Benefits of Marble Look Quartz Countertops

marble look quartz countertops

As we summed up in our last blog, marble look quartz makes a phenomenal choice for spaces throughout the home thanks to its superb stain and moisture resistance, sublime beauty and budget-friendly options. Marble look quartz countertops in particular have been trending in recent years. So, let’s do a deeper dive into this specific application and why this surface works wonderfully for it! 

Benefits of Marble Look Quartz Countertops

When choosing a new countertop material, it goes without saying that you’ll want to pick something that can stand up to daily use – and possibly heavy use, depending on the day and what’s going on in your kitchen. Significantly harder than genuine marble, marble look quartz definitely checks the durability box! Let’s explore some additional perks of marble look quartz countertops:

  • Unlike authentic marble and many other natural stones, engineered quartz doesn’t need to be sealed. This allows you to skip a maintenance step while resting assured that your countertops offer excellent defense against stains, bacteria, moisture and other things you definitely don’t want penetrating your cooking and eating surfaces.
  • Quartz also gives you enhanced scratch protection over natural marble, thanks to its higher density. 
  • Many times, quartz has a lower price tag than marble. Especially for a large kitchen, opting for marble look quartz countertops rather than the real thing can potentially lower the price of your renovation project significantly!

As you can see, marble look quartz offers plenty of practical advantages for a kitchen countertop, a bathroom vanity top, a backsplash, wall cladding or any other application where you desire the look of classic marble but need extra strength, resilience or affordability. 

Possible Cons of Marble Look Quartz Countertops

Of course, no surface is without its potential downfalls. Here are a few things to be aware of with this one in particular:

  • Due to the binders and resins that help hold quartz countertops together, you’ll need to be selective about the cleaning products you use to avoid dulling or otherwise harming them. Typically, mild dish soap and warm water on a soft sponge or cloth will do the trick. Rubbing alcohol diluted with water is also safe for disinfecting quartz. Just be sure NOT to use harsh or acidic cleaners containing vinegar or bleach.
  • As another result of its composition, quartz and heat don’t mix. In turn, you’ll want to be extra careful about using hot pads, coasters and trivets for hot dishware placed on a quartz countertop.

One last important note: As we pointed out in our general guide to marble look quartz, there are actually some cases where certain types of quartz come at a higher cost than some marble varieties, once installation costs are factored in. So, if you’re working within a budget, keep this in mind and let your surfacing professional know.

Prepare to Be Dazzled by Our World-Class Quartz Collection 

Are you excited by the prospect of installing marvelous new marble look quartz countertops that will enliven your kitchen while heightening its utility? Allow the pros at Cosmos Surfaces to help you make your vision a reality! We give you an extensive range of stunning, top-quality marble looking quartz varieties to choose from, including Calacatta Telesto, Calacatta Brook, Calacatta Apex, Carrara Stratum, Calacatta Venatina, Calacatta Cane, Calacatta Dune, Calacatta Reed and beyond. 

Each of these options is magnificent in its own way, with some being more understated while others are more attention grabbing. Thanks to improvements in manufacturing, quartz can now be made with veining that looks nearly identical to what you might find in a piece of marble derived from the Earth. Whether you’re going for a uniform look or something with higher contrast, you can find it in our array of awe-inspiring quartzes!

Successful Surfacing Projects Start with Contacting Cosmos

If you’d like to see our quartz collection and other splendid surfacing options in person, we invite you to visit any of our showrooms across the country. Or, contact us from wherever you are in the U.S. for personalized assistance with choosing the very best surface for your purposes. If you’re on the fence between different varieties, we’ll be happy to help you compare their features to reveal the right choice for you. Reach out to our experts today to get started!

Color of the Month: Steely Gaze

Steely Gaze is an icy grey that pairs well with black for a cool and calm atmosphere. It works well in kitchens, dining rooms, and even laundry rooms.

Calacatta Venatina by Cosmos Surfaces delivers the classic and rare Italian marble look. Bold grey veins with subtle hits of gold across a soft white background are characteristic of this gorgeous Calacatta Venatina quartz. Bookmatch the veins to amplify its beauty and make a statement.

Calacatta Venatina is a part of the Calacatta Quartz collection by Cosmos Surfaces. This marble-looking quartz is a great choice for countertops, backsplashes, wall cladding, and vanities.

Calacatta Reed by Cosmos Surfaces is a beautiful white marble look quartz with intense black and gold veins. The high-contrast veins against the white background of this quartz make a dramatic statement in any area it is used in. Calacatta Reed Quartz can be book matched to intensify the impact of this stunning product.

This is a part of the Calacatta Quartz collection by Cosmos Surfaces. This marble-looking quartz is a great choice for countertops, backsplashes, wall cladding, and vanities.

Pros and Cons of Onyx Shower Walls

onyx shower walls

For surfaces throughout the home, our planet gives us an endless array of magical options in the form of gorgeous, naturally occurring stones like onyx. Formed when limestone gets dissolved and then redeposited – often in caves – onyx tells stories through its colorful veins. If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary that offers a range of benefits, onyx is worth considering for your kitchen or even your bathroom. Today, we’ll focus on onyx shower walls, whether they’re a practical choice and what to know if you decide on this beautiful natural stone to help make your bathroom an oasis. 

Pros and Cons of Onyx Shower Walls

When it comes to natural stone options for shower walls, traditional picks like marble, granite and quartzite often come to mind first. But, onyx can work here, too! 

Characteristics of onyx which can make it a possible choice for bathroom walling include:

  • Remarkable appearance – Marked by striking, swirling patterns and tones of green, gold, orange and cream, onyx looks truly otherworldly. So, if you’re going for a show-stopping shower design, it doesn’t get much more dramatic than this! At the same time, the hues found in onyx are also known to be soothing, contributing to a spa-like atmosphere.
  • Incredible lasting power – When lovingly cared for, onyx can maintain its allure and integrity for decades upon decades. Outlasting many other surfaces, onyx brings unique beauty that may be passed down through the generations. 
  • Backlighting options – Another thing that makes onyx special is that it’s translucent. This means that it can be backlit, creating the ambience-boosting illusion of glowing stone.

Like any stone surface, onyx has its fair share of things to be aware of when considering it for various applications. If you have your heart set on onyx shower walls in particular, here are some important factors to take into account:

  • Sealant required – Regular sealing is highly recommended for onyx, as it is porous like many other natural stone varieties. This maintenance step is especially vital in a high-moisture area like the shower or bathtub. For onyx shower walls, sealing will prevent water, bacteria, bath & body products and other substances from discoloring or intruding into the stone.
  • Softer than other natural stones – As compared to granite, marble and quartzite, onyx is soft and delicate. In turn, it’s not the best choice for high-traffic areas. 

With these pieces of knowledge in mind, you can see why onyx may be a better choice for something like a bathroom accent wall than for the walls of a shower that gets used on a daily basis. 

Well-Suited Applications for Onyx

Due to its fragility, onyx isn’t necessarily the best option for surfaces that take a lot of wear and tear. So, you may skip using it for demanding applications like onyx shower walls or your kitchen countertop. Still, there are plenty of ways to include onyx in your one-of-a-kind home design! Along with decorative accent areas, onyx works splendidly for:

  • Bathroom vanity tops
  • Backsplashes
  • Kitchen island bases

As we mentioned above, onyx can be backlit so it will appear to gleam, adding an element of luxurious relaxation to your home.

Caring for Onyx 

Due to its calcareous composition, onyx can be easily damaged by acidic substances. So, it’s important to avoid acidic or otherwise harsh cleaners no matter where in your home you use onyx. 

Instead, opt for mild dish soap and warm water or a cleaner specifically formulated for use on natural stone. Exercising care here will help preserve the exquisite look of your onyx surfaces and maximize their longevity. 

Realize Your Surfacing Dreams with Cosmos

Although rare, intricate onyx may not be the best stone for shower walls or kitchen counters, it can be incorporated into the home in several other ways. If you adore this stone, trust the professionals at Cosmos to help you pick the perfect application for onyx. Our exclusive onyx selection features Classic Green, Travertine, Rose, Red Dragon and more.

Plus, we offer a wide range of harder wearing surfaces like granite, marble, quartz, ceramic tile and beyond. If you’re eager to start exploring in pursuit of the perfect surface for your next home renovation project, reach out to us today or stop by one of our showrooms across the nation!

Color of the Month: Ancient Copper

Ancient copper is a muted apricot orange with undertones of cinnamon. It generates a feeling of warmth and celebration, especially in gathering places such as kitchens and dining rooms.

Swirling pinks and embers are how the rusty onyx of Red Dragon gets its name. Originating in Iran, Red Dragon resembles an aerial shot of a desert, a soft pink with rivulets of amber. With its polished finish and unique texture, Red Dragon looks great in bathrooms as a vanity, wall tiling, or flooring.

The dry browns and subtle oranges of Nacarado brings a desert scene to mind. Mellow and warm, the Brazilian quartzite of Nacarado is perfect for bathrooms, fireplaces, and exterior countertops. Available in several types of finish, Nacarado looks and feels great among brown and golds. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

Stone Countertops vs. Manmade: How Do They Hold Up?

Stone Countertops

Chances are, your kitchen countertop is among the most-used surfaces in your home. In turn, it’s critical to choose a very durable material that will stand the test of time, through daily cooking, wiping up and entertaining. At the same time, your countertop is a focal point of your kitchen design, so you also want it to be attractive. When looking for an option that satisfies both criteria, many homeowners land on stone countertops. But, which is better: natural or manmade? The answer all depends on the specific qualities and features you’re seeking in your countertop. So, let’s dive into some of the differences and explore what determines how well a countertop material will perform over time.

Stone Countertops vs. Manmade: How Do They Hold Up?

When it comes to how longwearing a particular countertop material is – in terms of maintaining its appearance and integrity – several things come into play. Key factors include:

  • Porosity – Kitchen countertops get subjected to a lot of water, from hand washing, ingredient rinsing and dish cleaning – not to mention possible spills of other liquids. So, the rate at which a surface absorbs moisture (its porosity) is a key consideration. Bear in mind that most stone countertops (with the exception of soapstone) will require regular sealing to arm against stains, etching, dark spots and bacteria/mold growth. Engineered countertop options like quartz are completely non-porous, meaning they don’t come with the extra maintenance step of applying and reapplying sealant over the years.
  • Finish – If you select a natural stone countertop, you’ll likely have a number of different finishes to choose from, while your options may be more limited with one of their manmade counterparts. A polished finish can look sleek, but a honed or leathered finish might be a more desirable option if you’re concerned about imperfections showing. On a countertop with light coloring in particular, opting for one of these textured finishes is a clever way to conceal any scratches or etch marks that might occur.
  • Resilience – Harder natural stones like granite and quartzite are well equipped to resist chips, scratches and heat, making them a wonderfully suited match for a countertop. Marble and soapstone are on the softer end of the spectrum, so these stone countertops are a bit more susceptible to damage in the course of daily use; but, they can be repaired in the event of a serious accident. Meanwhile, manmade materials like porcelain and quartz also make excellent hardwearing countertops that don’t require much maintenance. 
  • Care routine – As we mentioned above, it’s important to be attuned to whether your countertop needs sealing. Once you’ve established the right sealing schedule (if necessary), take the time to do your research to make sure you’re using appropriate cleaning products for the particular material. Harsh cleaners and rough scrubbers can cause damage like etching or break down the sealant (if applied), so they’re best avoided in favor of gentler products.

Last but certainly not least importantly, you’ll want to think about your price range for your new countertop when comparing options. Even if you’re on a budget, don’t count out more luxurious seeming materials like marble. They can actually be quite cost effective, depending on factors such as your chosen variety and finish. Just be sure to factor in fabrication and installation costs, which can be higher than you might expect for certain manufactured surfaces. 

Choose a Countertop That Checks All Your Boxes with Our Help 

If you love the unique blend of beauty and durability found in stone countertops and desire to bring them into your home, Cosmos Surfaces is here to help you do so for a competitive price. If you’re torn between stone countertops vs. manmade, our experts can assist you in making the best choice based on your maintenance preferences, budget and aesthetic vision. 

From elegant Absolute Black granite to exclusive Yukon Gold quartz, we offer something for everyone in our expansive selection. Preview the many outstanding options on our website, visit one of our showrooms scattered across the US or send us a message for individualized guidance on your search for your perfect surface! Whether it’s stone countertops, shower walls, a bathroom vanity or even flooring, our specialists can help you locate your ideal match and get it installed for enduring success.

Color of the Month: Serenity

Serenity is a misty light blue with notes of soothing grey. It creates a calming atmosphere in any room, perfect for a spa-like bedroom or bathroom.

A variety of colors and textures meld together to make up the quartzite named Fusion. Reminiscent of a canyon wall, waves of browns and reds merge with greens and silvers to create Fusion. The rich diversity of Fusion looks great installed as countertops and fireplaces, especially when paired with brown or black cabinets. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

A beautiful silvery blue curtain makes up the background of the Brazilian marble known as Australis. The feature that sets Australis apart from other marbles is the deep sapphire streaks that glitter throughout. Australis makes for beautiful countertops and backsplashes, as well as bathroom floors, vanities, and walls.

Stone Flooring vs. Manmade: How Does it Hold Up?

stone flooring

Are you ready to upgrade the flooring in a certain room or all throughout your home? You may find yourself at a fork in the road where you must decide between a manufactured floor or natural stone flooring. Both can have their pros and cons, so the better choice will ultimately depend on your specific priorities. Today, we’ll give you a closer look at how various manmade vs. natural floors tend to stand the test of time, what type of care they require and other key considerations.

Stone Flooring vs. Manmade: How Does it Hold Up?

Natural Stone

From marble to granite to quartzite to soapstone, there are a number of different natural stone flooring options which can perform marvelously over time with proper maintenance. By nature, these stones tend to feature a high level of durability, slip resistance and heat/UV resistance. 

One thing to be aware of when considering natural stone options is that many are porous; in other words, they can absorb water, stains and spills. Here’s what this means:

  • Porous stone surfaces will typically need to be sealed to protect against moisture intrusion, staining and etching.
  • When sealed according to the manufacturer instructions and on a proper schedule, a natural stone floor will be easy to care for using a cleaner approved for use on such materials.
  • Impregnating sealers usually offer the best protection and the most longevity on stones like marble, granite and quartzite.
  • If you’re looking for a stone floor you won’t have to seal, check out soapstone. The rare non-porous natural stone, it’s great for moist areas like the bathroom, where a slip proof floor is key.

So long as you stay on top of sealing it regularly (if necessary), natural stone flooring can deliver years of beauty, resilience and easy maintenance. With many varieties being readily resistant to fading, foot traffic and other everyday wear and tear, natural stone brings boundless options for refreshing the aesthetic and lastingness of floors throughout your home. It’s also a distinctly sustainable option that allows you to bring the Earth’s own natural splendors into your interior.

Manmade Options 

While natural stone has clear advantages, there are some applications for which you may wish to explore manufactured materials as well. Engineered quartz, ceramic and porcelain are a few alternatives of interest for those seeking a durable and easily-cared-for floor that’s made to last. 

Here are a few notable benefits (and some possible downfalls) to keep in mind:

  • Ceramic and porcelain are both rather durable. However, porcelain is generally more dense and less porous, thus boosting its ability to stand up to moisture and heavier foot traffic. But, ceramic tends to have the upper hand in terms of ease of use and affordability. Either material is unlikely to require sealing, although the grout in between tiles/pieces probably will need to be sealed for best results.
  • Engineered quartz is available in a vast range of gorgeous patterns which make for a stunning floor. Remarkably tough and scratch/stain resistant, it has few maintenance requirements and usually doesn’t need to be sealed. But, this surface can be hard to handle and thus may have a high price tag compared to other comparably durable choices. 
  • By virtue of being manufactured rather than quarried, manmade flooring options can come with concerns about chemicals. Even with heightened standards to prevent health and safety hazards and minimize environmental impact, this is something to keep in mind.

Hopefully this has helped to expand your awareness of the major differences between natural stone flooring versus manmade surface options. If you still need help making the right choice for your particular flooring renovation project, look no further than the experts at Cosmos Surfaces! 

Expectation-Exceeding Products, Service and Expertise 

Our second-generation surfacing specialists bring extensive knowledge of all the different surface selections we offer, which span from natural stone to engineered alternatives. When you source your new floor from Cosmos Surfaces – whether you opt for natural stone or another material – you can count on a highly positive experience from start to finish.

A few standouts from our collection include Alpine White granite, Blue Sky marble, Citrino quartzite, Calacatta Vintage quartz and Taj Mahal porcelain, just to name a few. Eager to explore our inventory and get personalized recommendations for stone flooring or other suitable options that align with your preferences and project specifications? Browse our online gallery and get in touch today! 

