Find Large Format Porcelain Tile at Cosmos Surfaces

Are you looking for a surface with a modern aesthetic that can stand up to everyday use in your bustling household? For everything from kitchen countertops to shower walls to floors to accent walls, large format porcelain tile fits the bill. We have a stunning porcelain slab collection to choose from here at Cosmos Surfaces, the country’s most trusted surface authority. Let’s learn more about this material’s appeal and our process to supply you with a well-matched porcelain for your decor style and project specifications.

Perks of Large Format Porcelain Tile

If you’re eager to elevate a space in terms of both aesthetic beauty and durability, porcelain offers a wonderful solution that’s right at the intersection. Here are some of its key features:

  • Even harder and denser than granite, porcelain is known to resist scratches, chips and stains to a high degree, even in a highly trafficked environment like a family kitchen or bathroom. It is also resistant to heat and ultraviolet light, making it compatible with bright, sunny rooms, cooking spaces and even outdoor applications. 
  • With no sealing needed due to its nonporous nature, a porcelain slab will perform spectacularly well in moist environments, like in a shower or around a sink. You’ll love not having to keep up with this maintenance task while resting assured that your surfaces are well protected against bacteria, moisture and stain permeation.
  • Owing to engineering advances, porcelain can be made to mimic some of the most sought-after looks in the surface world, such as that of marble or quartzite. The advantage is that it can come at a lower cost and with looser care requirements than these premium natural stone options.

By virtue of these characteristics, porcelain transcends the standard, allowing you to enter a world of sophisticated looks without sacrificing resilience or ease of maintenance. In the eyes of many homeowners, this makes it more attractive than natural stones which look similar but often require more attention in the form of regular sealing or more intensive everyday care routines. 

Popular Design Applications for Porcelain

While it’s also available in smaller tile sizes, large format porcelain tile has gained immense popularity and become a trendsetter due to the sleek and seamless look it imparts. Some of the most popular ways to incorporate it into a home include:

  • Bookmatching on an accent wall or fireplace, which entails putting two identical slabs next to each other for a mirror-like effect that turns a space into a work of art
  • Marble-look shower walls with gray or gold veining that accents other features in the bathroom, such as fixtures or vanities
  • Longwearing, decidedly modern and statement-making kitchen countertops and islands that don’t need much upkeep
  • Outdoor tables, bar tops, cladding and patios

Apart from its brilliant appearance, large format porcelain tile also offers the benefit of having fewer seams. In turn, it is easier to install and comes with less grout to maintain (and less risk of detracting from its cohesive look). 

Find Large Format Porcelain Tile at Cosmos Surfaces

For homeowners eager to enhance their dwellings with large format porcelain or another surface-of-the-moment, Cosmos Surfaces offers support in the form of education and personalized customer service. If you are considering porcelain but want to know more, look no further to have all your questions answered by knowledgeable experts. 

Not long ago, we were thrilled to unveil our large format porcelain tile collection called OPULITH. This stunning and varied selection includes dupes of beloved marble and quartzite varieties, such as Sicily White and Taj Mahal. It also showcases options which lend themselves fabulously to bookmatching, such as Ocean Grey and Roman Grey

Start the Conversation with Our Surface Pros 

If you’re excited to get started with our team, then so are we! We have showrooms located in many major cities across the U.S. where you can chat with our staff and see our surfaces in action. If it’s not convenient for you to visit us in person, you can also reach out to us online at any time. 

As a family owned company dedicated to providing exceptional service, we’ll be happy to help you every step of the way to pinpointing and obtaining your best-matched surface, whether it’s porcelain or something else. 

Color of the Month: Mercury

Mercury is a warm grey with cocoa brown undertones, perfect for a main wall or accent wall in any room. Pairing it with neutral blue can bring out the best in both colors.

Experience Ferro Grey, a sophisticated quartz that features flecks of iron grey on a robust black background. “Ferro” means “iron,” and the strength of this stone is unmistakable—it exudes energy and durability. Ferro Grey is a focal point in any room, complementing natural warm wood and rich deep color schemes alike.

Elevate your interior design with a white quartz that’s as elegant as it is strong. Homeowners, architects, and designers install this exquisite Royal Grigio in their kitchens, bathrooms, and more. Quartz does not scratch, stain, or fade, making this a practical and rewarding choice for your home or business. Learn more about this white quartz at your nearest Cosmos location!

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.

What Is the Most Durable Countertop Material?

most durable countertop material

Providing an area to prepare and enjoy meals, conversation and the company of your loved ones, your countertop is a pillar of your kitchen or entertaining space. Plus, it’s likely a focal point of the room design. So, it’s important to make sure it can stand up to frequent use while retaining its beauty over time. If you’re searching for the most durable countertop material, you have quite a few options, as there are many resilient choices. Quartz, soapstone, porcelain, quartzite and granite have all earned their place as standouts.

Ultimately, the right countertop material for your home will depend on your personal preferences and specifications. Our surfacing specialists are here to help you compare some of the top options by breaking down their features and differences.

What Is the Most Durable Countertop Material? 

In pursuit of a countertop that’s very well suited to your particular purposes, here are a few helpful questions to ask yourself:

  • Will your countertop be installed indoors or out? – If you’re shopping for an outdoor kitchen counter or bar top, it’s key to confirm its compatibility with the elements. Natural stones like quartzite and granite are built to last, even in the face of harsh weather and fluctuating temperatures. Porcelain is also commonly used for outdoor applications and sunny spaces, thanks to its capacity to resist fading along with moisture. For outside counters, you’ll want to avoid porous materials (which can be damaged by water), as well as materials containing resin binders (like quartz), as these may warp or melt when exposed to direct sunlight and high heat. 
  • Are you okay with having to seal your countertop on occasion? – Choosing a natural stone countertop means you’ll likely need to have it sealed at regular intervals to keep it from taking on moisture, bacteria and stains. If you’re more keen on a non-porous countertop that doesn’t require sealing, consider soapstone or quartz. 
  • How hard of a countertop would you like? – When it comes to countertops, hardness and durability go hand in hand. The hardness of various stones is ranked on the Mohs scale, with quartz, quartzite and granite being at the upper end. While less dense, soapstone and porcelain can still handle everyday wear and tear rather well, although there is a greater risk of scratches and chips in a high-traffic space.
  • What are your maintenance preferences? – Different surfaces have different care requirements. For instance, it’s best to use a cleaner that’s designed specifically for natural stone on granite and its counterparts. Meanwhile, soapstone and quartz are considered especially low maintenance, as they can be cleaned with a simple mixture of mild soap and water with no risk of harming the surface. If you’re seeking the most durable countertop material that’s also zero fuss, this may be something to think about.
  • What is your budget? – Countertop material pricing can vary quite a bit, even within a specific category. Also, when special equipment and techniques are required for proper installation, this can result in a higher price. Be sure to inquire about the cost of installation along with the price of the material itself when comparing different options. 

In addition to these factors, your desired aesthetic will also play a key role in determining your perfect countertop match. At Cosmos Surfaces, we offer a sweeping range of countertop options to explore, from various kinds of natural stone to man-made materials like engineered quartz.

In our showrooms across the nation and our online gallery, you’ll find a spectacular array of hues, patterns and textures to pick from, some made by the Earth and others by expert engineering. We are proud to have exquisite offerings for every budget.

Allow yourself to be dazzled by Cardinal Red quartzite, Evian White granite, Jade soapstone and a wealth of other elegant options available from Cosmos Surfaces. Feel free to peruse all the possibilities, or describe your design vision to us so we can help you narrow it down.

Reach Out to Cosmos for Help Selecting a Winning Countertop 

Eager to discover the most durable countertop material that best fits your needs and desires? Count on Cosmos Surfaces for professional guidance! Contact us via our website, and someone from our team of knowledgeable surface experts will be happy to assist you. Or, locate the Cosmos showroom closest to you and come see our amazing selection in person! Either way, we’ll provide top-quality advice to match our top-quality surfaces. 

Color of the Month: Emerald

Emerald is a muted, shaded aqua-green with jungle green undertones. Pair with lemony yellows for a soft glow, or with ebony black for a stunning contrast.

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.

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.

Do Porcelain Tiles Crack Easily? & Other FAQs

do porcelain tiles crack easily

Porcelain tile is a common choice for a wide array of applications, both inside and outside of the home. When contemplating using this surfacing material for a specific project, it’s only natural to wonder: Do porcelain tiles crack easily? Whether you’re considering it for a countertop, an interior floor or a patio, getting the full scoop on porcelain and its properties is wise to verify that it’s the best match for your purposes. Our trusted second generation family owned surfacing products supplier is here to provide all the information you need to make an informed decision!

Do Porcelain Tiles Crack Easily? & Other FAQs

If you’re seeking a surface that’s as hardwearing as it is aesthetically appealing, porcelain could very well be just what you’re looking for. Thanks to advanced engineering techniques, porcelain tile can be tailored to fit renovation projects in your kitchen, bathroom or even your outdoor living space. Let’s answer a few popular FAQs about the features of porcelain tile:

  • Do porcelain tiles crack easily? – Simply put: no! Among tile options, porcelain stands out as a very strong and durable choice. It’s denser than its ceramic and vinyl counterparts, although not quite as hard as some natural stones (such as quartzite). Still, you can depend on porcelain to perform well over time, even when subjected to heavy traffic in a residential or commercial space. 
  • Is porcelain water resistant? – Yes indeed! Porcelain is made to repel moisture and, in turn, to minimize slipperiness and maximize traction, making it an excellent choice for showers, bathroom floors & walls and outdoor applications. Certain varieties are even rated as frostproof! 
  • How do I care for porcelain? – Since it’s water resistant, porcelain typically doesn’t require sealing like most natural stones do. However, it is important to regularly seal and clean the grout in between tiles to defend against bacteria, mold and stains there. The porcelain itself can be safely refreshed as needed using just about any household cleaner.
  • Will porcelain fade? – Not easily. Whether installed indoors or out, porcelain is known to retain its beautiful original coloring throughout the years. This is yet another point of favor for porcelain and its longevity. 
  • How much does porcelain cost to install? – The exact figure will depend on several factors, including the particular variety of porcelain chosen and the application. Because engineering and installing porcelain properly requires special knowledge and equipment, it can be a bit pricier than some other surfacing materials. Still, porcelain tends to be more affordable than natural stone in many cases, but with comparable levels of resilience and attractiveness.

Now that you’ve read up on porcelain tile’s properties, pros and potential cons, you may be excited to explore some options available from Cosmos Surfaces. We offer a vast selection of gorgeous, longwearing porcelain in a range of different hues, patterns, shapes and sizes, including large format slabs. Varieties span from subtly toned tile to charming wood-look porcelain to marble-mimicking porcelain featuring attention-grabbing veining. It all comes down to which look you most desire!

If you’re interested in large format porcelain as a possible wall, floor or countertop material, take your pick between Ocean Grey, Portoro, Sicily Gold and other elegant varieties. We also offer smaller pieces of porcelain tile to create dazzling tub surrounds, vanity tops and backsplashes. If you believe natural stone or another material may better suit your project, don’t stop at porcelain – feel free to browse our entire online gallery

Look to Us for Reliable Advice and Top-Quality Surfaces  

Want more details on a certain surface you’ve got your eye on? We’re always happy to answer questions such as “do porcelain tiles crack easily?” in the interest of helping our customers locate the all-around most ideal option for their project! Share your vision with our pros, and we’ll steer you towards surfaces that check all of your boxes and stay within your budget.

To begin working with one of our knowledgeable consultants, reach out to us online today. Or, find the Cosmos showroom closest to you (we have locations across the nation) to compare our stunning surface options in person with an expert from our team! Either way, our customer service-focused specialists look forward to helping you find the surface of your dreams.

Color of the Month: Emerald

Emerald is a muted, shaded aqua-green with jungle green undertones. Pair with lemony yellows for a soft glow, or with ebony black for a stunning contrast.

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.

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.

Pros and Cons of Porcelain Tile for Bathroom Floor

porcelain tile for bathroom floor

When designing spaces throughout the home, it’s important to think about both function and aesthetics. For bathrooms in particular, elements which evoke feelings of serenity and will stand the test of time in a high-moisture environment are commonly wished for. To strike this balance, you might consider porcelain tile for bathroom floor. Today, our surface professionals are here to fill you in on the pros and possible cons of porcelain bathroom floors to help you decide if they’re a good fit for your project.

Pros and Cons of Porcelain Tile for Bathroom Floor

To land on the best flooring material for a bathroom renovation, it’s wise to take a comprehensive look at the perks and potential disadvantages of each option. Doing so will help you avoid unexpected surprises and make an informed choice, leading you to a floor that aligns with all your top priorities. 

Here’s a big-picture overview of what to know when evaluating whether porcelain tile fulfills your particular needs and desires for your new bathroom floor.


