COVID Complicates 2020

In 2019, no one could have predicted what the following year would look like. Following a stable first quarter of 2020, the year began to fumble as the impact of COVID took hold impacting many industries.

"Through April 2020, ceramic tile consumption was down 13.5% versus April 2019 year-to-date," said Andrew Whitemire, trade data analyst for the Tile Council of North America. "Though U.S. factories have remained open, some retail showrooms have been closed and some importers have been impacted by government-mandated factory closures in Italy, Spain, and Mexico, which happens to be the three largest exporters of tile to the U.S. market. Additionally, the tremendous economic uncertainty, including the spike in unemployment and falling housing and construction markets, will likely continue to negatively impact the tile market for the next several months."

But Whitmire said the industry is remaining optimistic when it comes to recovery. "We are hopeful, however, that once the pandemic situation improves, the U.S. economy will follow and the pent-up demand for building and remodeling will help the market get back on it's feet."


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