the outdoors with pavers. MSI has both a floor tile and wall tile visualizer to help consumers. It has been extremely helpful to our retail partners. Mara Villanueva-Heras
Vice president, marketing
Emser Tile
What is your projection for category growth/decline in 2020?
In 2019, there was a slowdown in sales due to competition with other categories, namely LVT. The demand for tile has not gone away, and we expect the desire for these products to remain high in 2020. What are the challenges the category must face in the coming year?
The issues with the greatest impact continue to be labor woes—both in availability and in rates—price regression within competitive surface options such as LVT, Chinese tariffs and anti-dumping legislation. Where do you see opportunity within the category for 2020?
We are seeing aging housing stock in need of remodel. Here, there is a different value placed on stone and tile. Similar to hardwood, you will see these surfaces called out in property listings because of the prestige and value they add.   What segments/products will illustrate innovation/fuel growth in 2020?
In addition to outdoor and wall tile categories, we are still seeing a strong desire for natural stone and decoratives—products such as our Allure and Impulse natural stone mosaics, Rhythm and Sterlina glazed porcelain, Yakedo burnt wood-look porcelain and Splash glass tile. What are your biggest initiatives for 2020?
We are again bringing in an extensive number of new products both indoor and outdoor, and are excited for 2020. We have opened several new branches and continue to expand our network to better service our customers nationwide.

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