The situation is uncertain. The price of natural gas required for tile firing which constitutes a large share of the tile cost keeps rising dramatically. The cheaper are the tiles, the sharper will be the price growth in percentage terms. The expensive materials (over EUR50.00 on our website) are supposed to be unaffected.
The second problem relates to the shortage of Ukrainian clay which was widely used for tile manufacturing in Italy (in Spain as well but to a lesser extent). Hence, particular producers will be also hit. Some manufacturers have already started experiencing the issues. Others have a stock of raw materials for 1-2 months. There are also those who do not use clay from Ukraine. We keep monitoring the viability of supplies and suspend cooperation with those manufacturers who are unable to guarantee smooth order fulfillment. However, it is impossible to be 100% sure that such situations do not happen today. Generally, it takes 1-2 days for the manufacturers to confirm an order. In case of any difficulties, our customer support team will look for alternatives. At the moment, in our opinion, about 10-15% of the tile brands we offer will face significant challenges. If we consider the whole European tile market the share of affected manufacturers will be even greater since we do not have adequate cheap logistics means to ship cheap tiles to the customers.
Meanwhile, we suggest opting for luxury vinyl tiles which were almost unaffected by the booming prices of energy resources and the lack of clay supplies from Ukraine. We are proactively enhancing the range of such products with the old European brands (as of today, we are focused on them).
We sincerely hope that the horrific war in the heart of Europe will end soon and the situation will stabilize.
Let there be peace and serenity on Earth.