Ceramics are inorganic, crystalline, and non-metals that are made of oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon compounds. Ceramic tiles are generally made from clay. They are categorised as per their functionality (Wall tiles, Mosaic tiles, Porcelain tiles, Quarry tiles, Floor tiles). Additionally they can also be classified according to their thickness, composition, size, shape, color, etc. Natural stones are dig out of underground or mountains and are used for decorative purposes in construction and monumental sculpture. Some of the most commonly natural stones are marble, granite, travertine, limestone, slate, sandstone, quartzite, etc. Ceramic tiles are used for many purposes such as floor and wall fittings, designing, protection from rain and moisture and other environmental hazards. Key application areas of ceramic and natural stone tiles include flooring and wall cladding of residential and commercial buildings and recreational areas.
The construction industry in the developing countries is flourishing due to urbanization which has resulted in the shift of people from towns and villages to cities. The number of construction sites is increasing due to demand of high-rise residential buildings and redevelopment of existing buildings. This is proving to be a major driver for the ceramic tile manufacturers. There has been a considerable rise in the construction activities in the emerging economies of India, China and Brazil. Additionally, the industry’s shift due to consumer preference towards replacing metal slabs and paints with ceramic and natural stone tiles is expected to boost the market. Moreover they are available in different sizes, shapes and can be installed in various designs, which increases aesthetic value of the place where they are installed. Better standard of living in the urban areas has given rise to the trend of decorative interior designs. Their natural properties of being hard and insulating make them useful for outdoor recreational spaces. Natural stones are used widely by many interior designers in order to enhance the aesthetics of the projects they undertake. Competing with less expensive replacements such as sheet vinyl, broadloom and laminates is one of the challenges faced by this market. Tile installation is also complicated and requires a high level of expertise.
Key manufacturers include NITCO Tiles, Crossville Inc, RAK Ceramics, Atlas Concorde, China Ceramics, Kajaria Ceramics, Orient Tiles, Porcelanosa Grupo, Florida tile, Asian Granito India Limited, Gruppo Ceramiche Ricchetti, Saloni Ceramica, and Mohawk Industries.
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