  • Available in a wide range of patterns, porcelain gives you freedom to bring just about any design vision to life. Your eye might be caught by a spectacular veined slab simulating the look of marble (but at a more affordable price point), a more muted neutral-toned porcelain that lets surrounding elements take center stage or even a wood-look porcelain tile. The world is your oyster!
  • Versatility in tile size & shape adds to the allure of porcelain. By virtue of advanced engineering techniques, porcelain can be made in a full spectrum of sizes and shapes to suit different applications. Dazzling countertops and flowing floors for bathrooms can be easily achieved with large format porcelain slabs, while smaller projects like backsplashes and tub surrounds are also possible with porcelain tile.
  • Slip and water resistant, porcelain makes for a safe flooring option for bathrooms and beyond. You can count on it to give you great traction underfoot, even when used for a shower floor or another area where moisture is often present.
  • Invulnerable to sunlight, porcelain resists fading and maintains its color and radiance over time. You don’t have to fear using it in sunny spaces, or even outdoors!
  • Unfussy compared to its natural stone cousins, porcelain is among the most easily maintained options for bathroom floors, shower walls and more. It’s safe to use most household cleaners on porcelain surfaces, and you generally don’t have to worry about buffing or sealing them to keep their finish fresh. 
  • With inherent antibacterial/antimicrobial properties, porcelain is an especially excellent choice for the bathroom of a health-conscious homeowner. As an important note, it’s essential to regularly clean and seal the grout between tiles to prevent staining and mold growth. Luckily, large format tile typically doesn’t come with an excessive number of grout lines to maintain.

Possible Cons

  • Installation can be more costly for porcelain than for certain other materials, as special equipment and expertise are required to engineer and install porcelain properly. 
  • Porcelain is less hard than some natural stones (like quartzite), meaning it can be more susceptible to damage – especially with very heavy use over time. 
  • Scratches or chips may stand out – more so than on natural stone – since the surface pattern on porcelain might not run through the entire slab. 

As you can see, there’s a whole lot to love about porcelain tile for bathroom floors and more. But as with any surface, it comes with some characteristics that can be less than ideal, depending on what exactly you’re looking for. 

Before deciding on porcelain tile or another bathroom floor material, it’s important to be fully in the know about the features, from cost to maintenance requirements. Hopefully this rundown has been helpful in providing more insight into whether porcelain tile for bathroom floor installation might be right for you! For any questions you may still have, our surface specialists are here to assist.

Consult Our Pros for Help Finding Your Ideal Surface

If you’re eager to begin exploring porcelain slab, tile and other beautiful, versatile, long-wearing surface selections, we invite you to take a look at our online gallery. We also have showrooms across the US that you can visit, in case you’d like to compare our offerings in person. 

Whether you’re seeking an envy-worthy bathroom floor, kitchen counter or some other unique surface to enrich your home’s beauty, comfort and value, our knowledgeable team will be glad to help. Fill out our contact form today to get started!

Color of the Month: Onyx

Onyx is a cool, dark black with stone undertones. It lends a stately, serious look to any room, but is versatile enough to use alongside any color or texture.

Maori granite has a pattern that’s reminiscent of drawings on a chalkboard, with thin-to-wide, grayish-white lines intersecting on top of a stark black base. A striking and stylish stone, Maori is a suitable selection for anyone seeking an adventurously decorated granite countertop that will continue making a statement for years to come.

Waves and ripples of white and gray adorn this brilliant black granite dubbed Via Lactea from Brazil. The gentle veins and patterns of the Via Lactea create a compelling sight to behold when set against white cabinets.

What is the Best Stone for Shower Walls?

best stone for shower walls

There’s nothing quite like a warm shower to help you unwind at the end of a stressful day. Adding natural stone elements to your bathroom can elevate this space and help you create a serene sanctuary, but what is the best stone for shower walls?

We invite you along as our experts discuss.

What is the Best Stone for Shower Walls?

Durability, aesthetics and ease of maintenance can all factor into the materials we choose for our homes. When it comes to selecting the best stone for shower walls, homeowners have several gorgeous options to consider. Let’s dive in. 

Marble for Shower Walls 

Marble is synonymous with luxury. This impressive stone has many desirable features for bathroom uses. Known for its soft, light coloring and intriguing veining patterns, marble is a timeless classic that will serve you well in the bathroom for many decades.   

Natural stone marble is porous, and one of the most notable points about selecting it for the shower is the importance of sealing and cleaning it often. Very light variations of marble can stain over time if homeowners neglect the necessary maintenance steps. 

As some marble has a high iron content, frequent exposure to water can cause it to rust and discolor unless it is properly sealed. By using an impregnating (penetrating) sealer, you’ll protect your marble investment from moisture damage, mold and staining or discoloration.

Marble sometimes gets a less favorable reputation as a high-maintenance stone, which might concern some homeowners. It’s wise to remember, however, that any material in the bathroom will require a little extra TLC to keep it from taking on moisture damage, discoloring with use and developing mold/mildew growth. 

Learn all about how to clean a marble shower here

Pro Tip: The vein composition in marble can be slightly more vulnerable to moisture damage. To mitigate this, opt for high grade marble with fewer inclusions and minimal veining. 

Granite for Shower Walls 

Granite is a beloved natural stone in the home. Durable, easy to maintain and available in a wide range of dramatic colors and patterns, granite can help you design the bathroom of your dreams. 

Granite is durable with a dense composition. This makes it less prone to absorbing moisture. Just like marble, however, granite will also need to be sealed and resealed often to protect it against moisture damage, staining and mold/mildew growth. 

Homeowners looking to incorporate a darker color scheme in their bathroom design will find plenty of gorgeous options in granite, though a range of lighter shades are available too. 

Pro Tip: Homeowners looking to install natural stone on shower floors will want to go with a slip-resistant natural stone finish, like a flamed or leathered finish.  

Quartzite for Shower Walls 

Quartzite is one of the hardest surfacing materials, which makes it perfect for standing up to daily wear and tear in a busy bathroom or kitchen. Compared to marble, which stands at a 3 on the Mohs hardness scale, quartzite has a Mohs hardness of 7.

Even though quartzite is so hard, it is still porous, which means it needs to be sealed. You can expect to have to seal quartzite about once every 10 years, or when you notice that the surface seems to be absorbing water and turning darker in wet areas. Properly sealed quartzite is easy to clean with mild household cleaners and a soft sponge.

Most quartzites are white or light in color due to their quartz content, but additional minerals in the stone can produce vivid colors. If you’re thinking of a lighter color scheme in your bathroom, quartzite is definitely a natural stone to consider.

Porcelain for Shower Walls

While not a natural stone, large format porcelain slabs should also be considered for shower walls. A porcelain slab shower is a low-maintenance, hardwearing option that is available in a wide range of colors and patterns. It can be cleaned with common household cleaning products and doesn’t need to be sealed. Porcelain is slip-resistant, which makes it a safe option for bathrooms. Some porcelain is even antibacterial and antimicrobial.

If you love the distinguished look of marble but want a lower-maintenance option for your shower, porcelain that looks like marble is a great option. Thanks to an advanced engineering process, porcelain can be made to mimic the characteristic veining and smooth texture of marble. Although porcelain slabs may be more affordable than natural stone, they can come with higher installation costs due to the experience and equipment needed to handle them.

Natural Stone Care for Bathrooms 

Diligent care is always important to help preserve natural stone investments in the home. This fact is even more pronounced in bathroom areas. Neglecting the proper cleaning and maintenance requirements can lead to cracks, mold growth, staining and discoloration. 

To care for natural stone in the shower, consider these cleaning tips:

  • Clean Stone Weekly — Opt for non-abrasive, neutral cleaners and clean stone showers weekly to remove dirt, grime, soap scum and mineral deposits. Always check in with a manufacturer to ensure that a cleaner is safe to use on your natural stone of choice. 
  • Ventilate the Area —  To prevent mold and mildew growth on stone surfaces and in grout, ensure proper ventilation after using the shower. This includes running the fan and opening doors and windows after each use. 
  • Wipe Down Excess Water —  Stones like marble can take on water stains and lose its luster with constant exposure to water. Homeowners can mitigate this by wiping down excess water after each use (a squeegee can also help remove residual water). 
  • Clean and Seal Grout — Whether you opt for natural stone or porcelain, the grout between any kind of tiles can become porous and vulnerable to staining and mold growth. It’s important to keep up with cleaning and sealing grout lines. You can find a primer on sealing grout here.  
  • Seal Stone Regularly — One of the most important maintenance activities you can perform on natural stone in the bathroom is to seal it regularly (every 1-3 years) with an impregnating sealer. Be sure to check in with a natural stone fabricator on how often to reseal your natural stone.  

Buy Natural Stone for Shower Surfaces 

If you have any questions about selecting the best stone for shower walls or bathroom areas, reach out to Cosmos today! We bring decades of expertise to the table, and our pro team is always happy to help. 

Ready to browse natural stone? See our selection here

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.

White crystal bands and silver streaks dance through the vast and layered green and brown background of this Brazilian granite. The high contrast color palette coupled with the unpredictable patterns of Vostok granite are sure to add motion and momentum to modern design elements.

True to its name, Macaubus Fantasy brings to mind a calm, cool breeze across relaxing oceans. Ideal for kitchens and bathrooms or outdoor surfaces and tiles, this versatile white quartzite swirls shades of blue, grey, and subtle tans across a white background. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

Stone Finish Options: Pros and Cons

stone finish

Selecting the perfect natural stone for your home is a big decision. Different stone surfaces have different properties, and each brings a unique look and feel to a space. Aside from factors like its color, veining patterns and composition, the stone finish applied to stone countertops, tiles or other stone surfaces can dramatically change its look. Read on to learn all about different stone finishes and the pros and cons of each from the experts at Cosmos Surfaces.

Polished Stone Finish

A polished stone finish is achieved by mechanically rubbing or polishing a natural stone surface with polishing pads until the surface becomes smooth and shiny. A polished stone finish can be applied to any type of natural stone, including granite, marble and quartzite.

Pros of a Polished Stone Finish

Polished stone surfaces are a popular choice among homeowners. Here’s why:

  • Polished stones are less porous and therefore more durable and stain-resistant
  • The shiny look of polished stone adds a feel of newness and cleanliness
  • Polished stone helps achieve an elegant, luxurious aesthetic
  • This finish highlights a stone’s colors and patterns
  • A reflective finish tends to brighten a room and make a space feel larger

Cons of a Polished Stone Finish

Depending on the buyer’s preferences, these are potential deterrents when it comes to polished natural stone:

  • Polished finishes can draw attention to flaws in the stone
  • Smudges, stains and fingerprints are more visible
  • Acidic substances or abrasive cleaners can cause corrosion

Honed Stone Finish

A honed stone finish is smooth, much like a polished finish, but rather than a reflective, shiny look, honed surfaces are matte with a satiny, buffed appearance. This warm, inviting finish can be applied to all natural stone surfaces during the fabrication process. 

Pros of a Honed Stone Finish

Here’s why homeowners love honed stone finishes:

  • It creates a smooth work surface
  • Honed finishes are easy to clean
  • This finish conceals fingerprints and smudges
  • A honed finish can help create a laid-back, warm and inviting look

Cons of a Honed Stone Finish

Potential drawbacks of a honed finish include:

  • Honed finishes can slightly mute a stone’s color and patterning features
  • Chips and scratches can be more noticeable
  • This finish is slightly more porous than a polished finish, which means honed stone may need to be resealed more frequently than polished stone.

Leathered Stone Finish

A leathered finish, sometimes also known as an “antiqued” finish, is achieved by etching the stone with an implement like a wire or diamond-tipped brush. This technique gives the stone a weathered, rustic look. A leathered stone finish can be applied to marble, granite and quartzite stone surfaces, while buyers are advised to check in with fabricators when seeking this finish on other types of natural stone. 

Pros of a Leathered Stone Finish

Leathered stone finishes have benefits like these:

  • This finish has some texture but feels smooth to the touch
  • Leathered finishes have a unique, custom appearance
  • They help achieve a warm, rustic design aesthetic
  • Fingerprints, smudges and stains are more easily concealed
  • A leathered finish can enhance a stone’s color

Cons of a Leathered Stone Finish

All finishes have some drawbacks. Here’s what to watch out for with a leathered finish:

  • This finish has some texture to it, which can make cleaning slightly more challenging
  • The non-reflective nature of this finish can make a small space feel smaller
  • Chips and scratches may be noticeable

Flamed Stone Finish

A flamed stone finish, also known as a “thermal” finish, is achieved with a high-temperature torch. This creates a rough texture with a coarse finish. Granite and quartzite can both accept a flamed finish, while less durable stones cannot. 

Pros of a Flamed Stone Finish

Flamed finishes have the following benefits:

  • This finish creates a non-slip texture
  • Flamed finishes are less common, giving a space a unique, custom appearance
  • The coarse texture helps create a warm, earthy look and feel

Cons of a Flamed Stone Finish

Buyers should be aware of the following potential drawbacks of flamed stone finishes:

  • The rough texture of this finish makes it more difficult to clean
  • Flamed finishes leave stone surfaces more porous, requiring frequent sealing to protect against stains and moisture issues 

Sandblasted Stone Finish

A high-pressure stream of water and sand is applied to create a sandblasted stone finish. This process works on all types of natural stone, creating a rough, yet uniform texture. 

Pros of a Sandblasted Stone Finish

Sandblasted finishes have these unique features:

  • A silky, matte surface appearance 
  • This finish is popular for outdoor monuments, artwork, gravestones and statues
  • Sandblasted finishes can be coarse or fine, which creates either a darker or lighter finish, respectively

Cons of a Sandblasted Stone Finish

Here are potential cons of sandblasted finishes:

  • This finish is popular for outdoor features like monuments, but less so for indoor applications
  • This finishing process can alter or “soften” a stone’s natural colors and patterns

Natural Stone at Cosmos Surfaces

The look of your natural stone surfaces can be customized to perfection by applying a specific stone finish. If you have questions about natural stone surfaces and stone finishes, reach out to the experts at Cosmos.

Cosmos Surfaces is a family-owned business dedicated to providing high-quality surface materials. Browse our selection of natural stone, tiles, porcelain slabs and sinks today. 

