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Google Tour for MSI Charlotte

by msiblog 24. March 2015 17:29

Take a virtual tour of the slab warehouse at our new Charlotte location.

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Stretching Small Spaces with Tile

by msiblog 20. March 2015 13:17

You don't need to physically increase square footage to make a small space live larger than its dimensions. Strategic color choices, thoughtfully selected furnishings, and expertly designed premium surfaces visually expand the tiniest of rooms. When creatively laid out on walls and floors, natural stone and porcelain tiles can open up a room to create an airy feel.

General Space-Stretching Strategies

Contrasting colors and patterns, dissimilar materials, and massive furnishings create visual breaks that stop the eye, which in turn make small spaces feel smaller. So, when decorating spaces too petite for your tastes, amplify the perception of space by using light or neutral color schemes, compact furniture, and tiles similar in color and texture to adjoining surfaces.

Alter spatial perceptions by setting light-colored floor tiles in diagonal patterns that draw attention into and around a space. Install flooring designs that use large tiles, which require fewer grout lines (the fewer the grout lines, the more seamless the visual flow). Keep tile patterns simple, tone on tone, and borderless to ensure eyes will move freely through the room.

In addition to creatively designed tile floors, tile installations/layouts can create the illusion of more space in small bathrooms, kitchens, and living areas. Here's a look at ways to use tiles to stretch a room's measurements.

Install Mosaics in Bathrooms

While large format tiles remain popular inclusions in kitchens and living spaces, smaller mosaic tiles are the go-to material for enhancing the sense of space in bathrooms. Cover walls, shower enclosures, and even ceilings with Polished Multi-Green Onyx 1x1 tiles that reflect light, which in turn makes a small shower or powder room appear deeper, wider, and taller.

Stretch it Horizontally with Glass Subway Tiles

Install glass subway tiles rendered in soft neutral colors to build dimension on accent walls and showers. Our Arctic Ice 3x6 Glass Mosaic tiles can stretch your room when installed from the floor to the ceiling and bring on the perception of increased height to the space.

Add Interest Underfoot in Bathrooms

Marble mosaic floors, like the one below created using Greecian White Octagon mesh-backed tiles, draw the eye down and into small spaces. This timeless flooring option blends well with a variety of styles and coordinates with large format marble tiles used to decorate showers and accent walls. In small bathrooms, match floor and shower floor mosaics to make the structures appear as one component; the fewer things the eye has to process, the larger a room will look.

Another option for using tile in the bathroom? Go big by installing our 12x24-inch Pietra Calcatta porcelain tiles on the floor and shower walls. With its waves of white and cream accented with darker elegant veins of gray and browns, this large format tile makes this bathroom feel bigger and walls to feel taller. Adding a fashionable mosaic band in the shower will increase interest without lessening the illusion of a spacious environment.

Keep it Light and Bright with Textural Kitchen Backsplashes

Bold backsplashes continue to be the trend; however, they can easily overpower a space, and make it feel smaller. Selecting backsplash tiles that are similar in color to your kitchen cabinets will create greater visual depth and will allow you to include different flooring materials, colors, and patterns. In this kitchen, the Antique White Arabesque shape adds interest, without being busy. 

Lay Large Format Tiles in Living Spaces

Large format tiles, generally those measuring 12x24 and larger, create the illusion of increased space because they require fewer grout lines. In this room, 24x24 porcelain Pietra Lagos tiles provide a good-looking anchor for lighter finished cabinets. With the grout closely matching the tile color, the nearly seamless floor magnifies the sense of space. A contrasting grout would stop the eye and make the space appear segmented and smaller.

While you cannot add actual square footage to a room just with the installation of tile alone, you can add to the perception of a more spacious feeling environment. Whether you select mosaics for walls and floors, large format tiles, or a combination of tile sizes, choose the proper grout color and pattern design and your room will "grow," spatially and stylishly, turning your small, quaint space into a large living area.


