All About the Care of Quartz Counters

care of quartz counters

Attracting discerning homeowners and cooking enthusiasts with its versatility, resilience and stunning design options, quartz has become an increasingly popular kitchen material for centerpiece countertops, backsplashes, islands and even floors. This surface cleans up easily and will hold up over time with minimal evidence of wear, so long as it is maintained with a bit of love and care. When it comes to the care of quartz counters in particular, there are some important do’s and don’ts which you’ll want to know if you are contemplating quartz for this application. So, let’s get into them.

All About the Care of Quartz Counters

To understand the whys and hows behind correct care of quartz counters, it’s helpful to learn the basics of how this surface comes into existence: 

  • Quartz is manmade – not naturally occurring – meaning it can be manufactured to imitate the look of other surfaces such as marble. The engineering process lends quartz the desirable characteristic of nonporosity, meaning it won’t need to be sealed to guard against moisture, bacteria and staining.
  • Quartz is composed primarily of pieces of crushed natural stone, sometimes with tiny scraps of metal or glass mixed in, all held together with polymer resins. 

Now that you know what goes into a slab of quartz, here are some essential tips for successful care of quartz counters over time:

  • Clean with gentle methods & materials – Alkaline or acidic cleaners like lemon juice, vinegar or bleach aren’t compatible with quartz, as they can break down the binders and cause etching or disintegration. Also skip textured, abrasive scrubbing pads or brushes, as they can leave behind scratches. To keep the surface pristine, stick to mild dishwashing detergent on a soft, damp sponge or microfiber cloth for everyday cleaning. Add a small amount of rubbing alcohol to dish soap or water for more effective disinfecting.
  • Prioritize use of hotpads, trivets, coasters and cutting boards – The binders in quartz can be melted or warped with direct exposure to high heat, so it’s crucial to exercise caution to protect the surface when sitting down hot plates, cups, pots, pans or baking dishes.
  • Clean up spills promptly, and wipe down countertops regularly – This will prevent surface dulling and stuck-on grime requiring harsher scrubbing, which can be damaging to quartz. 
  • Avoid applying high pressure or dropping heavy items – Although quartz is highly durable, it’s not totally invincible. So, it’s best to avoid putting a lot of weight on counters or setting down pots or dishes with force.

By following these best practices for care of quartz counters and other kitchen surfaces, you’ll set yourself up to enjoy their beauty and benefits for many years to come.

Where to Get High-Quality Quartz Countertops

From simple maintenance to stunning aesthetics, quartz has so much to love. But, for best results and maximum longevity, it’s vital to work with a reputable surface supplier. At Cosmos Surfaces, we take pride in offering a fabulous range of quartz products and being highly knowledgeable about all of them. 

Our distinctive quartz collection includes:

  • Calacatta Victoria, a crisp white quartz with marble-like gray veining outlined in subtle black and gold 
  • Calacatta Calypso, a quartz with a bright white background featuring classic grey marble veining in a soothing diagonal motion and deeper ashen specks
  • Mystic Gold, a captivating quartz with gently rippling gold Carrara veins against a light foundation
  • White Sand, a graceful white polished quartz exclusive to Cosmos Surfaces, with faint ashen veining, reminiscent of fine marble
  • Nero Marquina, a black quartz is reminiscent of a dark storm, with deep shades of black and spectacular white streaks
  • Calacatta Supreme, a resplendent white quartz inspired by Italian coasts, with delicate grey veins on a pristine white foundation

…and so many more! You can look through all the options on our website, or stop by one of our showrooms located across the United States to see these dazzling surfaces and others in person.

Pursue Breathtaking Quartz Surfaces with Cosmos 

Whether you have questions about proper care of quartz counters or you’re eager to start a conversation on how to find the best variety for your project and get it professionally installed, don’t hesitate to reach out. With a team of highly trained surface experts and a long-standing reputation for excellent service, we’re your one-stop source for guidance on all things quartz, along with natural stones of many sorts.

Color of the Month: Butter

Butter is a soft, soothing citrus yellow with mustard undertones. It is perfect for a cheery bathroom or kitchen, especially when paired with bold whites.

Calacatta Golden Bianca Cosmos Quartz, as one might think, mirrors the appearance of the classic Calacatta Gold marble from Italy, with a backdrop of pure white intercepted with delicate veins of gold and brown. This stunning Cosmos Quartz countertop material with its golden veins is the perfect choice for subtle flair and warmth in any setting.

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

Take the journey to a place world-renowned as the homage to love – Taj Mahal. This Taj Mahal porcelain is a stunning champagne color with fine, soft lines of almost iridescent gold—worth being called one of the world’s seven wonders in porcelain. The subtle golden hues of this Taj Mahal porcelain pair well with whites, ivories, greys, and other neutrals. Use outdoors on an open patio to see how this gorgeous color dances in the sunlight.

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.

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.

All About Using Quartz for Kitchen Surfaces

quartz for kitchen

Quartz is one of the most popular materials used in kitchens today. Owing to its durability, versatility and ease of maintenance, this eye-catching countertop option rivals long-standing kitchen favorites like granite and marble

Keep reading to learn all about using quartz for kitchen surfaces, why you should consider it and how to maintain quartz surfaces to keep them looking gorgeous long-term. 

What Are Quartz Countertops?

Before we dive in, there’s an important distinction between quartz and quartzite countertop materials. While quartzite refers to all-natural quarried stone countertops, quartz countertops are a form of man-made or engineered stone. 