Color of the Month: Midnight Blue

Midnight Blue is a cool, stormy shade of blue-gray with navy undertones. It is perfect for a striking accent wall in a bedroom or living room.

Oxford Blue is the Northern Lights come to life, your favorite pair of faded blue jeans personified, a sunset on the ocean. Layers of blue, white, and pink meet in this Brazilian quartzite. Creating an atmosphere of liveliness and nostalgia, Oxford Blue looks great in busy aquatic environments, such as a poolside counter or a waterfall. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

The blue-gray background and thick, crystalline bands of white resemble a wintry wood in the type of quartzite we’ve dubbed Cassini. Also known as Vogue Blue or Paramount, Cassini paints a striking scene. Cassini is a cool and boldly unique choice for any modern space, including kitchens, bathrooms, and living rooms. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

What are the Most Heat Resistant Countertops?

most heat resistant countertops

The kitchen is a high traffic zone, and when it comes to selecting countertop materials, durability reigns supreme. Several factors determine how well a surface material will perform in the kitchen, but what are the most heat resistant countertops? Read on to see what our experts have to say.

Heat Proof vs. Heat Resistant

Before we dive in, it’s worth noting that “heat-resistant” doesn’t necessarily mean “heat-proof.” While countertops that exhibit high heat resistance are less likely to take on damage from hot pots or pans, caution remains the wisest approach. We’ll always encourage homeowners to use trivets, cooling racks, cutting boards and coasters, no matter your chosen countertop material.

Heat Resistant Countertops 

We’ve rounded up some of the most heat-resistant and gorgeous countertops on the market today. Of course, each surface material has its pros and cons. The right choice for your space will ultimately depend on a combination of characteristics. Let’s take a look. 

Granite Countertops

Granite is an all-star in the home surfacing world. This igneous rock — a rock solidified from lava or magma — is coarse-grained, highly durable and available in a wide range of colors and dramatic patterns. 

Granite performs well when exposed to heat, though trivets, cooling racks and coasters are recommended to prevent staining, scratches and discoloration. Granite typically requires annual sealing to protect the stone from staining and taking on moisture damage, but is easy to clean during/after everyday use. 

If you play host to a busy kitchen, granite is an excellent choice that holds up well to a wide range of common wear-and-tear scenarios.

Quartzite Countertops

Coming in at around 7–8 on the Mohs scale of hardness, quartzite is an incredibly durable natural stone, and this quality is reflected in its very high heat-resistance. 

Ranging in color from neutral grays and whites to warm, rich ochres and reds, quartzite stone often features dramatic veining and swirling patterns. 

It’s important not to confuse quartzite with its man-made counterpart, often simply known as “quartz”. While highly durable, quartz countertops contain natural stone components that are bound together with plastic resins. When it comes to heat-resistance, these plastic binders can melt or warp when they come into contact with extreme heat, so plenty of caution should be used. 

Quartzite counters, on the other hand, are virtually indestructible, easy to maintain and can accommodate just about any design style. Like granite, quartzite often benefits from being sealed annually.

Soapstone Countertops

Soapstone countertops are softer than other natural stone countertops like quartzite and granite. While they may be more prone to taking on scratches or chipping, they are chemically inert — which means acidic substances won’t damage them — and they are highly heat-resistant. What’s more, soapstone absorbs, retains and re-radiates heat, which makes it an excellent choice for homes in cold climates. 

Soapstone is also popular for uses like fireplace surrounds, as frequent exposure to heat won’t cause it to crack. As a kitchen countertop, soapstone could handle the heat from pots and pans easily enough, though as this is a softer stone, it is more likely to get scratched or chipped by cookware, so caution is always warranted. 

Soapstone is a low maintenance material, though some homeowners prefer to oil it with mineral oil to even out and speed up its natural darkening process. Scratches and chips can be buffed out or filled in, which makes soapstone an excellent option for those who enjoy the DIY experience. If your main concern is heat-resistance, rather than hardness, soapstone can make a warm, inviting addition to your home and often works well in rustic, farmhouse-style settings. 

Stainless Steel and Aluminum Countertops 

Popular in commercial kitchens, stainless steel and aluminum countertops are easy to clean and highly heat-resistant, though they may discolor with repeated exposure to extreme heat over time. Stainless steel countertops may not visually work in most home kitchen settings, but the material’s high-heat resistance, strong durability and hygienic qualities make it a great choice for heat-resistant home kitchen sinks

Heat-Resistant Countertops From Cosmos Surfaces

Cosmos Surfaces brings decades of knowledge and industry experience to the table. As a 2nd generation, family-owned business, our team is passionate about connecting our customers with exceptional materials. If you have questions about heat-resistant countertops or where to find them, we’d love to hear from you! Get in touch by filling out our contact form today.

Color of the Month: Granada Red

Granada Red is a muted, warm, dark raspberry red that pairs well with chocolate browns. Its dark undertones make it the perfect color for accent walls and entranceways.

Striking red and black, Cardinal Red brings to mind the feathered plumage of the bird. In swirling waves of texture, this Brazilian quartzite has spots and layers of crystalline white and gray, giving it a uniquely high degree of variance. The deep reds and blacks of Cardinal Red complement both black and silver and looks great in kitchens. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

The type of quartzite named Malbec receives its nickname, Napa Valley, from the rich and complex colors that bring to mind the sunsets of northern California. Comprised of rolling hills of brown, red, pink, and white, transport yourself to the mountains and wine country by installing Malbec both inside and out. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

How to Change Tile Grout Color

how to change tile grout color

Tile grout is the cement-like material that fills the joints between floor and wall tiles. Traditionally, tile grout was often white. In modern design styles, however, grout itself can be used creatively by incorporating a grout color that compliments or contrasts with the surrounding tiles or fixtures. In this post, our experts explain how you can change tile grout color to suit your needs — whether you want to remove stains, tint existing grout or replace tile grout with a new color. Let’s dive in.

3 Ways to Change Tile Grout Color

In some cases, we simply want to remove unsightly grout stains and restore the grout’s original color. In other cases, it’s high time for a dramatic change. The following three methods can help you achieve the perfect grout color to match your desired style:

  • Clean or remove stains from existing grout
  • Tint/recolor grout (may also be used to conceal stubborn stains)
  •  Replace grout with a new color

Read on as we explore each method.

How to Remove Stains From Grout

Whether stained by dirt and grime, kitchen spills or mold and mildew growth, grout can be cleaned with common household items. To remove stains, homeowners can try using white vinegar to clean the area, followed by a paste made by mixing water and baking soda. Use a toothbrush to scrub the paste into grout lines, then rinse with clean water.

It’s important to note that vinegar is acidic. It’s important to ensure your tiles can handle acidic substances before using this method. Tiles like marble are in danger of etching when they come into contact with acidic substances. Commercial grout cleaners are also available.

How to Change Tile Grout Color with Tinting or Recoloring

This method works for glazed ceramic or porcelain tiles, but when it comes to unsealed natural stone tiles, colorant will seep in and stain your tiles. Always check with a manufacturer to ensure your chosen method for changing tile grout color is safe for your existing tiles. 

Finding the best grout colorant for your tiles may require some trial and error. It’s worth noting that for best results, it’s easier to change grout to a darker color. If you desire a lighter color, multiple applications will likely be necessary. Some tile grout colorants may not work well on epoxy grout or won’t work on grout that has been sealed. The more you know about your existing grout, the easier it will be to find an appropriate colorant. 

Here’s what you’ll need to recolor grout lines:

  • Scrub Brush
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Colorant Brush/Toothbrush
  • Tile Grout Colorant

Let’s take a look at how to recolor tile grout:

Step 1: Scrub Existing Grout Lines

Use a scrub brush and commercial grout cleaner to scrub existing grout. Then, use a sponge to wipe tiles with clear water, rinsing the cleaner from the tiles and grout lines. Allow tile and grout to dry fully — ideally overnight — before coloring.  

Step 2: Test Colorant

Find an inconspicuous area to test the colorant. Apply colorant to a few inches of grout as per the manufacturer’s instructions and allow it to dry. Once fully dried, check to ensure the colorant sets to a hard finish that doesn’t flake off with scrubbing. If it doesn’t hold up, you’ll want to test a different type of colorant.

Step 3: Tape/Mask Tiles

While this step is optional, making off tiles with painter’s tape can protect unsealed tiles from getting stained by colorant. Work in small sections, and always test a hidden area first to see if the method works. 

Step 4: Apply Colorant

Follow the manufacturer’s directions to apply grout colorant with a small brush, toothbrush or provided pen. It’s best to avoid getting colorant on tile surfaces. 

Step 5: Wipe Off Excess Colorant

Carefully wipe off any excess colorant and allow grout to dry completely. Seal if necessary.  

How to Replace Tile Grout

For extreme color changes or to fix severely stained or damaged grout lines, replacing grout is likely a better long-term solution. In this case, you’ll have to remove the existing grout and replace it with the new grout in your desired color. As grinding out existing grout can be labor-intensive, it’s a good idea to test a grout colorant or tint first to see if this solves the issue. If replacing grout is the best course of action, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Grout saw
  • Protective Gear
  • Flat-Head Screwdriver
  • Scrub Brush
  • Shop Vacuum
  • Mixing Bucket and Trowel
  • Grout Sponge
  • Drop Cloths
  • New Grout and Pigment
  • Grout Sealer

Step 1: Remove Existing Grout

Protect floors and furniture with drop cloths, then remove old grout using a manual grout saw or comparable tool. This can be a labor intensive process that produces lots of dust, so be sure to wear breathing and eye protection. Utilize a flat-head screwdriver to get into tight spaces. Check tiles to ensure they are secured to the substrate/backing. If not, tiles may need to be replaced or reattached, as replacing old, crumbling grout may not be enough to fix the problem. 

Step 2: Clean Up Grout Particles

Use a shop vac to clear out any dust, debris or loose grout particles from grout lines. 

Step 3: Prepare New Grout

Grout comes in a range of factory-mixed colors, but you can always add a desired pigment to grout to get exactly the effect you’re going for. Be sure to blend pigment and grout thoroughly to ensure uniform coloration. 

Step 4: Apply New Grout

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to apply new grout. This process typically involves filling the joints in between tiles, removing any excess grout and cleaning surrounding tiles. Allow grout to dry and cure fully before using the surface, then seal grout lines if necessary (some grout mixes incorporate a sealant). 

Sealant can darken grout color and give it a shiny appearance. Always test an inconspicuous area first to ensure you get the desired effect. Allow sealant to dry fully before allowing tiles to get wet.

Work With Cosmos Surfaces

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: Mercury

Mercury is a soothing mid tone gray with warm, brown undertones. Pair it with neutral blues and greens to make these colors stand out beautifully. Mercury is perfect for accent walls and main walls.

Originating in Brazil and meaning Silver Sea, Plata de Mar is a striking quartzite that is available in multiple finishes. Sail across a stormy ocean by installing Plata de Mar as a kitchen countertop, or create a cool and modern aesthetic by installing it as a bathtub foundation or bathroom flooring. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

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.

What is the Easiest Countertop to Maintain?

easiest countertop to maintain

The kitchen often takes center stage when it comes to everyday activities around the house. As a result, this hub of family life is particularly vulnerable to wear and tear, especially in areas like the kitchen countertops. Busy homeowners may not have much time to devote to the care and maintenance of their countertop materials. In today’s post, we’ll discuss the easiest countertop to maintain, along with our top runner-up choices.   

Man-Made vs. Natural Materials

Man-made materials like laminate or stainless steel countertops rank among the easiest countertops to maintain in the short term, as they may simply require wiping down with mild dish soap and warm water. In the long run, however, laminate countertops aren’t nearly as durable as those with natural stone components. Factoring in the cost and effort of replacing countertops more frequently, laminate countertops may not be the best choice for a long-term living situation. 

Stainless steel countertops are a great option in medical and food service settings. In the home, however, they aren’t necessarily a desirable countertop option in terms of aesthetics. Luckily, there are excellent partially man-made and all natural stone countertop options that are a breeze to maintain. 

The Most Low-Maintenance Stone Countertops 

Stone surfacing materials like marble, granite, soapstone, and quartzite make for beautiful countertops, but some materials are more low-maintenance than others. Whether you’re looking for a dazzling, dramatic accent in your kitchen, or a warm, inviting atmosphere, these particularly low-maintenance options can serve you in multiple ways. Let’s dive in and find out which option may be the easiest countertop to maintain in your home: 

  1. Engineered Quartz

Engineered quartz, sometimes simply referred to as quartz, is a man-made material that uses roughly 90–95% crushed up stone and recycled materials, including quartz crystals. The mixture is held together with about 10% of a quartz countertop’s composition consisting of resin binders. Quartz countertops can mimic the look of natural stone without requiring the maintenance associated with certain stone options, like marble. 

Quartz counters are available in a variety of patterns and colors, making it easy to match your countertops to your design style. When it comes to care and maintenance, quartz countertops can simply be wiped down using a gentle cloth and mild detergent mixed with warm water. 

In terms of durability, quartz performs impressively. These countertops are hard, scratch resistant and completely non-porous. That means they are far less susceptible to staining and harboring bacteria than porous materials. Owing to the resin binders holding them together, quartz countertops never need to be sealed. Though they are heat-resistant, extreme heat can melt or warp the plastic resins in engineered quartz. Always use cutting boards, trivets and cooling racks to protect your investment. With minimal care and maintenance, quartz countertops can elevate your space and keep your kitchen looking new and gorgeous for decades to come. Learn the ins and outs of how to clean quartz here

  1. Soapstone 

Naturally a non-porous material, soapstone is incredibly dense — and just like quartz — it never needs to be sealed. Homeowners can use soapstone to create a rustic, inviting look in the home, which may be enhanced by the natural patina or aged “sheen” that can form over time. Soapstone surfaces are highly stain-resistant and unaffected by heat. 

