Business Insider Edition

South Africans are paying much more for screed concrete floors - this is why it's weird

Phillip de Wet , Business Insider SA
 Jun 07, 2018, 06:32 AM
An art work entitled 'Shibboleth' – a long crack in concrete flooring by Doris Salcedo – is displayed at The Tate Modern gallery on October 8, 2007 in London. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
  • Detailed inflation data show concrete floor finishes have been increasing in price far faster than tiled floors for a long time.
  • Which is weird – because the cost of tiles have been increasing faster than concrete.
  • That suggests that concrete floor suppliers are taking advantage of consumers willing to pay higher prices, says South African Market Insights.

Graphing the relative price increases for concrete screed flooring and tile finishes as tracked by Statistics SA shows a strange pattern, the platform South African Market insights said this week.

Other than a brief period in 2014, concrete floors have been rising in price much faster that tile floors, the closest equivalent available for new homes or renovations.

At times, the difference in inflation between the two types of flooring is stark – such as in early 2018.

South African Market Insights. (See the full, interactive graphic.)

The difference in price increase would make sense if cement prices were rising more sharply than those of tiles – but the same StatsSA data shows that is not the case. In recent months concrete saw a relative spike, but tiles have been growing more expensive much faster than cement.

South African Market Insights. (See the full, interactive graphic.)

"We believe suppliers of screed/concrete flooring have taken advantage of the popularity of such floors/finishes in recent years and have passed significant price increases on to consumers who are willing to pay to have the screed-finish look," says SAMI.

Concrete floors start to break even compared to tiles when the tiles come at a cost of R120 per square metre, says one supplier.

The functional and aesthetic difference between the two types of flooring is shrinking, with "concrete look" and "screed look" tiles now common.

Concrete floors have grown increasingly popular over time for the wide variety of finishes available.

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