Quartz counters typically consist of pulverized natural quartz particles (around 90-95%) mixed with polymer resins (around 5%) to bind it all together. In some instances, small amounts of recycled crushed glass or metallic particles are added during the manufacturing process, along with pigments. As it is a man-made surfacing option, quartz countertops can be designed to mimic the patterns and veining structures of natural stones like marble.   

The Pros of Quartz Kitchen Surfaces

Kitchen surface materials typically see a great deal of use. Aside from aesthetics, quality countertops need to stand up to everyday wear-and-tear while keeping maintenance simple. 

Here’s where quartz countertops really shine:

  • Durability — The natural quartz components found in quartz countertops are hard and durable, which means they stand up well to the high-traffic challenges common in kitchen areas. 
  • Aesthetics — The manufacturing process behind quartz countertops makes it possible to manipulate the look, colors and patterns on quartz surfaces to match design styles or mimic natural stone. 
  • Stain-Resistance — The resin binders in quartz kitchen counters makes them non-porous, which means they are highly stain-resistant and anti-microbial.
  • Ease of Maintenance — Warm water, mild dish detergent and a soft cloth or sponge is all you need to clean quartz countertops. Because they are non-porous, quartz surfaces don’t need to be sealed.  

These are all highly desirable qualities in the kitchen. If you’re ready to browse quartz kitchen countertops, you can find our quartz products here. 

The Cons of Quartz Kitchen Surfaces

While no home surface material is 100% perfect, the cons of using quartz for kitchen surfaces won’t be problematic for everyone. Whether or not quartz is a good option for your household simply depends on your needs and budget. 

Here are the main drawbacks of using quartz in the kitchen:

  • Heat-Resistance — The resin binders found in quartz products can melt or warp when exposed to extreme heat, so be sure never to place hot items like pots and pans directly onto quartz countertops.
  • Affordability — While typically less expensive than its natural stone counterparts, quartz tends to have a higher price point than DIY options like wood or concrete. 
  • Indoor Use Only — While quartz countertops are durable enough to hold their own in indoor kitchens, they aren’t suitable for outdoor environments, where exposure to the elements can damage resin binders.

How to Clean Quartz Kitchen Surfaces

Quartz countertops are non-porous, which makes them a breeze to clean. In most cases, mild detergent and warm water will do the trick for daily cleaning. Be sure to use soft sponges or microfiber cloths, avoiding harsh scouring pads.

Some chemical cleaners can break down the bond between quartz and resin binders, so always check in with a manufacturer to ensure cleaning products are safe to use on your quartz countertops. 

Tips for maintaining quartz kitchen counters include the following:

  • Always use cutting boards, trivets, coasters and cooling racks
  • Never place hot pots and pans directly on counters
  • Clean spills right away
  • Wipe down counters frequently, especially after food prep
  • Avoid using highly acidic or alkaline cleaners, including nail polish remover, bleach, oven cleaner, turpentine and drain cleaners. 
  • Avoid putting excess pressure on countertops, and take care not to drop heavy items like pots or glass dishes on quartz kitchen counters. 

Where to Find Quartz For Kitchen Countertops

Quartz for kitchen uses offers a wonderful alternative to those who desire the look of natural stone, but have a slightly lower budget in mind. To ensure you’re getting the best possible product, it’s essential to work with a reputable manufacturer.  

Cosmos Surfaces offers a wide range of quartz products along with other top quality surface materials. Our experts are happy to answer questions and help you decide which material is best suited to your needs and budget – reach out to Cosmos Surfaces today to get started!

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.

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.

Java Blue is a compilation of several blues and soft crystal color. 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.

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.

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.

All About White Quartz Kitchen Countertops

white quartz kitchen countertops

When it comes to kitchen countertops, one of the most popular choices by far is white quartz. This gorgeous surface material is lauded by interior designers and fixer upper warriors alike for its versatility, aesthetic beauty and ease of maintenance. Read on to learn all about white quartz kitchen countertops and how the experts at Cosmos Surfaces can help you find the perfect match for your home.

What Are Quartz Countertops Made Of?

Quartz countertops are a man-made material that closely resembles the look of natural stone. Rather than a solid slab extracted straight from the earth, quartz countertops are made through a manufacturing process where approximately 90–95% ground natural quartz is mixed with 5–10% polymer resins to bind it together. 

Since quartz countertops are man-made, they offer a wide variety of color choices and patterns. As a durable, lower cost alternative, white quartz kitchen countertops can mimic the look of marble with subtle or dramatic veining patterns. 

The Pros of White Quartz Countertops

There is perhaps no area in the home that takes on as much wear and tear as our kitchen countertops. Whether we are cooking, cleaning, working, doing crafts or simply socializing, the kitchen counters and island often play host to a range of activities. Here’s why white quartz countertops remain a fan favorite:

  • Durability — Quartz countertops are highly durable and don’t chip, crack or break easily
  • Stain Resistance — Quartz counters are non-porous, which protects them from staining and harboring bacteria
  • Aesthetics — With the ability to mimic the look of marble, white quartz countertops can lighten and brighten up a kitchen with the look of luxury at a lower cost
  • Ease of Maintenance — Owing to its non-porosity, quartz countertops are easy to clean and don’t need to be sealed like some of its natural stone counterparts do.
  • Versatility — Quartz kitchen countertops come in a variety of patterns with subtle undertones that can match the look homeowners want in their kitchens

The Cons of White Quartz Countertops

Just about every surface material has a few downsides, depending on who you ask. Quartz is no different, though some of these may not be an issue for every homeowner. Here’s what to consider:

  • Low Heat-Resistance — Quartz countertops do not handle exposure to extreme heat well. That’s because the resin binders holding everything together are essentially a type of plastic — it can melt or warp. That means placing hot pots, pans or baking sheets directly on quartz counters is a no-go.
  • Requires Professional Installation — Quartz countertops are an investment that requires precision, knowledge and the right tools for proper installation. This is one you don’t want to DIY, folks.