The natural darkening that occurs in soapstone can be evened out by applying mineral oil on a semi-regular basis, though this is optional and the only additional maintenance associated with soapstone. This stone’s coloration varies from white to charcoal grey, and the combination of chlorite, magnesite and dolomite can give this countertop option a milky look. 

Soapstone countertops resist bacteria and can be cleaned with a combination of soap and water. Avoid cutting directly on soapstone countertops, and use care when setting down heavy items. Knicks and scratches can often be filled in or buffed out. Take a look at the uses and benefits of soapstone here.  

  1. Granite      

Many granite options need to be sealed annually, but this is a small price to pay for the benefits of granite kitchen countertops. Granite is the most durable of these three countertop options, and with the minimal maintenance it requires, it can last for generations. 

Granite is available in a wide range of colors. It’s heat-, scratch- and stain-resistant (when properly sealed) and can add a look of sophistication to your kitchen. Countertops can be cleaned with a cloth or sponge, mild dish detergent and warm water or with a dedicated natural stone cleaner. Granite is by far one of the most popular countertop choices for busy kitchens, bridging the gap between luxury stone and ease of maintenance. You can learn more about granite here

For the Easiest Countertop to Maintain, Shop Cosmos Surfaces

Cosmos Surfaces has a wide selection of top-quality surface materials. Our team is always happy to answer questions and give expert advice to help you select the best materials for your home. Give us a call at your nearest location or visit us online today

Color of the Month: Mercury

Mercury is a soothing mid tone gray with warm, brown undertones. Pair it with neutral blues and greens to make these colors stand out beautifully. Mercury is perfect for accent walls and main walls.

Clean, beautiful, and cool – Vento Cinza is the smooth white of an undisturbed icy tundra. Upon closer look, you’ll see beautifully subtle lines of crystalline silver in this Brazilian quartzite. Vento Cinza is simple in both color and texture, but that doesn’t make it any less striking. It looks great in any space as a countertop, floor, wall, or table. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

Utterly unique but still timeless, Roman Grey is a modern, porcelain take on Old World white marble. With striking veining in grey tones ranging from stone to charcoal, Roman Grey will elevate the look of your home or business without overwhelming it. Opt for bookmatched slabs to create a mesmerizing mirror effect and entrance onlookers.

Types of Countertop Materials: Pros and Cons

types of countertop materials

Renovating a kitchen or bathroom can feel like a huge undertaking, between designing your ideal space, coordinating with multiple contractors, and staying within your budget. Choosing surfacing materials is an essential step in the process that will have a big impact on the final look of the room. Many people aren’t sure how to choose between different types of countertop materials. Read on for a pro assessment of the different materials available to consider in your renovation.

Types of Countertop Materials: Pros and Cons    

From various natural stones to ceramic tiles, there are many options when it comes to types of countertop materials. Here is a rundown of the options, and their pros and cons for use in kitchen and bathroom countertops:

Ceramic and Porcelain Tile

  • The Pros: Tile is DIY-friendly and visually versatile, with a wide range of colors, sizes, and shapes available. Tiles can add visual interest with textures and patterns, and grout color can also be used to add emphasis to colors and designs. Large format tiles can be used to create a more seamless look. Ceramic is sustainable and easy to maintain. Lastly, it tends to be an affordable option when compared to natural stone.
  • The Cons: Ceramic tiles means dealing with grout, which can pick up stains and contaminants over time. It’s important to keep up with sealing grout. In addition, while ceramic tile is quite durable, it can chip if something hard or heavy is dropped on it.


  • The Pros: Marble is great at resisting heat and cracking, which makes it ideal for kitchen countertops. It also has outstanding temperature retention qualities. It is naturally cool and soft to the touch, which is perfect for creating a bathroom or kitchen sanctuary.
  • The Cons: Marble’s softness is beneficial in many ways, but also makes it more vulnerable to etching and staining. Professional sealing on a regular basis is a must, which means maintenance can be more time-consuming than with other materials. It is also crucial to avoid acidic cleaners.


  • The Pros: Engineered quartz is dense, scratch resistant and non-porous. Unlike with marble, there’s no need for sealing. Quartz can tolerate acidic cleaning materials and liquids like wine and citrus juice as long as they are rinsed promptly. Quartz certainly has an edge over natural stone when it comes to ease of maintenance.
  • The Cons: Quartz is less heat-resistant than stones like marble, so it’s necessary to use trivets and avoid setting down hot materials. It can also be vulnerable to warping with prolonged exposure to direct sunlight – something to think about when considering where countertops will be placed in the room.


  • The Pros: Granite is extremely durable and can stand up to heat and high traffic. Its extreme hardness makes it easy to prevent scratches and cracks. Like other natural stones, granite comes in a stunning array of natural colors and patterns.
  • The Cons: Many types of granite require regular sealing, and granite does require daily and weekly cleaning to maintain a pristine appearance, optimal performance and longevity. It can also feel a bit too hard for some homeowners.


  • The Pros: Soapstone is highly heat resistant and can retain heat, which can be very pleasant in a bathroom. It is resistant to acids due to the talc in its makeup, so it’s also a good choice for kitchens where acidic substances may be spilled. Lastly, it is extremely dense and repels water, so it won’t harbor bacteria and doesn’t need to be sealed.
  • The Cons: Soapstone is a softer natural stone, so it can be vulnerable to chipping and gouges from everyday use. It also looks best when oiled with a thin layer of mineral oil, so it isn’t totally maintenance free.


  • The Pros: Onyx is quite rare as a countertop material compared to other natural stones, so it can lend one-of-a-kind beauty to a design. It can last upwards of 100 years with proper maintenance.
  • Onyx is more brittle and fragile than other natural stones, and can be scratched and scraped more easily. This means it isn’t likely to hold up well as a high-traffic countertop material.


  • The Pros: Quartzite is a natural stone that is twice as hard as glass and harder than the blade of a knife. It’s also heat resistant, making it perfect for high-traffic countertop areas. A mild detergent and soft cloth will do the trick when it comes to cleaning this durable material.
  • The Cons: Quartzite is not indestructible, and regular sealing is needed. Spills should be cleaned up as soon as possible, and trivets should be used under hot objects like pots and pans. 

Work with Cosmos!

If you have any questions about selecting countertop 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: Dresden

Dresden is a soothing, muted orchid blue with violet undertones. It is a stunning option to pair with floral artwork, and works well in any room.

Reminiscent of clouds on a summer day, Blue Sky is a soothing blue marble from Brazil. Veins of gray and white are dispersed against a backdrop of varying blues, which brings soothing and comforting sophistication to any it is used in.

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.

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.

A Complete Guide to Porcelain Slabs

porcelain slabs near me

Porcelain is a gorgeous, versatile material that can make remodeling your home a rewarding endeavor. If you want a budget-friendly surface material option that can mimic the look of natural stone, look no further than “porcelain slabs near me” from Cosmos Surfaces. In this post, our experts provide a complete guide to porcelain slabs. 

What Are Porcelain Slabs?

Several types of ceramic tile fall within the “ceramic tile family.” Porcelain tile is one subset of ceramic and is sometimes referred to separately from ceramic tile. When it comes to this tile family, porcelain slabs are the largest. Providing a budget-friendly way to achieve the look of luxury, large format porcelain slabs are durable, versatile and easy to maintain. 

The Benefits of Porcelain Slabs

Aside from aesthetics, porcelain slabs have a number of sought-after features. Let’s take a deeper look at the benefits of installing porcelain slabs in your home:

Porcelain Slabs: Versatility

Thanks to amazing advances in tile manufacturing technologies, porcelain tile can be made with almost any color, pattern, shape or design. This makes it incredibly versatile in the home. Porcelain slabs are customizable and can be designed to match the color scheme or design aesthetic you’re going for. 

Porcelain slabs can be used just about anywhere in the home, whether you’re looking to install backsplash, porcelain countertops, showers or even outdoor walling and flooring, the options for porcelain are good and plenty.

One of the greatest assets you might gain when working with porcelain slabs is the ability to mimic the look of natural stone, such as marble, for a fraction of the cost. Porcelain provides a sturdy, durable surface that can match the gorgeous veining often found in natural stone. If you have your heart set on a marble aesthetic, but your wallet doesn’t agree—or you need a low-maintenance alternative—porcelain slabs are your new best friend. 

Porcelain Slabs: Durability

We love porcelain slabs because they offer so much in the way of durability. Our favorite porcelain features include:

  • Scratch Resistance—this makes porcelain great for use as kitchen or bathroom countertops and flooring.
  • Water Resistance—porcelain has a water absorption rate of 0.5% or less. This makes it a great option for moisture prone-areas like bathrooms, kitchen backsplash or in outdoor applications like pool surrounds.
  • Stain Resistance—porcelain is less prone to take on staining from spills, thanks to its water-resistance. This makes it perfect for use in the kitchen, mudroom or dirt and moisture-prone areas. 
  • Heat Resistance—as ceramic products are fired at extremely high temperatures, porcelain has a high heat-resistance level. This makes it appropriate for use in kitchen applications or as fireplace surrounds.
  • Fade Resistance—porcelain is a color-fast option that does not fade over time, making it great for outdoor use or near sunlit windows.
  • Slip Resistance—porcelain tiles have inherent traction, which helps keep slippery areas like kitchens, bathrooms and pool surrounds safe for your and your family. 

Porcelain Slabs: Sustainability 

Ceramic tile options like porcelain have an environmentally sustainable life cycle, start to finish. From locally sourced, natural raw materials to manufacturing practices that include waste-reduction and recycling, porcelain is the way to go for sustainability-minded homeowners.

Porcelain Slabs: Safety and Health

We’ve already discussed the safety benefits of porcelain as it relates to the material’s slip-resistance, but that’s not all. Porcelain is non-flammable. When exposed to fire, it won’t burn, smoke or produce toxic fumes and can even slow the spread of flames. 

Porcelain also has inherent anti-bacterial properties, which means bacteria won’t grow on porcelain surfaces. Some options include anti-microbial properties, which deters and even destroys microorganisms like mold and fungi. 

Porcelain is free of volatile organic compounds that typically cause health concerns. The material is not only hypoallergenic, but allergens like dust mites, pet dander and mold spores can’t penetrate its non-porous surface. 

Porcelain Slabs: Cleaning and Maintenance

The ease of cleaning and maintenance makes porcelain an attractive option for the busy homeowner. While grout in between tiles may still be vulnerable to mold growth and staining, porcelain itself is protected from these contaminants. Warm water and mild, neutral cleaners will often do the trick, as well as allowing the surface to air dry, or drying it off with microfiber cloth. Grout lines will benefit from regular cleaning and sealing. Another fringe benefit of working with large-format, porcelain slabs includes fewer grout lines to deal with.  

Find “Porcelain Slabs Near Me” at Cosmos Surfaces 

Whether you are a homeowner, industry professional, vendor or supplier looking for “porcelain slabs near me,” you can trust Cosmos Surfaces to meet your needs. We offer a wide selection of high-quality porcelain slabs. Get in touch by filling out our contact form today. Our team of experts is always happy to advise and assist!  

Color of the Month: Pacific Pearl

Pacific Pearl is a soothing oyster white with a hint of sea-green undertone. It is perfect for sunny rooms, main walls, and pairing as a trim with any color scheme.

Inspired by classic Greek and Italian marble, the white quartz Calacatta Strata fits perfectly on bathroom and kitchen countertops. The soft, creamy white surface is peppered with subtle grey veins that add unique variations. No two segments of Calacatta Strata are the same, making this seemingly ordinary white quartz a modern update of a true classic.

How to Choose Grout Color

how to choose grout color

When we think of tiling as a design element, it’s easy to forget about the grout between those tiles. Grout can play a major role in accentuating or concealing your tile layout, making it a powerful tool in your design arsenal. In today’s post, the experts at Cosmos Surfaces discuss how to choose grout color.

Grout Lines: What to Consider

Whether you want to emphasize grout lines or minimize their appearance, there are several considerations to help you choose the best grout for the job. Let’s dive in:

Tile and Grout Location

Consider the location of your tile layout and how visible grout lines will be. Wall tiles and kitchen backsplash are well within the line of sight, which means designs in these areas will be highly visible. This opens up possibilities to create visual center pieces or pops of color with your tile and grout combinations. On the other hand, if you’re dealing with a large surface area, bold color choices can quickly become overwhelming. Decide whether you want a subdued look or an eye-catching accent area, then consider which tile and grout color combinations will help you accomplish your design goals.

The Size of a Tiled Area

The size of the area you plan to tile can help guide your grout color choices. Small spaces can become accent areas where contrasting grout and tile colors will add visual complexity. Conversely, matching tile and grout colors will help create a continuous effect, giving the space a larger appearance. 

Tile Design Layout

As mentioned above, grout color can go a long way toward accentuating or blending in with your tile design layout. Let’s look at a few different ways grout color can influence tile layout design.

  • Matching Grout and Tile Color—this option helps hide grout lines, creating a continuous, serene look. Matching colors work well in minimalist spaces. 
  • Contrasting Grout and Tile Color—use a grout color that contrasts with your tile to add visual complexity and accentuate your tile layout or grid pattern. This option works especially well with simple, geometric patterns, such as using black grout with white tiles in a classic brick layout.
  • Neutral Grout Colors—for a less bold appearance, you can get the best of both worlds by pairing your tile with a neutral grout color, like grey. 

