Gianni Mattioli (Dal-Tile Corporation/Mohawk Industries): "We continue to innovate and expand our product mix"
Ahead of the appointment with Coverings 2019 (Orlando, 9 to 12 April), we asked some of the leading figures in the US ceramic industry to comment on the current state and future prospects of the US market.
Gianni Mattioli, Executive Vice President Dal-Tile Corporation (Mohawk Industries)
“ I think that when all is said and done the consumption of ceramic tile in the US will be flat in volume for 2018. In dollar terms we should be up around 2%. Definitely not a banner year. Housing starts continue to be below expectations, while the commercial market is still positive. We continue to be affected by the growth of LVT which is expected to grow about 15-20%. Lack of professional installers is also having an impact on overall consumption.
Our group continues to innovate and expand our product mix, with new technical products developed both in Italy and the US, mosaic, decorative tile, and more higher-end wall tile. We launched our Panoramic Porcelain Slabs, manufactured by our Italian companies, and we started a new plant in Tennessee for the production of Quartz Slabs, a business where we continue to see double digit growth.
I think 2019 won’t be very different from 2018. I don’t see anything on the horizon to make me feel much more positive. All the headwinds we had last year will still be around this year. Obviously should duties on Chinese material increase to 25% in March, there should be a positive impact on all domestic producers, and also Italian exporters.”
As an industry we need a big push on our Why Tile campaign, telling the consumer about the advantages of ceramic tile, but especially all the disadvantages of other products like LVT (environment, sustainability, health issues, etc.). „