Backsplash | Flooring | General | Marble | Mosaics | Natural Stone | Tile

Palmetto Porcelain: Wood Look Without the Wood Worry

by msiblog 13. March 2015 16:23

Porcelain has been a popular tile material for many years, but it is only recently that modern production methods have made it more accessible to the average household. There are porcelain tiles that resemble marble, some made to look like natural stone, and now, one of the hottest trends in the industry, tiles that look like real wood!

Our newest line of wood-look porcelain tiles, the Palmetto Collection, adds the warmth and character of patina with an intricate natural wood design that will add a unique look to any room. Fashioned from the latest high definition ink jet technology, these gorgeous planks have over 30 different faces with exceptional realistic wood texturing and colorations. They are pressed to provide soft pillowed edges and are ideal for contemporary, traditional, rustic, and modern designs. And, because they are made from porcelain, they are durable and low maintenance, requiring only regular cleaning with water and a damp cloth, unlike real wood. 

Palmetto is offered in four distinct colors from traditional earth tones, like Chestnut and Cognac to Smoke and Fog, which gives the appearance of time worn, gray washed wood. The MSI Design Team has done a remarkable job in replicating this popular weathered look that works well in both commercial and residential applications.

No matter what color you choose, or what look you are trying to achieve, the popular 6x36 plank size tile offers style and flexibility making it an ideal choice for walls, floors, backsplashes, or anywhere a premium surface is desired.


Flooring | Kitchen | Porcelain | Wood Tile

Behind the Scenes: Creating Mosaics with MSI’s Design Team

by msiblog 3. March 2015 10:28

Here at MSI, our design team is constantly on the lookout for inspiration to create exceptionally striking mosaic designs. Our designers travel the globe trendspotting, researching, and tracking trends. We put decades of hard-surface know-how into play, partner with industry experts, and consider design trends when we create custom mosaics crafted to bring distinction to new-construction and remodeling projects. In business since 1974, MSI has kept its fingers firmly on the pulse of an evolving global marketplace to ensure our premium surfaces present classic motifs, fun shapes, and progressive patterns in innovative ways and high-fashion materials. One of the most important things our team, and our company as a whole, focuses on is producing unique and stylish creations that are on-trend yet timeless. We offer our customers stunning products they will love for years to come! 

Our Mosaic Design Team is headed up by Trend & Design expert, Emily Holle, who finds much of her inspiration from her travels and study of textiles. Her strong background in textile design and love of ancient handmade techniques continues to influence her personal style and design aesthetic. She spends much of her work time musing on her next design while creating product collages and mood boards. Some of her latest inspirations are pictured below.

Creative Combinations

Our design team, a diverse group of people with backgrounds in textiles, interior design, and graphic design, takes inspiration from fashion, architecture, and nature. They attend and monitor international and domestic industry trade shows focused on new kitchen and bath products, hard-surface materials, textiles, and furnishings meant for use in residential and commercial installations and watch fashion runways to determine developing design trends. The team takes note of color forecasts, hot paint palettes, new textile patterns, and up-and-coming popular decorating styles to ensure our mosaic and backsplash designs complement and coordinate with the latest looks and design ideas trending on the horizon.  

With the latest and greatest in mind, our skilled design team works with an array of manufacturers to create a diverse inventory of mosaic designs. They travel to international factories and spend days tweaking and perfecting their designs, playing with colors, hues, shapes, sizes, patterns, textures, and materials, paying attention to the very last details. 

This attention to detail is illustrated by Emily's description of how the team created one of their newest mosaic designs: Diamante Brick.

"I wanted to create a contemporary mosaic look for our White Oak collection," Emily explains. "The initial mosaic design was inspired by mixed materials we had seen in the furniture market and featured varying pieces of white oak marble and metal. We created more texture and dimension by adding metallic silver resin chips imprinted with a basket-weave texture. And for more contrast, we inserted molten-textured glass pieces with metallic grey-painted backgrounds." 

What This Means For You

You'll find mosaic designs that suit every design preference. From gem-like Ambrosia glass tiles to handcrafted Highland Park subway tiles, our mosaic designs fashion captivating compositions in cottage-to-contemporary kitchens and bathrooms. 

