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Demand for countertops is forecast to rise 4.4% per year to 1.1 billion square feet valued at $56.8 billion through 2026, according to a new report from The Freedonia Group. The Cleveland-based organization projects the increase in demand will be positively impacted by elevated housing construction, trends favoring larger kitchens and multiple bathrooms, increasing interest in outdoor kitchens and wet bars, and increasing residential kitchen and bathroom remodeling.

In 2021, engineered stone surpassed laminate to become the most used countertop material in the United States, marking the first time in decades laminate was not the most popular countertop material. The Freedonia Group forecasts engineered stone will continue to expand its leading share in the U.S. countertop market through 2026, growing 9.6% annually. The material is projected to account for approximately 36% of countertop demand in area terms by 2026.

Engineered stone has become a more affordable option for middle-class homeowners due to the increase in available, low-cost slabs from foreign markets, according to The Freedonia Group. As prices for engineered stone decreased as color availability expanded, consumers have become more willing to purchase higher-cost countertops and have grown to prefer the aesthetics and quality of engineered stone over laminates, according to The Freedonia Group’s latest report.

In addition to the growth of engineered stone, porcelain slab is forecast to continue its robust growth through 2026. Porcelain slab is projected to be the fastest-growing domestic countertop material in demand terms, according to The Freedonia Group. The material has become more popular as consumers wanting countertops with a natural appearance and favorable performance properties have begun to seek alternatives to engineered stone and granite countertops.

According to The Freedonia Group, porcelain slab offers stain resistance in indoor and outdoor settings, heat and frost resistance, greater strength and durability compared to granite, a variety of design options, and an easy-to-clean surface. Porcelain slab growth through 2026 is projected to be driven by activity in the single-family kitchen and bathroom remodeling sector.

The Freedonia Group projects laminate will continue its long-term decline following years of market dominance due to the growth of more durable alternatives, such as engineered and natural stone. As laminate’s market share declines, the research group forecasts granite will continue to see its market share increase, particularly in the interior kitchen and bathroom sector.

Beyond material trends, The Freedonia Group reports tariffs have caused “significant disruptions” in the domestic countertop market, as the United States is largely a net importer of countertop products, particularly engineered stone. While the domestic production of engineered stone continues to expand, the majority of the quartz slab supply remains imported from abroad. Prior to 2019, China was the largest source of quartz slab imports to the United States, but tariffs in excess of 200% imposed on Chinese quartz imports in April 2018 caused a shift in import activity. By 2021, less than 1 million square meters of quartz slabs were imported from China, while imports from Turkey and India continued to increase. As of 2021, India now accounts for the highest share of U.S. quartz supply. Additional tariffs were imposed on quartz slabs from India and Turkey in 2019, however The Freedonia Group says the impact on import activity was much smaller because the tariffs imposed were much lower than the tariffs imposed on China.

The full report from The Freedonia Group, Countertops, presents historical data on the market segment as well as forecasts for 2026 and 2031 in square feet and U.S. dollars by surface material, market, and area of installation. Countertop materials are segmented into the following groups: engineered stone, laminates, natural stone, solid surface and other cast polymers, tile, and other small volume materials (porcelain slab, stainless steel, wood, concrete, recycled materials, bamboo, cork, and glass). The residential market is segmented into single-family, multifamily, and manufactured categories for both new and remodeling applications.