White Quartz Kitchen Countertops: Care and Maintenance

Taking care of quartz countertops is simple, as it is a low-maintenance material. The following habits will help keep white quartz countertops looking new and beautiful in the long run:

  • Use trivets, cooling racks and coasters
  • Never place hot cookware directly on countertops
  • Avoid using abrasive cleaners and scouring pads, and never use cleaning products containing ammonia or bleach
  • Wipe counters down with a soft, damp cloth or sponge, mild dish detergent and warm water
  • Clean spills up right away

Tips for Designing with White Quartz Countertops

White counters can instantly give a room a face-lift, brightening up the space and creating a clean, elegant look. White quartz countertops often have varying grey tones and veining patterns. 

Far from limiting your design options, however, the possibilities are good and plenty — and so are the decisions you’ll have to make before deciding on the perfect kitchen countertops for your space. Let’s look at a few design tips to keep in mind:

  • Mix and Match — Save money by investing more in a statement piece, such as a kitchen island countertop with dramatic veining like Calacatta Supreme, and using lower-priced types of quartz for peripheral countertops.
  • Pair Undertones —  While grey patterning on a white countertop seems neutral enough, both colors can have warm or cool undertones, dramatically changing the effect. Utilize samples whenever possible to see which undertones work in the context of your kitchen. As an example, grey veining with warm undertones like those found in Calacatta Spear can help bring out the warmth of wooden cabinets, tying the overall look together.  
  • Use Remnants — If you have small countertops or if you’d like to use quartz counters in the bathroom, check in with a manufacturer to see if smaller remnants are available at a lower cost.   

White Quartz Countertops at Cosmos Surfaces

We’re proud to offer a wide range of gorgeous white quartz kitchen countertops here at Cosmos Surfaces. Whether you’re in the market for a dramatic veining pattern or a simple, elegant white surface, our experts can help you find the perfect fit for your home. Give us a call at your nearest location or contact us online with any inquiries. Our team is always happy to help with expert advice. 

Color of the Month: Translucent

Translucent natural stones are airy and delicate, with vibrant undertones glowing just beneath the surface. As countertops, tiling, backsplashes, and more, translucent surfaces are a striking yet soothing addition to any room.

The multicolored layers of Travertine Onyx bring to mind the diverse terrain of a canyon wall. From brown and reds to blacks and silvers, Travertine Onyx spans a color spectrum that looks well with nearly every material. Install as a kitchen backsplash, fireplace tiling, or for an exterior countertop to bring layers and dimension to any space.

Rose Onyx is the stone of choice for anyone in search of lovely, delicate aesthetic appeal. This pink onyx contains a variety of soft hues that are sure to captivate, from light pink to grey and white, with patterning that gently bends and swirls against a polished finish. This pink onyx will charm you from the start.

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.

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.

How to Disinfect Quartz Countertops

how to disinfect quartz countertops

When discussing countertop materials, we often point out that kitchen countertops are some of the most high-traffic areas in the home. Aside from food prep, countertops often become a repository for items like handbags, car keys and mail. Along with greater amounts of wear and tear, high-traffic surfaces are more prone to harbor germs and bacteria. In today’s post, our experts discuss how to disinfect quartz countertops and provide tips to help keep your kitchen clean and safe. 

What is Quartz?

Before we get into the particulars of disinfecting quartz countertops, it’s important to understand how they are made. Quartz, sometimes referred to as engineered quartz, is a manmade material. Though quartz countertops typically contain varying amounts of quartz, roughly 10% of the materials in a quartz countertop are made of components like crushed marble or granite, as well as industrial waste, like recycled glass or ceramic. These materials are usually held together with binders, like resin. While some cleaning and disinfecting products might be safe to use on quartz itself, they could damage the binder filling in between. 

Cleaning vs. Disinfecting

Cleaning a surface removes dirt, grime, grease, spills and some bacteria, while disinfecting specifically kills bacteria and viruses. It’s always important to clean and wipe down surfaces regularly, but disinfecting is imperative to prevent diseases like Coronavirus, E. Coli and Salmonella from spreading.

Disinfecting Quartz Countertops

The following products are safe to use when disinfecting quartz countertops:

  • Isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol, can be mixed with water to make an effective disinfectant. Mix 2 parts rubbing alcohol to 1 part water—we recommend using a spray bottle—and apply as needed. Be sure to remove any food from counters before cleaning and keep the area well ventilated.  
  • Antibacterial dish soap and warm water will often do the trick and are safe to use on quartz countertops. Adding rubbing alcohol to the mixture can also increase its efficiency. 

What NOT to Use on Quartz Countertops

Avoid using the following common disinfectants:

  • Do NOT use Lysol, Clorox or any products containing bleach or vinegar on quartz countertops, as they can cause permanent damage.
  • Do NOT use harsh, acidic or alkaline cleaners.
  • Do NOT use nail polish remover.