Everest Interlocking mosaic design combines design's newest and most-favored neutrals, gray and white, in a mix of crackled porcelain and metallic painted slate. MSI's Henley black-and-white marble hexagon tiles remain a favorite for the high-impact compositions they create. Stained-glass Mochachino tiles provide a streamlined twist on hexagonal shapes and appeal to buyers with a modern sensibility. Though shine, color, and shape are important considerations when buying tile, dimensional tiles, such as our Silver Aluminum collection, and ledger-inspired mosaics, like our Rustique 3D Interlocking tiles, grow ever more popular as they play into designers’ interest in handcrafted looks and materials.

Our creative crew consistently produces eye-catching mosaics that allow you to compose artistic statements that reflect your personality. Although all of our mosaics can simply stand alone, we specifically design them to coordinate with other product offerings in our countertop and flooring lines, enabling an array of easy kitchen and bath options for a cohesive and stylish look.  Check out our Perfect Pairings and Color Therapy blogs for more inspiration on how to create a beautiful space that reflects your personal style! 



Backsplash | Countertops | Kitchen | luxury | Mosaics | Natural Stone | Porcelain | Tile

Perfect Pairings: Designer Combinations That Inspire

by msiblog 24. February 2015 11:41

Like most things in interior design, there are no hard and fast rules. And if there are, some rules were just meant to be broken. When taking on the new design of a kitchen or bathroom, how does one approach selecting and coordinating a backsplash, countertop and flooring? Hiring an interior designer might do the trick, or, you could start by creating your own inspiration boards with samples and swatches readily available at many retail locations.  Begin by selecting colors and tones that reflect the feel of your home, and build from there. Here are some of our favorite combinations of patterns, colors, and materials that will ensure a gorgeous, well-put-together space. 

Coordinating Shades of Gray

There is no doubt that gray is the most popular “new neutral”. MSI is on-trend for color by offering a wide array of premium surfaces including slabs, tiles, and mosaics in shades of gray. Our new Palmetto Collection offers the look of time-worn, gray-washed wood in durable porcelain, perfect for flooring but can also be used to accent walls. The white background and dramatic gray veins in Arabescato Carrara marble gives timeless look and partners beautifully with our large format Eramosa Gray porcelain to give it a more updated and modern edge. Adding a backsplash or accent wall in Triton, our newest interlocking pattern, or our new graphic Henley Hexagon marble brings visual interest and depth. Grays can go warm or cool; the solution is to select styles and tones that can standalone in their beauty, but work together in harmony, to create a stunning space.   

Creating a Soothing Palette

Cascade White Quartz slabs feature white and cream undertones, with darker shades of tans and browns; this soothing pallet blends beautifully with our White Quarry Chevron Pattern or Carrara White 3D Marble Mosaic tiles. Patterns and textures are rapidly gaining popularity and can make for a stunning accent wall or backsplash.  For flooring, our new 16x32 Statuario Porcelain Tile has a soothing cream background with warm tan veins, reminiscent of natural stone but with the durability many homeowners desire. Or try our 12x24 Dimensions Glacier, which brings a concrete-look urban edge to any room but with the ease of maintenance of porcelain tile. Our 16x24 Sygma Ice Ceramic Tile also creates a striking space with its hand-scraped wood-look appearance. These large format versatile tiles can be used to coordinate flooring, as well as backsplashes, to give the visual illusion of a larger space. This collection would be beautiful to create an inviting and spa-like bathroom retreat. 

Striking Design with Earth Tones

Granite countertops are still the most popular surface with homebuyers, and Bordeaux Dream from Brazil is simply stunning. The undertones of cream and white are beautifully contrasted with darker shades of bordeaux and brown. This lends itself to a wide variety of design aesthetics from traditional to modern. Partner with Antique White handcrafted ceramic tiles for a more traditional look, or with Manhattan Blend glass metal mosaics to create a more modern result.  Roman Veincut Travertine tile floors add a modern background while our large 6x40 Salvage Musk Porcelain wood-look tile planks would lend themselves to a more rustic effect, as would a wall decorated with our new Rustique 3D Interlocking Slate Pattern. The natural earth tones in this collection bring warmth and a bit of visual drama to any space. Mix and match any of these styles to create your ideal kitchen or bath.  

