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16 Smart, Stylish Product Options for Surfaces

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16 Smart, Stylish Product Options for Surfaces

Products for countertops, walls, floors, and more, in formats large and small

By Camilla McLaughlin April 5, 2021
White Attica from Caesarstone's Whitelight Collection installed on a kitchen countertop
White Attica from Caesarstone's Whitelight Collection installed on a kitchen countertop. Scroll down to find out more
This article first appeared in the March/April 2021 issue of Pro Builder.

Hard-wearing, handsome, sustainable ... These are just some of the expectations consumers bring to the table when shopping for surfaces for their homes, and with each passing year, manufacturers are stepping up to offer more options to meet those demands. In this roundup, you'll find a range of exciting surfacing products in small and large formats, from quartz that mimics the classic looks of natural stone, to artisan tile sans the lengthy lead-time, and ceramic tile and sintered stone that draw on global inspiration for their aesthetics. Other surfacing options are made from innovative materials—sugar palm, recycled glass, thermo-setting resins ... The possibilities really are pretty much limitless.

This extended version of the article that appeared in the March/April 2021 issue contains additional products coverage.


Caesarstone quartz surfacing in pearly whites

Caesarstone’s Whitelight Collection offers quartz surfaces in straightforward neutrals with crisp, pearly lusters and soft hues geared to bring earthy warmth and serenity to the home. Available shades include Calacatta Maximus, featuring oversized veining across a pure white background; Arabetto, which has a web of jade and copper hues across a pure white base with gray veining; and White Attica (shown, above), with gray-black tones across a white base.


Quick-ship artisan tile from New Ravenna

With production time requiring as little as two days, New Ravenna’s Studio Line offers a range of artisan designs without the lead time of a custom product. One of these designs, Tristan (shown), is inspired by Moroccan architecture and combines honed Calacatta Monet and polished Nero Marquina marbles in geometric patterns with brushed brass to create texture in vibrant motifs. The Studio Line can be ordered by the square foot.

New Ravenna's Tristan tile



Sustainable industrial style from Cosentino

Cosentino pushes sustainability to new levels in its Silestone Loft series with an innovative production process that the manufacturer says uses 99% recycled water, 100% renewable energy, and also significantly reduces the use of quartz. Rooted in the industrial style, this collection captures the essence of well-known neighborhoods celebrated for their raw, urban beauty: London’s Camden, Barcelona’s Poblenou, New York’s Seaport and Nolita, and Detroit’s Corktown (shown). 

Cosentino Silestone Loft Series in Corktown



Smith & Fong's palm panels

Smith & Fong has expanded its line of architectural panels with linear pieces produced from Indian black palm (sugar palm). Characterized by a striking grain, with coffee, nutmeg, and eggshell-white hues, the 100% non-wood panels feature a solid bamboo core for strength and stability. The panels accept a variety of finishes and are also available with a natural oil or hand-rubbed poly finish, offering a tactile look and feel.

Smith & Fong's Durapalm Linear architectural panels made from sugar palm



Metallic glass looks from Island Stone

Island Stone’s new Celestial Collection is comprised of metallic glass tile that offers subtle bling, while the dimensionality created by the glass infuses the tile with extra depth, evoking a starry night sky. Strikingly modern yet timeless, Celestial tiles are available in four colors, Moon Beam, Dusk, Dark
Star, and Galaxy Blue, and in 3 1/2-inch-by-12-inch subway tile (shown in Galaxy Blue).

Island Stone's Celestial Collection in Galaxy Blue



Arizona Tile offers tumbled marble

Arizona Tile’s Arabescato Bianco is an agglomerate marble (small, tumbled pieces of white marble fused together using a white resin). Occasional flecks of gold or oxidation emerge against the creamy white canvas. Available in 98-by-62-inch, 2 cm-thick slabs, as well as 24-by-24-inch, 1/2-inch-thick tiles. 

Arizona Tile’s Arabescato Bianco agglomerate marble surfacing



New colors in Fiandre Architectural Surfaces' large-format porcelain

Fiandre Architectural Surfaces has added new colors and finishes to its Marmi Maximum premium porcelain collection. Verde Fantastico (shown) features a dark green background shot with white, brown, and other earthy colors to create a snakeskin effect. Available stock sizes include 120-by-60-inch large-format slabs in polished or semi-polished finishes. 