As mentioned above, while some of these products might be safe to use on quartz itself, they can etch or disintegrate the binders in between quartz pieces.

Tips for Keeping Your Kitchen Germ Free

Cleaning AND disinfecting all surfaces frequently are the only ways to prevent germs and bacteria from growing and spreading. That said, there are a few things you can do to help minimize their presence:

  • Clean Spills Right Away—The longer a spill sits on your countertop, the more time it allows bacteria to establish itself. Once this happens, simply cleaning the area won’t get rid of all the bacteria, unless the spot is disinfected as well. You can get ahead of this issue by simply cleaning spills as soon as they occur. 
  • Disinfect Sponges and Dish Cloths—These handy products can often become breeding grounds for germs and bacteria. By using them to clean or wipe down countertops, you might inadvertently spread bacteria around. Be sure to clean these products after each use and allow them to dry fully in between uses. Dish rags can be cleaned by running them through a washer, while sponges can be cleaned using a disinfecting solution. 
  • Keep Countertops Dry—Bacteria thrive in moist environments. Be sure to dry countertops thoroughly after cleaning, and dry off areas that are prone to moisture, including areas around sinks or anywhere steam and condensation tends to accumulate.
  • Take Extra Precautions When Someone is Sick—If someone in your household is sick, it’s extra important to follow disinfection procedures. Clean your countertops and the rest of the kitchen more often to prevent the spread of the sickness.

We hope you’ve found this post on how to disinfect quartz countertops helpful. If you’d like to learn more about quartz, feel free to check out the following blog posts:

Work with Cosmos Surfaces!

If you have questions about quartz or other surfacing materials, we’d love to hear from you! 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: 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.

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

What 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. 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 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.

Quartz Vs. Granite Vs. Marble in the Kitchen

With Thanksgiving & the winter holidays right around the corner, you may be on a mission to maximize the functionality & aesthetic appeal of your kitchen design. When planning a kitchen renovation, it’s only natural to start with the countertops – otherwise known as the focal point of the kitchen! As you seek to find an attractive, long-wearing countertop material that fits your lifestyle and personality, you might compare quartz vs. granite vs. marble. All three are popular choices for kitchen countertops, so how do you know which will best suit your family and home? Cosmos Surfaces is here to break down the differences and highlight the benefits each material can bring to your culinary space.

Characteristics of Quartz: Pros & Cons for a Cooking Area

Could quartz be the perfect match for your next kitchen countertop? Let’s begin our comparison of quartz vs. granite vs. marble by exploring the properties of this engineered stone:

  • Composition – Quartz is comprised primarily of pulverized natural stones like granite and quartz, although the final product may not necessarily contain much raw quartz at all. Around 90% of a quartz slab is usually a blend of stone and industrial waste like glass and mirrors, with the other portion consisting of binders and polymers.
  • Perks – Owing to its composition, quartz is dense, scratch resistant and non-porous. That last one means there’s no need to seal the surface in order to safeguard against bacteria, moisture and stains. Indeed, quartz can tolerate exposure to acidic liquids like wine or citrus juice, with low risk of etching so long as spills are cleaned up promptly. In terms of ease of maintenance, all of the above gives quartz an edge over natural stones like granite and marble.
  • Pitfalls – As compared to marble, quartz has a lower ability to resist heat. So, to avoid cracks and other damage, hot cookware should always be placed on a trivet so it does not come into direct contact with the countertop. So, if you’re planning to torch that sugar on your Crème Brulee, make sure that there is a barrier between your quartz countertop and the dish! Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight should also be avoided to prevent discoloration and warping.

How Does Granite Perform in the Kitchen?

Granite has been a leading kitchen countertop option for many decades – and for several good reasons:

  • Composition – Made up of minerals like quartz, mica and feldspar, granite is an igneous rock which forms as magma crystallizes. Its creation process lends it virtually unmatched density in the world of stone.
  • Perks – Thanks to its extreme hardness, granite makes an impressively durable countertop that can stand up to heat and high-traffic use while resisting scratches and cracks.
  • Pitfalls – To some homeowners, granite is a bit too hard – in which case a softer stone such as marble may be more desirable. Like any stone surface, granite does require daily & weekly cleaning to uphold its pristine appearance. Additionally, many types of granite must be sealed to ensure optimal performance & longevity.

Why Marble Countertops Are a Baker’s Dream

Last but not least, marble is another natural stone which can make for a timelessly stunning yet functional kitchen countertop – particularly if you love to bake! Here’s how:

  • Composition – Composed largely of calcite mixed with a smaller amount of other minerals, marble is a metamorphic rock. It is the product of limestone being subjected to extreme heat and pressure over millions of years.
  • Perks – Marble is esteemed for its ability to resist both heat and cracking, in turn making it a terrific option for heavily used surfaces like the kitchen countertop. What’s more, professional and at-home bakers alike prefer marble due to its outstanding temperature retention properties. Naturally cool and soft to the touch, marble offers the ideal surface for rolling out dough – for everything from pizza to holiday pastries!
  • Pitfalls – While marble’s softness is beneficial in certain ways, its lower density and high porosity mean that the stone is more vulnerable to staining and etching. To make a marble countertop as resilient as possible, professional sealing on a regular basis is a must. On another important note, acidic cleaners should be avoided since marble can be damaged by them.

