Ceramic tiles are becoming more expensive due to the war in Ukraine. A large part of the clay for baking them comes from the east of the country, where there is heavy fighting. The Cluster Complementary Companies, part of the sector federation Confederation of Construction, warned about this in a press release on Friday.
In addition to the more expensive basic material, the energy cost has also risen sharply. “The ovens of the tile manufacturers run on natural gas, the price of which has already risen spectacularly,” says Franck Noé, director of the Cluster Complementary companies. “The manufacturers pass those costs on to the wholesalers, which leads to a price increase for the contractors, who in turn have to take it into account in their quotations.” For customers, the tiles are currently 10 to 20 percent more expensive.
Most contractors do not have extensive stocks. “We therefore advise our contractors to contact their importer(s),” says Noé. “In any case, new offers will reflect the new political and economic situation.”
Noé expects the largest and thickest tiles to become more difficult to obtain. “Precisely because the baking process for these types requires much more energy. Some manufacturers may temporarily suspend production.”
At Lagrange Floors from Pelt, Limburg, with 35 floor workers, they have their hands in their hair. “One of our main suppliers has already raised its prices by 31 percent,” says manager Geert Lagrange. “Nobody knows where this is going to end.”