Harmonizing On-Trend Looks

Wood-look porcelain tiles are very popular right now and are not expected to decrease in popularity any time soon. Our Capella Stable Porcelain Tile is available in 6x40 planks, allowing for creative installations on floors and walls. When paired with our large format cotto-look tile, Capella Silt, will bring rich patinas and modern flair to any room.  Both of these tiles partner beautifully with our new Mochachino hexagon glass mosaic, made from stunning stained glass. The pop of color from the earthy blue glass mosaic brings out the rich browns and creams of this trendy hexagon pattern.  Or try our Carmello 2" Travertine hexagon, with its beautiful brown hues, perfect for bathrooms, kitchens, showers and even fireplaces! For a stunning countertop, add durable Madreperola Quartzite, available in both polished and brushed finishes. This trendy palette will be the envy of all of your neighbors yet still stand the test of time. 

We hope these perfect pairings have been helpful and have inspired you to take the next step in your remodeling design project. For more ideas, visit our MSI Kitchen and Bathroom Visualizer tools, where you can experiment with a variety of tiles, mosaics, and countertops. Mixing and matching colors, patterns, and surfaces will add drama and style to any room and bring new life into the place you call home.  





Tile 101: Installing Large Format Tile

by msiblog 14. February 2015 15:17

Are you considering using large format tiles in a home or commercial property? In this Tile 101 article, we will cover the benefits, the beauty, and highlight the best practices for successful installation.

Large format tiles come in a wide range of colors and designs, making them suitable for a variety of design aesthetics. Large format tile is considered to be square or rectangular tiles larger than 12x12, including popular wood look porcelain planks in sizes like 6x24 and 6x36. They are durable, and because of their size, fewer are needed per space, meaning fewer grout lines making cleanup and maintenance a breeze. For flooring, accent walls, shower and tub surrounds, countertops, backsplashes, and kitchen islands, large format tiles can help visually expand your space, and create a cohesive feel.

While large format tiles are appealing because they are durable, easy to clean, and come in a wide array of colors and designs, it is important to address installation as these tiles require special handling to insure a professional finish.

Large Format Tiles Must Be Supported Properly

Obviously large format tiles are heavier than smaller tiles. However, what many people fail to realize is that even though the overall weight of the floor remains the same, heavier tiles require a stronger substrate. In addition, with smaller tiles installers may be able to disguise floors that are less than level, but with larger format tiles, that becomes a challenge. A high point in the floor can cause the tile to slope, creating a tripping hazard, as well as being visually disruptive. It is recommended that the variation for 10 feet of horizontal and vertical installation not exceed 1/8 of an inch.  When installing large format tiles on a vertical surface, it is important to support the tiles as the mortar sets to ensure gravity doesn’t pull them out of place.

Level Floors & Plumb Walls

For proper installation, floors and other horizontal surfaces need to be level and vertical surfaces must be plumb. Height and depth variations will be noticeable. For floors that are not level, consider using a self-leveling underlayment. As mentioned above, it is important to keep the variation less than 1/8 of an inch. For walls that are not plumb, the walls may need adjustment prior to installation.

Planning the Layout

Laying out the tiles prior to installation is important. It helps you to select a pattern that best suits the room. Large format tiles allow for a variety of intriguing patterns including traditional brick patterns, herringbone, straight joint, chevrons, cobblestone, basket weave, and circular rectangular.  For plank sized tiles like our Capella Birch Porcelain Tile (above), it is important to use a 1/3 offset pattern, as shown in the illustration below, instead of a standard 1/2 offset pattern often used for smaller tiles. This helps to prevent cracking and lippage, as well as creates a more beautiful end result. Choosing Grout

As with all tile floors, the color of the grout needs as much consideration as the tiles themselves. When installing large format tiles and planks, it is vital to adhere to the recommended grout line widths, recommended patterns, and all installation guidelines. For all of MSI's rectangular tiles, a minimum of a 1/3 or more off set with 1/8 grout joint size is recommended for rectified tiles and a 3/16 grout joint for non rectified. If you want a more cohesive flow to the room, it is recommended to use grout that is as close to the color of the tile, as possible. This creates a more seamless appearance, and helps to visually expand the room, allowing the beauty of the tiles to shine.