Patterned and Multi-Color Tile 

When your tiles themselves have patterns on them, or if you’re making use of a multi-colored tile layout, bold grout colors can quickly become overwhelming. Here are a few tips for these scenarios:

  • Use thinner grout lines with patterned tiles (as deemed appropriate by the manufacturer). 
  • Use a neutral-colored grout to let the tile pattern take center stage.
  • For multi-colored tiles, try matching the grout to one of the tile colors for a cohesive look. You might want to start with the most neutral color until you find one that works.
  • For tiles with a stone-like appearance, such as veining, you can match grout to either the base tile color, or to the primary veining color. 

Match Grout to the Room

Aside from complementing your tile color, grout can pull tones from nearby design elements or appliances. For instance, grey or white grout can match with stainless steel or white fixtures in the kitchen, while grout with red or brown tones can coordinate with wood, brick or stone elements. The overall effect can help create a cohesive color story.

The Shape of Tiles and Grout

The shape of your tiles and the layout you choose can affect the amount of grout you’ll need to use. Square or rectangular tiles, for example, will likely require less grout than more decorative tile shapes, such as penny round tile. Tiles that require more grout means grout lines will be more noticeable. If you want to keep the focus on the tiles themselves, it’s important to match tile and grout colors as closely as possible. 

Tile and Grout: A Perfect Match

As discussed earlier, a close color match can help create a seamless, continuous effect. This can make a small space appear larger, or it can allow other design elements in the room to take the spotlight. If you still want your individual tiles to stand out, you can always opt for a textured tile while maintaining a monochromatic color scheme.  

Fun with Grout Lines

Neutral tiles can be paired with brightly colored grout for a unique, fun look. This approach works well when the grout color matches with another element, such as a paint color or a distinct color scheme in the room. Unique grout options include translucent grout, which won’t interfere with your tile design, and glitter grout—a playful option that will make your interior sparkle.

Check out our blog for more information on sealing and maintaining grout.

Work with Cosmos Surfaces

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: Pacific Pearl

Pacific Pearl is a soothing oyster white with a hint of sea-green undertone. It is perfect for sunny rooms, main walls, and pairing as a trim with any color scheme.

Silver Lightning is a versatile type of granite that looks great among stainless steel and black cabinets. A flashy streak of silver cutting through a mellow gray sky, silver lightning is simultaneously calm and striking. The subtle crystalline texture and honed finish of silver lightning make this a perfect installation for kitchen countertops, floors, and bathroom vanities.

What is the Best Material for a Kitchen Backsplash?

best material for kitchen backsplash

A kitchen backsplash adds texture and color to your home, but it’s a highly functional part of your kitchen too. As the name suggests, a backsplash is there to protect your walls from food spills and splashes, like sauce or oil. With so many backsplash material options on the market, it can be tough to know which one is right for your home. In today’s post, the experts at Cosmos discuss the best material for kitchen backsplash to help you decide. 

Kitchen Backsplash: Functional Aesthetics

An eye-catching backsplash can set your home apart. A backsplash can be used to create a gorgeous focal point in your kitchen, and the options for tile patterns are nearly endless. A well-chosen backsplash should complement and coordinate with existing permanent features in the home. With careful selection and a little bit of planning, beautiful backsplash tile can tie the room together and add value to your home. 

It’s not all about aesthetics, though. The best material for kitchen backsplash tile depends on your needs, lifestyle and budget. If you love to cook and entertain, you’ll want to select a material that’s easy to clean and maintain. If you rarely cook but want your kitchen to make an impact, you might opt for aesthetics over function. Either way, the options are good and plenty. Let’s take a look:

Ceramic/Porcelain Tiles

Ceramic tiles are the most widely used backsplash material—and for good reason. They’re resilient, inexpensive and easy to maintain. Since ceramic is a manmade material, tiles come in a wide array of sizes and colors, including those not found in nature.

Ceramic tiles make it easy to coordinate various features in your kitchen. As an example, larger tiles with the same color or pattern can be used for kitchen flooring. Ceramic is also incredibly heat- and stain-resistant, which makes it perfect around areas like stovetops. Cleaning glazed ceramic or porcelain backsplash is as simple as wiping off spills and splashes.

Natural Stone Backsplash

Natural stone adds a timeless beauty that can’t be argued with. Installing natural stone features in your home will increase its value and elevate its design. Backsplashes can be matched with natural stone countertops or tiles to create a cohesive look. When it comes to natural stone backsplashes, most stones need to be sealed frequently to avoid absorbing stains. Before you decide on a natural stone kitchen backsplash, it’s important to know their features:

  • Granite—you can’t go wrong with the beauty of granite. With a wide range of colors and patterns available, you’ll have plenty of options to help create your desired look. Granite is one of the most durable stones out there, and its resistance to heat and scratching makes it perfect for a high traffic area like the kitchen. With frequent cleaning, sealing and occasional polishing, granite backsplash can last for a lifetime. 
  • Marble—marble is softer than both ceramic tiles and granite. Since it’s an inherently porous stone, sealing marble frequently is paramount.  If you’re focused on bringing aesthetic beauty into your kitchen and you don’t cook frequently, marble might be right for you. Even though it requires a bit more TLC than some of its natural stone counterparts, marble is an investment that can be well worth the effort. 
  • Quartzite—quartzite (not to be confused with quartz), is one of the hardest, most durable stones on the market. This stone offers a wide range of colors and patterns and will need to be resealed about twice a year in an active kitchen.
  • Soapstone—soapstone is one of the softer types of stone you can use for kitchen backsplash. Available in a range of dark green and grey tones, soapstone tends to darken over time. You can treat the soapstone with mineral oil to darken it yourself and keep it looking fresh. While soapstone does take on scratches, these can be sanded or buffed out. Soapstone is impervious to chemical reactions with acids, which makes it easy to clean and maintain. 

Quartz as Backsplash

Quartz is a man made material composed of quartz pieces and materials like glass or other crushed up industrial materials. These components are held together with plastic binders like resin. Quartz comes in many different colors and patterns, and it never needs to be sealed. It’s important to note that grout in between tiles still requires sealing. 

Quartz is durable and easy to clean but doesn’t hold up to excessive heat or direct sunlight. The resin binding that holds quartz surfaces together can melt or warp when exposed to heat, so your kitchen setup will likely determine whether quartz is a good option for you. Likewise, some cleaners might be safe to use on quartz stone itself but could damage or etch resin binders. 

It’s always wise to research cleaning products and check with manufacturers to ensure a product is safe to use on your surfaces. 

Need the Best Material for Kitchen Backsplash? Work with Cosmos Surfaces!

If you have questions about the best material for kitchen backsplash in your home, we’d love to hear from you! Contact us today with questions, comments and concerns. Cosmos proudly offers a wide selection of products and our blog provides information on materials, maintenance and design tips.

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.

This Brazilian quartzite dubbed Calacatta Silk boasts dynamic charcoal veining over its soft gray background. Ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, or outdoor surfaces, this versatile white quartzite is a perfect choice to add an element of endless elegance to your space. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

What is the Best Stone for a Patio?

Beautiful Outdoor Living Space with Fire Place and BBQ Grill/ Outdoor Kitchen

As the days lengthen and the cold weather subsides, now is the perfect time to give those outdoor areas some extra thought and attention. In today’s post, we discuss the best stone for a patio, along with a few pro tips for creating gorgeous, functional spaces you and your loved ones can enjoy for decades to come.

What is the Best Stone for a Patio?

Our top picks for outdoor patio and kitchen areas include granite, quartzite, and porcelain.

  • Granite is durable and heat resistant, and can be used both indoors and outdoors to create a seamless, unified look. Granite can be cut in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, and can be treated to make different textures. It’s low maintenance and environmentally friendly as well. One possible downside of granite is that it is porous by nature, and should be sealed to avoid possible staining and moisture damage.
  • Quartzite is also extremely durable and great for indoor and outdoor applications. It is non-porous, not slippery, and harder than granite. However, it can be a bit more costly than granite, depending on your patio design and other factors.
  • Porcelain is also colorfast, weather-resistant, and low maintenance. Porcelain that is rated for flooring and not glossy is a great choice for a patio surface. This is especially true for those looking to mimic the look of marble outdoors, where calcareous stones (like marble) might not perform as well. 

Designing Outdoor Areas

After a long, harsh winter spent indoors, it’s easy to see what a valuable asset an outdoor space can be. Whether your goal is to create a safe way to spend time with family and friends this summer, enjoy your own downtime outside or if you just love to entertain in general, a well-designed, functional outdoor area adds value to your home. Before you design your outdoor patio, which might include an outdoor kitchen, firepit, grill surrounds or pizza oven, it’s important to consider the following:

  • Function: The purpose of a space and how it will be used can help you narrow down material options. An area surrounding a pool or jacuzzi, for example, would likely benefit from a stone or material with a non-slip, textured finish. If you’re installing outdoor kitchen countertops, you’ll want to choose a non-porous, durable stone, like honed granite. 
  • Weather: While some materials hold up better against the elements than others, it’s always wise to minimize a stone’s exposure to harsh weather, perhaps by placing your patio in a shaded, somewhat sheltered area. 
  • Location: If you’re looking to design an outdoor kitchen or food prep area, location is key. You’ll likely need to move food and supplies back and forth from your indoor kitchen, so it’s wise to keep your layout convenient and accessible. 
  • Aesthetics: Stones that can be used both indoors and outdoors enable you to create a continuous, unified effect by extending the same materials used inside your home into your garden. 
  • Lifespan: Durable natural stones like granite and quartzite make for excellent long-term investments and add to the value of your home.

Tips for Using Natural Stone Outdoors

When it’s time to choose a stone for your outdoor project, the following tips can be useful:

  • For outdoor countertops, thicker slabs (around 3cm) can be used to help ensure long-term durability. More substantial-looking surfaces are also more likely to fit in with an outdoor aesthetic. 
  • Darker stones will get hot in the sun, which can be uncomfortable to walk on with bare feet and/or work around. 
  • Dense, non-porous stones like quartzite will perform better outdoors than porous stones like marble.
  • Be sure to use a penetrating sealer on natural stone patios to help prevent stains and moisture damage. Proper sealing also makes cleaning and maintenance a breeze, enabling you to wipe off any offending substances. Our blog post on sealing natural stone covers this topic in depth. 

Outdoor Uses for Natural Stone

Natural stone comes in a wide variety of patterns and colors, making it versatile, functional and beautiful. Let’s look at just a few other outdoor applications where natural stone can be used effectively:

  • Garden walls
  • Walkways
  • Seat walls
  • Firepits
  • Pizza oven/Grill surrounds
  • Outdoor kitchen countertops/islands


Natural stone offers a sustainable, long-term investment into your home and its overall value. When it comes to designing your outdoor patio and garden areas, planning ahead can save you time, money and headaches down the road. Consider working with a professional landscaper or outdoor architect to get the most out of your outdoor oasis. Lastly, getting in touch with a professional stone fabricator can help you find the best materials suited to your needs, climate and budget.

Work with Cosmos!

Whether you’re interested in granite, marble, quartzite, schist, onyx or soap stone, quartz, porcelain, tile for your home, Cosmos Surfaces offers a wide range of surfacing options to satisfy any design style. 

Cosmos brings decades of knowledge and industry experience to the table. As a 2nd generation, family-owned business, our team is passionate about connecting North American businesses and consumers to exceptional materials in a way that is respectful to local communities and the environment. Get in touch by filling out our contact form today!

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.

Maori granite has a pattern that’s reminiscent of drawings on a chalkboard, with thin-to-wide, grayish-white lines intersecting on top of a stark black base. A striking and stylish stone, Maori is a suitable selection for anyone seeking an adventurously decorated granite countertop that will continue making a statement for years to come.

Porcelain Vs. Quartzite

porcelain vs quartzite

With so many gorgeous options on the market, choosing the right surface materials for your home can be overwhelming. It’s important to understand the properties of each material, so you can not only achieve your design goals but create a functional space for you and your family. In today’s post, we look at porcelain vs quartzite to help you decide which one is right for you!


A durable, heat-resistant ceramic, porcelain has been used to adorn spaces for over 2,000 years. Porcelain can be used for kitchen countertops, flooring, walls, showers, backsplash and more, making it versatile and cost-effective.

Why We Love Porcelain

Porcelain boasts the following properties:

  • Ease of Maintenance—porcelain tiles can be cleaned with common household cleaners and don’t need to be buffed or polished to maintain their finish. 
  • Color Fast—the colors in porcelain won’t fade with age, and they aren’t vulnerable to fading from prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. 
  • Slip Resistant—porcelain tiles have traction, which is useful when it comes to flooring, especially in areas prone to spills and foot traffic or in showers.
  • Versatility—porcelain comes in a variety of colors and patterns. It can also mimic the look of natural stone, like in the case of porcelain slabs that look like marble, providing a lower-cost alternative without sacrificing any of the elegance. 

If you are considering porcelain kitchen countertops, there are a few drawbacks to be aware of, including:

  • Surface patterns may not run all the way through a porcelain slab. As a result, if porcelain gets scratched or chipped, it can interrupt patterns/textures that only run surface deep.
  • Porcelain countertops tend to be on the thin side when compared to more substantial-looking slabs of materials like granite, marble or quartzite. 


Quartzite is a metamorphic rock that originates from sandstone. Lightly metamorphosed quartzite can have a “grainy” quality, while crystalline quartzite is less grainy and less porous. You can learn more about how quartzite is formed in our blog post explaining different types of quartzite

Quartzite or Quartz?

