Out of the $18.76 billion 2012 U.S. Floor Covering sales stone tile represented 5.9 percent in wholesale dollars of $1.11 billion compared to ceramic tile at $2.35 billion or 12.5%. Stone Tile represented 1.6% or 276.8 million square feet of the 18.079 billion square feet of the 2012 U.S. floor covering volume compared to ceramic tile at 2.21 billion square feet or 12.2% of the overall floor covering volume. Stone Tile represents natural stone cut into modular tile shapes up to 24 x 24 inches in facial dimensions. Stone tiles can be used on floor or wall applications, although most are assumed to be used on floors.
In 2012 Stone tiles average wholesale cost is $4.01 per square foot compared to ceramic tile at $1.06 per square foot. Average stone flooring selling prices declined in 2012, which boosted square foot sales in 2012 by an estimated 5.9 percent.
In 2012 stone sales in wholesale dollars increased 4.3% from 2011.
Stone consumption continues to grow in spite of the higher cost. The stone look continues to be popular and is expected to be around for a while. Just look at the more popular designs in vinyl, which are all stone look-a-likes that are being accomplished with the newer ink jet technology for both vinyl and ceramic tile. In fact, now ceramic tile can emulate the wood look using glazing ink jet technology. Stone is here to stay.