For a contemporary look, Focus Graphite Porcelain Tile (above) has a matte finish and, when partnered with a lighter colored grout, is perfect for a 1/3 staggered offset pattern. This creates a graphic linear pattern and helps to bring attention to the floor. To produce a more seamless look, select a grout that is closer to the color of the tile, or perhaps one that is even just a shade darker to add subtle dimension.

If you love the look of reclaimed wood, but are hesitant about the durability and upkeep required, Salvage Red Porcelain Tile (below), available in 6x40 planks, is a great option. Planks in these dimensions are perfect to create a traditional wood-look floor when installed in a 1/3 offset pattern. They can also be installed in a herringbone or chevron pattern for additional visual interest. It is highly recommended that you layout a variety of patterns in the room to determine which design best suits the room.

Safeguarding Against Cracking with Proper Mortar

Due to the weight, and the size of large format tiles, it is imperative to use mortars or thin-sets specifically formulated to support the larger tiles. This is important for all installations whether vertical or horizontal. Polymer modified mortars and medium-bed mortars help tiles adhere to walls better, and shrink less keeping tile from moving and cracking. Medium-bed mortars are often used for flooring to help prevent lippage and slumping into the mortar bed. It is important to note that this type of mortar is more difficult to handle, and it is important not to add additional water as this will adversely affect the mortar’s ability to support the tiles.

As more and more large format tiles come to market, more specially designed mortars are developed to support the weight. Some of the new formulations contain microspheres that help to keep tiles level and plumb. When purchasing tile, discuss the various types of mortars available to ensure a beautiful result that will endure decades of wear. Cracking is also a concern with large format tiles if they are not installed as recommended. Shrinkage of the mortar and uneven surfaces are often the cause. Crack isolation membranes help to prevent this problem and are installed directly to the substrate.

Installation of large format tiles may require special handling but their beauty, durability, and low maintenance make them well worth the additional upfront planning and extra time it takes to install them. Browse through our porcelain collection, which includes our large format tiles, for inspiration on how you can transform floors, backsplashes, showers and tubs, and create stunning accent walls to enhance the beauty of your home.


Backsplash | Countertops | Flooring | General | Kitchen | Porcelain | Tile

Tile Flooring: First Impressions Start with the Foyer

by msiblog 9. February 2015 08:33

Have you neglected your foyer while the rest of your home has undergone a makeover? Your entryway sets the tone both in design and personality and welcomes guests into your home.  Small entries and grand entrances alike both need some attention to detail. The addition of interesting tile patterns, aesthetic lighting or the use of vivid colors can make a great first impression!

Neutral in color, natural stone tile, like our Angelica Gold travertine, defines an entryway and greets your guests warmly. Wooden doors, stairs, and wrought iron railings partner beautifully with lighter floors while a medallion in the center of the room welcome visitors properly. These complimentary color and design choices work well for a foyer in a traditional home.

For an elegant and sophisticated entrance, highly polished Florence Beige porcelain tile, with its rich cream tones, lend itself to a variety of decors where clean, smooth and subtle is the goal. Contrast with medium to dark tone wood trim, and the result is simply stunning. Subtle veins in the tiles produce depth and movement, and help to create a near seamless look.

A warm and welcoming atmosphere is also attainable with the addition of a marble floor, with a pop of color on the walls that is echoed in accessories. This setting gives visitors a spot to slip off their shoes, or wait in comfort. Timeless Carrara White Marble used in a foyer brings an air of sophistication, without stuffiness to the space. The sweeping gray veins create visual interest, and will partner with a variety of design styles, and color changes, through the ages.