Before we dive into the properties of quartzite, it’s important to note that quartzite and quartz are often confused, but they are two different surface materials. Quartzite is a natural stone, while quartz surface products are an engineered, man-made material. 

Why We Love Quartzite

Quartzite is incredibly durable, heat-resistant and versatile, making it a great option for various applications, including kitchen countertops, flooring, fireplace surrounds and outdoor use.

Quartzite has the following properties:

  • Hardness—quartzite is twice as hard as glass and harder than the blade of a knife—it’s just about indestructible and perfect for high-traffic areas, like kitchen countertops.
  • Heat-resistant—quartzite is highly heat-resistant, which makes it great in the kitchen and for applications like fireplace surrounds.
  • Ease of Maintenance—when it comes to cleaning quartzite, a mild detergent and soft cloth will do the trick in most cases. Avoid using heavy-duty scouring pads, abrasive cleaners, or bleach on quartzite or any other natural stone and be sure to clean spills right away.
  • Outdoor Applications—quartzite stands up well to the elements and can be used for outdoor applications like patio flooring, pool decks and stair treads. This makes it possible to create a seamless, flowing look from the inside of your home to the outside.

Key Differences Between Quartzite and Porcelain

It’s clear that both quartzite and porcelain bring highly desirable qualities to the table. Both materials are versatile, beautiful and highly heat-resistant, and each one can elevate your space with a look of elegance. Let’s look at the key differences between the two:

  • Hardness—quartzite is one of the hardest surface materials out there, while porcelain tends to be less hard than some of its natural stone counterparts, like granite. If you are looking for a surface material that will stand up to high-traffic and significant amounts of daily wear and tear, quartzite is likely to perform better.
  • Strength – Quartzite is a naturally compact and dense material due to which chipping, and/or scratching is extremely unlikely as opposed to its porcelain counterpart.
  • Cost—porcelain offers a lower cost alternative to some natural stone surfaces, while still having the ability to mimic the look of natural stones like marble. 
  • Thickness—quartzite provides a more substantial-looking countertop option and can take on varying edge profiles, while porcelain slabs tend to be on the thinner side and are usually finished with a waterfall edge.

Work with Cosmos Surfaces!

Still not sure which material is best suited to your needs? Cosmos Surfaces brings over three decades of knowledge and industry experience to the table. Get in touch by filling out our contact form today!

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. 

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.

Botanic Green fittingly gets its name from its leaf-green color. Native to Brazil, this quartzite is also known as aqua, due to its silvery metallic sheen that resembles the calming teal waters of South America. Botanic Green looks great in an aquatic setting or next to rich and lush plant-life. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

Porcelain Vs. Quartz in the Kitchen

porcelain vs quartz

Kitchens are some of the most high-traffic areas in our homes, and they’re often highly visible as well. This makes selecting surface materials well suited to our kitchens all the more important. Durability, ease of maintenance and aesthetic beauty all factor into the decision, but when several materials on the market fit these descriptions, which is best for you? In this post, the experts at Cosmos discuss porcelain vs quartz to see how each one stacks up in the kitchen.

What is Porcelain?

Porcelain is a kind of ceramic made by heating materials in a kiln at high temperatures. While the composition of porcelain can vary, kaolinite—a clay mineral—is often an essential component. Kaolinite is a silicate which lends porcelain its plasticity. Petunse, also known as pottery stone, is another traditional component which affords porcelain its translucency and hardness.

Properties & Best Uses of Porcelain

Porcelain has properties of hardness, durability, heat-resistance and color fastness. While porcelain can be used for kitchen countertops, there are some drawbacks, including a lack of depth in surface patterns. This means that if a porcelain countertop gets scratched, it will interrupt/damage the pattern and reveal that it only runs surface deep. Porcelain countertops also tend to be quite thin when compared to more substantial-looking slabs of materials like granite, marble or quartz

Where porcelain really shines is in the form of tiles used for walls and flooring. Porcelain tiles boast the following properties:

  • Easy to clean—porcelain tiles can be cleaned with common household cleaners and don’t need to be buffed or polished to maintain their finish. 
  • Color Fast—the colors in ceramic tiles—like porcelain—do not fade with age and aren’t vulnerable to fading from prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. 
  • Slip Resistant—the traction found in porcelain is useful when it comes to flooring, especially in areas prone to spills and foot traffic.
  • Aesthetics—porcelain comes in a variety of colors and it can even mimic the look of natural stone, like in the case of porcelain slabs that look like marble.

What is Quartz?

While quartz surfaces do contain quartz minerals, it is essentially a man made surface material. Quartz countertops are composed of pulverized natural stones, industrial waste like glass and mirrors as well as the binders and polymers that keep it all together.

Properties & Best Uses of Quartz

Quartz is dense, durable, scratch-resistant and non-porous. The non-porosity of quartz means it never needs to be sealed and is inherently protected against bacteria, moisture and staining. Quartz countertops are also more tolerant of acidic spills—as long as they are cleaned up quickly—than their natural stone counterparts like marble, but less tolerant to heat unlike the natural stone surfaces.

Quartz is a popular choice for kitchen countertops, where it brings the following properties to the table:

  • Ease of Maintenance—A soft cloth and mild detergent will often do the trick. Quartz also doesn’t require regular sealing the way many natural stone surfaces do.
  • Durability—along with being scratch-resistant, quartz is dense and durable, making it a worthy contender for popular countertop materials like granite. 
  • Aesthetics—quartz can be made to mimic the look of natural stones, providing a cost-effective way to achieve the elegant, elevated look of stones like marble. 

Key Differences Between Porcelain and Quartz

  • The biggest difference between the two materials is their level of heat-resistance. Porcelain withstands heat well and is unaffected by direct sunlight, while quartz surfaces can warp or become discolored over time. 
  • Both materials are slip-resistant, which makes them good options for flooring. Quartz, however, is best used indoors while many porcelain tiles can be used inside or outdoors.


Quartz and porcelain both make excellent options for indoor tiling and walls, but if you are in search of a material that can be used outdoors as well, many porcelain tiles stand up well to the elements. 

When it comes to kitchen countertops, quartz is a substantial, durable material that can serve you well. If heat exposure and direct sunlight are concerns, however, porcelain might be better suited to your needs.

If you have questions about porcelain or quartz surfaces, get in touch with Cosmos! We offer a wide selection of products, and our blog provides information on materials, cleaning and maintenance as well as design tips.

Color of the Month: Lava Blue

This month’s featured trending color is Lava Blue! Neutral, dark blue with violet undertones calls to mind the power and beauty of the Earth’s natural forces. Pair with white or off-white to create a stunning accent wall, or design your foyer or dining room with this rich, welcoming blue in mind.

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 countertop.

How to Clean Backsplash Tile

how to clean backsplash til

Kitchens tend to be one of the most high-traffic areas in the home. Subsequently, they can require the most attention when it comes to daily cleaning. Backsplash—so named for its function—prevents grease, food and water splashes from damaging the walls behind areas like stoves and kitchen sinks. In this post, Cosmos Surfaces provides a simple guide on how to clean backsplash tile.

Function & Style

In the past, backsplash was primarily functional—it was often made from the same materials that lined kitchen countertops, such as plastic and linoleum. Over time, however, backsplash became a powerful design element, and the materials used now range from glass and ceramic tiles to natural stones like marble and granite. Backsplash offers a great way to add color, texture and a sense of detail to a kitchen space. While these attributes draw the eye, backsplash also takes on the inevitable grease, sauce, juice and water splashes that go along with daily kitchen activities.

Daily Cleaning

How often a kitchen is used for cooking will likely determine whether you need to worry about cleaning backsplash daily, or whether you can get away with a quick wipe-down after occasional use. Either way, the two primary areas that require attention tend to be the wall areas behind stoves and kitchen sinks.

The area directly behind a stove tends to be a prime target for grease and food splatters. It’s best to clean these as soon as they happen—the longer grease and food stains sit, the more tedious they will be to remove once you do get around to it.

Focusing on grease stains first, blot these areas with a dry cloth to soak up as much grease as possible. Next, use warm, soapy water (a mild detergent will often do the trick) and soft cloth or non-abrasive sponge to wipe down the area. Thoroughly rinse and dry backsplash after cleaning to prevent streaks, mildew and the attraction of dirt/dust.

Deep Cleaning

Even if you do manage to keep up with cleaning backsplash each time after cooking, you’ll still want to perform a deep clean every once in a while. This is the time to focus on removing any stubborn grease or food stains, as well as cleaning the grout between tiles.

While dedicated degreasing cleaners are a great option, there are simple DIY solutions that can also do the trick. If you do opt for a chemical cleaner, it’s always wise to ensure it is safe to use on your specific type of backsplash, safe for the environment and safe to use around your family. It’s also important to note that if your cleaner is a concentrate, it will need to be diluted according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Degreasing cleaners often work well when they are left to sit on the surface for 15-20 minutes, though this might vary by brand. A good approach is to spray the backsplash behind a stovetop first, allowing the solution to work on this grease-prone area while you tackle cleaning the rest of your backsplash. You may want to use the same cleaner for the area behind your kitchen sink, but you likely won’t need to wait before wiping, rinsing and drying this area.

To clean the grout between tiles, you can use a safe cleaner or a mixture of mild detergent and warm water with a toothbrush, gently scrubbing along grout lines.

Stubborn Stains

Grease and food stains can be tough to remove, especially if they are large or have been sitting for a while. In these cases, heavy-duty degreasing cleaners are available, but spot treating stains with DIY solutions can also be effective:

  • Combine equal parts warm water with baking soda to form a paste, then apply it to the stained areas. Allow the paste to dry before removing it with a clean, wet cloth (microfiber towels are a great option here) and repeat the process if necessary. The same paste mixture can be used to clean grout with a toothbrush.
  • Alternatively, combine distilled white vinegar with warm water and spray this on the affected areas, allowing it to sit for several minutes before using a clean towel or sponge to wipe, rinse and dry the area. It’s important to note that some DIY solutions also recommend using lemon juice—always double check that substances are safe to use on your backsplash materials. Marble, for example, can be damaged by acidic cleaners.


We hope you’ve found our guide on how to clean backsplash tiles useful. If you have any questions about backsplash materials and maintenance, reach out to Cosmos Surfaces today! We offer a wide selection of products and our team of experts is always happy to help.

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.”

Fire and ice play together to create a transfixing scene on Mascarello, a Brazilian granite with a high level of pattern variation. Consistently warm and bright, the coloring of Mascarello oscillates between rusty orange, pearlescent white, blush-toned cream, muted black and sparkling gray. It is a daring and dazzling choice for countertops, vanities, floors and more.

How To Choose a Backsplash for Your Kitchen

choose a backsplash

By adding visual interest to the walls, a tile backsplash will instantly modernize just about any kitchen. Whether you desire a design that commands attention, or one that blends in with the rest of your kitchen design scheme, there’s a colossal range of tile colors, shapes and styles to choose from! With such a wide selection of beautiful options available, you might have a tough time deciding which will work best in your space. If you’re looking for expert advice, then this article on how to choose a backsplash for your kitchen was made for you! Read on to learn our pro tips for finding the ideal backsplash material, color and layout for your kitchen makeover.

How To Choose a Backsplash for Your Kitchen

Here are a few best practices to help you select a kitchen backsplash that complements your overall design, plus fits your budget & lifestyle:

  • Determine your square footage early on – When adding a backsplash on a budget, it’s wise to figure out how much square footage you have to cover prior to shopping for materials. Calculating this number will help you narrow down which tile material options are within your price range, given the scope of your kitchen renovation project.
  • Take tile properties into account – Naturally, you’ll want to research the durability, required maintenance & other qualities of various backsplash tile options. Keep in mind: Ceramic tile is a resilient, cost-effective option, while porcelain is even more hardwearing & moisture resistant, thanks to its higher density. Both are relatively low-maintenance and come in a broad range of gorgeous styles, with ceramic tending to be available in a slightly wider selection of intricate designs. Then, there’s natural stone tile, which offers rustic, organic beauty but typically requires regular sealing in a kitchen environment. For more details on these popular backsplash tile picks, check out our helpful comparisons of ceramic vs. porcelain tile and natural stone vs. ceramic tile!
  • Consider your countertops & other design elements – In terms of how to choose a backsplash color that meshes with your kitchen design, your countertops are a crucial factor. As a general rule of thumb, the bolder your countertops are, the more tame your backsplash should be. Staying within the same color palette can also be an effective strategy to unify your design. If you’d like your backsplash to pop, choosing a brighter contrasting color is a great way to accomplish this. A darker backsplash shade can afford a strikingly sophisticated aesthetic, especially when paired with white cabinetry. Keep in mind – these are merely suggestions. Ultimately, it’s your kitchen, your rules, so don’t be afraid to take a more imaginative approach!
  • Finalize your design goals – Deciding on a tile pattern is another key step in the backsplash designing process. Giving some thought to what you’d like to achieve in your design will help guide you to the right layout. If you’re going for a more traditional look that creates the illusion of a larger space, you might choose a classic brick layout using subway tile. To take center stage with your backsplash, ultra-modern & visually intriguing herringbone is a wonderful choice. Meanwhile, installing stacked stone tile on the walls will enliven your cooking space with rugged yet refined texture. For further inspiration, consult our full list of tile pattern ideas!
  • Embrace focal points – Panels of wall space above the sink, beyond where the cupboards end and behind the range are natural focal points in a kitchen layout. In turn, these are all great places to put an accent border you’d like people to notice. Perhaps you’ll choose a more ornate tile pattern for these areas, while selecting something simpler for the main backsplash.
  • Don’t forget about the grout – Selecting a grout shade offers yet another opportunity to personalize your tile design & complete your desired look! Check out our tips for choosing a complementary tile grout color for your backsplash installation.

