Ceramics are crystalline, inorganic and non-metals that are made of nitrogen, oxygen and carbon compounds. Additionally, glass, carbon and silicon are also classified as ceramics. Ceramic tiles are generally made from clay. They are categorized as per their functionality (wall tiles, mosaic tiles, porcelain tiles, quarry tiles, floor tiles) and their application (new residential, industrial and residential replacement). Additionally, they can also be classified according to their thickness, composition, size, shape, color, etc. A major application of ceramic tiles is use in residential spaces and recreational areas. Ceramic tiles are manufactured from raw materials such as sand, clay and energy sources. The manufacturing process has various steps such as firing, glazing, drying, forming, spray-drying, mixing and grinding, and batching in the reverse order.
The construction industry in developing countries is flourishing due to urbanization; people are shifting to cities from towns and villages. The number of construction sites is increasing due to demand for high rises and redevelopment of existing buildings. This is proving to be a major driver for ceramic tile manufacturers. Consumer’s preference to replace marble floors, metal slabs and paints is expected to increase the demand for ceramic tiles. Their hard and insulating nature makes them suitable for use in outdoor recreational spaces. Moreover they are available in different sizes, shapes and can be installed in various designs; this increases aesthetic value. The residential replacement segment has the maximum market share that includes applications such as protection from rain or moisture, floor or wall fittings and designing. The need for higher amount of energy in making ceramic tiles is leading manufacturers to use energy efficient processes and renewable sources of energy. Raw material cost volatility and growing regulatory issues relating to environment are leading to increase in production cost of ceramic tiles. Manufacturers are concentrating on promotion and development of new tile products such as polished, granite or marble finish, slip and abrasion-resistant tile, larger-sized tile, modular or cladding tile, etc. Additionally, manufacturers will also turn to automation in order to improve quality, decrease costs and increase production.
Industry participants include RAK Ceramics, China Ceramics, Porcelanosa Grupo, Crossville Inc, Mohawk Industries, Florida Tile, Kajaria Ceramics, Gruppo Ceramiche Ricchetti, Saloni Ceramica, Atlas Concorde, Villeroy & Boch AG, The Siam Cement Public Company, Somany Ceramics Ltd, Saudi Ceramic Company, Roca Sanitario S.A, Regency Ceramics Ltd, Portobello SA, Porcelanite-Lamosa, Pilkington Group Plc, NITCO Ltd, Malaysian Mosaics Berhad, Johnson Tiles Ltd, Grupo Uralita, etc.
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