Demand for cast polymers in the US is forecast to increase 5.4 percent annually through 2014 to 216 million square feet.  A rebound in housing completions from the depressed levels of 2009 will be an important driver of demand growth.  In addition, cast polymers will seize market share from more traditional decorative surfacing materials, such as laminates, especially in the residential countertop market.  Cast polymer countertops offer minimal maintenance requirements as well as resistance to stains, impact, moisture and other damage caused by wear and tear. These and other trends are presented in Solid Surface Materials & Other Cast Polymers, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

Demand for engineered stone is projected to advance 11.0 percent annually to 53 million square feet in 2014, the fastest growth of any cast polymer product.  Consumers will choose engineered stone surfacing because it resembles natural stone, and because they view it as a high-end material that adds value to a home.

The countertop market will account for 85 percent of cast polymer demand in 2014.  The new housing segment will provide the most rapid gains, as housing completions rebound and builders looking to make homes more marketable increasingly choose cast polymer countertops instead of laminates or tile.  The residential improvement and repair segment will continue to account for the majority of cast polymer countertop demand.  Design trends that call for larger kitchens and multiple bathrooms will also promote demand.  In nonresidential countertop applications, solid surface materials will make gains in institutional settings, such as hospitals and schools, because these materials offer resistance to biological contamination.

Solid surface materials will continue to account for the largest share of demand for cast polymers, with 44 percent of the total market in 2014.  However, these materials are forecast to have the slowest growth rate of all cast polymers.  Competition from natural and engineered stone surfacing, which are seen as more aesthetically appealing materials by many homeowners, will limit gains for solid surface materials.  However, because they are less expensive than natural and engineered stone grades, solid surface materials will still appeal to value-conscious consumers.

Solid Surface Materials & Other Cast Polymers (published 05/2010, 317 pages) is available for $4,900 from The Freedonia Group, Inc. through their website.

Source: The Freedonia Group, www.freedoniagroup.com

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