Color of the Month: Serenity

Serenity is a misty light blue with notes of soothing grey. It creates a calming atmosphere in any room, perfect for a spa-like bedroom or bathroom.

Azurra Bay quartzite combines a light blue background, with interweaving greyish-white layers giving the illusion of overlapping waves. The multi-directional lines in this Brazilian quartzite draw your sight away from the center giving a sense of spaciousness to any room it is used in. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

A cloudless blue sky meets the regal and dignified columns of ancient Rome is what Azul Imperiale brings to the imagination. A striking gold cuts through the mellow blue background, giving this Brazilian quartzite depth and beauty. Azul Imperiale creates a soft and light atmosphere, making it perfect for bathrooms and exterior environments. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

All About Using Quartzite in Bathroom Projects

quartzite in bathroom

Deep beneath the Earth’s surface, quartzite forms as sandstone and quartz crystals are exposed to extreme heat and pressure over time. The result of this metamorphosis is a marvelous and impressively enduring stone which lends itself to use throughout the home. Not to be confused with quartz – an engineered stone – quartzite is naturally occurring, giving it a distinct and unmatched organic beauty. Quartzite in bathroom applications is particularly popular, thanks to the material’s ability to withstand everyday wear and tear coupled with its tranquility-invoking appearance. 

With a hardness level comparable to granite and an alluring mystique reminiscent of marble, quartzite truly gives you the best of both worlds. Let’s walk through what to know when thinking of incorporating quartzite into a new or refreshed bathroom.

All About Using Quartzite in Bathroom Projects

From high durability to one-of-a-kind beauty, quartzite in bathroom applications has a lot to offer. But as with any surfacing material, it has certain characteristics and maintenance requirements which you should be aware of up front. Without further ado, let’s answer some key questions about using this natural stone for bathroom features like a backsplash, vanity, floor, tub surround or wall cladding:

  • Will my quartzite surfaces need to be sealed? – By virtue of being a natural stone, quartzite can differ in its porosity level depending on the specific variety. But, in a high-moisture environment like the bathroom, sealing and occasional resealing will almost always be recommended. An easy way to tell it’s time to reseal quartzite is when areas that are subject to splashing begin to look darkened, indicating that liquid is being absorbed into the material. Typically, sealing of quartzite in bathrooms is needed only about once per decade, but the timeline can vary.
  • Do I need to worry about stains on quartzite? – Quartzite surfaces are generally quite resistant to staining and fading, but once again, sealing will make them even more resilient. If you begin to notice discoloration in certain spots, even after thorough cleaning, this is a tell-tale sign that it’s time to seal your quartzite again.
  • How should I care for my quartzite surfaces? – A soft cloth or sponge and a mild, neutral cleaner approved for stone surfaces should do the trick to clean quartzite! To prevent water marks and grime, it’s good to get in the habit of wiping quartzite around your sink or shower dry promptly after each use. As an important note, you should never use harsh cleaners like bleach or abrasive scrubbing pads on quartzite or any other natural stone surface.

As you can see, quartzite is rather low maintenance and holds up well over time, making it a wonderful choice for a busy bathroom. It’s also among the more affordable natural stone surfaces, adding to its advantages for those on a budget.

Choosing the Right Quartzite for Your Bathroom

If you’re attracted to the aesthetic and practical benefits of quartzite, then the next question is which variety is the best match for your personal bathroom design. Regardless of your style, there’s a lot to choose from!

For example, Montezul is a gorgeous gray, gold and white quartzite with veining that tells the story of its time underground. Dense yet delicate looking, it makes for a glorious bathtub foundation or sink surround. 

Citrino is another showstopping quartzite with iridescent, celestial white and rich tones of gold and black sprawling across its surface. Particularly striking in bright light, this versatile quartzite can be at home in classic and contemporary bathroom schemes alike.

At Cosmos Surfaces, we have these and many other stunning varieties of quartzite in our vast inventory. Drawing on decades of experience, our natural stone authorities are available to help you decide on the perfect pick for your project!  

Browse Quartzite & Other Natural Stone Surfaces with Our Specialists

Whether you’re already eager to put quartzite in bathroom or you’d like to discover our full range of natural stone offerings before making your decision, it’s easy to get started with us. 

Browse our online gallery to learn more about our magnificent quartzites and other products we carry, and reach out anytime to consult our knowledgeable surface professionals about what will work best for your project. We also have showrooms across the U.S. you can visit to see our top-quality products in person! Begin your journey to finding and acquiring your ideal bathroom accents today with Cosmos, one of the nation’s leading surface suppliers.

Color of the Month: Paperplane

Paperplane is a soft, gray, sepia greige with an umber undertone. This soothing, pleasing neutral elevates any room and pairs beautifully with grayed or creamy whites.

The pale white background of this Brazilian quartzite is adorned by rays of charcoal and grey. The predictable patterns of the Invictus quartzite stone make it an excellent choice for adding elegance and energy to any space. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

Dark grey and green veins and waves cascade across a white background making Destin White a dynamic choice for any space. This high variance marble from Vermont, USA ensures that each application is a wholly unique experience.

What Are the Most Popular Quartzite Colors?

most popular quartzite colors

Quartzite is a virtually indestructible natural stone. This gorgeous metamorphic rock begins its journey as sandstone. When exposed to extreme heat and pressure from tectonic compression, sandstone transforms into the gorgeous, durable quartzite we know and love. The breathtaking beauty of quartzite is rivaled only by its uses in the home. Perfect for high-traffic kitchens, quartzite is available in a wide range of colors and patterns, but what are the most popular quartzite colors? Keep reading to find out and learn more about quartzite. 

Looking for gorgeous, high-quality quartzite? Browse our collection here.      

What is Quartzite?

Quartzite is often confused with quartz countertops, though they are completely different. Quartz countertops are man-made and combine roughly 90% quartz minerals with resin binders, pigments and other materials like crushed stone and recycled glass.

Quartzite, on the other hand, is a completely natural, quarried stone. One of its most significant and impressive properties is its hardness and durability. Quartzite is twice as hard as glass and harder than the blade of a knife, which means it’s unlikely to take on scratches, etches or other forms of damage. The sealer on the surface, however, might show wear, so it’s always important to use caution, even with durable stones like quartzite and granite.  

To learn more about quartzite, check out our blog post covering quartzite FAQs. You can also learn more about the difference between quartzite and quartz countertops and see how they compare here.   

The Most Popular Quartzite Colors

Natural stone can instantly elevate the look of a space. Whether dramatic, breathtaking patterns or serene, calming colors are more your speed, you’ll find a quartzite variation to make your heart sing. 

These are the most popular quartzite colors:

Taj Mahal 

Taj Mahal quartzite countertops are a consistent bestseller — and it’s easy to see why. This gorgeous natural stone may originate in Brazil, but its beautiful ivory white coloring serves as an instant reminder of the majestic monument to love it was named for. With a complex crystalline structure, Taj Mahal quartzite adds the perfect amount of detail balanced with a simple, soothing color scheme.   

Macaubus Fantasy

Invite the ocean breeze into your home with the calming swirls of Macaubas Fantasy quartzite. Soft, relaxing shades of blue, gray and touches of tan move gently across a white background, making it easy to match this stone with surrounding decor. Macaubus Fantasy makes a wonderful addition to kitchens, bathrooms, and even outdoor areas.        

Azurra Bay

True to its name, Azurra Bay quartzite features a light blue background with gray to white layers interweaving across its surface. The result is a stunning display that often reminds onlookers of overlapping ocean waves. Azurra Bay quartzite adds a level of detail and interest while maintaining a mostly neutral color scheme to suit a variety of design styles.

Dakar

Originating in Brazil, Dakar quartzite features a unique, dramatic pattern that instantly evokes the power of water. Dark gray veining sweeps and swirls across a light gray and white background, creating a sense of energy and movement. This eye-catching pattern makes Dakar quartzite perfect for use as an accent wall or main fixture in the home. It’s neutral tones can easily match surrounding furniture and decor, while the desirable properties of quartzite will make this stone easy to maintain over time.   

Calacatta Lux

Featuring light gray veining across a soothing white background, Calacatta Lux is an excellent option for anyone looking to create a spa-like sanctuary in their home. The light, bright palette of this stone can help open up your space, make it appear larger and reflect light to enhance the sense of a bright, fresh atmosphere. The veining patterns in Calacatta Lux are multi-directional, which helps create a gentle sense of rhythm and movement. 

Quartzite is highly resistant to staining, fading, taking on scratches, and showing wear. You can find a comprehensive guide on how to clean and maintain quartzite here

Where to Find Quartzite Countertops

If you have questions about quartzite or if you’re on the hunt for a reputable quartzite supplier, we’d love to hear from you! 

Cosmos Surfaces is a 2nd generation family-owned business, and we’re passionate about sourcing high-quality surfaces for homes and businesses. You can get in touch with our team by filling out our contact form today.

Color of the Month: Castle Stone

Castle Stone is a subdued, midtone green with azure undertones. It is a soothing color that works well in bedrooms and sitting rooms. Pair it with soft cream or and white trim for a light and airy effect.

A gorgeous gathering of greens from forest to seafoam, Verde Karzai green quartzite is the perfect material for bringing an earthy accent to your space. One of the perks of quartzite is the naturally occurring collage of colors and crystalline minerals. Verde Karzai green quartzite has that beautiful natural variation plus a pop of color.

Mountains of colors come to life in the quartzite named Galapagos. Galapagos brings to mind an aerial view of a cloudy mountainous, with peaks of green, rivers of blue and shadows of black. Unique layers and bands of color create a bold tone that looks great among blacks and silvers. Galapagos makes for interesting and artistic countertops and tables. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

Bathroom Remodel Tips from Industry Experts

bathroom remodel tips

Renovating a bathroom can make an old space feel brand new, but it can feel like a tremendous undertaking too. That’s why we’ve put together expert bathroom remodel tips to help you plan and perfect the ultimate bathroom renovation. Read on to see what the pros have to say.

Tips for Planning a Bathroom Renovation    

From new fixtures and plumbing updates to wallpaper and tiling options, there’s a lot to keep in mind when renovating. Proactive planning can help you save big by avoiding unforeseen costs and unnecessary work. Before you start gutting that outdated privy, keep the following in mind:

  • Consider your lifestyle and daily routine before all else. It’s no use shelling out for a luxury bathtub when you’re more likely to stick to quick morning showers.
  • Establish your budget and stick to it, leaving room for unexpected costs or repairs.
  • Note anything that’s not working in your current setup and see if you can improve in these areas. This includes planning around storage needs and always putting function over style.
  • Factor the number of people who use the bathroom into your plan. A double sink setup can help save time and avoid elbow wars when it’s time to get ready.
  • Plan your bathroom’s new layout upfront and avoid making last minute changes once renovations have started.
  • Avoid unnecessary changes to existing fixtures, as this will likely increase plumbing costs. 
  • Get a trusted plumber and electrician on board for any necessary repiping, rewiring or new lighting installations. 
  • Check your design with any trade professionals who will need to perform work (including a tiler, unless you plan to DIY) to make sure there won’t be any issues. 
  • When replacing bathroom fixtures, be sure to select and purchase those first. This ensures installations or alterations like hot and cold pipes are in the correct positions and that your new fixtures will fit. 
  • Instead of replacing a bathtub outright, consider re-enameling or replacing tub surrounds for a new look at a fraction of the cost.

Choosing New Materials For a Bathroom Renovation

From intricate wallpaper designs and waterproof paint to natural stone, selecting new materials for your bathroom can be a fun and daunting process. It’s important to ensure all materials are appropriate for use in bathroom settings. Let’s break down a few surfacing options to get you started.

Bathroom Remodel: Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain tiles are a popular choice for bathroom walls, flooring and shower surrounds. That’s because they are durable, colorfast, highly water-resistant and easy to clean. This budget-friendly, man made option is made from clay and fired at a high temperature. Porcelain tiles are available in a wide range of natural or man made colors and pattern options and can even be made to mimic the look of natural stone or woodgrain. Glazed porcelain tiles are inherently non-porous, which makes them appropriate for use in wet settings. Unglazed porcelain tiles are porous and need to be sealed regularly to protect against stains and moisture damage. To learn more, check out our guide to glazed vs. unglazed tiles

Bathroom Remodel: Natural Stone Tiles 

The look of natural stone might as well be synonymous with luxury. Whether you opt for a natural stone vanity countertop or stone tiling, this gorgeous material will elevate your new bathroom to levels of spa-like bliss. Bold colors and dramatic patterns can help create highly-effective accent areas, while serene hues and intricate veining creates a sense of calm and relaxation. The benefits of using natural stone in bathroom settings include:

  • Durability—stones like granite are highly-durable and make for an excellent long-term investment.
  • Aesthetics—while porcelain tiles can mimic the look of natural stone, nothing beats the real thing. Installing natural stone features can create a unique look and increase your home’s value.
  • Non-Slip Properties—opting for a textured stone can reduce the risk of slipping and falling in wet areas, such as bathrooms, kitchens and pool surrounds. 
  • Heat Retention—natural stones like soapstone have the ability to retain and radiate heat, which is a desirable quality in the winter and in bathrooms with heated floors.
  • Water-Resistant When Sealed—most types of natural stone will need to be sealed regularly to protect against moisture damage, but sealed natural stone has the benefit of easy maintenance—just be sure to use appropriate cleaners.

Bathroom Remodel: 3 Pro Design Tips

There are countless design styles that can help create the perfect bathroom sanctuary. These 3 design tips will go a long way towards making your bathroom remodel shine:

  1. Use large mirrors to make a small bathroom feel bigger.
  2. Limit your color palette to three hues and use the 60-30-10 rule—60% of the room should utilize your dominant color, 30% your secondary color and 10% your accent color.
  3. Waterproof vulnerable areas with tile backer boards and proper caulking upon installation and be sure to select waterproof paints and wallpaper that can withstand moist bathroom conditions.

Work with Cosmos!

If you have any questions about selecting surface materials for your bathroom remodel, reach out to Cosmos today! We bring decades of expertise to the table, and our pro team is always happy to help!

Color of the Month: Juniper Berry

Juniper Berry is a deep billiard green with azure undertones. Pair with touches of gold and off-white for a traditional theme in any kind of room.

Like black soapstone, jade soapstone has a deep and dark color, rich in its elegance. Its sleek appearance matches its smoothly honed finish. Jade soapstone’s cool color makes it great for countertops and fireplaces, as well as backsplashes and poolside bars. Jade soapstone matches well with soft grays and wood alike.

Bands of grey and veins of white create a wavy pattern reminiscent of the moon-lit sea. The distinctive layers add depth to the black background that is characteristic of the Agatha granite.

Benefits of a Natural Stone Outdoor Kitchen

stone outdoor kitchen
Home exterior backyard hardscape outdoor entertainment and cooking area with barbecue

The season for long, relaxing evenings spent outdoors with family and friends has finally arrived. A natural stone outdoor kitchen or bar allows you to maximize your outdoor time, entertain easily and make clean-up a breeze. If you’re considering making this wonderful addition to your home, you’ll want to invest in the best materials. In today’s post, the experts at Cosmos Surfaces discuss 5 benefits of a natural stone outdoor kitchen or bar. Let’s dive in.    

5 Benefits of a Natural Stone Outdoor Kitchen or Bar

Whether you simply want to enjoy the gorgeous weather or you love to entertain, a stone kitchen or bar outdoors is a great way to do it. Here are 5 benefits of installing a natural stone kitchen outside: 

  1. Durability

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to outdoor materials is durability in the face of wear and tear, and harsh weather. Natural stones like granite and quartzite are excellent options for outdoor kitchen countertops, bar tops or fireplace surrounds. These stones are hard, durable and naturally resistant to bacteria.    

  1. Weather Resistant

Granite and quartzite both hold up well to a wide range of temperatures. As both stones are highly heat resistant, they won’t take on damage from heat as a result of cooking or extreme temperatures. Conversely, surfaces with a man-made component—such as quartz countertops that are held together with resin binders—can melt or warp in the face of extreme heat or direct sunlight. Porous stones run the risk of moisture damage, especially in the winter as water gets into the stone, freezes and expands. As a result, it’s imperative to seal porous natural stones regularly and ensure you’re selecting the best natural stone for your needs. 

  1. Aesthetically Cohesive

Natural stone outdoor countertops transition beautifully to outdoor landscaping and features like stone paths, stone garden walls or natural water features like ponds and water fountains. Opting for natural stone will create a cohesive, aesthetically pleasing look to your backyard oasis. Another reason we love natural stones like granite for the outdoors is that it’s eco-friendly. Our natural stone is sustainably sourced and won’t give off toxic chemical emissions the way man-made and manufactured products, like those containing plastics sometimes do.