Source An Attractive, Durable Backsplash Material from Cosmos Surfaces

Hopefully, you’ve learned some new & useful information in this article detailing how to choose a backsplash. If you’re looking forward to giving your kitchen a facelift with a stunning backsplash, the experts from Cosmos Surfaces are here to help you select & acquire your perfect tile variety! To get started with our friendly, highly trained team, contact us online today.

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.”

Verde Fusion - Green Granite 3

Beautifully complex and richly diverse, Verde Fusion is comprised of greens, blacks, creams, browns, and greys. Hailing from India, Verde Fusion is a bold and impressive choice that complements modern settings. Use Verde Fusion inside as kitchen countertops, flooring, and backsplashes or outside as waterfalls, patio accents, or poolside tiling.

Your Guide for How to Choose Countertop Material


There are many great natural stone and engineered surfacing materials to choose from – each with their own properties, maintenance requirements and aesthetic appeal. In this post, Cosmos Surfaces provides guidelines on how to choose countertop material to fit your needs and your budget. Here are some of the factors you should take into consideration when making your choice:


One of the first things you think about when choosing a countertop is the appearance. The finish applied to a stone surface can alter its overall visual effect. There seems to be a trend among homeowners to opt for a leathered finish, which adds texture to the surface. When it comes to light-colored surfaces, like white countertops, a honed or leathered finish can help disguise etch marks.

It’s important to note that not all types of stone can accept all types of finishes. If you have your eye on a particular style of finish, you’ll want to make sure the stone you decide can accept it. Our post on everything you need to know about stone finishes provides an in-depth look at the properties of each type of finish.


One of the biggest considerations when choosing a kitchen or bathroom countertop material is porosity. This will significantly impact the maintenance required, as some porous stones/surfaces need to be sealed regularly to prevent stains and damage. Marble is an example of a porous stone that requires that bit of extra attention to keep it looking gorgeous. With the right care and maintenance, marble can last for generations – but it might not be the right surface for you if you want to avoid sealing. Take a look at our detailed post on how to care for marble for more information on this gorgeous natural stone.

On the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find surfaces like quartz countertops – engineered stone containing minerals along with binders and fillers. Quartz countertops are completely non-porous and do not require sealing, which makes them easy to maintain. They come in a wide variety of styles and colors and can even mimic real marble very closely. Our post on how to clean quartz surfaces explores its properties and the maintenance required.

showroom 2


The durability of a surface is a huge factor in an area like the kitchen, where everyday wear and tear is inevitable. Busy families might want to consider natural stones known for a combination of durability and low maintenance. Granite and quartzite are both great options here, as these materials balance beauty, durability and relatively low maintenance requirements. This post on granite and its uses provides more information on the stone’s qualities, while our post on quartzite maintenance covers cleaning, sealing and stain removal.


At the end of the day, your budget will definitely impact your decision. It’s important to note many factors go into the cost of a surface material. There might be decisions you can make along the production process that impact the final price tag. Marble, for example, is a natural stone some might consider outside of their budget. However, there are different types of marble that vary in price. Factors like where the marble is quarried, the rarity and demand for the stone, the finish applied and details like edge profiling can all add to or subtract from the final cost. If you have your heart set on a type of stone, but you are concerned about the limits of your budget, work with a professional to find out whether there are alternatives to the product of choice or if any adjustments can be made to suit your budgetary needs.

showroom 3

Why Natural Stone?

Speaking of budget, you might wonder why homeowners would opt for natural stone surfaces when manmade alternatives are available, often at lower costs. This, too, is a multifaceted topic. While these materials may have a lower initial cost, they sometimes cannot stand up to the durability of natural stone surfaces. You can think of natural stone as a long-term investment. With proper care and maintenance, these surfaces can last for generations, while manmade alternatives may need to be replaced within the same period of time.

In addition to durability, a natural stone surface has the appeal of being completely unique. These stones are the result of the Earth’s natural geological processes – no two slabs are exactly alike. Some stones are the result of a powerful, violent event, like the eruption of a volcano, while others formed across millions of years of heat and pressure below the surface of the Earth. Natural stone surfaces are abundant in unique, striking details. They often contain patterns or vibrant splashes of color that tell the story of its formation, and the minerals contained within.

Wondering How to Choose Countertop Material? Work with Cosmos!

If you have more questions about how to choose countertop material, reach out to Cosmos Surfaces today. We bring decades of expertise to the table, and our team of experts is always happy to help!

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.”

Rich browns and deep silvers make up the quartzite known as Sandalus. Sandalus has a leathered finish that brings out the subtle layers that give this material a rugged appearance. Perfect among wood, leather, and silver, Sandalus makes a great addition to any exterior space or woodsy aesthetic. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

Marble Vs. Porcelain That Looks Like Marble

porcelain that looks like marble

Discerning homeowners looking to achieve an elevated, luxurious interior are often attracted to marble – and it’s no secret why! After all, this premium natural stone has been treasured for its beauty and durability since the Ancient Greeks & Romans first used it to construct everything from detailed sculptures to essential buildings. Fast forward to the present, and one need not spend a fortune in order to enjoy the distinguished look of marble. Thanks to advances in engineering, porcelain that looks like marble is now available as an alternative option – and it boasts numerous benefits beyond heightened affordability. Today, we’ll take a look at how marble and porcelain looking marble compare in an array of categories.

Marble vs. Porcelain That Looks Like Marble: How Do They Compare?

If you are enthralled by the elegant appearance of marble, but you have a set budget for your project, porcelain that looks like marble may just be the material you’ve been waiting for. Cost aside, there are some situations where engineered porcelain is better suited to the application than natural marble. Let’s discuss some pros and cons of real marble vs. porcelain that mimics marble’s appearance.

Required Care

When it comes to maintaining the integrity & pristine appearance of the stone over time, porcelain is arguably easier to care for than marble. Because it is super dense by design, and often comes glazed, porcelain is highly resistant to stains and moisture. In turn, it is simple and straightforward to maintain using typical household cleaning products, and it can stand up to heavy use with no issue.

On the other hand, marble is more porous, meaning it requires sealing to safeguard against spills & stains. Additionally, you’ll want to be careful to avoid using acidic or abrasive cleaners on a marble surface.


Ultimately, both porcelain and marble are highly durable materials. But if your project requires the surface to stand up to heavy foot traffic, it’s important to choose a type of stone which is equipped for the job.

Keep in mind that different types of marble and porcelain have different hardness ratings, and the durability of the two stones is ranked using separate scales. To learn more about how this works, visit our post in which we introduce porcelain slabs that look like marble and go into further detail on this point.


For many home and business owners, a large part of porcelain’s appeal is that it comes in so many different patterns and colors. Through an advanced engineering process, this modern stone can artfully imitate the aesthetics of naturally occurring marble – right down to the characteristic veining and smooth texture for which marble is known and loved.

As a prime example, Sicily White porcelain encapsulates the refined presence of the finest marble, with deep, organic looking veins and flecks of gray adorning the luxe white background.


As we’ve already alluded to, porcelain is generally a more affordable option than marble, making it preferable for many homeowners. Still, it is vital to note that porcelain can actually come with higher installation costs, since the knowledge, experience and equipment to handle and process these slabs is still limited in the industry.

Design Possibilities

While the characteristic differences setting porcelain apart from marble can make one material more suitable than the other for certain applications, many design projects can be completed using either. Much like marble, porcelain tile is available in a large format slab style. In turn, both materials can work well for more sizable surfaces, such as floors, kitchen islands, accent walls, shower walls and fireplace surrounds. When beautiful surfacing is desired for a more spacious area, large format porcelain tile can even be used to achieve the bookmatched effect which is huge with marble right now. Check out our recent post on the art of bookmatching to learn all about this symmetrical, kaleidoscopic design trend!

porcelain that looks like marble

An important factor to consider while choosing between marble and marble looking porcelain is the edge finish. If you are considering these materials for an area where the edge will be exposed, it is imperative to know that porcelain slabs can only be finished with a straight edge or mitered for a waterfall effect due to their hardness and density. Natural marbles on the other hand can be finished with any type of an edge you desire owing to their low density.

For Amazing Results, Collaborate with Cosmos Surfaces On Your Design Project

Are you in the market for a stunning surface which will perfectly suit your application and offer incredible longevity? Cosmos Surfaces is here to help you locate it! Whether you are deciding between marble and porcelain that looks like marble, or you are curious to explore other materials, you can count on our stone specialists to provide expert guidance and assistance. To be connected with a team member from our 2nd generation family-owned surfacing company, simply fill out our contact form!

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.”

Natural stone that looks like wood — say what? Sequoia Brown is a very special kind of veined, brown and black Brazilian quartzite that mimics the appearance of a sequoia tree’s bark. Offering the supreme durability of natural stone coupled with the rustic look of wood, Sequoia Brown is a great fit for bar tops, countertops, table tops and more.

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:




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:



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:




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.

Future-proofing Your Investment: To Do and Not To Do

future proof

When it comes to natural stone care and maintenance, regular attention goes a long way. A natural stone surface is an investment that can last for many years. If properly cared for, it can last for generations! In this post, we look at what you can do to future-proof your investment, and what to avoid.

Natural stone can be classified as either siliceous stone, or calcareous stone. It’s important to know which category your stone surfaces fall under, as each requires its own approach to cleaning and maintenance.

Siliceous Stone

Stone in this category is mainly composed of silica or quartz-like particles. Siliceous stone types include granite and quartzite. These stones tend to be durable and easy-to-clean with mild, acidic solutions.

Calcareous Stone

Stone in this category is mainly composed of calcium carbonate. Marble, limestone and onyx are all calcareous stone types and require a different approach to cleaning than siliceous stone types. Notably, they are sensitive to acidic cleaning products.

Aside from understanding which category your stone surface falls under, there’s plenty you can do for all types of surfaces to protect your investment from the wear and tear of daily life. Let’s take a look:


  • Do know what type of stone you have
  • Do clean spills immediately
  • Do seal stone when needed
  • Do use coasters and placemats
  • Do use trivets and cooling racks
  • Do place non-slip mats and area rugs on stone flooring
  • Do clean frequently with mild detergent or appropriate stone soap
  • Do rinse with clean water and dry your surfaces thoroughly after cleaning
  • Do consult with manufacturers for proper care instructions


  • Don’t use vinegar, lemon juice or acidic cleaners on calcareous stone like marble, limestone or onyx
  • Don’t use abrasive cleaners
  • Don’t use acidic cleaners such as tub and tile cleaners, bathroom cleaners or grout cleaners on natural stone
  • Don’t place hot pots, pans, trays or plates directly on stone
  • Don’t allow water to collect on the surface for long periods of time
  • Don’t mix bleach and ammonia when cleaning (this creates a toxic, lethal gas)
  • Don’t mix chemical cleaners unless instructed to do so by the product directions
  • Don’t use an old vacuum on stone surfaces, or even a new model without extreme caution – a vacuum’s attachments or wheels can scratch stone flooring

Next, let’s look at general cleaning guidelines for countertops, floors, bathrooms/wet areas, and outdoor surfaces:


Clean countertops regularly with a few drops of mild detergent, appropriate stone cleaner or a neutral cleaner and warm water. It’s best to use a soft cloth and stay away from scouring powders and creams, as these contain abrasives. Keep in mind that acidic food and drinks can etch and dull the surface of calcareous stone types. Take extra care when working with such food and drink, and blot spills up immediately.


When it comes to natural stone flooring, trekked-in dirt, sand and grit can damage your surface with scratches. You can minimize these effects by placing non-slip mats and rugs near entrances to catch outdoor debris. Carpeted runners that extend from each outside door into the home can aid in cleaning and drying foot soles before they reach stone flooring. For outdoor flooring, be sure to remove standing water, ice or snow as soon as possible.

To clean flooring, dust mop floors frequently using a dry dust mop. Wash floors with clean water and appropriate neutral cleaners, then rinse thoroughly, dry floors with a soft cloth and allow to air dry completely before resuming use.

Bathrooms and Wet Areas

Soap scum tends to accumulate in these areas and can be removed with a squeegee and non-acidic soap scum remover. A solution of ammonia and water can also be used, but keep in mind that using ammonia frequently can dull the surface.

Outdoor Pool and Patio Areas

Flush these areas with clean water to get rid of dust and debris. A mild bleach solution can be used to remove algae or moss growth, but it’s important to ensure you can use bleach on your type of stone. When in doubt, always check with your manufacturer or supplier!

Natural Stone Care and Maintenance: Conclusion

Take good care of your natural stone surfaces and they will reward you with generations of elegance and beauty. For more cleaning and maintenance tips, take a look at these posts from our blog:

If you have any questions about the care and maintenance of natural stone, reach out to Cosmos Surfaces today! We bring decades of expertise to the table, and our team of experts is always happy to answer questions about future-proofing your beautiful investments.

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.”

Java Blue - Blue Quartzite 4

Java Blue is a compilation of several blues and soft crystal colors. Primarily a calming light blue, Java Blue is cut through with streaks and spots of navy and gold. Upon closer inspection, the crystals are apparent and beautiful. Java Blue is great for aquatic environments and looks great poolside as a fountain, waterfall, or exterior countertop. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched

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.