Fiandre's Marmi Maximum large-format porcelain in Verde Fantastico




Self-healing next-gen surface from Arpa Industriale

Fenix, an innovative material created by Italian manufacturer Arpa Industriale, features a multilayer coating and next-gen thermo-setting resins, resulting in surfaces that are extremely opaque, soft-touch, and fingerprint resistant. Superficial micro-scratches can be repaired with thermal healing using an iron and a damp cloth. Fenix surfacing (shown here in Rosso Jaipur) is ideal for cabinets and countertops, particularly in high-traffic areas, the company says.

Arpa Industriale's Fenix surfacing in Rosso Jaipur in the kitchen



Global influences in Neolith's sintered stone

Six-S, the new sintered stone collection from Neolith, represents characteristics of Solidarity, Sanitary, Strong, Stylish, Sensory, and Sustainability, the company says, and is based on a commitment to wellbeing, community, and sustainability. The surfaces reflect a global influence, taking cues from Himalayan salt crystal landscapes, the Amazon rain forest (Amazonica, shown), and architectural landmarks such as Sheikh Zayed Mosque, among other places. 

Amazonica from Neolith's Six-S sintered stone collection



African reflections in ceramic tile from Lunada Bay Tile

The vivid textures of Lunada Bay Tile’s Namibia series evoke the landscapes of Africa’s South Atlantic coast, translating vistas of dunes, claypans, and rocky outcrops into ceramic tile in three color palettes. A hand-sculpting technique creates one-of-a-kind effects in the collection’s four interpretations: square, round, round concave, and a three-piece pattern (shown in Dunes, Sunset Bronze). 

Lunada Bay Tile's Namibia series of ceramic tile is inspired by African landscapes



New metal laminate looks from Formica

Aligning with the trend for warmer metal looks, Formica has released 13 additions to its DecoMetal Metal Laminate collection. These new metals add warm tones of brass, copper, light gold, and black, providing designers with a full spectrum of more than 40 metal laminate designs, including colors such as Copper Stainless and Champagne Stainless, weathered patinas (Copper Patina, shown), and oiled looks that enrich the palette.

Formica's DecoMetal laminates collection shown in Copper patina



Green certified countertop surfacing from IceStone

Your countertop could have been last year’s pickle jar. IceStone is made using only recycled glass, Portland cement, and nontoxic pigments for a toxin-free material that contains no petrochemicals or resins, the manufacturer says. Eligible for LEED credit, IceStone is Cradle to Cradle certified and offers a versatile palette that includes vibrant jewel tones, crisp neutrals, and iridescent aggregates. Applications include countertops and tables.  

Alpine White IceStone surfacing on kitchen counters



Waterproof wall panels from Wilsonart

Made from a high-pressure decorative laminate bonded to a waterproof core, the patented Wetwall Water-Proof Wall Panel System from Wilsonart offers a grout-free surface that’s quick and easy to install, the company says. Ideal for shower walls, bath surrounds, and accent walls, the tongue-and-groove installation system reduces installation time, and panels can be installed over existing tile or similar surfaces.

Wilsonart Wetwall waterproof wall panels in Calacatta Statuario



Natural palette quartz surfaces from Vadara

Vadara, a manufacturer of premium quartz surfaces, has added six colors to its lineup. Inspired by classic tones found in natural marble and quartzite, each new hue presents neutral tones with veining that mimics stone found in nature and veins that run all the way through the slab. Four of the surfaces feature dramatic gray or brown veining against a dimensional white and gray background, while two others showcase delicate veining against a bright white background. (Shown: Cascada Perla)

Vadara quartz surfacing in Cascada Perla



Handcrafted-look ceramic tile from Emser Tile 

Emser Tile offers tactile textures and materials to add warmth and comfort to the home and align with new consumer values of wellness and authenticity, the company says. Hues found in nature create a sense of energy as well as serenity. The Raku Collection's glazed ceramic tiles bring life to an ancient Japanese method of firing pottery in a contemporary form, offering a handcrafted look. Tiles are available in a 3-by-12-inch size in five colors: Charcoal, Blue (shown), Ocean, Silver, and White, in a glossy finish.

Emser Tile Raku collection shown in Blue



Nemo Tile's holographic hues for interior walls

Embrace iridescence with Nemo Tile + Stone’s Glow collection, a white-bodied wall tile finished in soft blue, blush pink, and white pastels. A unique option in the Glow collection is a hologram tile comprised of the perfect mix of each hue. Offered in a 2-by-10-inch format, the line is available in a matte or a glossy finish. (Shown: Glow Rain Hologram, matte.)

Nemo Tile and Stone's Glow tile


Camilla McLaughlin is an award-winning writer who specializes in real estate, design and construction.


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