  1. Easy to Maintain

Natural stone features are a fan favorite in the home because they’re beautiful, highly functional and easy to clean and maintain for generations. This translates to the outdoors as well. Make entertaining stress-free with a stone kitchen or bar top for your outdoor patio or entertainment area. To clean granite, simply wipe it down with a cleaner that is safe to use on natural stone. Regular sealing will go a long way toward maintaining your stone in the long run, while stubborn stains can be removed from natural stone in several ways.  

  1. Increases Home Value

Whether you decide to install natural stone on the inside or outside of your abode, it’s sure to boost your home’s overall value. Natural stone is synonymous with aesthetic beauty and luxury. An investment in natural stone is both long-lasting and sustainable. Outdoor entertainment areas, like an outdoor kitchen or bar, make for a highly sought-after feature that’s sure to catch any buyer’s eye. The National Association of Realtors reports that over 50% of home buyers are willing to pay more for a home with an outdoor living space, and outdoor kitchens are rising in popularity. This means an outdoor natural stone addition will help you create your own memories, while providing you with an excellent return on your investment if you ever decide to move on.

Natural Stone at Cosmos Surfaces

Natural stones can be used for a variety of outdoor applications, including countertops, walkways, fire pit or brick oven surrounds, pools surrounds, garden walls and outdoor patios. If you have questions about using natural stone for outdoor features like kitchens, bars, patios or fire pits, let us know! 

Cosmos Surfaces is a 2nd generation, family-owned and operated business. We pride ourselves on sourcing high quality, sustainable products in a way that is respectful to the planet and local communities. Our team of experts is always happy to help answer questions and provide guidance on selecting the best natural stone to suit your needs and your budget. Contact Cosmos Surfaces today to learn more about our wide selection of natural stone products

Color of the Month: Molasses

Molasses is a rich brown sugar color reminiscent of gingerbread, perfect for accent walls. Pair it with earthy natural stone or wood for dark honeyed tones.

Audax is a type of schist that is dynamically layered and one-of-a-kind. The layers create fluid bands of brown, black, silver, and white that is stunningly complex and pleasing to the eye. A work of art, audax looks great in kitchens and bathrooms. The long bands of layers can be installed as floors and countertops.

Rivers of gray and brown flow across this stunning white Brazilian marble. The Crystal River has a beautifully subtle pallet of whites, grays, and browns that help create an atmosphere of softness and sophistication, making it a perfect choice for traditional and modern homes alike. This marble is adored by homeowners for its simple elegance and is often seen as kitchen counters and bathroom vanities.

Your Guide to DIY Tiling

diy tiling

There’s great joy to be found in tackling home improvement projects yourself. Going the DIY route doesn’t only help you save big on costs, it can be an incredibly satisfying experience. That is, if you know what you’re doing. A little research upfront can ensure that things go smoothly and helps you avoid a multitude of headaches and frustrations. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide to DIY tiling to help you succeed at elevating your space with gorgeous new tiling. 

Installing Tile at Home  

Here at Cosmos, we’ll always point out when homeowners should call in professional help with installations. Luckily, with a little patience and know-how, laying tile yourself is a project most homeowners can take on with confidence.

If you’re on the hunt for beautiful, high-quality tiles, Cosmos Surfaces offers a wide range of colors and patterns that work for any design style.  

DIY Tile Laying: What You’ll Need  

There are several methods for laying tile in your home. Before you start, it’s always a good idea to check with your tile manufacturer to ensure your chosen installation method is appropriate. It’s important to note that installing tile floors takes at least several days to complete as mortar and grout need time to dry. You won’t be able to walk on your new floor immediately, so be sure to plan accordingly. Once you’ve chosen tiles for your home, you’ll want to stock up on a few tile laying essentials. The following items will help you become DIY tiling pro in no time:

  • Tile membrane (optional)
  • Waterproofing tape (to waterproof tile membrane seams)
  • Utility knife
  • Trowel
  • Thinset mortar
  • Enough tile to cover the area (and some extra)
  • Grout
  • Tile cutter (for simple cuts), tile nipper (for cutting curves) and/or tile hole saw (for cutting holes)
  • Chalk reel
  • Tile spacers
  • Wet sponge
  • Long level
  • Rubber mallet

To remove existing flooring, chisel out the old tile, use a floor scraper to remove old mortar and fill in any uneven spots with leveling compound. Once you have a clean, flat surface, you’re ready to install your new tiles.

How to Install New Tile Floors 

The following is one of several methods to install tile floors at home:

  1. Install a Tile Membrane

The substrate—or surface your tiles are installed on—is an important consideration when tiling. Surfaces that expand or contract with humidity fluctuations can place stress on your tiles, causing cracks. Installing an uncoupling tile membrane as a substrate can lessen this tension and create a waterproof barrier. Using a utility knife, cut the tile membrane to size. Next, spread thinset mortar on the subfloor with the smooth side of your trowel before combing it with the notched side. Work one section at a time so that mortar doesn’t dry before you can install the membrane. Roll the membrane out and press it into the thinset mortar (you can use a wooden float for this). Repeat the process one section at a time and finish by sealing membrane seams, along with where the membrane meets the wall, with waterproof tape.

  1. Create Reference Lines and Dry Fit Tiles  

Measure the center points of opposing walls and snap a chalk line between the two. Repeat with remaining walls to create a central starting point for laying out your tile laying pattern. Snap chalk lines for reference as necessary for your tile pattern. Check your layout by dry fitting tiles with tile spacers to ensure you leave correct expansion gaps. Allow ¼-inch of space along the outer edges of your tiles. If you end with small sections of tile on one end, you can shift the layout, just remember to mark new reference lines. 

  1. Prepare and Spread Mortar 

Mix thinset mortar to a peanut butter consistency. Starting at the centerpoint, spread mortar evenly, then comb at a 45-degree angle with the notched side of your trowel. Work one section at a time to prevent mortar from drying.

  1. Start Laying Down Tiles

Begin laying down tiles along the reference line you created in the center of the room, placing tile spacers between each tile. Ensure tiles make proper contact with the mortar as you go along, applying mortar to the back of tiles whenever necessary. 

  1. Ensure Tiles Are Level

Wipe excess mortar from tiles with a wet sponge as you work and use a long level to check for evenness. Gently tamp down any high spots with a rubber mallet. Cut tile as needed as you approach edges, and don’t forget to leave a ¼-inch gap at the edges and around any plumbing.

  1. Allow Mortar to Dry

Once you’ve finished laying down tile, allow 24 hours for the mortar to set before applying grout.

  1. Apply Grout

Remove spacers from between tiles, then apply your choice of grout color to the joints by pressing it in with a rubber float, then pulling grout diagonally across tiles to remove the excess. After roughly 30 minutes, wipe grout lines  and clean tiles with a wet sponge. Allow up to 72 hours for grout to set before walking on your newly tiled floor (check the manufacturer’s instructions for setting times). Apply a silicone sealant to expansion gaps at floor edges. After 3 weeks, you can seal your grout to protect it.   

Work with Cosmos Surfaces

We hope you’ve found this guide to DIY tiling helpful. Cosmos Surfaces is a 2nd generation, family-owned business dedicated to providing you with knowledge, excellent customer service and high-quality surface materials. We offer a wide range of tile products and we’re always happy to answer questions and provide expert advice. Contact us today to get started!

Color of the Month: Saffron

Saffron is a radiant gold with bright and deep undertones. It is perfect for adding sunny color to the walls in any living space. Pair with deep toned antiques or clean black and white.

A sun-soaked desert, Solarius creates a warm and inviting atmosphere in any room. Diverse and multicolored, gold, white, and black make up this exotic Brazilian granite. The variety in Solarius makes it perfectly versatile for any space, both interior and exterior. Use Solarius for bathrooms, kitchens, entryways, or outdoor patios.

A sheet of gold, it’s no surprise how Golden Paradise got its name. But it’s not just gold – look deeper to see the crystals of whites and grays that make up this Brazilian quartzite. Highly translucent, Golden Paradise makes for spectacular floors, walls, and fireplaces and matches well with blacks and woods. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

Designing with Textured Natural Stone

natural stone texture

Breathtaking design engages the senses. Gorgeous color palettes can go a long way, but using textures with intention will turn your space into a sensory experience. In this post, our experts provide tips for incorporating natural stone texture into your interior design. 

How Natural Stone Texture Affects Design

Polished and honed surfaces are popular and often seen in the home. Polished surfaces are sleek and shiny, invoking a sense of high-end luxury. Honed surfaces have less shine, favoring a matte finish that creates a soft, warm glow. 

On the opposite end of the spectrum, textured stone finishes are growing in popularity. Textured natural stone offers a great way to make your space unique and inviting. Stone finishes rapidly rising in popularity include: 

  • Leathered finishes—stones with a leathered finish have natural pits and fissures, creating texture and depth. Leathered finishes show less staining, scratches and fingerprints than polished surfaces, but may be harder to clean. Textured stone with a leathered finish works well in areas like bar tops, where it creates a warm, inviting feeling. Textured stones are also less slippery, which makes them an excellent choice in areas like bathrooms or as pool surrounds.
  • Flamed finishes have textured, slightly bumpy surfaces. This finish can lighten the stone, creating a natural, faded appearance perfect for outdoor applications like floors, pavers and outdoor kitchens. 

The Benefits of Textured Stone

Textured finishes can be a wonderful addition to a space. Let’s look at just a few of the benefits of working with a textured natural stone surface:

  • Less prone to showing water spots, smudges and fingerprints.
  • Helps hide scratches, chips and staining. 
  • Non-slip textures are excellent options for bathrooms, pool and jacuzzi surrounds.
  • Textured finishes help bring out the natural colors and patterns in a stone. Sleek, glossy finishes—like polished finishes—can slightly obscure a stone’s true beauty. 

Changing Stone Texture

Stone quarries typically apply an initial texture to stone slabs. You can work with a natural stone fabricator to change the finish on a slab of stone before installation. It’s important to note that not all types of stone can accept all types of finishes. To learn more about different stone finishes and which stones can accept them, take a look at our post on how to choose a textured finish.

Sealing Textured Stone

While some textured stone finishes—like leathered finishes—are more stain-resistant than honed finishes, they still need to be sealed properly. A good sealant protects stone against staining and other types of damage, like moisture damage, mold and bacteria growth. Sealed stone surfaces are also easier to clean and maintain. To learn more about sealing natural stone, check out our blog post all about sealing natural stone

Tips for Designing with Textured Natural Stone

To get the most out of your natural stone texture, consider the following design tips:

  • Pair textured natural stone with sleek, polished surfaces to complement their modern look. Intentional contrasts create visual interest and depth. 
  • Use textured natural stone to complete a rustic, farmhouse-inspired aesthetic. 
  • Incorporate natural elements like plants, wood and water features around textured natural stone for a warm, earthy feel. 

Textured Stone Cleaning Tips

Stone surfaces can often be cleaned with warm water, mild dish soap and non-abrasive cloths or sponges. Textured surfaces can hide dirt and staining better than smooth surfaces can, but dirt and grime can also get stuck in grooves and fissures. Performing regular deep cleanings of textured stone will help prevent permanent staining and discoloration. The following tips can go a long way:

  • Use a vacuum cleaner—vacuum flooring to remove loose dirt. Hand-held vacuum cleaners can be used on countertops to remove loose debris from grooves and fissures.
  • Steam clean flooring—whether you have granite, marble, quartzite, slate or another type of natural stone flooring, a steam mop is typically a safe choice for cleaning, as it is chemical free and won’t damage the stone. Always check with a manufacturer to ensure products are safe to use on the types of natural stone in your home.
  • Use a baking soda paste—add just enough water to baking soda to form a paste. Next, dip a cleaning brush with soft bristles into the mixture and gently scrub any problem areas. Be sure to test this method first on a small, somewhat hidden area to ensure you aren’t damaging the stone. 

Work with Cosmos!

If you have questions about how you can use natural stone texture in your space, reach out to Cosmos Surfaces today! We offer a wide selection of natural stone and our team of experts is always happy to help!

Color of the Month: Vanilla

Vanilla is a neutral, soft-toned white with honey undertones, perfect for a main wall or any room of your choice. Pair with white accents or softer sand-toned colors, or pops of floral inspired reds, teals, and corals.

The light beige background of the Istanbul granite is interspersed with fields of white and deep golden veins. The shifting patterns and earthy tones of this Brazilian granite give each slab a unique appearance, making it a popular choice in varying applications for projects of all sizes.

Luxury on a Budget with Natural Stone

granite on a budget

The look and feel of natural stone are just about synonymous with luxury, and adding stones like marble or granite to a space can instantly elevate its interior design. While some homeowners might feel their budgets aren’t big enough to include natural stone, there are plenty of ways to make it work. In today’s post, we discuss how you can incorporate the beauty of natural stones like granite on a budget.

Accent Areas

If your budget doesn’t allow for entire floors, walls or kitchen features made of natural stone, accent areas are your best friend! With just a little bit of planning and intention, you can create breathtaking, dramatic centerpieces that draw the eye and instill a sense of timeless luxury. Using natural stone for backsplash, smaller accent walls, fireplace surrounds or small design details around the home can go a long way. It’s a good idea to focus on key areas that are highly visible, creating a focal point to design around. Natural stone tends to pair beautifully with other natural features like wood or water features, like indoor fountains. 

Functionality is Key

Aside from its inherent beauty, one of the reasons natural stone is so beloved among interior designers is for its functionality. By concentrating your budget on a key area where a stone can perform both aesthetically and practically, you’ll be making a long-term investment that could save you money in the long run. Granite and quartzite both make excellent choices for high-traffic areas like kitchen countertops, and both types of stone are incredibly durable and easy to maintain. A natural stone countertop can last for more than a lifetime, which means you’ll likely save time and money by negating the need to replace cheaper countertop materials multiple times during the same span of time. 

Let Stone Remnants Reign!

Stone remnants are smaller pieces of stone left over from large slabs or custom projects that require stone to be cut. These remnants can often be used in highly effective ways. Let’s say, for example, you’ve completed a project that involved a slab of stone being cut down to fit a space in your home. Those leftover remnants can be used as trim, shelving, small table-tops, cutting/serving boards, plant stands, wall art or other details around the home. This technique can be a great way to tie the look of a room together. In fact, we have an entire blog post on how to use natural stone remnants if you’re looking for inspiration! Stone slab suppliers like Cosmos are often happy to repurpose remnants instead of letting them go to waste, so if purchasing an entire slab of stone is beyond your budget, reach out and see what’s available!

Production and Pricing 

By making certain adjustments along the production process, it’s possible to reduce the price of the final product. Finishing details like a countertop edge type or the type of finish applied to a stone can change its overall price tag. If you have your heart set on a stone that’s just outside of your budget, consult with a professional to see if any adjustments can be made at various points along the production process. 

Using Natural Stones like Granite on a Budget

A smaller budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice getting the look and feel you want in your space. There are plenty of creative ways to incorporate natural stones like granite on a budget. From accent walls to making use of smaller stone remnants, we hope you found this post helpful! Our team is always happy to discuss projects and give insight into how you can make natural stone surfaces work for you. We can also make recommendations based on your needs and your budget, as you never know when the same look and feel can be achieved with a different, more inexpensive type of stone. 

Cosmos Surfaces offers a range of natural stone products in gorgeous patterns and colors to suit any design style. If you have questions about natural stone slabs or where to find stone remnants, reach out to Cosmos Surfaces today! We bring decades of expertise to the table, and we would love to help you design your dream home.

Color of the Month: Silver Leaf

Silver Leaf is a subdued, ethereal green with azure undertones. It is a soothing, yet inviting color, perfect for a bedroom or kitchen when paired with soft cream and white.

Named after the famous Renaissance artist, Botticelli is an artful masterpiece. Intensely complex, Botticelli is comprised of swirls, waves, and layers of color. Browns and golds meet grays and blacks in this Brazilian quartzite. Whether for flooring, tables, or countertops, Botticelli is sure to turn any room into a work of art. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

Vostok granite is reminiscent of ocean waves rolling in over a black sand beach, with varying shades of deep green, rich dark brown, and mysterious gray. Occasional streaks of refreshing white break over the waves. Vostok is a beautiful and durable choice for flooring, tables, countertops, and more.

Spa Master Bathroom Ideas with Natural Stone

spa master bathroom ideas

The demands of modern-day living can leave us feeling tired, stressed and anxious. With the ongoing global pandemic adding to these feelings, designers have seen a steady increase in the popularity of relaxing, spa-like spaces in the home. The importance of self-care and occasionally disconnecting from our screens cannot be overstated. That’s why today’s post is all about spa master bathroom ideas that can help you unwind in the comfort of your own home. 