Quartz Vs. Granite Vs. Marble: Explore Your Options with Cosmos Surfaces

Hopefully, you feel more clear on which material is most aligned to your personality and preferences after reading this article. If you’re stuck choosing among quartz vs. granite vs. marble, the experts at Cosmos Surfaces are here to assist. To help you make the most informed decision for your kitchen, we’ll take into account your design style, budget and which features are most important to you.

Cosmos Surfaces invites you to browse our broad selection of stone surfaces for the kitchen and other areas of the home. Your trusted stone supplier is proud to provide top-quality surfacing materials for any project, including natural stone, engineered quartz and even quartz that looks like marble. If you have any questions or would like to locate our nearest showroom to you, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Color of the Month: Ash

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

Calacatta Vintage - White Quartz 3

Bold, dramatic grey veining imbues Calacatta Vintage with sensational personality. This white quartz embodies that refined flair characteristic of rare Italian marble, yet with superior durability you can trust in your home’s most well-loved spaces. This white quartz truly shines in bathrooms, kitchens, countertops, flooring, commercial spaces, and beyond.

Top Quartz Countertop Trends of 2020

quartz countertop trends

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

Top Quartz Countertop Trends of 2020: Marble Looking Quartz

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

What Are the Advantages of Marble Looking Quartz Countertops?

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

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

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

Calacatta Vintage - White - Quartz

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

Calacatta Aegean - White - Quartz

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

Krakel - Black - Quartz

Minimal, But Still Marvelous: Other Trending Quartz Products

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

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

Astral White - White Quartz 5

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

Moon Rock - White Quartz 3

Collaborate with Cosmos Surfaces to Ensure a Successful Surfacing Project

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

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

Color of the Month: Fired Brick

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

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

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.

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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.

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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. Quartz that Looks Like Marble

marble vs quartz

White stone is by far the most popular choice for kitchen countertops, regardless of changes in design trends. White marble, for example, calls to mind an elegant, timeless appearance that never goes out of style. As man made alternatives become better at mimicking the real thing, it’s no surprise that quartz that looks like marble is rising in popularity. In this post, we’ll discuss marble vs. quartz that looks like marble by examining the pros and cons of each material, as well as the differences you’ll encounter when it comes to maintenance.

How Marble Is Made

Marble is a metamorphic rock. It forms when limestone is subjected to high amounts of heat and pressure during the natural process of metamorphosis. This process typically occurs at convergent plate boundaries near the Earth’s crust. Marble is primarily composed of calcite, but it usually contains other minerals like Mica, Quartz and Iron.

How Quartz Is Made

Quartz is a man made material also referred to as “engineered stone.” This material consists of a blend of pulverized natural stones like quartz and granite. It can also contain industrial waste, like ceramic tiles and glass. Roughly 90% of the final product consists of this blend, while the remainder contains polymers and binders. Despite bearing the name of quartz, the resulting material may or may not contain significant amounts of raw quartz depending on the pattern chosen.

Quartz That Looks Like Marble

Quartz does contain a large amount of mineral content that can make it look very similar to natural stone. It can easily mimic the look of granite, but it is more difficult to achieve the veining patterns that marble is known for. However, as modern quartz engineering techniques improve, products like Calacatta Aegean and Calacatta Vintage offer excellent substitutes for real marble.

That being said, both marble and engineered quartz offer pros and cons when it comes to aesthetics and maintenance. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons for why people may want to seek out one or the other.


Quartz and marble are both highly durable, but can be vulnerable to different elements when used as surfaces. When properly installed and maintained, marble will last for generations. It is resistant to heat and cracking, which makes it a great option for the kitchen or around a fireplace. However, marble is fairly absorbent due to its porosity, so it can be vulnerable to staining and acidic substances and can show age over time. When used outdoors, it can be damaged by acid rain and other pollutants.

Quartz is non-porous, so the surface is inherently protected against mold, mildew, bacteria, staining and odors that can form in porous stones. However, quartz surfaces are less heat resistant than marble. Care should be taken to avoid exposing the surface to extreme heat, such as placing hot pots or pans directly on the surface. Prolonged exposure to elements like direct sunlight can lead to discoloration, cracking and warping.

It is important to note that with marbles, small chips and scratches can be buffed and refinished onsite to make it look as good as new overtime. However, with quartz, once the surface is damaged, it cannot be refinished or fixed.


Engineered quartz can mimic the look of real marble. However, some people prefer the natural beauty that marble is so well known for. When it comes to aesthetics, the decision will depend on where the surface will be used and how it fits into the overall design.


While the cost of the original Italian marbles have been a major reason for the shift towards marble imitation quartz products, it is worthy to note that the younger marble quarries in other countries have brought us some beautiful natural marble options that are stronger, better performing and in some cases more affordable than marble looking quartz! These newer marbles with their affordable price tags have gained tremendous momentum among natural stone shoppers.

Cleaning and Maintenance

The biggest difference between marble and quartz comes down to maintenance. Marble needs to be sealed regularly for protection against spills and drips, while quartz does not need to be sealed because it is not porous.

There will also be differences in selecting appropriate cleaners. Neutral cleaners specifically made for natural stone are ideal for marble, while mild dishwashing detergent and a soft cloth often do the trick for quartz. Some cleaning agents can damage the resin binders and fillers in quartz, so care should be taken to select appropriate, safe cleaners. For a more in depth look at the best cleaning and maintenance practices for each material, check out our blog post on how to care for marble, or this one on how to clean quartz surfaces.

