The New York City ceramic tile industry is in a bit of a bind.
The city’s city-wide ceramic tile program, which had its first major overhaul last year, was already suffering from a shortage of new ceramic tiles.
But last week, the New York State Department of Financial Services proposed new regulations that would force companies to produce fewer and smaller tiles.
The rules also would require tile suppliers to be certified by the state and the state would require companies to obtain at least 50 percent of their products from New York suppliers.
The state also would levy additional fees on tile manufacturers.
New York has long been a supplier of ceramic tiles, but in recent years, the state has struggled to supply the state-mandated ceramic tiles for buildings.
In 2015, New York’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene proposed a $100 million expansion of the state’s ceramics program.
The agency hoped to fill the gap by hiring a ceramic tile supplier and buying up excess tiles that it could resell.
But the ceramic tile shortage made it more expensive for New York to procure tile, and the agency has been forced to focus on building supply, rather than building new homes.
The new regulations, proposed last week by the Department of Finance, will force companies that supply ceramic tiles to be inspected by the department and will require the company to obtain 50 percent from New Yorkers, according to a press release from the state.
The regulations also will require tile manufacturers to be Certified by the State of New York.
The certification process would take about a year, according the release.
A spokesperson for the state declined to comment on the proposed regulations and said that the state was still developing its own regulations.
While the city has been struggling with a shortage for ceramic tiles since 2014, New Yorkers have been buying more and more tiles, according a report by the New America Foundation.
A 2014 report by researchers at Cornell University found that people who own homes in New York bought about 1,000 new ceramic tile tiles per day in 2015.
That number has since dropped to 500 tiles per daily.
The shortage in the city’s cerams has forced tile suppliers, like Encaustics, to cut back on the number of new tiles they are producing.
EncaUSTIC, a New York-based tile maker, said it has been cutting back on orders for ceramic tile in response to the state regulations.
“While we have a robust ceramic tile supply base, we cannot meet the demand for our product at this time,” a spokesperson for EncaUS, which manufactures ceramic tile and ceramical tile tiles, told the Times.
“We anticipate we will need to cut orders for our ceramic tile product by the end of the year.”
Encaus, which has a plant in Buffalo, is the third-largest tile supplier in the United States.
But as the city struggles with a ceramic shortage, the tile industry has been suffering from an influx of new orders.
In New York, more than half of the city-issued tile supply is from New Jersey, according an analysis by the Bloomberg Governmental Intelligence Group.
New Yorkers bought 1.6 million ceramic tile pieces in the first quarter of 2016, according data from the Bloomberg report.
But New York officials have been reluctant to increase the statewide ceramic supply to meet the needs of New Yorkers.
They argue that the current ceramic supply is sufficient.
New Times has reached out to the New Yorkers’ ceramic tile makers for comment on these proposed regulations, and will update this post if we hear back.
Posted by The New Yorker at 3:23 AM