Natural Stone Bliss

One of the most powerful ways to recreate that traditional spa-like feel is to incorporate natural features like plants, wood and natural stone. With so many gorgeous colors and patterns available, natural stone can work wonders when used with intention. Soothing colors like blue, green, grey and white can create a sense of calm and connection to the natural world, while dreamy, swirling patterns can have a soothing effect. On the other end of the spectrum, dramatic colors and patterns can help create a sense of energy and movement, helping you recharge and awakening your creative senses.

An integral part of recreating the spa experience lies in creating a sense of luxury and self-care. By incorporating natural stone into your master bathroom, you can truly elevate the sense of luxury in your space, creating your own private refuge from the world. 

Tips for Incorporating Natural Stone

  • Marbles like Calacatta can create a soft, soothing and luxurious look.
  • Granite and quartzite both hold up well to everyday wear and tear and are easy to maintain.
  • Honed, textured or matte stone finishes, rather than polished finishes, can add a soft look and luxurious feel.  
  • Using decorative edge types, like an ogee edge for vanity countertops can add a sense of spa-inspired detail and luxury.
  • Natural stone can retain heat. As a result, it makes a great option for heated flooring. 
  • Warm-toned stones like Magma Gold and Golden Paradise pair well with wooden tones and features.

Tips for Maximizing the Spa Experience at Home

  • Reduce sensory stimuli and avoid bringing screens into the bathroom space.
  • Keep things clean and simple, removing as much clutter as possible. 
  • Avoid using bright lights, highly reflective/shiny surfaces and flashy colors. Instead, opt for matte, soft finishes and muted color tones.
  • Incorporate relaxing audio into your space, either by playing sounds like wind chimes, birdsongs or relaxing music, or by using features like indoor water fountains to foster a sense of connection with nature.
  • Make luxury a part of your design plan by installing “pampering” additions like towel warmers and heated flooring.
  • Arrange furniture in a way that maximizes openness. 
  • Allow as much natural light in as possible, as this not only helps improve mood, but also helps reset our circadian rhythms. 

Maintenance Tips for Natural Stone in a Bathroom

Natural stone is a long-term investment, and while some stones require more care than others, all types of stone require some measure of care. To protect your investment, be sure to take the following steps:

  • Most types of natural stone require regular sealing to protect it from moisture damage and staining. Check out our blog post all about sealing natural stone for an in-depth look at this topic.
  • Use mild soap or a dedicated stone cleaner on stone surfaces to remove soap scum and other types of build-up. Always be sure to rinse the stone thoroughly and dry it off with a soft cloth, such as a microfiber cloth. 
  • Cleaning and sealing grout can keep your bathroom looking fresh and luxurious.
  • Ensure that the space is well ventilated and whenever possible, wipe down, rinse and dry stone surfaces after use. 
  • Stones like marble require diligent maintenance to help keep it looking gorgeous. Our post on how to clean a marble shower provides helpful tips for daily cleanings, as well as deep cleaning.

Work with Cosmos Surfaces for Spa Master Bathroom Ideas

Here at Cosmos, we are big self-care advocates who believe your home should be your sanctuary. We would love to help you create the relaxing spa master bathroom of your dreams! If you have questions about surface materials, contact us or give us a call today! Cosmos Surfaces has a gorgeous selection of natural stone surfaces and our team of experts is always ready to help.

Color of the Month: Silver Leaf

Silver Leaf is a subdued, ethereal green with azure undertones. It is a soothing, yet inviting color, perfect for a bedroom or kitchen when paired with soft cream and white.

On Kamarica granite, sea foam green, rust orange, soft ivory and space gray swirl and twirl with one another to produce magical shapes. Bold yet sophisticated, this exotic, naturally occurring Brazilian stone is an awe-inspiring choice that works well for countertops, backsplashes, window sills, walls and many other interior design projects.

Alexandrita Quartzite is a type of light green quartzite; a beautiful, tranquil stone that is perfect for countertops, floors, wall applications, backsplashes, and more. The soft hues of green, ivory, and peach create a calming effect, reminiscent of sand and sea foam. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched. Call your nearest location and see this beautiful green quartzite for yourself!

A Guide to Tile Laying Patterns: Part 2

guide to laying tile

Welcome to the second of our two-part guide on tile pattern ideas! In A Guide to Tile Laying Patterns: Part 1, we covered some of the most popular single- and two-tile patterns out there, but now it’s time to kick things up a notch. In this post, we’ll explore three-tile, multi-tile and large format tile patterns, as well as backsplash ideas.

THREE-TILE AND MULTI-TILE PATTERNS

By adding more unique tiles to a pattern, it’s possible to achieve a level of design and complexity that is totally unique to your space. Let’s look at a few popular three-tile and multi-tile pattern ideas:

Layered Corridor

Typically, a corridor pattern is achieved by selecting at least two tiles that differ in size, color or material and laying them in alternating rows for a “corridor” effect. You can add complexity to this pattern by using three or more unique types of tile and alternating with each row. Using a variety of tile sizes works well for this layout.

Versailles

versailles

Also known as the “French pattern,” the Versailles layout uses four tiles in varying sizes. Pairing tiles with complimentary color and texture variations gives this pattern a wonderful sense of detail and complexity.

The Versailles layout requires some exact measurement—the design creates a repeatable 8 square foot area utilizing four 8” x 8” squares, four 16” x 16” squares, two 8” x 16” rectangles and two 16” x 24” rectangles.

Soldiered

This one is quite similar to a windmill layout, which we covered in Part 1, but in this version a large square tile is used in the center, while varying smaller tiles alternate around its border. This is an excellent opportunity to utilize accent colors and match them to other design elements in a room.

In order to lay down this pattern, you’ll need a large square tile, a smaller square tile half its size, and a rectangular tile with the dimensions you would get if you cut the larger square tile in half. As an example, you could use a 12” x 12” large square tile, a 6” x 6” smaller square tile and a 6” x 12” rectangular tile.

LARGE-FORMAT TILES

Due to their size, it can be hard to use complex patterns with large-format tiles. Instead, a few of the simpler layouts can be modified to add interest and variation.

Stepped Brick Patterns

When using large format rectangular tiles, a stepped brick pattern is a great way to add detail and energy to a layout. In this pattern, rows are offset incrementally in one direction, creating a flowing “step” effect. Pro-tip: laying large rectangular tiles vertically can make a room feel larger.

Herringbone Insert

Another modification that works well with large rectangles is the herringbone insert. In this pattern, two smaller square tiles are used in the corner to complete the classic “L” shape the herringbone pattern is known for. You can lay down two of your large rectangular tiles to create an “L” while leaving room to insert two smaller square tiles in the corner.

Staggered Corridor

staggered corridor

A staggered corridor is a great way to add simple variation to large-format tiles. Using long, narrow rectangles and alternating rows with even narrower tiles works well. For the staggered effect, you can randomly stagger the offset between rows to create playful complexity.

BACKSPLASH

The smaller tiles typically used for backsplash opens the door to a plethora of patterns. Many of the layouts we’ve discussed for walls and flooring can be used for backsplash as well, but let’s look at some ideas that work particularly well for backsplash:

Mosaic

mosaic

Mosaic tiles are very small (think 1” x 1”) and typically repeat in shapes or patterns to create a complex, textured look. Mosaic tiles require more grout, and due to the “busy” look they are known for, these tiles work best in accent areas. The possibilities for pattern designs are just about endless, but even using just one color can still add texture and a look of complexity to a space.

Hexagon

hexagon

Hexagonal shaped tiles fit together perfectly, making installation simple and straightforward, but you can still introduce patterns like simple flowers or abstract designs by utilizing different colors and textures.

Lacework Patterns

A lacework pattern uses small square tiles and small rectangular tiles installed at a 45-degree angle. Alternate between squares and rectangles and offset the alignment of your rows so that square tiles and rectangular tiles line up.

Need More Tile Pattern Ideas? Work With Cosmos

We hope you’ve found our guide to tile pattern ideas useful! This is by no means an exhaustive list of the possibilities out there, and many of these patterns can be modified to create the look of your dreams.

If you have questions about tiling or other surface materials, get in touch with Cosmos! We offer a wide selection of products, and our blog provides information on materials, cleaning, maintenance and design tips!

Color of the Month: Chive

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 16-0323, Chive! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “A savory herbal green, Chive imparts a healthy and restorative harmony.”

Peacocks are known for their brilliant, iridescent plumage, and this Peacock Green granite is known for its similarly dazzling effect. Feather-like wisps of dark forest green, sage, and indigo dance with subtle flecks of orange and beige. This green granite would look sumptuous and inviting in any interior or exterior space: tabletops, flooring, countertops, vanities, waterfall islands, patios, backsplashes, and more. See this luxe green granite for yourself at a Cosmos location near you.

Colored Natural Stone: An Interior Design Comeback

natural stones sustainable

Natural stone surfaces make for gorgeous, eye-catching features in the home. In addition to its status as a sustainable, durable material, natural stone can be a powerful design element, adding color and texture to any space. In this post, the experts at Cosmos discuss different types of colored natural stone, interior design enthusiasts can’t get enough of.

Breaking Away from Black and White

Black and white design motifs have long been considered timeless and classic. However, colored stones are rising in popularity once again. Whether warm, inviting spaces or dark, dramatic palettes suit your design needs, colored natural stone is making a comeback in a big way.

Dark Natural Stone Colors

Dark colored stones are an excellent option for countertops, walls or flooring, especially in spaces that open out into gardens or outdoor patios. In these cases, the same stone can be used indoors and outdoors, creating a continuous or “infinity” look. Darker hues make for a dramatic effect that contrasts beautifully with lighter-colored furniture and appliances. Stones like quartzite, granite and slate come in a variety of dark colors, including shades of blue, grey, green and brown. These various dark tones can help create a cozy, rustic look that plays well with natural elements like plants, wood and water.

Warm Tones in Natural Stone

Warm hued natural stone colors can range from dramatic, fiery red tones to subtler reddish, brown and yellow tones. Bright, dramatic reds inspire a sense of energy and expression, while subtler hues within this color family help create a warm, inviting atmosphere. This makes warm colored natural stone an excellent choice for spaces often used for entertaining. A marble stone like Daino Reale Extra is an excellent example of a warm, inviting stone with gorgeous brown and white tones.

Stones with ochre, honey or yellow hues help create a bright, happy atmosphere, while pale yellows pair well with elements in complimentary pastel colors, like mint green, sky tones and violet.

Blue Natural Stone

Blue tends to be a popular color family for both interior and exterior stones. Lighter sky-blue tones can have a calm, soothing effect, while saturated blue hues pair well with contrasting tones like white or yellow to create a more energetic, dramatic effect. Azul Bahia is a breathtaking blue granite that can add a gorgeous pop of color to fireplaces, countertops, showers, floors and other surfaces.

Green Natural Stone

Green natural stone can create a serene, tranquil feeling that pairs well with natural elements in the home. Our blog post all about green natural stone takes an in-depth look at different types of green stone, like soapstone and green granites like Emerald Pearl, exploring their properties.

Neutral Stone Colors

Neutral stone colors can include off-whites, greys and black in warm or cool hues. These colors have long been favored in design because of their versatility. Pairing well with nearly all other color palettes, cool neutral colors work beautifully in modern spaces and contrast well with white. Gray stone colors from a warmer palette create an inviting atmosphere and play well against natural features like wood. A marble like Grey Imperiale features multiple shades of grey along with white veining, adding depth to the stone and pairing well with darker colors.

Natural Stone Accent Colors

Many types of natural stone have features like veining or dramatic bursts of color on an otherwise neutral backdrop. These stones can be used to great effect, drawing the eye in order to accent specific pops of color. These colors can often be matched with surrounding furniture or other design elements in the home to help tie a room together.

How Natural Stone Colors Affect Your Mood

Aside from helping us create a desired aesthetic in the home, the colors we use in our spaces can affect our emotions when we spend time in those spaces. Our blog post on how natural stone colors can affect your mood takes an in-depth look at the emotional effect various stone colors can have on us.

Work with Cosmos!

If you have questions about colored natural stone, or if you are searching for a stone with specific color properties, Cosmos can help!

Cosmos Surfaces is a 2nd generation, family-owned business dedicated to providing you with knowledge, meaningful customer service and high-quality surface materials. We offer a wide range of products and resources to assist our customers in their surface material needs.  Contact us today to get started!

Color of the Month: Ash

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 16-3802, Ash! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “Solid and strong, eternally timeless Ash conveys a message of longevity.”

They say every cloud has a silver lining, which is exactly the idiom that this quartzite brings to mind. Flashes of silvery white streak through a curtain of cloudy grey to create a stormy but hopeful atmosphere. Install Silver Lining in bathrooms to set a rejuvenating mood or in kitchens to complement a modern aesthetic. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

How to Use Stacked Stone Tile

stacked stone

Could your current dining/living area design be described as “rustic yet modern”? Or, maybe this blend of design styles applies more aptly to your dream entertaining space. In either case, stacked stone tile is a surfacing trend which may very well appeal to you. In this article, Cosmos Surfaces will tell you all about how stacked stone can be used to accentuate the interior or exterior of your home. Plus, we’ll offer pointers on what to consider when deciding whether this material is a good fit for your design & lifestyle.

What Is Stacked Stone?

First off, let’s discuss what stacked stone is made of and how it’s installed. To achieve the contemporary-meets-rustic look, cut pieces of natural stone in varying sizes are applied to a substrate, which is then affixed to the wall. Similar to the method typically used to install tile, this process creates a textured, visually intriguing stone veneer surface.

One major difference that sets stacked stone tile apart from other tiled & stone surfaces? When installing the stones, no grout is used, creating the appearance of a seamless wall. And unlike rugged stone walls of the past, stacked stone pieces feature sharply cut edges and a smooth finish, making for a more contemporary look. These techniques work together to define the distinctly modern aesthetic of this multi-dimensional stone application.

Where Can Stacked Stone Tile Be Used?

As mentioned above, stacked stone tile is appropriate for both indoor & outdoor use. Inside the home, it might be crafted into an unforgettable backsplash, feature wall or fireplace surround. Leverage its rustic elegance throughout the home, from the bathroom to the kitchen to the family room!

Blending classic & contemporary charm, stacked stone looks superb in outdoor kitchens. Strong and durable enough to withstand the elements, it can be used in landscaping applications, as well as to call attention to certain exterior features of the home. Stacked stone is commonly affixed to columns or installed around doors, and it is often applied below siding to add rustic flair.

Regardless of where it is installed, stacked stone will provide one-of-a-kind beauty for many years to come.

Considerations for Stacked Stone Applications

Thinking of incorporating stacked stone into your home’s interior or exterior, now that you know about its amazing aesthetic value? Here are a few important things to consider:

  • Factor in your desired finish – When choosing a material, keep in mind that stacked stone can have a polished or natural finish. Harder stones like granite & quartzite are better suited if a polished finish is desired, whereas softer stones work well with a natural finish.
  • Be prepared for color variation – Because stacked stone tile is made with natural stone, some color variation is a given. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to pull colors from your stacked stone surface to inspire your color palette for other elements in the space.
  • Keep in mind that pricing can vary – With more changes to the natural stone comes a higher project price, generally speaking. For instance, requesting a polished finish or a more labor-intensive edge style can make stacked stone more costly.

Caring for Stacked Stone

Stacked stone is quite simple to maintain. Being that it is used on vertical surfaces, this feature material does not receive foot traffic, nor is it subjected to daily wear and tear like a countertop. Still, it is important to practice these steps to keep stacked stone pristine over time:

  • If placed in your kitchen or around your fireplace, there’s a good chance that stacked stone will get food splatters or discolored areas. Luckily, wiping with a neutral stone cleaner as needed should take care of any spots.
  • Dust buildup on stacked stone ledges can be easily removed with a handheld vacuum or duster.
  • Annual sealing is recommended to extend the longevity of your stacked stone, plus make it easier to maintain. Sealing is especially important for stacked stone installed in a kitchen, bathroom or fireplace surround.

Plan Your Stone Surfacing Project with Our Specialists

At Cosmos Surfaces, we are dedicated to helping homeowners & industry professionals complete their surfacing projects to perfection. Whether you are interested in a stacked stone accent wall, a dazzling natural stone countertop or some other stone surface, our experts are here to help you plan and execute your vision. We invite you to preview our expansive collection online & get in touch with your trusted stone supplier for professional assistance!

Color of the Month: Ash

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 16-3802, Ash! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “Solid and strong, eternally timeless Ash conveys a message of longevity.”

Cielo is a mellow type of quartzite that originates in Brazil. The overarching browns of Cielo are off-set by whites, greys, and silvers that form a sky-like visual that is heavenly. The cloudy atmosphere of Cielo looks perfect next to silvers and blacks when installed as calming bathroom vanities and soft, modern kitchen countertops. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

A Guide to Countertop Edge Types

countertops guide

Finding the right countertop material, pattern and color for your space––and design style––can make all the difference, but it doesn’t end there! Details like stone finishes and countertop edge types can further help refine the look you desire in your home. In this post, the experts at Cosmos discuss popular countertop edge profiles and their visual effects.