Work with Cosmos Surfaces!

Quartz that looks like marble can be a great option depending on your needs. Cosmos Surfaces offers a wide range of marble and quartz products along with other top quality surface materials. Our experts are happy to answer questions and help you decide which material is best suited to your needs and budget – reach out to Cosmos Surfaces today to get started!

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.”

The quartzite Brown Silk is mesmerizing from afar, but even more so up close. Crystalline layers of silver and white among the dominant brown of Brown Silk are as detailed and complex as the silk of a spider’s web. Brown Silk is a delicate, crystal constellation brought to life. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

How to Clean Quartz Surfaces: Do’s and Don’ts

clean quartz

Quartz is a gorgeous, versatile surface celebrated for its ease of maintenance. In this post, the experts at Cosmos Surfaces discuss the do’s and don’ts of how to clean quartz surfaces in your home.

Quartz vs. Quartzite

A quick note, for starters: quartz and quartzite are often mistaken as being the same, but they are different. Quartzite forms due to natural processes when quartz-rich sandstone is exposed to high pressure and heat over time. Quartz is actually engineered – that is to say, it’s man-made by combining quartz minerals with binding agents, resins and sometimes pigments. For a more in-depth look at the difference between the two surfaces, take a look at our blog post on quartz vs. quartzite.

The Advantages of Quartz

Quartz achieves the elegant aesthetic of natural stone, but with one big advantage – resin binders make the surface non-porous. This means that while most natural stones, like quartzite, need to be sealed with some regularity, quartz does not. This surface is inherently protected against the mold, mildew, bacteria, staining and odors that can occur in porous stones. That said, regular cleaning and maintenance remains necessary to protect your investment and keep your surfaces looking clean and new.

How to Clean Quartz: The Do’s

Let’s take a look at some routine maintenance and cleaning tips:

  • DO wipe up spills as soon as possible. Although quartz is stain-resistant, it’s still wise to wipe up spills before they have a chance to dry. Mild dishwashing detergent and a soft cloth or sponge will do the trick in most cases.
  • DO use warm water, mild soap, and a non-abrasive kitchen sponge. Use these items in the event of any spills or stains.
  • DO use a mild degreasing product for cooking grease residue. As always, be sure to follow the product manufacturer’s instructions.
  • DO use small amounts of Barkeeper’s Friend, rubbing alcohol, and a soft cloth or Magic Eraser for stains like permanent marker or ink. Always ensure a product is safe to use on your surface material and reach out to a manufacturer if you are uncertain! Barkeeper’s friend is a little grainy, do not apply too much pressure while using this product as it may cause small scratches on the quartz surface.
  • DO be sure to rinse quartz surfaces thoroughly with water. You should always remove any residue or film left behind by cleaners.
  • DO use coasters, cutting boards, trivets and cooling racks. This will protect your countertops from everyday wear and tear.
  • Aside from daily wiping, DO perform a deep clean at regular intervals. You can spray a non-abrasive surface cleaner and allow it to sit for roughly ten minutes, then wipe the counter with a non-abrasive sponge and rinse with warm water.

The Don’ts

It’s important to note that the quartz mineral in your surface may be able to withstand cleaners and elements like heat far better than the resin used in manufactured quartz countertops. This means that while something might be safe to use or do on the quartz itself, it can still damage your surface or weaken the bonds between the quartz and resin fillers surrounding it.

Let’s take a look at what NOT to do:

  • Don’t use abrasive, acidic, or alkaline cleaners, or bleach.
  • Don’t use scouring pads, as these can damage and dull the surface.
  • Don’t expose the surface to extreme heat, such as by placing hot pans directly on a counter. Instead, use cooling racks and trivets.
  • Don’t expose quartz surfaces to outdoor elements. Quartz is recommended for indoor use. Prolonged exposure to elements like direct sunlight outdoors can lead to warping or cracking.

How to Remove Stubborn Stains

Owing to its non-porosity, manufactured quartz is highly stain-resistant, but certain substances can still leave a mark. The most common stain offenders include hot sauce, vibrant spices like turmeric, curry powder and paprika, permanent marker, food coloring, colored make-up and nail polish. If you find yourself struggling with a stubborn stain, take a look at our detailed post on how to remove stains from quartz.


Quartz is an excellent option for those seeking the timeless, elegant aesthetic of natural stone combined with easy maintenance. Regular cleaning and care will future-proof your investment and keep your quartz surfaces looking fresh and new for many years to come.

Cosmos Surfaces offers a range of quartz products in gorgeous patterns and colors to suit any design style. If you have questions about the care and maintenance of quartz, reach out to Cosmos Surfaces today! We bring decades of expertise to the table, and our team is always happy to help.

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.”

Palomino is comprised of a rich golden color that will astound and amaze in any space. With a crystalline structure creating diamonds and shapes across the surface, browns and whites swirl with gold to create texture and depth. Palomino is bold and striking – the perfect fit for a room with pizazz, style, and personality. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

Which Surfacing Materials are Trending for Fall?

surfacing material fall

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

Fall 2020: Marble Trends & Other Surfacing Material Shifts

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

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

Choosing a Surfacing Material: Should I Follow the Trends?

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

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

Look to Cosmos Surfaces for Professional Assistance with Any Project

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

Color of the Month: Lark

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

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

Fall Color Trends for Interior Design

fall color trends

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

Fall Color Trends in Natural Stone and Surfaces

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

White Stone

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

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




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.

