Clay Product & Refractory Manufacturers

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 860 clay product and refractory manufacturers in the US produce structural products, refractories, whitewares, and technical or engineered goods. Structural products include brick, roofing tiles, pipes, and flooring tiles. Refractories are made to withstand high temperatures - over 1,000 degrees - and include fireplace liner bricks, kiln and forge lining materials, crucibles for metal and glass melting, and gas burner components. Whitewares tend to be more delicate and include dishes, china, wall tiles, lamp bases, statuary, pottery, and sanitary porcelain (sinks, toilets, and urinals). Technical or engineered products include ceramic disk brakes, ballistic protection, biomedical implants, mechanical bearings, and missile nose cones.

Competition from Alternative Materials

Manufacturers of clay products compete for market share against manufacturers making similar products from alternative materials.

Variable Energy Costs

Clay product and refractory manufacturers have high expenses related to energy because materials are baked or fired to obtain their rigid form.

Industry size & Structure

A typical clay product and refractory manufacturer operates out of 1-2 locations, employs 41-42 workers, and generates about $10 million annually.

    • The clay product and refractory manufacturing industry consists of about 860 companies which employ about 35,800 workers and generate about $8.9 billion annually.
    • Pottery, ceramics and plumbing fixture manufacturers represent 60% of firms but employ just 35% of workers and generate 31% of industry revenue. Clay building materials and refractory product manufacturers represent 40% of firms and employ 65% of workers and generate 69% of industry revenue.
    • Customer industries include building materials distributors, construction firms, utilities (water/sewer/power), oil and gas producers, government (military/law enforcement), hardware and home improvement stores, electrical supplies distributors, electronic component manufacturers, home furnishings wholesalers and retailers, foodservice providers (restaurants, caterers, hotels), kiln manufacturers, and manufacturers of products that requiring kiln-firing or extremely high temperature to cure.
    • Large companies include Meridian Brick, Corning, Lenox, CoorsTek, Ortech Ceramics, American Standard, and Mohawk Industries (Dal-Tile, Marazzi).
    • The industry is concentrated with the 20 largest firms representing about 52% of industry revenue.
                                    Industry Forecast
                                    Clay Product & Refractory Manufacturers Industry Growth
                                    Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                    Recent Developments

                                    May 20, 2024 - Rising Construction Spending Supporting Price Increases
                                    • Producer prices for clay product and refractory manufacturers rose 2.1% in March compared to a year ago after rising 7% in the previous annual comparison, according to the latest US Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Residential construction spending, which increased 4.3% year-over-year in March, is spurring demand for brick, tile, and other building products, supporting price increases by manufacturers. Employment by clay product and refractory manufacturers fell 1.7% in March year over year, while average wages at nonmetallic mineral manufacturing firms rose 6% in April vs the same period last year to $26.70 per hour, a new high for the industry, BLS data show.
                                    • Our warming planet is spurring the development of innovative and sustainable ways to cool buildings, including a novel ceramic façade called Flexbrick, the American Ceramic Society (ACS) reported in May. Flexbrick, developed in Spain, is a flexible façade consisting of sheets of ceramic tiles, similar in appearance to thin bricks, that are mounted on an interwoven steel wire mesh. Checkered sheets of Flexbrick filter the light that strikes a building, lowering its temperature, according to ACS. Reducing the amount of solar radiation that reaches the structure also reduces the energy costs required to cool the building. Besides saving energy, Flexbrick ceramic sheets are produced sustainably with natural materials made using clean fuel, such as biogas. Flexbrick facades can be applied to stadiums, hospitals, office buildings, and other commercial and industrial structures to keep the sun off the underlying building, ACS explains.
                                    • Building on its first commercial installation of a sand battery system in the Finnish town of Kankaanpää in 2022, Polar Night Energy is taking its sand battery technology to the next level, The American Ceramic Society reports. The Finnish start-up is partnering with Finnish district heating company Loviisan Lämpö’s to build an industrial-scale sand battery system in Pornainen for Loviisan Lämpö’s district heating network. The heating power of the new sand battery is 1 MW and it can store up to 100 MWh of thermal energy. The purpose of the sand battery is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions of the district heating production in the Pornainen municipality and introduce a new flexible heat production technology. Pornainen’s sand battery, which will store heat generated from solar energy during the summer for use in the dark winter months, will use crushed soapstone as the thermal storage medium.
                                    • Architectural billings – a leading indicator of construction activity – predict a solid year for the construction sector in 2024, albeit at a slower rate of growth than in 2023. According to the American Institute of Architects (AIA), overall gains in construction spending are projected at just under 6%, with almost 3% for the commercial sector, 15% for industrial facilities, and 4% for institutional buildings. Commercial construction will continue to benefit from the billions of dollars in infrastructure investment from the Inflation Reduction Act and the CHIPS and Science Act, which are working their way into the economy. While final numbers for 2023 aren’t in yet, total construction spending in 2023 is forecast at $1,960 billion, an increase of 6.0% over 2022, with nonresidential spending leading that growth, Contractor Magazine reports. Construction activity drives demand for structural products, including bricks, roofing, and floor tile.
                                    Get A Demo

                                    Vertical IQ’s Industry Intelligence Platform

                                    See for yourself why over 60,000 users trust Vertical IQ for their industry research and call preparation needs. Our easy-to-digest industry insights save call preparation time and help differentiate you from the competition.

                                    Build valuable, lasting relationships by having smarter conversations -
                                    check out Vertical IQ today.

                                    Request A Demo