What are Countertop Edge Types?

When we talk about countertop edge types––or edge profiles––we refer to the way countertop edges are shaped. This may seem like a small detail, but it can make a big difference when aiming for a certain aesthetic in the home. Finishing details like edge profiling can truly set your space apart with unique details that draw the eye to your countertops. On the other hand, opting for a simpler edge design can allow other features in your kitchen to come forward and shine.

Popular Countertop Edge Types

Countertop edge types typically fall into one of three categories: straight edge, curved or decorative. Each type can contribute to your design style in its own way. Let’s take a look at five of the most popular countertop edge types out there:

Straight

Straight edges often work well in streamlined kitchens, where clean lines and simple design reign supreme. These edges are not sharp, but rather exhibit slightly rounded corners to protect the stone from damage, like chipping. The amount of rounding can often be customized. Straight edge profiles are an excellent choice when looking to highlight another feature in your kitchen, like gorgeous backsplash, eye-catching tile or a centerpiece appliance, as it tends to blend in nicely with the rest of the kitchen, rather than attracting attention to itself.

straight

Top Bevel

Bevel edges pair nicely with contemporary designs. They feature subtle, angular edges, typically at a 45-degree angle (this can often be customized) on top. A double bevel is another great option, featuring angled edges both on the top and bottom of the countertop edge. This style is more detailed, and likely to draw the eye in to highlight your countertops.

top bevel bevel scaled

Bullnose

Bullnose edges come in two varieties: full bullnose, and half bullnose.

  • Full Bullnose edges are rounded both on top and on the bottom. This curved edge adds a softness to the design and can make a countertop appear thinner. Often seen in traditional design, bullnose edges are considered both timeless and classic.

bullnose

  • Half Bullnose edges are rounded only on the top edge of the counter, which helps retain the softer, curved effect while giving the countertop a thicker appearance.

Ogee

The Ogee has a concave radius, first dipping then curving outward again on the bottom, creating an angled S-curve. Ogee edges offer a more decorative design style which can draw the eye to your countertops. This classic, elegant option works well in traditional kitchens and provides a sense of detail and texture.

Rock Face or Chiseled

A chiseled edge has a rough, rugged finish that exposes the raw stone of the countertop material. This edge style can contribute to a rustic, natural appearance and work beautifully in a space utilizing warm earth tones, or in a home where natural shapes and features are highlighted and celebrated.

waterfall

Choosing a Countertop Edge

While we’ve discussed a few of the most popular countertop edge types available, there are many other options out there, with features that can often be customized to fit your space, design intentions and budget. It’s important to note that not all surface materials work well with all edge types, and you may need to check in with a manufacturer to ensure an optimal match between your desired countertop material and the edge style of your choosing.

Work with Cosmos!

Our team of experts can provide guidance on choosing the best, ethically sourced countertop materials and edge profiles to ensure you find the best match for your needs, design goals and budget.

If you have questions about countertop edge profiles and their design applications, please reach out to Cosmos Surfaces today! We offer a wide selection of natural stone and our team of experts is always happy to help!

Color of the Month: Ash

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 16-3802, Ash! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “Solid and strong, eternally timeless Ash conveys a message of longevity.”

Luce Di Luna is an elegant, intricately textured type of dolomite marble. Thanks to naturally occurring, often intersecting lines in the stone, it’s easy to get lost in the pattern. Fittingly, its name translates to “light from the moon,” which perfectly describes its soft and brilliant white-gray coloring. It is commonly used for countertops, floors and interior walls.

Top Quartz Countertop Trends of 2020

quartz countertop trends

While natural stone remains a widely favored choice for kitchen countertops, many modern-day homeowners are discovering the advantages of man-made stones like quartz. Owing largely to improvements in engineering techniques, quartz can now be crafted to closely imitate the look of natural marble or granite. As this durable, attractive engineered stone has experienced an uptick in popularity, certain quartz varieties & styles have drawn a particularly large amount of attention. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the latest quartz countertop trends that are taking the stone industry by storm in 2020.

Top Quartz Countertop Trends of 2020: Marble Looking Quartz

Marble looking quartz has entered the spotlight in recent years – and it continues to be one of the biggest stone trends of the present era. Prior to advances in engineering, it was difficult to mimic the signature organic veining patterns that are characteristic of real marble in slabs of quartz. But thanks to new, cutting-edge techniques, quartz can now offer an appearance which is virtually indistinguishable from natural stone.

What Are the Advantages of Marble Looking Quartz Countertops?

Before we show you examples of in-demand quartz varieties, we’d first like to explain why one might prefer marble looking quartz for their countertop over the real thing. While each material has its pros and cons, quartz is often a more affordable option, depending on the variety chosen. Additionally, quartz offers the noteworthy benefit of being non-porous, meaning it will not harbor bacteria or absorb moisture. This qualifies quartz as a distinctly low-maintenance, easy-to-clean countertop material.

For those who find the price & properties of quartz to be ideal, but simultaneously love the classic, elegant look of intensely veined marble, these marble looking quartz varieties are likely to appeal:

  • Calacatta Vintage – Calacatta Vintage is a white quartz defined by dramatic & dynamic gray veining. Uncannily reminiscent of rare Italian marble, its personality is both refined and irresistible. Offering supreme durability, this striking white quartz is well suited to kitchen countertops, among many other applications. Even in the most well-loved parts of the home, it will shine on for years to come with minimal maintenance.

Calacatta Vintage - White - Quartz

  • Calacatta Aegean – A luxurious white quartz with hints of brown and gold, Calacatta Aegean brings to mind the marvelous Mediterranean coast. Gray veins meander across its surface, giving this quartz unforgettable character and contrasting with its warm, understated foundation. Dependably durable, Calacatta Aegean is another fantastic choice for countertops.

Calacatta Aegean - White - Quartz

  • Krakel – Looking for something that is a bit more unconventional, but still features marble-like veining? Krakel is a striking black quartz that will swiftly energize any design! Its unexpected pattern is characterized by bright white veins bolting across a stormy gray backdrop. At the intersection of style and function, this quartz is hardwearing enough to withstand daily use as a countertop or kitchen island.

Krakel - Black - Quartz

Minimal, But Still Marvelous: Other Trending Quartz Products

Marble looking quartz is one of the trendiest and best-selling engineered stone styles right now – but it’s far from the only option! If you desire something more neutral and mild-mannered for your kitchen countertop or bathroom vanity, consider these other quartz varieties that are popular in 2020:

  • Astral White – A type of white quartz adorned with flecks of gray, silver and gold, Astral White will infuse your interior with cosmic wonder. While it may be on the more subdued side, its shimmering spots offer visual intrigue and make for an eye-catching countertop.

Astral White - White Quartz 5

  • Moon Rock – 3, 2, 1, liftoff! Moon Rock will fly you to the moon and let you play among the stars. This twinkling white quartz is a stellar choice for kitchen countertops, given that it is highly resistant to scratches and stains. Count on Moon Rock to stand the test of time – in the realms of both beauty and durability.

Moon Rock - White Quartz 3

Collaborate with Cosmos Surfaces to Ensure a Successful Surfacing Project

Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed our quick overview of this year’s top quartz countertop trends & products! Maybe you are now leaning towards quartz for your project, or perhaps you would like to explore other stones as well. Either way, the qualified surfacing professionals at Cosmos Surfaces are available to help you find the absolute best material for your needs, personality, budget & application.

Browse our online gallery to preview our wide selection of marble, quartz and other surfaces of top-tier quality. Should you have questions, need guidance or desire to see a particular stone in person, feel free to get in touch with us anytime!

Color of the Month: Fired Brick

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 19-1337, Fired Brick! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “Strong and sturdy, Fired Brick adds gravitas.”

Elegant, powerful, beautiful – Roma Imperiale is one-of-a-kind. Crystals of white and gold criss-cross and swirl, battling for dominance in this Brazilian quartzite. Roma Imperiale is complex, detailed, and stunning. It looks great among greenery and in bathrooms as vanities, bathtubs, and countertops. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

How Can Natural Stone Colors Affect Your Mood?

natural stone mood

The colors we choose to incorporate into our interior design scheme say a lot about our personality and style. But aside from this, our chosen color palette can also set the mood of a room, and even influence how we feel while spending time there. In fact, it is well documented that certain colors can evoke certain emotions – and this is certainly the case with natural stone colors. In this article, Cosmos Surfaces will offer a few examples of how different hues create different moods.

How Can Natural Stone Colors Affect Your Mood?

With so many of us working remotely for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus pandemic, having a functional yet comfortable home is now more important than ever. Naturally, one’s workspace should be conducive to concentration and productivity, while areas of the home used for relaxation and enjoyment should be designed to promote feelings of calmness, wellbeing or fun.

Much like how natural stone patterns can be strategically selected to help establish one’s desired atmosphere, natural stone colors can function to spark specific moods in a space. Let’s explore how this phenomenon works with various hues commonly found in natural stones like granite, marble and quartzite:

  • Crisp Whites – It’s no secret that white interiors appear clean and put together, albeit simple. This combination sets the stage for a soothing mood. If you desire a bit more invigoration and visual intrigue, we suggest choosing a brighter white stone with some veining, such as Opal White marble.
  • Versatile Grays – Often prominent in slate and marble, gray can foster many different moods, depending on the particular shade. While silvery and white grays liven up a space, mid-range shades are more mellow and muted. Meanwhile, darker shades of gray (verging on black) are decidedly mysterious and thought provoking. Intensely veined, multicolored gray stones such as Grey Imperiale marble strike the perfect balance between serenity and emotion.
  • Mellow Greens – Like certain shades of gray, cool green stone is known to lend a tranquil feeling to a room. Take, for instance, Alexandrita, a pale sea foam green quartzite enhanced by warm ivory and peach hues. Appropriate for countertops and floors – among other applications –  this stone has a calming effect which makes it well suited to living spaces & sanctuaries throughout the home.
  • Striking & Serene Blues – Commonly found in quartzite and granite, blue is a bold color which can animate a space, but also ground it. Strong blues may promote positivity and creative thinking, while softer shades can enhance focus and clear thinking. Featuring a range of stunning blues, Azul Bahia granite is perfect for introducing a breathtaking pop of color into a bathroom or kitchen.
  • Invigorating Golds – Not only is gold natural stone effortlessly luxurious – it’s a near-guaranteed mood booster! Breathe fresh life into a bathroom, kitchen or outdoor living space with Azul Imperiale, an uplifting Brazilian quartzite defined by bolts of gold flashing across a light blue background.

Setting the Right Mood with Natural Stone

As we’ve delved into here, the shades found in natural stone can have a powerful effect on your mood. Whether you aim to stimulate the senses, or to avoid distractions, it’s important to be aware of how the colors in your interior design might help accomplish or interfere with your unique goals.

Beyond color, there are several other important factors to consider when choosing a natural stone surface for any room in your home. From the properties of the chosen stone type, to the patterns and colors present within, to the selected finish – plus influence from the surrounding design elements – many things will combine to shape the aesthetics of your surface & space.

Count On Cosmos Surfaces to Help You Upgrade Your Interior

Drawing on over three decades of industry experience, Cosmos Surfaces is committed to helping homeowners find the ideal surfacing material for their purposes. In our extensive selection of natural stone surfaces, you’ll find options which span the entire color spectrum – including plenty of vibrant picks, plus a multitude of more understated neutral options.

After you’ve taken a look at our natural stone collection, reach out to be connected with one of our stone specialists. We look forward to helping you plan your dream design and providing you with a high-quality stone surface that suits your needs & sets your desired mood!

Color of the Month: Lark

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 16-1324, Lark! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “Authentic and low-key, Lark is an understated and versatile khaki.”

A Brazilian granite, Key West Gold is comprised of mellow neutral tones, including khaki, gold, light brown, ivory, black and gray. Thanks to its comforting and consistent speckled pattern, Key West Gold is a wonderful option for countertops, floors, table tops, backsplashes and vanity tops — in both homes and commercial spaces.

Tile Pattern Ideas and Where to Use Them

tile pattern ideas

Gorgeous, functional interior design can elevate any space, but it requires a multi-faceted approach. In this post, we look at popular tile pattern ideas and how they can help you achieve the look you want.

With each element in a room building towards a desired aesthetic, it’s important to consider which materials to use, and how to use them. When it comes to tile backsplash or bathroom and accent walls, the type of tile, its colors and textures and even the grout used can all contribute to bringing a certain look and feel into your home. That said, another crucial step in the decision-making process lies in the tile pattern. That is to say, what kind of layout will help you achieve your design goals and bring out the best qualities in the tile you’ve put thought and care into selecting?

Let’s look at some popular tile patterns and the visual effects they create:

Classic Brick Layout

classic brick

In this pattern, tiles are placed in horizontal rows, and each row is offset by half a tile-width. The resulting long, horizontal lines can have the effect of visually widening a room. This is a timeless layout that never goes out of style and works with any kind of rectangular tile! A brick layout works well in spaces where one simple kind of tile is used, while pairing the tile with a contrasting color grout can help accentuate both the horizontal lines and consistent geometric pattern throughout.

Vertical Brick

This pattern is the same as the classic brick pattern mentioned above, just rotated vertically. With this layout, the vertical lines lead the eye upward, creating a sense of height. A vertical brick pattern adds a contemporary twist to the classic motif and works well in smaller bathrooms, for example, where one might want to visually lift the ceiling height and create a sense of space.

Mosaic

mosaic

When it comes to interior design, “mosaic” tiles are any small tiles, for example, 1-inch by 1-inch tiles, that repeat in a shape or set of shapes. Countless patterns are available, and mosaic tiles can be used to create complex patterns, or simply add a sense of texture and detail to an area.

The busy nature of mosaic tiles, along with the need to use more grout, makes it a popular choice for accent areas, as opposed to entire walls. The additional grout makes it a less slippery surface when used as a shower floor, while the detail and multi-tonal effects mosaic tiles create also make them a great option to use as backsplash, or to line a niche. Mosaic tiles can be used effectively to balance out larger tiles, creating texture and detail to contrast and compliment simpler, larger tiles.

Stacked

stacked

In a stacked pattern, tiles are aligned in a simple, repeating grid. This layout creates a modern look and feel, and its simplistic nature has a calm, soothing effect. Stacked patterns work well in modern spaces where clean shapes and straight lines reign supreme, while also creating an effective counterpoint to organic forms, such as natural wood. Using bright or contrasting grout can help emphasize the simple, geometric pattern.

Large Brick

Similar to the classic brick pattern, a large brick pattern makes use of oversize tiles. In this case, the pattern helps create a more seamless effect of continuous tiles by minimizing the amount of visible grout lines. Using rich stone tiles and color-matching grout can truly create the appearance of a large, unbroken area of the tile.

Solid Slabs

Rather than using smaller tiles laid out in a pattern, it’s possible to use a single, large slab of material for, as an example, a contemporary kitchen backsplash. Large slabs can even be cut to create matching backsplash and kitchen counters in smaller kitchens. Solid slabs help create an open, spacious look and can be used effectively to create seamless walls.

Herringbone

herringbone

A herringbone pattern creates a zig-zag formation by laying tiles at right angles to each other. This layout works beautifully on accent walls, bringing a sense of dynamic visual energy into a space. The complexity of the grout lines created by this pattern plays well against simple tiles, such as white tiles. A herringbone pattern can also be integrated into a section of a larger wall or backsplash, creating a focal point within a simpler surrounding brick pattern, for example. It’s important to note this pattern does require the cutting of tiles as it approaches borders, which can create some amount of tile waste.

Accent Borders

A strip of accent tiles along a border or set to interrupt a simple pattern along a certain point of a wall can help create visual interest. Additionally, if you are tiling a full wall or section of a wall, you might find that the tiles don’t perfectly fit the height of the space. Rather than cutting the border row of tiles to fit, the difference can be made up by using smaller tiles as an accent border, or as a stripe that interrupts the pattern, allowing larger tiles to fit perfectly into the space.

Conclusion

We’ve covered some of the most popular tile patterns you can use to great effect, but this is by no means an exhaustive list! If you have questions about tiling or other surface materials, get in touch with Cosmos! We offer a wide selection of products, and our blog provides information on materials, cleaning and maintenance and design tips!

Color of the Month: Lark

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 16-1324, Lark! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “Authentic and low-key, Lark is an understated and versatile khaki.”

Exuding strength, mystery, and daring, Titanium is a striking type of granite fit for the bold. Originating in Brazil, and also known as Cosmic Black, the black backdrop with swirls and waves of silver and gold make titanium an alluring and captivating material for any kitchen countertop, fireplace tiling, and bathroom flooring.