Quartz Vs. Quartzite: It’s Not a Competition!

quartz vs quartzite

Engineered quartz and naturally occuring quartzite are two top contenders for renovation projects in the kitchen and bathroom. Because their names sound so similar, it’s easy to get these premium surfacing materials confused – and people often do. While the two materials do have certain qualities in common, ultimately, they have different properties and their own unique benefits. When considering quartz vs. quartzite, it’s important to note these differences. As a leading supplier of both materials, Cosmos Surfaces is here to explain how to tell them apart and decide which is best for your application.

Quartz Vs. Quartzite: The Differences Explained

When it comes to quartz vz. quartzite, it’s not a competition – both surfaces have great benefits in design applications. Here are some of the ways they differ:

  • Composition & AppearanceAs mentioned above, quartz is engineered (man-made), whereas quartzite is the result of natural geologic processes occurring over millions of years. While both quartz and quartzite are composed majorly of natural quartz mineral, differing mineral compositions and formation processes produce one-of-a-kind patterns and coloring in natural quartzite, making each piece totally unique. Quartz on the other hand is an engineered product, that is available in a wide range of styles carefully designed to meet customer needs and current trends and can be easily replicated. With the current advances in technology, engineered quartz can imitate the appearance of natural stone very impressively.
  • Density & LongevityBoth quartzite and quartz are considered to be hardwearing materials, well suited to kitchen and bathroom applications. However, quartzite could be considered a bit more durable, due to the extremely high density given to it by nature. Furthermore, the resin used in the manufacturing of quartz is less resistant to heat.
  • Suitability for Outdoor Applications – Natural quartzite can stand up to the elements, making it a favorable option for outdoor kitchens, flooring and more. Quartz performs best indoors, as it is more sensitive to heat and sunlight. So, creating a look that flows from indoor to outdoor is easily achieved with natural quartzite.
  • Sealing Requirements – Because the mineral composition of quartzite varies, some quartzites are more porous than others. If a porous quartzite is chosen, it must be sealed properly to keep out moisture and bacteria. Quartz is manufactured to be non-porous and thus does not need to be sealed. This makes it preferable for some homeowners who prefer to worry less about maintenance.

All of the above should be taken into account when deciding on quartz vs. quartzite. Ultimately, the ideal option will depend on your project and your preferences.

Stuck Between Quartz & Quartzite? Consult Our Experts for Assistance

Now that you’re aware of the key characteristics that set quartz apart from quartzite, you may be curious to find out which one is most appropriate for your desired application. Cosmos Surfaces is here to offer you our expertise as you seek out the perfect surfacing material.

Browse our online gallery to explore our huge selection, which includes this whimsical quartzite called Scarlet Crystal:

Once you’re ready to discuss the options that catch your eye, reach out for personalized guidance from an industry professional at Cosmos Surfaces. We look forward to assisting you!

Color of the Month: Cinnamon Stick

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

Agate Vermell - Red Semi-Precious 3

Agate Vermell is a semi-precious type of red agate stone. Unique, hand-picked stones are processed manually to make red agate a work of art to add to any home. The deep amber and warm browns of red agate pairs well with wood and can be installed as countertops, backsplashes, accent walls,  and more. Backlighting this stone creates a stunning visual that is guaranteed to make heads turn.

How to Remove Stains from Quartz Countertops

how to remove stains from quartz

Quartz is a very stain-resistant material, but it is not stain-proof. While daily maintenance is easy with warm water and mild soap, it’s important to know how to remove stains from quartz without damaging your countertops, backsplashes, and other surfaces. In today’s blog, Cosmos Surfaces takes a look at what substances can stain your quartz and how to safely remove them.

How to Remove Stains from Quartz Without Damaging It

Mild cleaners may be insufficient for some tenacious stains. Yet harsher cleaning agents, as well as sponges and scrubbing pads, have the potential to damage quartz surfaces. Manufactured quartz consists of quartz particles surrounded by polyester resin filler. While the quartz particles are hard and resistant to scrubbing action, the filler around it can be damaged more easily. Manufactured quartz will handle stains and cleaning attempts differently based on its color, finish, pattern and composition. Darker colors and busier patterns tend to make stains appear less visible. A honed quartz surface will also show stains more readily than a polished quartz surface. These are some things to consider when choosing quartz for kitchens and bathrooms.

What NOT to Use on Quartz:

  • Highly acidic or alkaline cleaners
  • Nail polish removers
  • Oven cleaning solutions
  • Turpentine
  • Drain cleaners
  • Bleach
  • Any product containing bleach, methylene chloride, or other harsh chemicals

Common Stain Offenders and How to Clean Them:

  • Hot sauce
  • Brightly colored spices like turmeric, curry powder and paprika
  • Permanent marker
  • Food coloring
  • Colored makeup

Permanent marker and food coloring can produce the most persistent stains on quartz. For removing permanent marker, Bar Keeper’s friend and a sponge work well to remove stains without damaging the finish. Food coloring stains can be tougher. Small amounts of Bar Keeper’s friend or rubbing alcohol and the scrubby side of a non-scratch kitchen sponge can lighten food dye stains.