Ceramic vs. Porcelain: What’s the Difference?

ceramic vs porcelain

Both porcelain and ceramic tile are in high demand for contemporary kitchen and bathroom renovation projects. Considering how similar they are in appearance – and the fact that their uses often overlap – it’s no wonder why many people use the terms “ceramic” and “porcelain” interchangeably when describing tile. However, it’s important to note that each surfacing material has its own distinct characteristics. This can make one more suitable than the other for certain projects. So, what is the difference between porcelain and ceramic tile? Cosmos Surfaces is here to explain everything that sets the two apart, once and for all.

What Is the Difference Between Porcelain and Ceramic Tile?

To understand what makes ceramic and porcelain dissimilar, it’s only logical to start with the materials and methods used to construct them. While ceramic is made from various colors of clay, porcelain consists of a combination of white clay, feldspar and sand. Another important difference: higher temperatures are used to fire porcelain than ceramic.

These differences in how the surfacing materials are made end up influencing their properties. In their final forms, here are the main areas in which ceramic and porcelain differ:

  • Density & Porosity – Owing to the materials and high temperatures used to make it, porcelain tile is more dense and hardwearing than ceramic. It is also less porous, meaning it doesn’t absorb as much water.
  • Ease of Use – The downside of porcelain’s higher density is that it can be more difficult to work with. In addition, some homeowners may perceive it as being a bit too hard to the touch. Ceramic is softer and easier to cut/shape, while still being impressively durable.
  • Cost – Generally speaking, ceramic tile tends to be more affordable than porcelain. This could give ceramic an edge over porcelain for larger projects and renovations on a budget.
  • Design Options – Both ceramic and porcelain tile come in a range of breathtaking styles. But if you’re looking for a more intricate and unique design, you might have better luck finding it in ceramic. Ultimately, it comes down to what you prefer.
  • Suitability for Interior/Exterior Projects – The higher density of porcelain makes it a favorable choice for projects both inside and outside of the home. On the other hand, ceramic tile is approved for interior use only.

Choosing the Right Type of Tile for Your Project

Hopefully, you now feel clear on the answer to “what is the difference between porcelain and ceramic?” As you can see, finding the right type of tile for your project means considering numerous factors, including your application, style preferences and budget. Let’s summarize where porcelain and ceramic tiles are best used:

  • Porcelain is durable enough to be installed both indoors and out. It is capable of withstanding heavy foot traffic in applications like residential or commercial flooring. Furthermore, it performs well in environments with high moisture and some are even rated to be frost proof, making it a standout choice for shower walls and floors, countertops, exterior wall cladding and more.
  • Ceramic is suitable for interior walls, backsplashes and floors that receive low foot traffic. Typically more cost effective and easier to work with than porcelain, it is a resilient and budget-friendly material that’s available in an endless variety of stunning styles.

One important benefit of both materials: whether you choose ceramic or porcelain tile for your project, you will enjoy easy maintenance. Consult our guide to cleaning porcelain tile to learn how to keep tile surfaces in the kitchen or bathroom pristine. The recommended upkeep for ceramic tile is very similar! Once you’ve chosen your tiles, you can also find helpful advice on choosing the right tile grout color on our blog.

Count On Cosmos Surfaces for Durable & Delightful Porcelain Tile

Cosmos Surfaces is proud to provide an extensive array of surfacing options, including our OPULITH large format porcelain tile collection. Our remarkable selection has something for every taste and design project. Those who wish to invite luxury into their home might consider Taj Mahal, an iridescent champagne porcelain that entrances and intrigues.

Our highly trained team members are standing by, ready to assist you on your quest for the ideal surfacing material to complete your project. Known for our exceptional customer service and competitive pricing, Cosmos Surfaces is dedicated to helping you make your design dreams a reality. To request professional assistance from our industry experts, reach out to us today.

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.”

Azul Bahia is a type of granite which takes its name from the place where it is sourced — the state of Bahia, Brazil. With veins of sparkling white, black and gray interspersed between the azure, this beautiful polished stone seems otherworldly. Use Blue Bahia to add a breathtaking pop of color to fireplaces, countertops, showers, floors and other surfaces.

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.

Where to Find Porcelain Slabs That Look Like Marble

porcelain slabs that look like marble

While porcelain and marble are both popular surface materials, porcelain slabs that look like marble might have you wondering which option is best suited to your needs. You may prefer the appearance of marble, but want to take advantage of some of the other wonderful qualities of porcelain. Luckily, large format porcelain tiles are available in diverse colors and styles, so it’s easy to find porcelain that looks like marble in our selection at Cosmos Surfaces. Let’s take a look at how porcelain and marble compare, so you can consider all of the factors when making your choice.


While both materials are extremely durable, they are rated on different scales of hardness. Marble is rated on the Mohs hardness scale and comes in between 3 and 5 – this means marble is highly durable, whichever type you choose. Porcelain tiles are rated on a PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) scale. Porcelain tiles with a hardness rating of 4 to 5 are suited for heavier foot traffic in homes and businesses, while a rating of 3 is suitable for residential and light foot traffic. We can help you find a porcelain that will be perfect for your needs.


Some types of marble are less expensive than others, while porcelain is a less expensive option in general. The cost of installation factors in as well. Porcelain can sometimes be more expensive to install, as it may require a special grout. Average costs for materials and installation come in at around $8 to $15 per square foot for porcelain tile, while marble can range from $9 to $24.


Porcelain is a dense, hard material and is often glazed. This makes it easy to clean, water resistant, stain resistant, and safe for use with most popular cleaning products. You can refer to our easy guide on how to clean porcelain tile. Marble is more porous, which means you may have to be a little more careful about preventing stains and contact with acidic substances. Marble requires appropriate cleaning products and needs to be sealed to protect against accidents.


Marble is heavy and requires underlying support. You may want to lay marble tiles out prior to installation to arrange an aesthetically pleasing pattern (the same applies to porcelain tiles made to mimic the look of marble.) Porcelain tiles, though not as heavy as marble, may also need underlying support. The method of installation will depend on the application, so it’s best to get expert advice when choosing a material.

How Cosmos Surfaces Can Help

If you desire the look of marble but would like a less expensive option that is easier to clean and maintain, porcelain slabs that look like marble are a great solution! Cosmos Surfaces is proud to showcase our new porcelain tile collection – OPULITH. We offer a premium variety of patterns and colors that can bring the look and feel of luxury into your space. Cosmos Surfaces brings over three decades of knowledge and industry experience to the table. Fill out our or give us a call today to get started!

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.”

Sapphire Blue  - Brown Granite 3

Unearth the exquisite blue and brown patterns hidden in Sapphire Blue, which is a highly polished brown granite that gleams like a trove of precious gems. Sapphire Blue exudes luxury and rarity, and its exotic blend of blue, brown, black, and grey is a shining example of the earth’s most incredible natural creations.

What Makes Cosmos Surfaces the Best Supplier of Large Porcelain Slabs?

large porcelain slabs

Large porcelain slabs have taken the design industry by storm – and for good reason! This material is beautiful and hardy with the ability to elevate any space. In this article, we’ll take a look at the uses and benefits of large format porcelain tiles and how Cosmos Surfaces can provide the best surface materials for your space.

The Many Uses of Large Format Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain slabs can be used indoors for countertops, backsplash, sinks, showers, walls, floors, tubs, furniture and around fireplaces. Its outdoor applications include pools, cladding, patios and more. With the right preparations, large format porcelain can be installed over existing flooring and countertops, which makes this option ideal for home-renovation projects.

The Benefits of Porcelain Slabs

  • Heat Resistant: Porcelain is highly heat resistant, which makes it a great choice for kitchen countertops or for installation around fireplaces.
  • Scratch Resistant: Everyday wear and tear is hardly a concern with this durable material.
  • Stain Resistant: Porcelain is dense and less porous than other materials, which makes it easy to clean and highly stain resistant.
  • Low Maintenance: Porcelain does not require intensive ongoing maintenance to keep it looking gorgeous and new. For example, see our detailed guide on how to clean porcelain kitchen sink and tile.
  • Seamless Look: Large format tiles or slabs come with the additional benefit of having fewer joints or seams upon installation, which allows for a sleek, luxurious look.

What Makes Cosmos Surfaces the Best Supplier of Large Porcelain Slabs?

We are proud to showcase our new porcelain tile collection – OPULITH. You can also take a look at our process for making porcelain slabs . We offer a variety of patterns and colors that can take your home or business to new levels of functionality, beauty and luxury.

Cosmos brings over three decades of knowledge and industry experience to the table. As a 2nd generation family-owned company, our team is passionate about our mission of connecting North American businesses and consumers to exceptional materials in a way that is respectful to local communities and the environment.

Whether you are a homeowner, industry professional, vendor or supplier, you can trust Cosmos Surfaces to meet your needs. Get in touch by filling out our contact form today – our team of experts is happy to advise and assist!

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.”

Agate Azure - Blue Semi-Precious 3

Agate Azure is a form of the naturally occurring  crystal; a bold, beautiful semi-precious stone that can be installed for countertops, wall applications, backsplashes, and more. The deep ocean blues and unique handpicked stones make this blue agate an exquisite work of art.

How to Clean Porcelain Tile

how to clean porcelain tile

If you’re looking to redo your living room, bathroom or kitchen, you’ll need to consider what type of material to use for your countertop,  showers, and other surfaces. Porcelain tile is becoming increasingly popular as a high-quality material for showers and countertops, and for good reason. Here is a handy guide from Cosmos Surfaces on everything you need to know about porcelain tile, including what sets it apart from other materials, why it’s so low maintenance, and how to clean porcelain tile so that it stays beautiful throughout the years.

Advantages of Using Porcelain Tile in Bathrooms and Kitchens

You can’t go wrong with porcelain tile for floors, showers, countertops, and exterior surfaces. Here are a few reasons why porcelain tile steals the show:

  • Porcelain tile is a beautiful low-maintenance alternative to granite or marble. Advanced manufacturing technology allows for porcelain tile to mimic the appearance of natural marble, like our Sicily White porcelain. The color options for porcelain are growing all the time.

sicily white

  • Porcelain fits with a variety of aesthetics, from modern to classical to minimalistic.
  • Porcelain tile is heat, scratch, and chip-resistant.
  • The nonporous nature of porcelain means the material doesn’t require sealing, which can cut costs and makes it easy to care for over time.
  • Porcelain is highly resistant to wear and tear in the long term. That’s why it is great for bathrooms and kitchens, which are used often by every member of the family.
  • Porcelain tiles are also very dense, making them resistant to stains and a perfect material to withstand constant contact with water, food, beauty and makeup materials, toothpaste, heat, and more.
  • The large size of these porcelain slabs also reduces the number of grout lines we see, thus making the surface more aesthetically appealing.
  • Lastly, porcelain is extremely low maintenance and easy to clean. Porcelain tiles resist stains, keeping the daily upkeep to a minimum. It is highly durable and not easily damaged. It’s also easy to find resources for how to clean porcelain tile, including our step-by-step guide below and more tips in the FAQs and Resources Sections.

How to Clean Porcelain Tile Like the Pros

One of the greatest benefits of installing porcelain tile in a bathroom or kitchen is that it’s so easy to keep clean. The more often you clean it, the longer it will last and the nicer it will look. Only a couple of minutes per day are required to keep your porcelain shining. Here’s our guide for how to clean porcelain tile:

  • Daily Cleaning: Daily upkeep for porcelain isn’t complicated or time-consuming. To keep your porcelain in tip-top shape and make it easier when you deep clean it once in a while, simply rinse your porcelain off after using it or wipe it down with a gentle sponge. It’s best not to let soap residue, toothpaste, food spills, or anything else sit for too long.

Giving your sink a quick rinse after brushing your teeth or using a mild daily shower spray will eliminate frequent deep cleaning and keep your porcelain always looking its best. Avoid keeping items on porcelain that will rust or leave residue, like metal rings and jewelry.

  • Weekly Cleaning: Just once a week, wipe down your porcelain more thoroughly with a sponge or washcloth. Using a simple cleaning spray will sufficiently clean any bacteria, germs, and buildup that amassed over the course of a week. This will help maximize the beauty and life of your porcelain, especially if you skip daily upkeep sometimes.
  • Monthly Cleaning: Once a month or so, it’s best to do a more thorough deep clean. This is where you get into every nook and cranny. With regular upkeep, the deep clean should be very quick and easy. A magic eraser and diluted white vinegar are great tools to use when deep cleaning porcelain. If you do encounter a stain on white porcelain, you can use diluted bleach with CIF cream or Mr. Muscle. Just make sure you rinse your porcelain with lots of water afterwards.

Install Beautiful Porcelain Tile Today

Cosmos Surfaces highly recommends porcelain tile in bathrooms and kitchens. That’s why we launched our new large format porcelain collection, OPULITH. Including styles that are great for countertops and bathroom walls, such as the striking Roman Grey, OPULITH from Cosmos Surfaces gives you plenty of options when it comes to designing your dream space.

roman grey

At Cosmos, our goal is to provide our customers with superior quality products at competitive prices and unparalleled service. Quality and Service are given the highest regard in every decision we make. Our founding principles combined with our highly trained and capable team members have helped us become one of the leading distributors in the industry. Contact us today to speak with a member of our team.

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.”

ora caravelas

Ora Caravelas is a complex yellow and blue granite with a stunningly textured pattern. This exotic Brazilian granite is polished to a high shine and makes an eye-catching choice for any indoor or outdoor application.

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!


South East
South East

Our Brands and affiliations

Join Our Community

Get Design Inspiration, Product Knowledge, News and Trend Updates delivered right to your Inbox.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.