Accepting Imperfections in Natural Stone (and Growing to Love Them)

accepting imperfections

Stones like granite, marble and quartzite are the product of geologic changes which occur over hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of years. Volcanic activity, tectonic plate shifts and subterranean heat and pressure are just a few of the forces which contribute to the formation of these marvelous stones. Given the natural processes which create them, it’s only natural to anticipate that each piece of stone will have an idiosyncratic, totally unique appearance – and this is indeed the case! While natural stone is famed for its distinctive beauty, imperfections in granite countertops and other stone surfaces can be a concern for some. For instance, prospective stone buyers might worry that the “flaws” in natural stone could take away from the unity and elegance of their design. Today, Cosmos Surfaces is here to make the case for accepting & embracing the imperfections in natural stone.

What Imperfections Might Be Found in Natural Stone?

Wondering what exactly we mean by “flaws” in natural stone? Let’s get technical for a moment and discuss the inconsistencies which may be apparent in natural stone, as well as why imperfections in granite countertops and other surfaces can actually be worthy of adoration.

  • Variations in Color – Color intensity and shade can vary between different slabs of the same kind of natural stone, which can be concerning to buyers who want very specific coloring within their design. However, color variation is one of the main factors that makes natural stone so unique. No matter what kind of coloring you find within your natural stone, it is sure to be a beautiful illustration of the natural forces that shaped its creation.
  • Too Much or Too Little Veining – Like color, veining in natural stone is one-of-a-kind and will always vary. Instead of focusing on whether the veining on a surface is “too much” or “too little,” it is best to appreciate the totally unique veining that formed over so many years by the forces of nature. The veining in your natural stone cannot be found anywhere else on earth!
  • Pattern and Color Asymmetry – Asymmetry in interior design is a concept that offers so many unique possibilities, and natural stone is the perfect way to showcase the beauty of asymmetry. Natural stone will never offer a perfectly symmetrical pattern end-to-end, and this is one of the qualities that makes it so special and desirable.
  • Pores & Pits – While natural stone can appear quite smooth, tiny pits and pores are often present on the surface. Certain varieties are more porous than others and thus require sealing to keep out moisture and bacteria. After sealing, some of these tiny blemishes are likely to remain visible upon close inspection – but this only serves to add dimension and character to the stone!
  • Fissures – While far beneath the surface of the Earth, natural stone is often exposed to immense heat and pressure. As a result, natural crevices may form in certain spots or throughout. Known as fissures, these thin lines create intriguing patterns & color variation in the stone. But rest assured: they typically will not interfere with its integrity.
  • Cracks – Natural fissures are not to be confused with cracks, which can appear in natural stone as it is subjected to wear and tear over time. If significant in size, a crack may compromise the stone’s structure, so it is important to be aware of this particular imperfection. Still, cracks in natural stone are typically no big deal and can often be repaired relatively easily.
  • Scratches, Chips & Etches – Natural stone is known to offer impressive durability and longevity – especially the harder types like granite. Even so, chipping, scratching or etching can occur in a high-traffic kitchen. Once again, these flaws can be fixed if they bother you, but they are unlikely to detract from the countertop’s natural beauty in a noticeable way.

Embrace Imperfections in Granite Countertops, Or Not: It’s Up to You!

Crafted by Mother Nature, natural stone surfaces are defined by their imperfections. Without these variations, the slabs would be nowhere near as distinctive, precious or inimitable. Your countertop need not be symmetrical, identical from end to end or perfectly polished in order to be a showstopper. In fact, marble with deep, dramatic and unpredictable veining is all the rage right now, as are boldly colored stone varieties!

Hopefully, this article has given you a new perspective on imperfections in granite countertops. At the same time, it’s totally alright if you prefer a more uniform countertop. If you decide to seek out a surfacing material with a lower degree of variation, you’ll still have plenty of options to choose from! Feel free to explore stone varieties at both ends of the spectrum – and everywhere in between – to help you find what you really love.

The more you explore, the more you’ll get a keen sense for the sort of pattern and coloring which will best suit your personality and design style. Your countertop is the cornerstone of your kitchen, so it’s important to choose something you absolutely adore!

Achieve Your Dream Countertop with Cosmos Surfaces

If you desire to make a statement with natural stone in your interior, Cosmos Surfaces is here to help you bring your vision to life. From the intricate & distinguished Butterfly Gold to the ultra-daring Bacural, our extensive selection of granite and other stunning stone surfaces includes something for every style & setting. To enlist the expertise of one of our surfacing specialists, contact Cosmos Surfaces today.

Color of the Month: Lark

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 16-1324, Lark! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “Authentic and low-key, Lark is an understated and versatile khaki.”

Golden Paradise - Gold Quartzite 2

A dazzling sheet of gold, it’s no surprise how Golden Paradise got its name. But it’s not just gold – look deeper to see the crystals of whites and greys that make up this Brazilian quartzite. Golden Paradise makes for spectacular floors, walls, and fireplaces and matches well with blacks and woods. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

How to Choose the Right Natural Stone Patterns for Your Interior Design

choose natural stone

It’s no secret that natural stone surfaces can go a long way toward creating a desired aesthetic in the home. The natural stone patterns within those surfaces can further help refine your design style. In this post, the experts at Cosmos Surfaces share tips on how to choose natural stone patterns to help you create the exact look and feel you want in any room.   

Design Goals

When considering various stone patterns and finishes, it’s important to understand what your design goals are. For example, if you are hoping to achieve a minimalist look with just a pop of color or texture, you can use natural stone patterns to achieve these highlights. Or, you can opt for simple stone surfaces and play around with furniture or painted accent walls for your color or texture fix. Let’s take a look at a few design styles and which stone patterns and colors can help you achieve them:

Minimalist Spaces

As mentioned above, colors and patterns can be used effectively in a minimalist setting. A dramatic accent wall, for example, can perfectly balance out the simpler design elements in the space. Stones like Magma Gold and Maori (both granites) and Raphael and Oxford Blue (both quartzites) have striking, complex patterns along with gorgeous colors. Any of these stones would work well in a minimalist setting and can be used to create truly breathtaking accent walls or other features like kitchen islands.

Warm, Inviting Spaces

For homeowners who like to entertain or simply want a warm, inviting feel to their space, stones with classic brown tones and consistent patterns can help create this aesthetic. Stones with blue, copper or golden elements in their patterns are both striking and elegant, while retaining a sense of warmth and comfort. Granite products like Vitrium, Lapidus and Giallo Fiorito are all examples of stones that contain gorgeous warm tones within their patterns.

Small Spaces

Using design elements wisely can help smaller spaces look and feel bigger. As an example, a stone surface with a flowing vein pattern can make a kitchen island appear bigger, as well as the room itself. Using vertical veining patterns on stone walls gives a sense of high ceilings, as the vertical lines direct the eye upward and appear to elongate the space.

Invoking Nature

If you’re looking to replicate the look and feel of wood around areas like the fireplace or an indoor garden, stones like Brown Silk (a granite) and Sequoia Brown (a quartzite) are excellent options, as their patterns and textures mimic those of wood. The colors and patterns in these stones in combination with the texture created by a leathered finish can truly bring a natural aesthetic into the home.

Speaking of natural elements, using a stone like Black Marinace (a granite) in or around a water feature, such as a water fountain, adds an elegant touch without the struggle of having to clean pebbles. The pebbled texture of the stone adds detail and depth and brings along with it the durability and ease of maintenance for which granite is so well-loved.

Stones like Rain Forest Green and Café Forest Brown mimic natural elements like leaves and branches and invoke a sense of calm and tranquility. They are perfect for bathroom vanities, kitchens and living rooms.

Conclusion

One of the most impressive features of natural stone is the immense variety created by the natural processes behind stone formation. Long veining patterns are inherently elegant and soothing, while dramatic swirling patterns invoke a flowing sense of movement and energy. Each unique pattern tells the ancient story of its stone.

When it comes to natural stone and interior design, there are multiple steps you can take to craft your desired aesthetic, from the type of stone you select, to the colors and patterns contained within and, finally, the type of finish applied to the stone surface. The options are just about endless!

For more information on the various aspects of using natural stone in interior design, take a look at our post on how to design your home like a professional. If you’d like to know more about how various stone finishes alter the look and feel of natural stone, our blog post on how to choose the perfect stone finish provides a detailed overview.

Cosmos Can Help!

Cosmos Surfaces brings over three decades of knowledge and industry experience to the table. As a 2nd generation family-owned business, we are passionate about sourcing high-quality surfaces for your home or business. Get in touch by filling out our contact form today – our team of experts is happy to help you along the journey of designing your dream spaces!

Color of the Month: Lark

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 16-1324, Lark! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “Authentic and low-key, Lark is an understated and versatile khaki.”

For those in the market for an exotic, one-of-a-kind granite countertop, Belatrix is a top contender. This natural Brazilian stone features a polished finish and a pattern that is truly extraordinary. Set upon a shining black background are idiosyncratic shapes formed via a melange of rust, burgundy, gray and cream.

Which Surfacing Materials are Trending for Fall?

surfacing material fall

As with fashion, trends in home design tend to come and go – often syncing up with the changing seasons. But over the years, natural stone has maintained a place among the most popular surfacing materials for kitchen & bathroom renovation projects. Given the extensive advantages of using natural stones like granite & marble, trends are unlikely to change their popularity. Still, for homeowners who love to stay hip to all the latest styles, it’s exciting to track how the use of various surfacing materials is evolving over time! Cosmos Surfaces is here to give you an insider’s look at all of the latest industry trends for the upcoming season.

Fall 2020: Marble Trends & Other Surfacing Material Shifts

As technology continues to progress and contemporary design styles change, it’s only natural for new stone trends to emerge. Here are a few noteworthy shifts we are seeing this season:

  • Natural stone is gaining a lead over quartzSlowly but surely, quartz is becoming slightly less popular than natural stone. Granite and marble are gaining momentum as countless homeowners favor them for their natural, one-of-a-kind beauty and sustainability. Demand for quartz remains very high for commercial applications, but homeowners are now researching and opting to visit stone yards which promise more natural and eco-friendly options.
  • Porcelain slabs are really catching onAlong with natural stone, porcelains are also trending right now. This is likely owing in part to manufacturing advances which allow the slabs to be made to look virtually identical to naturally occurring stone. More and more frequently, large format porcelain is being utilized for new construction projects, often in settings where quartz or porcelain tile would typically have been used in the past.
  • Marbles have come back in a huge wayAs it makes a major comeback, this classic material is being used in fresh new ways to lend it modern flair. Current marble trends include utilizing colored marble, adorning surfaces with symmetrical bookmatched stone and choosing bolder marble varieties with dramatic, intense veining.
  • The demand for marble looking quartz is at an all-time highAlso happening in the realm of prominent marble trends this season: more homeowners than ever before are seeking out quartz that mimics the look of marble. Hardwearing, but less hard in appearance than marble, quartz is non-porous and highly resilient. For homeowners desiring a more durable material that replicates the elegant look of marble, engineered quartz delivers the best of both worlds.
  • Textured stone finishes are in high demand – Leathered and honed finishes are becoming more popular, suggesting that homeowners are craving more texture in their designs. Check out our blog post on stone finishes to learn about the many different options which can be used to make a statement with natural stone designs!
  • Quartzite is becoming more alluring – With improved treatments and a larger variety of styles available, quartzite is another popular natural stone selection this season. This is no big surprise, given the supreme durability and standout appearance of this material.

Choosing a Surfacing Material: Should I Follow the Trends?

When seeking out the most ideal surfacing material for your project, looking at what is currently trending can be beneficial to give you some inspiration. But ultimately, trends don’t last forever. There’s absolutely no need to feel pressured to choose something that’s in vogue at this very moment!

More than what is trending, you should consider your own personal design preferences and what functional features you desire from the surfacing material. If you’re taking on a renovation project, it’s also important to think about how the material you choose will mesh with the other elements in your current or planned design scheme. Finally, you’ll want to be sure to factor in how well the material is likely to hold up over time, in terms of both aesthetics and functionality.

Look to Cosmos Surfaces for Professional Assistance with Any Project

Whether you are eager to upgrade your kitchen countertop, transform your outdoor living space or refresh some other part of your home, Cosmos Surfaces provides an extensive selection of stunning, competitively priced natural stone and other surfacing materials. For expert assistance choosing the very best option for your particular project, reach out to our team today!

Color of the Month: Lark

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 16-1324, Lark! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “Authentic and low-key, Lark is an understated and versatile khaki.”

Experience the singular beauty of Sedna, an exquisite vein of molten gold running through pitch black and rich brown granite. Like a wealth of brilliant magma trapped just below the surface of the earth, black Sedna is a rare and powerful treasure, embodying the most raw and powerful forces of nature.

Fall Color Trends for Interior Design

fall color trends

The fall season conjures up vivid color palettes like no other. Warm earth tones and elegant neutrals form the basis of fall color trends. When it comes to interior design, using these colors well can inspire warmth, comfort and flexibility in your home year-round. In this post, the experts at Cosmos Surfaces provide a quick guide to some of our most popular fall-friendly products, along with 3 design tips to help cozy up your home this season.

Fall Color Trends in Natural Stone and Surfaces

First, let’s take a look at the most popular stone colors trending this fall:

White Stone

The most popular option, by far, remains white stone. White stone surfaces in the home can brighten up your space and help create a fresh, clean look and feel. A neutral color like white can ensure a timeless, elegant aesthetic that pairs well with any color palette or design style.

For those who enjoy texture and depth, white stone is by no means lacking in this department. Natural stone is typically off-white, or near-white and can exhibit gorgeous, complex textures from grain patterns and veining. A few examples of white stone available at Cosmos Surfaces include:

Granite:

Marble:

Quartz:

Earth Tones and Warm Color Tones

Earth tones have long been associated with fall-inspired palettes. The use of earth tones and warmer colors within permanent fixtures in the home have been increasing in popularity. Using these tones with interior design creates a warm, cozy and inviting space with a natural look and feel. Let’s take a look at a few options by stone type:

Granite

Marble

Grey and Black Stones

Grey and black stones are steadily increasing in popularity. These elegant neutral colors can create the same warm, natural aesthetic as warm colors and earth tones, but may allow for a bit more freedom when it comes to pairing up décor year-round. Just a few of the grey and black options by stone type available through Cosmos include:

Granite

Marble

Quartz

Additional Tips for a Cozy Home

Aside from the color and type of stone you decide on, factors like vein patterns and the type of finish applied to a stone can help alter the look and feel of your space. If you want to achieve a warm, cozy fall aesthetic, here are three additional tips to help you get from here to hygge:

  1. Textured Stone Finishes

Various types of finishes can be applied to natural stone before it makes it into your home. Stone can be polished for a glossy look, honed for a silky matte finish or even flamed, a process where a high-temperature flame is applied to the stone, resulting in a highly textured surface.

Two stone finishes that are trending this season are leathered, and honed finishes. Honed finishes create silky, matte stone surfaces. This helps create a warmer, cozier feel than say, a polished finish. A leathered finish creates a suede look and feel and is slip-resistant. Again, this finish helps give your space that warm, inviting feel we all crave when the weather gets colder. It’s important to note that a leathered finish can only be applied to some varieties of marble and granite. For an in-depth look at the different types of stone finishes, check out our post on Everything You Need to Know About Stone Finishes.

  1. Neutral Colors

Opting for neutral colors like white, black or grey can leave you with lots of freedom and flexibility when it comes to year-round décor. Unless you plan on sticking with a specific interior color scheme in the long-term, using neutral colors for permanent fixtures like countertops, backsplash and fireplace mantels can help you achieve the style you want in every season.

  1. Grain Patterns and Veining

Silver Waves - Black Granite 6

Sticking to neutral colors or a timeless white stone surface doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice texture and color. Grain patterns and veining can add a touch of color and movement to a space, and even provide design cues when it comes to choosing colors for furniture, walls and other types of décor. Granite products like Silver Waves and Viscon White are excellent examples of stones with inherent patterns that evoke movement.

Work with Cosmos!

Cosmos Surfaces is a 2nd generation, family-owned business dedicated to providing you with knowledge, meaningful customer service and high-quality surface materials. We offer a wide range of products and resources to assist our customers with their surface material needs.  Contact us today to get started!

Color of the Month: Lark

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 16-1324, Lark! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “Authentic and low-key, Lark is an understated and versatile khaki.”

Magma Gold - Gold Granite 2

Like molten magma swirling and pooling deep within the Earth’s crust, Magma Gold granite is fierce and fervent. In its larger-than-life pattern, deep gray veins stretch in all directions, surrounding and blending into areas of rust, cream and gold. Specks of white on the gray add even more visual interest, putting the finishing touches on this excellent option for counter and vanity tops.