Looking for something a bit more interesting? Laying tile in an intricate design can add depth and dimension to any foyer and impress your guests at first sight!  Our 6x12 Crema Cappuccino polished marble tiles are perfect for herringbone patterns. The warmth of the creams with lighter veins are accented with just small touches of light brown. The result is entryway that cannot be mistaken for anything but gorgeous! 

To bring a bit a nature inside, our Tuscany Walnut Onyx can create the perfect cozy ambiance with a rustic feel. These travertine tiles are honed and unfilled, with chiseled edges; perfect for an interesting and inviting entryway. With the use of varying sizes, the swirls of cream, white, beige, and darker tans together can create a gorgeous Versailles pattern, producing a unique and dramatic floor.   

Both natural stone and porcelain tiles are available in a wide array of colors, sizes, materials, and patterns that will adapt to any design or décor you choose for your foyer in order to make that important first impression.  Whatever you prefer, your entryway should be inviting and intriguing and create an environment that best reflects your personality and style.



Flooring | General | Marble | Natural Stone | Tile | Travertine

Color Therapy: How Colors Affect the Mood in Your Home

by msiblog 30. January 2015 13:05

Do the colors in your home reflect your personal style and support the mood you wish to inspire in each room? Color therapy, or chromotherapy, is an ancient practice that identifies how colors influence human behavior, and even wellness. A beautiful home isn’t about conforming to the latest trends; it is about creating an inviting space that reflects the personalities of the family that lives there. From flooring to countertops to accent walls, and backsplashes, you can add color to create the mood you desire.

So what is the emotion behind colors? White, soft tones of blue, gray, pink or green can soothe raw nerves, and support a calming environment. Brighter tones of red, purple, oranges, and even black, can stimulate creativity, thought, energy, and passion. Create your own personalized space by setting the tone of each room in your home, while incorporating your own tastes and preferences. The result: a beautiful home that reflects your personal style and stimulates the feeling you desire in each room.

Bold, Dramatic Colors

While not for everyone, pops of red in a kitchen encourages action, and can actually stimulate the appetite. Suitable for a variety of cabinetry colors, Sparkling Ruby Quartz countertops create a dramatic statement. Quartz never has to be sealed, is durable, and great for busy kitchens.

To emphasize reflection and ground a room, black is another bold color to consider. Contrary to popular belief, using black does not have to make a room dark or depressing. A touch of striking color added through cabinetry, furniture, countertops, an accent wall or flooring can add a sense of balance, while allowing other colors to shine. The use of a dynamic granite countertop, like our Supreme Fantasy, with its beautiful waves of grays, creams, charcoals and reds, gives movement to the room and meshes well with black cabinets or flooring to create the perfect dramatic statement in any kitchen or bathroom.

Cool, Serene Colors

Metallic tiles, glass mosaics, and graphic patterns come together with cool shades of blue and beige to create a serene space, perfect for unwinding at the end of the day. Patterns can be brought into the mix with a mosaic accent wall or uniquely installed floor tile. The use of our Cityscape Interlocking Pattern can add texture and dimension and bring about a tranquil, spa-like atmosphere.  Sticking to a palette of neutral colors, like tan, beige and cream, and highlighting those with your favorite tones of blue and green, will add a sense of calm to any room.

Earthy, Casual Colors

Bring a bit of nature inside with an accent wall composed of California Gold split face slate ledger panels or a floor covered with earthy large format cotto tiles from our Capella Porcelain Collection. Lighter accessories and darker floors can complement the range of warm tones producing a combination that lends itself to a welcoming and casual space, perfect for a lazy afternoon with your favorite book, or a delightful conversation with friends. 

Neutral, Soothing Colors

The use of neutral color palettes in your home creates a comfortable and inviting place that will make your guests feel at ease. While neutral tones may be considered boring or bland by some, their versatility makes them a designer's dream.  The use of tan, beige, white, gray, and even black can be used to create contrasting tones and textures, bringing visual interest and a soothing atmosphere to any room.  Accented with a muted color for a pulled together look, these classic shades will never go out of style.