Best Sponges and Cleaners

For other substances, like food stains, the most successful cleaning method is a non-scratch kitchen sponge along with a non-abrasive cleaner (like warm water and mild soap). You can also use a Magic Eraser (works well on honed surfaces) or surface cleaning wipes (with no bleach). Heavy-duty scouring pads and more abrasive cleaners can damage the resin filling, or scratch and haze the surface. Keep in mind that different brands and types of quartz surfaces will react differently to cleaning products and chemicals. It’s always a good idea to check with your manufacturer to see which method works best for your particular product.

If you have more questions about how to remove stains from quartz, or about our quartz products, please contact us today! Cosmos Surfaces brings years of industry experience to the table, and we are always happy to help.

Color of the Month: Cinnamon Stick

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

Striking red and black, Cardinal Red brings to mind the feathered plumage of its namesake bird. In swirling waves of texture, this Brazilian quartzite has 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 look wonderful in kitchens and as feature walls. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, while its beauty is unmatched.

Is Quartz Good for Bathrooms?

Is quartz good for bathrooms

Also known as engineered stone, quartz has earned the spotlight as a favorable choice for remodeling and renovation projects of all kinds. Many home renovators admire the qualities that this surfacing material has to offer for kitchen countertops, including its resilience, longevity and striking appearance. Still, some wonder: Is quartz good for bathrooms? Keep reading to find out why quartz is indeed a wonderful choice for vanity tops, shower walls and other elements of any modern bathroom.

Is Quartz Good for Bathrooms? Cosmos Surfaces Explains

Curious about whether quartz is good for bathrooms? Check out this list of characteristics which make quartz well suited to a variety of bathroom projects:

  • Non-porous – Because quartz is non-porous, it’s easy to clean and won’t hold germs or moisture. It’s easy to wipe clean and disinfect. This also makes it more resistant to stains than some types of natural stone.
  • Hardwearing, but less hard in appearance – From spills to drops, quartz can withstand it all with minimal chance of chipping or cracking. At the same time, its appearance is not quite as hard as that of natural stones like granite and marble, making it softer to the eye.
  • Unique & mesmerizing – Since quartz is an engineered product, it is available in a huge range of distinct colors and styles that can be replicated time and over. For those desiring a standout countertop or bathroom surfacing material, quartz promises an exquisite, inimitable aesthetic.

These are just a few reasons why the answer to “is quartz good for bathrooms?” is a resounding yes! Just be aware: quartz is less heat resistant than some other countertop materials like natural stone, so it’s best to avoid putting hot items directly on its surface. This usually isn’t as much of a concern for bathrooms as it is for kitchens.

Discover Captivating Quartz Options from Cosmos Surfaces

Now that you are familiar with the many advantages of quartz, it’s time to explore different styles that might fit your project. With understated elegance and a calming, quieting effect, Pebble Grey is a breathtaking selection from the Cosmos Surfaces collection.

To view more stunning quartz options and find one that perfectly complements your design scheme and application, click over to our online gallery. The Cosmos Surfaces experts are here to provide personalized shopping assistance if you desire professional guidance. Simply complete our contact form to get in touch or chat with us on the website!

Color of the Month: Cinnamon Stick

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

The quartzite 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, while its beauty is unmatched.

Discover Premium Quartz for Kitchens and Bathrooms

quartz countertops suppliers

Quartz is one of the most gorgeous and durable materials to use for countertops of any kind. If you’re looking for quartz countertops suppliers, Cosmos Surfaces is one of the leading distributors in the industry. We have a wide variety of options when it comes to countertops for kitchens, bathrooms, and more. Cosmos believes that your creative vision and aesthetic can be achieved with the right materials and expertise. Our three decades in the industry combined with our creative spirit are the perfect blend to help you find the quartz countertop that’s right for you.

Premium Quartz Countertops for Kitchens, Bathrooms, and More

Our large format quartz crosses a wide spectrum of color and origin, so we can help you find the perfect choice for your quartz countertop. Our options will dazzle and delight, as well as meet your design goals. Quartz is a non-porous manufactured stone with a wider range of colors and patterns than natural stone. Here are just a few options from our quartz collection:

  • Craven White is a beautiful option for those looking for a contemporary white quartz. It evokes a cool and refreshing atmosphere, reminiscent of an Arctic retreat. Craven White is perfect for modern kitchens.

  • For those looking for a darker grey quartz, Ferro Grey is a stunning option. A sophisticated quartz, Ferro Grey evokes durability and strength. If you want your countertop to act as the focal point of your kitchen, Ferro Grey is the way to go.

  • Starry Night is a dark, deep obsidian quartz speckled with iridescent flecks, just like a starlit sky. This quartz is sure to make a statement in any space, bringing an element of elegance and sophistication. Starry Night is perfect for any room in which you’d like to evoke a sparkling nightscape.

  • One of our more unusual quartz options is Kona Dragon. A fierce blend of brown, grey, and gold, Kona Dragon is a commanding option that matches with any aesthetic and adds variety to any kitchen, bathroom, or exterior area.

Your Dream Home is Waiting – Contact Us Today

As an experienced team of quartz countertops suppliers, Cosmos Surfaces offers a variety of quartz options to make your dream home a reality. Whether you’re looking for kitchen, bathroom, or exterior quartz countertop options, Cosmos has a diverse and extensive catalogue. For more information on quartz or quartz countertop options, check out our blog or fill out our online form.

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.”

Vyara Gold brings to mind the shifting sands of a vast desert at sunrise. This dusky gold and taupe granite with veins of red and brown is a warm and attractive granite, perfect for a welcoming kitchen or bathroom.


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