Design Your Home Like a Professional

design home

For many homeowners, designing their perfect home is a lifelong dream. Once they move into their first place, whether it’s a college apartment or starter home, they start to think about where to place things for optimal convenience and comfort.  The trick to how to do your own interior design, many interior designers say, is to consider each room as you plan to live in it as early in the process as possible.

“Even small details should be introduced into the home planning in the early stages of programming,” recommends Suzanne Shumaker of Shumaker Design + Build Associates, an architect led design-build firm that she and her husband Garry founded in Evanston, Illinois, 2009.

She asks clients to consider things such as how you would like to enter your home — from the garage/rear of house or the front? And, where do you want all your stuff to land when you enter? Why do the answers matter? They can help direct long-term decisions. For example, clients may want more durable materials like natural stone to be the surface they land on or a place to leave wet shoes before transitioning to wood floors, according to Shumaker.

“Circulation and traffic patterns organized to areas that are out of the kitchen triangle are important,” she adds. “Living rooms and sitting rooms need to fall into more quiet zones. A zone can be defined for reading or small gatherings with a good furniture plan. Laying out furniture early in the design process helps you determine where to add electrical outlets and overhead lighting.”

Whether you’re thinking about a remodel or designing an entire house, we asked three interior designers what you might want to consider as you work on each major room.

Design Your Home Like a Professional

Kitchen

When designing a kitchen, you have to consider function first, according to Annilee B Waterman, RID, an interior designer and owner of AW Design Studio in Dallas, Texas. “A beautiful kitchen is no good if you can’t use it properly,” Waterman says. “Your sink, fridge and range should create a nice work triangle, and make sure you have plenty of landing space on both sides of each.”

One thing clients often overlook are using drawers for their lower cabinets. “Drawers offer great, versatile storage, and help keep your kitchen organized,” she adds. Also, using the countertop natural stone as the backsplash creates a beautiful, clean and classic look that is easy to keep clean (no grout!).

Cris Williams, interior designer with The Life at Home in Houston, Texas, feels the kitchen is the hub of the home and agrees functionality is key.

“Consider the layout. Do you want to be able to interact with friends and family while you cook?” Williams advises. “Opening the kitchen to a living space is a great way to achieve this. Storage is another huge factor of functionality. Take an inventory of what you need in your kitchen and make sure you will have ample storage space to fit those things.”

For those who want to add a little more fun into their space, Williams feels the backsplash is an opportunity to get creative and adventurous. You can use many natural stones on the backsplash that wouldn’t hold up as a counter material. “Also, certain stones that may be a bit pricier as a countertop could be affordable as an accent on the backsplash,” she adds.

Bathroom

When designing a bathroom space, begin by considering what access, if any, you have to natural light. If a window might be located where the shower will be, natural stone window sills and jambs can help protect those windows, according to Shumaker. Also, even if you don’t have children, one tub in the house is a must for resale and young kids, she says.

Williams feels the bathroom should be a functional sanctuary. “We often don’t think of universal design when designing bathrooms unless we are older or impaired,” she says. “We will all, hopefully, grow old one day and having a bathroom that works for us in that stage is important.”

Bathrooms are another room in the home where homeowners can showcase natural stone. “Countertops, shower walls, and flooring are all excellent places to feature stone,” adds Williams.

Living Room

“Modern-day living rooms are usually informal and serve as an everyday gathering space for the family,” says Williams. Again, since storage is important throughout the house, she recommends built-in storage as a great way to keep all the everyday things put away and your space tidy.

Williams suggests that a fireplace is a great place to use natural stone in a living room, and her favorite design element is when it’s used to top a floating cabinet. “This creates a space that is equally functional and luxurious,” she says.

The direction of natural light can’t be dismissed, according to Williams and Shumaker. “The direction of natural light and the placement of televisions seems to be an afterthought in many homes,” Williams notices. While she admits the annoying tv glare seems small in the scheme of designing an entire house, it becomes a bigger deal when it’s happening and you could have designed the space to avoid that glare.

To help manage it, Shumaker recommends motorized window treatments that can adjust to the day’s sunlight as an option.

Bedroom

For many, the bedroom isn’t high on their list to “design,” per se. But it’s a missed opportunity when it’s not considered in the overall scheme of a home’s design and functionality. Be sure not to overlook the bedroom when figuring out how to do your own interior design.

“A bedroom should be a restful sanctuary,” says Williams. “Where you place the bedroom could have a huge effect on that. Do you want direct morning light? Or would you rather have a north/south facing room with indirect light?”

Also, consider what types of features you’d like in or near the bedroom.

“In new homes, I’m either moving the laundry to near the main bedroom, or adding an additional laundry space (one in the mud room/utility, one near the bedrooms, or one inside the master closet),” says Waterman.

Shumaker likes to ask clients if they would like to include a fireplace where you could highlight natural stone. Or if they might have other needs, such as adding a desk or sitting area for reading.

Figuring Out How To Do Your Own Interior Design? Ask a Designer!

“Designing a home is a big project that you want to get right the first time,” admits Williams. Rather than rush through the process, she recommends homeowners take their time, and if they’re unsure about how to design a space, to reach out to an interior designer who can offer advice and suggestions they might not have even considered.

Color of the Month: Classic Blue

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 19-4052, Classic Blue! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “A boundless blue hue, Classic Blue is evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky opening us up to a world of possibilities.”

The resemblance to the Northern Lights is how Aurora gets its name. A type of quartzite, Aurora is majestic and divine. Black, teal, silver, white, and soft pink meld together to create the picture of the night sky come to life by the Aurora Borealis. Aurora makes alluring and captivating countertops and backsplashes. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

How to Choose the Perfect Stone Finish

perfect stone finish

In our last blog, we talked about the different types of stone finishes and how they are created. When choosing between stone finishes, the biggest deciding factors include the location and application of the stone surface. Each finish also creates its own look and texture, which can go a long way toward building a desired aesthetic. In this post, we’ll recap the main features of common stone finishes and provide a guide to their various applications.

Polished Stone Finishes

Features:

  • The most common finish
  • Glossy, mirror-like shine
  • Provides a classy, sophisticated look
  • Reflects light and does not change or hide the true colors and qualities of the stone
  • Provides a smooth work surface
  • Protects the stone against spills and stains
  • Easy to clean

Applications:

  • Countertops – Polished stone is a popular choice for countertops, as it creates a beautiful, elegant look, draws attention to the stone without distorting its properties and creates a smooth, less porous work surface resistant to moisture and staining. In addition, polished finishes make countertops easy to wipe down!
  • Flooring – This finish can also be used for flooring to create an elegant, formal look.

Honed Finishes

Features:

  • Provides less shine/gloss than a polished surface
  • Has a muted, softer look
  • Retains the character of the stone
  • May not show color and texture as well a polished finish does
  • Provides a smooth work surface

Applications:

  • Countertops and Backsplashes – Honed finishes, especially honed granite, work well for countertops, as they provide a smooth work surface. They may not show the true color and qualities of the stone as well as a polished surface does, but they retain the essential character of the stone. A honed finish creates a muted, softer look which can give your space a relaxed, casual feel without sacrificing the elegance of the stone.
  • Flooring – A honed finish leaves the stone less slippery than a polished surface does, which makes it a good choice for flooring. The less reflective surface can also help conceal flaws and evidence of wearing due to foot traffic, such as scratches or scuff marks.

Leathered Finishes

Features:

  • Also known as a “brushed” finish
  • Not glossy and has little to no shine
  • Has more depth than a honed finish
  • Shows less staining, scratches and fingerprints than a polished surface
  • Does not have a smooth surface
  • May be more difficult to clean due to natural pits and fissures

Applications:

  • Bar Tops and Fireplace Surrounds – A leathered finish makes for a lovely room accent in the form of a bar top or fireplace surround. Its depth and more matte appearance looks beautiful under lower lighting conditions.
  • Bathrooms – The textured surface of a leathered finish makes it less slippery, which is a desirable characteristic in spaces like bathrooms.

Tumbled Finishes

Features:

  • Leaves edges of stone rough and chipped, creating a weathered, aged look
  • Does not have a smooth finish
  • Hides signs of wear and tear

Applications:

  • Flooring – The aged, distressed look of a tumbled finish can hide signs of wear and tear in high traffic areas and create a rustic, charming appearance.
  • Bathrooms – This textured finish leaves surfaces less slippery, which works well in bathrooms.
  • Backsplash – A tumbled finish can be used with backsplash to create a rustic, charming look and feel.

Bush Hammered Finishes

Features:

  • Creates a bumpy surface
  • Can be fine or coarse, with extreme or shallow grooves

Applications:

  • Walls or Flooring – This finish works well for walls or flooring and can be used for both interior and exterior surfaces.

Flamed Finishes

Features:

  • Textured, slightly bumpy surface
  • Can lighten the stone and create a natural, faded appearance

Applications:

  • Outdoors – This finish creates a non-slip surface and works well for outdoor applications like exterior walls, floors and pavers. It would be an excellent choice for an outdoor kitchen.

Sandblasted Finishes

Features:

  • Silky, matte finish
  • Can be coarse, which creates a lighter finish, or fine, which leaves a darker finish

Applications:

  • Monuments, Artwork and Gravestones – Sandblasted stone has tiny craters in its surface, which creates the matte, silky appearance often sought after for monument work, artwork, statues and gravestones.

A Note on Maintenance

The porosity of a stone plays a role in its ability to resist moisture and staining. A polished finish typically seals most pores in the stone, making it easy to clean and less susceptible to staining and moisture damage. Honed surfaces are more porous and may take on dark spots or staining more easily when exposed to moisture or certain foods, spices and drinks. Textured finishes can be slightly more difficult to clean, as they feature pits, fissures and grooves which can collect dust, moisture and staining agents. However, a regular quick wipe down of any natural stone makes cleaning much easier over time.

Stone Type

It’s important to note not all types of natural stone can accept all types of finishes. Depending on the specific stone, it might be wise to reach out to a manufacturer about which finishes are suitable. Here’s a quick guide:

stone chart

If you have questions about stone finishes and their applications, please reach out to Cosmos Surfaces today! We offer a wide selection of stunning natural stone and our team of experts is always happy to help.

Color of the Month: Classic Blue

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 19-4052, Classic Blue! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “A boundless blue hue, Classic Blue is evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky opening us up to a world of possibilities.”

Alpine Blue - Blue Granite

Alpine Blue granite is the definition of understated sophistication. Exquisite flashes of olive oil gold and deep indigo unfold across a canvas of speckled cream in this magnificent natural stone from India. Ground your home or commercial space by adding Alpine Blue to your countertops, floors or other parts of the property.

The Art of Bookmatching Natural Stone

bookmatching stone

Of the many different ways natural stone is used, perhaps the most magnificent and eye-catching effect is accomplished through a process known as bookmatching. This technique can be used to highlight any stone with strong veining and a plentiful amount of movement, and it works particularly well with marble. You may be wondering: What is bookmatched marble, and what is the appeal of adorning a surface with bookmatched natural stone? Cosmos Surfaces is here to give you an in-depth look at the art of bookmatching and why it has become a major design trend.

What Is Bookmatching & How Is It Done?

The process of bookmatching is designed to create a mirror effect with consecutive slabs of natural stone. As the name suggests, bookmatching is done by placing successive pieces of stone next to one another so that they resemble an open book.

In order to produce the desired mirror image effect with marble or another natural stone, large blocks of stone are sliced into slabs and polished on the two sides that were previously facing each other. This method creates stone slabs which are virtual copies of each other, resulting in an astonishing kaleidoscopic pattern when they are arranged side by side.

What Is Bookmatched Marble?

Now that we’ve introduced bookmatching, let’s move on to the next question: What is bookmatched marble, and why is it so popular? As mentioned above, marble is a type of natural stone that is incredibly capable of creating an effective and inspiring bookmatched design. This is because most varieties of marble feature very prominent veining and flowing linear movement in their pattern. Plus, the hues in marble tend to be on the more subdued end of the spectrum, meaning the pattern won’t become overwhelming if mirrored.

bookmatched marble

Aside from marble, certain varieties of granite, quartzite and other natural stone can also be bookmatched to create uniquely stunning works of abstract art. Ultimately, the pattern and coloring of a stone will be the main determining factors in whether it is a logical choice for bookmatching. Beyond this, it comes down to your personal design style and what level of flair you’re looking to achieve in your space.

Where Might Bookmatched Stone Be Used?

Regardless of which variety is chosen, the goal of adding bookmatched natural stone to a space is to create a dramatic effect. Thus, many homeowners prefer to use it for larger areas so that the pattern has a prime opportunity to shine. Applications for which bookmatched stone may be a good fit include:

  • Shower walls
  • Accent walls
  • Large kitchen islands
  • Bar tops or tables
  • Fireplaces
  • Water features

If you are seeking to use bookmatched natural stone or porcelain for a certain application, it is important to consider the properties of the various kinds of natural stone to figure out which will work best for your purposes. When planning a bookmatched stone design for a high-traffic application such as a kitchen island, for instance, you might favor quartzite over marble, as the former tends to be more hardwearing.

Work with Cosmos Surfaces to Forge a Natural Stone Masterpiece

Perhaps you are interested in exploring the endless design possibilities afforded by bookmatched natural stone, or maybe you are looking for a less ornate option for your project. Either way, it is vital to work with a reputable surfacing material supplier to ensure a seamless finished product.

The design professionals at Cosmos Surfaces have the experience and know-how needed to help you find the optimal material for your application – whether you’re renovating a kitchen, modernizing a bathroom or working on some other project. Whatever the application, we are committed to providing the highest quality surfacing materials, plus helpful resources and unmatched customer service. Browse our extensive selection of natural stone for inspiration and brainstorming purposes, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!

Color of the Month: Classic Blue

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 19-4052, Classic Blue! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “A boundless blue hue, Classic Blue is evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky opening us up to a world of possibilities.”

Venturesomely dotted and speckled by Mother Nature’s paintbrush, Blue Pearl GT is a Norwegian granite with a reputation for unparalleled elegance. Dubbed Blue Pearl for its characteristic spots of white that pop against the rich blues and blacks that span the granite, this natural stone is a terrific pick for a fashionable, long lasting countertop.

A Designer’s Guide to Choosing the Best Porcelain Tile Grout Colors

designers guide porcelain

Porcelain tile is a terrific choice for a wide range of projects in the kitchen and bathroom. A low-maintenance surfacing material that ranks high on the style scale, porcelain tile is available in a broad selection of colors and styles. Whether you’d like to add pizzazz to your bathroom floor with hexagonal tile or refresh your kitchen with a subway tile backsplash, you’ll need to choose a color for your tile and the surrounding grout. So, how should you go about narrowing down your options for tile grout colors to land on one that suits your application and room aesthetics? The design experts at Cosmos Surfaces are here to share a few must-know guidelines to help you make a winning choice.

Why Do Tile Grout Colors Matter?

Before we dive into our pro tips for finding your ideal shade among the many available tile grout colors, we’d first like to emphasize why this choice is so important. While it may seem relatively insignificant, the shade you select for your tile grout will actually play a major role in how the finished product turns out. Regardless of application, taking a thoughtful approach to choosing your grout color is key to ensure you are totally satisfied with the look of your completed tile installation.

Selecting a Complementary Grout Color for Your Porcelain Tile Installation

While there are no set-in-stone rules when it comes to picking out tile grout colors, following some general guidelines can help you achieve your desired look – and make a decision you’ll be happy with for years to come. Without further ado, let’s explore some tips and tricks for selecting a grout color that pairs beautifully with your porcelain tile choice:

Think about your desired design effect

To start, decide what you aim to accomplish in your design scheme. Are you looking to make a bold statement, or does a more traditional look appeal to you? If your goal is to highlight the shape of your tile and make your design stand out, choosing a contrasting grout color will best achieve this goal. A lighter grout will make dark tile pop, and vice versa. If you desire a more unified look, opt for a grout color that closely matches the tile. Don’t worry about finding an exact match, though – a shade that’s a bit lighter or darker than your tile will pull everything together nicely.

Be prepared for possible color variation

Keep in mind that grout powders like tiles are made in batches and can vary slightly from batch to batch. The grout color will also change slightly when water or other components are added during installation and when a sealer is applied to the grout post installation. A tile professional can offer advice on what to expect for  normal color variation of your grout during and post installation, given the type of grout. They can also show you grout samples to help you envision how different tile grout colors will look in your design setting. Remember to factor in slight color variations from grout samples to the actual grout as well.

Consider your application

While porcelain tile is known for its outstanding resilience, the grout which outlines the individual tiles can darken over time – especially when used for high-traffic applications such as flooring. With this in mind, it’s wise to choose a darker grout to begin with if installing tile in an area that gets frequent use.

As you compare tile grout colors, keep these expert tips in mind – but remember there’s no right or wrong choice! Ultimately, the best selection for your project will depend on your personal taste and what effect you are hoping to evoke with your tile design.