Available in every color imaginable, slabs, tile and mosaics are a great way to incorporate a little color therapy into your home. Looking for something specific? With a few easy steps, you can search our online Material Selector for help in choosing just the right natural stone or porcelain for your project.


Backsplash | Countertops | Flooring | General | Granite | granite countertops, | Kitchen | luxury | Marble | Mosaics | MSI Material Selector | Natural Stone | Quartz | Slate | Tile | Wood Tile

2015 Hot Kitchen Trends – Part 2: Backsplashes & Flooring

by msiblog 22. January 2015 15:33

In the first part of this series, we talked about hot countertop and cabinetry trends for 2015. But, kitchen design doesn’t stop there! Flooring sets the stage for design; the demand for durable and timeless porcelain tiles is growing, and in many areas of the country, is outpacing hardwood floors because of care, and durability. Backsplashes continue to be where homeowners add their personal flair, and design aesthetic to a kitchen. Graphic backsplashes that incorporate the colors of the flooring, cabinetry, and countertops creates an interconnected and welcoming environment.

Stylish Backsplashes

Mosaic tile backsplashes are big for 2015! Available in a wide array of natural stone, glass, metal, porcelain tiles, and complementary combinations, you can find the mosaic tile that is just perfect for your kitchen. Linear styles are hot, including subway tiles in stone, glass, or porcelain. Both vertical and horizontal linear tile patterns are popular, however, horizontal remains the most sought after. The beauty with linear mosaic tiles is that you can choose to install them, vertically or horizontally, however you desire. If you are looking for a no grout option, Emperador Splitface can take on an old world charm, or a more modern design, depending on the style of the cabinetry, flooring and countertops. To incorporate the trending gray colors for 2015, a White Quarry Splitface tile backsplash complements the soothing tonal visuals of light gray cabinetry and white countertops while adding texture.

Graphic patterns are definitely on the rise and there is no better way to bring patterns into a kitchen than through the backsplash. Subtle natural stone basket weave or chevron tiles are a great backdrop to blend with more dramatic surfaces. Herringbone tiles, and pencil mosaics featuring a combination of glass, stone, and metal are ideal for kitchen design projects with existing granular styled countertops to add depth, dimension, and a welcoming pattern. Graphic hexagon backsplashes create depth, and dimension, and should be considered a top contender when updating your kitchen. Mochachino Hexagon from MSI perfects blends darker cabinetry and lighter countertops together to create a cohesive look and feel.

Fashionable Flooring

Large format porcelain tile floors are hot.  With fewer grout lines, they are easier to keep clean, and they can make a smaller kitchen appear larger. Available in a wide array of colors and finishes, the 18x18, 24x24, 16x32 or 18x36 tiles lend themselves to a variety of design aesthetics, from traditional to modern. These larger tiles can create a seamless transition from flooring to wall finishes, giving a room greater depth. Select a matte finish tile like the Pietra Dunes Beige, available in 12x24 and 16x32.  This warm and soothing palette for floors and walls creates a timeless backdrop for bold natural stone countertops, one of the other hot kitchen design trends for 2015.

Wood grain porcelain tile flooring continues to take center stage. Hardwood floors are beautiful, but depending upon the climate, and the location indoors, they can be a real challenge to keep beautiful. Their susceptibility to moisture makes them a less than ideal flooring solution for busy kitchens. To meet the demands of consumers, durable, easy to clean, and attractive wood grain porcelain and ceramic tiles have been introduced. Our Sygma Series takes two of the hot trends – wood grain finish, and large format tiles – and brings them together, offering colors from Ice to Ebony. Or try our Redwood Series Natural Porcelain Tiles, featuring an innate wood grain appearance of grays, creams and beiges, sure to add distinction and elegance to any home.

