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Ceramic tile is so popular in U.S. home building and remodeling that you could go outside, throw one stone, and hit five houses that have the material in the kitchen and the bath.

To put it in more quantifiable terms, Home Innovation Research Labs in Upper Marlboro, Md., says ceramic accounts for 72 percent of all bathroom floor installation in new homes. And the rate of use in shower walls and kitchen backsplashes is probably just as high.

As the housing industry has recovered, the ceramic tile market has improved as well. Imports are up, and consumption of tiles in general also is up. According to the Tile Council of North America, U.S. ceramic tile market consumption increased for the sixth consecutive year—from 2.49 billion square feet in 2014 to 2.74 billion in 2015, roughly 10 percent.

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