Look to Cosmos Surfaces for Personalized Assistance

When planning a project that incorporates tile, there is plenty of inspiration to be found online. Browse our porcelain tile archives to see examples of how you might combine tile with various grout colors to enhance your kitchen or bathroom design.

Among the elegant porcelain tile options available from Cosmos Surfaces is Apilar White, a stunning bright white porcelain with vertical gray veining. As you’ll see in our photo gallery, both light and dark grout can complement this versatile tile selection, depending on the surrounding design elements and the desired aesthetic.

With a reputation for providing exceptional customer service and top-quality porcelain products, Cosmos Surfaces is dedicated to helping you make your porcelain tile project a success. Our knowledgeable team members are here to assist you every step of the way, from choosing a compatible tile grout shade to obtaining beautiful, long-lasting porcelain for your project. If you’re ready to get started, reach out to us today!

Color of the Month: Ultramarine Green

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 18-5338, Ultramarine Green! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “Ultramarine Green, a deep cooling blue-green, exudes self-assurance and poise.”

On Kamarica granite, sea foam green, rust orange, soft ivory and space gray swirl and twirl with one another to produce magical shapes. Bold yet sophisticated, this exotic, naturally occurring Brazilian stone is an awe-inspiring choice that works well for countertops, backsplashes, window sills, walls and many other interior design projects.

How to Use Natural Stone Remnants (And Where to Get Them)

natural stone remnants

When a large stone slab is cut to make your custom shower wall or countertop, what happens to the small pieces of stone that don’t make the cut? These beautiful “leftover” pieces of stone are called “remnants,” and they don’t go to waste. Natural stone remnants are actually in high demand by designers and other creative people with great ideas about how to use them. In today’s blog, Cosmos Surfaces will talk about how to use natural stone remnants in homes and other buildings, and where to get them so that you can get started on your own stone remnant project. We hope to inspire you to use these gorgeous, environmentally friendly stone remnants in a variety of ways.

Before Using Natural Stone Remnants…

…Be sure to consider the type of stone. Some are more prone to scratching or staining than others, so they shouldn’t be used in an environment that will expose them to these events. For example, soapstone is extremely resistant to acids and has a porosity of nearly zero. This makes it an ideal surface for serving food, so it’s a great option if you want to create a gorgeous cheese platter out of natural stone. On the other hand, soapstone is relatively soft and vulnerable to scratches. You wouldn’t want to use it as a cutting board – granite would be a much better choice.

before natural stone remnants

These are just a couple of examples of how the type of natural stone can affect where it should be used. Be sure to ask your supplier for advice about what types of stone would be best for your design, and read our blog and other care and maintenance resources for detailed information about caring for different types of natural stone.

Ideas for Large Remnants

Not all natural stone remnants are very small. Often, rather large pieces will be left over after an installation. This is a great opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture and bring luxurious natural stone into every room of the home. Large stone remnants can be used for:

  • Tabletops
  • Kitchen islands
  • Bar and buffet tops
  • Vanities
  • Windowsills
  • Outdoor Kitchens

Long, narrow remnants are perfect for these applications. This shape may not be ideal for a shower wall, but it is perfect for an in-home bar or a custom kitchen island. Just a touch of natural stone around the home can create an atmosphere of elegance and refinement.

ideas large remnants

Ideas for Small Remnants

The possibilities are endless when it comes to small, and even very small, natural stone remnants. Because natural stone is naturally beautiful and unique, you can use a small remnant anywhere in the home. Here are some exciting ideas for these “leftover” pieces of stone:

    • Serving and cutting boards
    • Mosaic backsplashes and accent strips
    • Coasters and trivets
    • Decorative objects
    • Plant stands
    • Stepping stones
    • Mosaic walkways and stairs
    • Mosaic stair raisers
    • Coffee tabletops

Simply placed on a table or under a prized houseplant, a natural stone remnant instantly elevates your decor. Or, design a stunning mosaic for a kitchen, bathroom, entryway, or garden. Remnants can be further shaved or cut down to create mosaic tiles in any shape. Even a small strip of decorative tiling between the countertop and the vanity mirror will draw the eye and add a touch of luxury.

ideas small remnants

Natural Stone Remnants are Environmentally Friendly

Less waste is better for the environment, and natural stone remnants are a perfect example. Using the remnants of stone slabs that have already been quarried and transported means less wasted energy and fuel. Natural stone is super durable and outlasts other manufactured products, so maximizing its use means less wastage and efficient use of natural resources across the design industry. It can also be recycled and repurposed for construction, filler material, or even mineral-rich fertilizer for plant life.

Where to Get Natural Stone Remnants

Now that you’ve been inspired to create something beautiful out of natural stone remnants, where can you acquire them? Simply ask your local stone slab supplier. It is likely they have plenty of remnants remaining from installation projects that are ready to be repurposed. At Cosmos Surfaces, we value the design possibilities and environmental benefits of natural stone remnants, and we are happy to work with you to find the perfect remnants for your idea. Contact us to get started.

Color of the Month: Ultramarine Green

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 18-5338, Ultramarine Green! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “Ultramarine Green, a deep cooling blue-green, exudes self-assurance and poise.”

Fascination - Green Quartzite 2

One of our most unique pieces, this quartzite is aptly named Fascination. Resembling an aerial view of the earth, the alluring waves and layers of Fascination captivates and delights no matter where it’s installed. New patterns continue to draw the eye the longer one looks upon the winding veins of black, gold, green, and white that make up Fascination. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

A Guide to Shopping for Natural Stone Slabs

stone slab suppliers near me

If you’ve turned to your browser and typed in a phrase like “stone slab suppliers near me” lately, the odds are you’re considering an important purchase. With so many options on the market, the search can feel daunting. Here’s a quick guide from Cosmos Surfaces to shopping for natural stone slabs!

Step 1: Assess your Needs

The properties you need in a natural stone surface will vary based on its application. A kitchen countertop should be scratch and stain resistant, while a commercial countertop might need to withstand fingerprints and oils. Stone used for outdoor applications like patios needs to withstand extreme temperature shifts, while you might favor texture for grip on a bathroom floor. It’s a good idea to write out a list of the properties you need so you can get advice from your stone slab supplier.

Step 2: Visit a Stone Showroom and Obtain Samples

Once you understand your needs and have narrowed down your search, visit a stone showroom to see the options you have and satisfy your requirements. If you are not sure, ask for assistance. Once you know your choices, it can be helpful to get sample sizes of the stones you are considering. Suppliers can often provide samples so you can experience the texture, color, and  coordinate other finishes like backsplash, trim, paint, cabinet colors and appliances.

Step 3: Test the Stone

To really assess whether a natural stone will meet your needs, you can do some tests on your samples. You can test for the following properties:

  • Hardness – a stone’s resistance to scratching. Use a sharp corner of the stone to scratch a glass tile, or scratch the stone with a knife blade. If the stone leaves a scratch on the glass or is able to withstand a blade, it can likely withstand common wear and tear.
  • Durability – a stone’s resistance to splitting or cracking. Many types of stone, like slate or schist, are layered. You can investigate a broken edge to see if you can pry apart those layers. It’s also a good idea to check for fissures (naturally occurring splits in the rock) or cracks (man-made splits caused during fabrication, transportation or installation). You’ll want to watch out for fissures or cracks you can feel on the surface, any that run all the way through or any appearing near edges or overhangs.
  • Acid Resistance – Everyday household acids can cause etching (a dull mark) on stone. Test for acid resistance by letting lemon juice or vinegar sit for several minutes before wiping it off and checking for etching at a low angle. Granite, quartzite and soapstone are excellent options if acid resistance is a priority.
  • Staining/Porosity – If your sample is sealed, check to see if water beads up and is wiped away easily, whether it leaves a damp mark or whether it soaks into the stone. Porosity is a good indication of how easily a surface will stain. Lower absorption means higher stain resistance.

Looking for “Stone Slab Suppliers Near Me”? Turn to Cosmos Surfaces

If you have questions about natural stone, please call or contact us today – Cosmos Surfaces is happy to help! We are experts on the properties of different types of natural stone, so we can provide the best advice on the perfect material for your project.

Color of the Month: Cinnamon Stick

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 18-1345, Cinnamon Stick! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “Earthy and warm, Cinnamon Stick is sweet yet spicy.”

Swirling pink and umber is how this rust-hued onyx, Red Dragon, gets its name. Originating in Iran, Red Dragon resembles an aerial shot of a desert, a soft caramel with rivulets of bold amber. With its polished finish and unique texture, Red Dragon is stunning in bathrooms as a vanity, wall tiling, or flooring.

What are the Advantages of Quartzite for Bathrooms and Kitchens?

Scarlet Crystal - Pink Quartzite 3

There are many reasons why quartzite is a trending choice for both kitchen and bathroom remodels right now. Among the many advantages of quartzite is its ease of maintenance, longevity, and effortless beauty. Quartzites are available in a vast range of colors and patterns, whether you want something that looks like marble or a shade that will fit perfectly in your original design. At Cosmos Surfaces, we are experts on what makes quartzite a top choice for designers and homeowners, and we supply the highest quality quartzite for any application.

What are the Advantages of Quartzite?

If you’re wondering why quartzite is known as premium choice for those wanting to install natural stone in a kitchen or bathroom, here are a few reasons:

  • Durability – Quartzite is extremely dense, meaning it’s resistant to stains, moisture, heat, scratches and chips. It is much harder than marble and performs well in high-traffic, high-use areas like the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Maintenance & Longevity – Another pro of quartzite is that it’s very simple to clean and maintain. Unlike marble, it doesn’t require frequent sealing. Plus, this hardwearing countertop material is less likely to fade or hold onto stains as time goes on.
  • Cost – Cost – Quartzite is an affordable luxury with a wide range of pricing depending on your selection. Our experts have something for every budget and can help you choose a stunning quartzite that meets your needs in both cost and style.

Enjoy All the Advantages of Quartzite: Enter a World of Options

Now that you are familiar with some of the top benefits offered by quartzites, you might be eager to see some samples from our collection. Venaria Reale is a gorgeous option from our premium quartzite collection. Venaria Reale creates a calming, mellow atmosphere and is perfect in bathrooms as a vanity, bathtub surround, wall cladding, or floor covering. Quartzites are resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

Venaria Reale - Close Up

To see more awe-inspiring quartzite options available from Cosmos Surfaces, head over to our online gallery. Our vast selection includes something for every application and design scheme.

Explore Choices that Suit Your Project with an Expert from Cosmos Surfaces

Cosmos Surfaces offers personalized service to help our customers find the most ideal product for their purposes. Whether you are interested in quartzite, marble, or another high-quality option, you can count on us to provide expert recommendations for your project. Contact us today to find out why we have earned a reputation for offering exceptional customer service and supplying the finest surfacing products around.

Color of the Month: Mosaic Blue

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 18-4528, Mosaic Blue! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “The teal Mosaic Blue displays an air of mystique, grace and depth of feeling.”

Raphael  - Multi Quartzite 3

Named after the artist himself, Raphael is an exquisite work of art when installed in any space, interior or exterior. Rivers of blue and roads of gold traverse a white backdrop to form this masterpiece. The complex variety of color and layering in Raphael make it a perfect match with any aesthetic, modern or rugged, warm or cool. Raphael like other quartzites is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

Why a Porcelain Slab Shower Is the Best Option for Your Renovation

porcelain slab shower

Across the U.S. and Europe, large format porcelain tile has become a beloved option for an extensive list of design applications. Owing to its impressive durability, easy maintainability and many other favorable features, porcelain is now a top contender for design projects like kitchen countertops, bathroom vanity tops, shower and tub surrounds, fireplaces, floors and more. Of particular popularity among discerning homeowners is the porcelain slab shower – a stunning, decidedly modern choice that’s as hardwearing as it is beautiful. The brand new Large Format Porcelain Tile Collection – Opulith from Cosmos Surfaces includes something for every taste, project and budget.

What Makes Porcelain So Wonderful for Shower Walls & Floors?

The selection of materials for shower walls and floors can be overwhelming. If you’re currently considering several different options for your bathroom renovation, here’s why porcelain should be a standout on your list:

  • Very dense and resistant to water absorption
  • Resistant to scratches, stains and chips
  • Retains heat well
  • Requires little maintenance
  • Available in a wide range of patterns and colors
  • Very easy to install in slab form
  • Due to the size of the slabs, the number of grout lines are greatly reduced

Another great thing about using large format porcelain tile to give your shower a facelift? This durable material can be installed over existing stone, meaning you may be able to skip the work of removing your old shower walls!

Cleaning Your Porcelain Slab Shower

As mentioned above, porcelain is incredibly easy to take care of, which is a must-have quality for your shower. It’s safe to use any type of gentle multipurpose cleaner in a porcelain shower. Just be sure to wipe your porcelain shower dry after cleaning to avoid unwanted water marks.

Find Breathtaking Porcelain Tile at Cosmos Surfaces

Looking for the perfect porcelain for your shower renovation? We recommend Sicily White, a refined and elegant style that’s suitable for shower walls and floors. Featuring smoke gray veining and specks on a backdrop of milky white, this slab will lend modern beauty to any bathroom.

Sicily White - White Porcelain - Bernini Classic Bookmatch

Explore our entire selection of porcelain slabs for showers and much more! Whether you are a homeowner, an industry professional, a vendor or a supplier, we are here to answer any questions you may have about our high-quality, competitively priced porcelain tiling. Reach out today to find out why we’re known for outstanding customer service and unbeatable product quality.

Color of the Month: Sunlight

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 13-0822, Sunlight! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “Soft Sunlight invites happiness, pleasant cheer and a smiling presence.”

Aurum is the Latin word for gold, so it’s no surprise Aurum Ivory captures heavenly radiance with its gentle, curling golden veining. The angelic delicacy of this white quartz is unmatched, and its polished finish makes it a pristine choice for bathrooms, kitchens, and beyond. Enjoy a serene retreat into the clouds with the help of this elevating white quartz.

Why Are Porcelains a Trending Choice for Kitchen Countertops?

Taj Mahal - Champaign Porcelain - Kitchen Floor

There are many qualities you’ll want to look for in a kitchen countertop. First and foremost, it’s important for the counter to be resilient so that it will last for years to come. At the same time, you want something that reflects your personal style and complements the rest of your design scheme. In recent years, porcelain has become a popular choice among homeowners seeking exceptional style and function from their kitchen countertops. Cosmos offers premium porcelain slabs for kitchen countertops and more in many different colors and styles, under our brand new Large Format Porcelain Tile Collection – Opulith.

Why Consider Porcelain for Your Kitchen Countertop?

When comparing kitchen countertop materials, you may find yourself feeling a bit overwhelmed. To help you decide if porcelain is a good fit for your project, we’re here to break down the benefits this material has to offer:

  • Easy to MaintainUnlike granite and certain other stones, porcelain doesn’t require polishing or sealing. This means less maintenance work, both at the time of installation and later on.
  • Beautiful & VersatileAlso known as large format tiles, porcelain slabs for kitchen countertops are available in a wide range of patterns, colors and textures. Whether you’re going for a simple or bold look, there’s bound to be a porcelain style that catches your eye. They are also a fantastic choice for backsplashes due to their light weight and thickness.
  • Highly Durable – Porcelain is known as a hard-wearing countertop material for good reason. It is harder than granite and very dense. You can count on porcelain to resist stains, scratches, chips, and even UV light, making it a viable choice for both indoor and outdoor kitchen countertops. It is perfect for high traffic and heavy use areas.
  • Cost Achieving the sophisticated and elegant look of a Calacatta or quartzite adorned kitchen without breaking the bank has never been easier. These porcelains are economical to purchase, install and maintain.

As you can see, a porcelain kitchen countertop is a stunning, statement-making choice that offers many practical advantages, while embodying elegance and style.

Shopping for a Kitchen Countertop? Reach Out to Cosmos for Expert Assistance

At Cosmos Surfaces, we draw on years of industry experience to help homeowners find the perfect material and style for their kitchen countertops. If you’d like professional, personalized assistance as you search for your ideal kitchen countertop, get in touch with us today! Whether you’re interested in porcelain, granite or another material, you’ll have access to an extensive selection of high-quality, competitively priced options when you work with Cosmos.

Color of the Month: Sunlight

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 13-0822, Sunlight! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “Soft Sunlight invites happiness, pleasant cheer and a smiling presence.”

Our Taj Mahal Porcelain is a champagne colored porcelain with fine, soft lines of almost iridescent gold—worth being called one of the world’s seven wonders. The subtle golden hues of this material pairs well with browns, ivories, greys and other neutrals. Use outdoors on an open patio to see how this gorgeous color dances in the sunlight.

Still not convinced about Porcelain? Check out the real deal with our Taj Mahal Quartzite!

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