Incorporate some of these exciting new trends into your kitchen; add splashes of color through accessories, countertops, or backsplashes. Consider replacing hardwood floors for durable wood-grain porcelain tile, or perhaps choose a new dynamic granite countertop to add color, texture and interest to your new kitchen. To start envisioning the kitchen of your dreams by incorporating some of 2015’s hottest kitchen design trends, visit Experiment with different cabinetry colors, flooring options, backsplashes, and countertops until you find the right combination of premium surfaces to create your new dream kitchen!




Backsplash | Flooring | Kitchen | Natural Stone | Porcelain | Tile | Wood Tile

2015 Hot Kitchen Trends – Part 1: Cabinets & Countertops

by msiblog 16. January 2015 13:27

Design style is cyclical; what is hot one year cools the next. Fads may come and go, but many hot trends, including countertops, flooring, and cabinetry can sustain the test of time. For 2015, we are seeing many trends, some which will age gracefully through the years, and others, well, may come and go.

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and as such, families eagerly seek comfortable and beautiful kitchens that are durable, timeless, functional, and easy to maintain. Design trends expand eat-in kitchens, where families can gather together for meals, to do homework, and celebrate with friends and family. Formal dining rooms continue to fade, and many homeowners are expanding their kitchen into dining spaces for that highly desirable open concept floor plan.

Architectural accents including coffered ceilings, textured surfaces, and honed stone premium surfaces add character and visual interest. During a remodeling project, pay attention to lighting; ceiling lights and recessed lighting in task areas, as well as under cabinet lighting help to highlight your kitchen’s beauty, while increasing functionality. It’s all in the details when planning that perfect kitchen!

Cabinetry Trends

We are noticing several trends in the kitchen related to color and style. Shaker style cabinet doors remain the most popular. And, it is no wonder as they are easy to keep clean, and they adapt well to a host of design styles from traditional through modern. When it comes to color, painted finishes remain strong; from crisp whites to dove gray and rich espresso wood glazes. For cabinetry, designers are staying style-neutral and using the accents in the room to dictate the design style. A statement island, designed to look like a piece of furniture, with a different color or material of slab, is also catching the eye of many. Crisp white shaker cabinetry with a contrasting island topped with Bordeaux Dream granite, creates a warm, and inviting space.

Hot Countertops

Granite is still the leading choice for homeowners and homebuyers. And, white granite slabs are definitely “hot”. White marble is beautiful with its natural gray veins, but it does require more maintenance. White granite is available with a variety of vein colors and specks, creating interest and dimension. Alaska White has tones of grays and tans, Galaxy Bordeaux’s white background with dramatic Bordeaux and charcoal grain is distinctive and a great way to add timeless colors in sweeping waves.

Other emerging granite trends for 2015 include dramatic and bold countertops in rich colors. As the largest eye-level horizontal surface in the kitchen, it is easy to understand why designers are taking advantage to add an artistic element in this manner. Desert Dream’s black and rich gold tones lend to both a modern or traditional aesthetic, depending on the choice of cabinetry, accent wall tiles, and flooring. When selecting a stone slab, remember they will last a lifetime; choose one that will easily adapt to future design styles. With over 250 colors available, it should be easy to fall in love with one, or more, of them!

Quartz countertops continue to impress! Their durability, lack of maintenance, and new designs reminiscent of granite and marble, are available in a wide array of colors and patterns. Cabinetry with clean lines, graphic accent walls, and modern accessories are the perfect backdrop for the simplicity of solid color quartz countertops. Arctic White, with its solid bright white appeal, would be the perfect choice for a crisp, clean look.  However, relatively new to market are more bolder patterns with swirls and waves in rich colors. These are ideal for homeowners looking to add the look of granite or marble, but desire the low maintenance of quartz.

Granite, soapstone, marble and quartz countertops can serve as a dramatic and artistic element in your kitchen, or have a more subtle presence to let cabinetry, backsplashes, and flooring be the focal point of the room. As interior design continues to evolve with new flooring options, backsplashes, and cabinetry, select the countertop slab that best complements your personal taste but will be flexible throughout the years.


Countertops | Flooring | General | Granite | Kitchen | Marble | Natural Stone | Tile