Companies in this industry manufacture clay pottery, ceramics, plumbing fixtures, building materials, and refractory products. Major companies include Dal-Tile, Gerber Plumbing Fixtures, and Kohler (all of the US) as well as Kyocera, Shinagawa Refractories, and TOTO (all of Japan), Interceramic (Mexico), RHI (Austria), and Vesuvius (UK).
Demand is driven by industrial production of metals, glass, and other mineral-based products, as well as construction spending. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations, as many products are considered commodities. Large companies enjoy economies of scale in purchasing and marketing. Small companies can compete effectively by developing new products with innovative features. The US industry is concentrated: the top 50 companies account for about 65% of industry revenue.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major product groups include clay building materials and refractories (70% of industry revenue), and pottery, ceramics, and plumbing fixtures (30%). Products include clay blocks and bricks, ceramic tile, roofing tile, clay and non-clay refractories, vitreous china plumbing fixtures (toilets, sinks, and bidets), china and earthenware kitchen and tableware, porcelain electrical fixtures, flower pots, and clay and ceramic statuary.