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Beautiful Bathrooms Start With The Countertop!

by MSIBLOG 16. December 2014 12:29

Your kitchen may be the heart of the home, but the bathroom is the workhorse. The vanity surrounding the sink is subjected to the humidity from the shower, splashes of water, cosmetic spills, toothpaste, and an entire host of other things. While it may not get as intense use as your kitchen countertops, these concerns must be taken into account.

There are many options when selecting the right countertop for your bathroom. Choose from many classic natural stone options, like granite, marble, or travertine, or opt for an engineered stone, like quartz, which brings the same beauty with an added benefit of lower maintenance. The goal is to be stylish and timeless, yet durable and able to withstand the unique elements of the bathroom for years to come.

Natural Stone

Granite is easy to maintain, durable, and can withstand the everyday stress of the bathroom. Looking to make a statement in a powder room or guest bathroom? Fusion is a dramatic multicolor granite with deep bluish grays, creams, and rust tones and is just one of the more than 250 colors we offer.

Looking for something more subdued? Our Emperador Light Marble may suit your taste. While many people shy away from marble, it shouldn’t be immediately discounted for your project; it holds up well in bathrooms, and adds timeless elegance. We carry more than 60 marble choices to satisfy any design aesthetic.

Soapstone is frequently the countertop of choice for laboratories where durability and cleanliness is mandatory. This makes it a perfect choice for many bathrooms. This natural stone is nonporous and can withstand even acidic liquids. It will naturally darken over time, and while it is softer than granite, it never needs sealing.

Another durable natural stone, Quartzite, is distinguishable from other natural stones because of the crystals that produce a sparkling pattern.  Sea Pearl slabs have darker veins, with shimmering highlights, perfect to bring character into any bathroom.

Lower Maintenance Options

Quartz is a good alternative for people looking for style and durability for their bathroom vanity. In fact, it resists stains from even nail polish and other cosmetics! Crafted with care to resemble nature’s inherent beauty, or for contemporary style with added flare, design style and choice is up to you.

Venetian Marble is engineered from recycled stone and created to be affordable, durable, and environmentally friendly. Available in 11 colors to choose from; this is a great solution for busy bathrooms where you need as little maintenance as possible.

Both of these lower maintenance options are resistant to scratches and do not require annual sealing; simply, they are designed to last a lifetime without continued care.

Whichever stone surface you select for your bathroom vanity, MSI offers a wide range of coordinating tiles for showers, tub surrounds, and backsplashes, as well as flooring to ensure your bathroom is beautifully finished, from floor, to ceiling.  And for more inspiration, you can visit our new Bathroom Visualizer Tool which allows you to mix and match your choice of colors, along with cabinet, floor tile and wall options, to envision the bathroom of your dreams!


Backsplash | Countertops | Granite | Marble | Natural Stone | Porcelain | Quartz | Quartzite | Tile | Venetian Marble

Enhance Your Fireplace With Natural Stone Ledger Panels

by MSIBLOG 10. December 2014 08:09

Fireplaces are much more than just a holding place for a fire.  They offer a warm and inviting environment any time of the year.  The look of a beautifully finished fireplace will not only give you a cozy environment, but can become the focal point of any room.  While there are many options to choose from when designing a fireplace, the use of ledger panels is an excellent way to experience the organic nature of natural stone while bringing in a little bit of the outdoors to the inside of your home.

Whether you are building a new fireplace or just want to enhance the appeal of your existing one, MSI’s natural stacked stone fireplace ledger panels can help you obtain the fireplace of your dreams!  They are precision cut and have variant color and changing textures to give the authentic appearance of a beautiful country wall or a gorgeous cliff side, while offering exceptional durability. They are also comprised of modular pieces that streamline the installation process, making them ideal for almost any fireplace. 

With an already wide variety of styles and colors to match your tastes and fit within your budget, our newest line of ledger colors, shown below, now gives you an even larger selection to choose from, helping  you create a striking statement in your home.

  • Brown Wave - Get the look of sandstone but with a more modern sleeker design. 
  • Canyon Creek – Offered in a grey/rust combination, this is our newest quartzite panel. 
  • Cordoba Noche – This warm brown travertine has medium variations and is honed for a smoother look.
  • Durango Cream – Our most popular beige travertine, now available in a ledger panel. 

  •  Glacial Black – A stunning split face black and white marble with medium variations .  
  • Gold Rush Pencil And Golden Honey Pencil – These thinner, or “pencil” like, ledgers come in slate and quartzite, respectively.   

Which color bests suites your style? Take a look through all the styles using  MSI's new visualizer tool.  We have a variety of colors that will help you create the perfect space for exceptional living.


Fireplaces | General | Hardscaping | Marble | Natural Stone | Slate | Travertine

NEW Q Premium Natural Quartz Brochure Showcases Expanded Color Line

by MSIBLOG 1. December 2014 10:31

We are excited to announce the launch of our new Q Premium Natural Quartz Countertop brochure, now available online here!  The use of quartz in manufactured countertops allows us to offer you a wide range of modern colors from sleek and solid contemporary to granular and veining patterns.  We have also added 11 new colors, so no matter what your design preference, you are guaranteed to find something that fits your lifestyle and budget.

Expanded Selection Makes Finding The Right Color Easy

In order to meet the demands of our customers, we have recently introduced some new light, neutral tones.  If you love the look of marble but desire a countertop with easier maintenance, try Cashmere Carrara or Glacier White. If you prefer something more contemporary, Frost White may be your preferred choice.  These new colors fit well with both traditional and contemporary designs. With their clean, fresh look, they are sure to brighten up any kitchen! 

For those who favor something with a little more color, Ash Gray, Hazelwood, and Boletus may be more your style.  These medium colored neutrals will fit in with any design to provide a welcoming, rustic feel.

Finally, if you are looking for the elegance of a dark colored countertop, the marble look of Mocato Brown and the natural stone look of Bedrock are a great choice!  These deep tones, when paired with lighter cabinets, can give your kitchen a timeless appearance.


Not sure what color will work for you?  Check out our Kitchen Visualizer or Bathroom Visualizer tools where you can mix and match countertops, cabinets, backsplashes, and flooring and envision the space of your dreams!  

Why Choose Q Premium Natural Quartz Countertops?

Q Premium Natural Quartz is a natural quartz surface made by an optimal fusion of more than 90% quartz and resin materials.  The result is a surface that is exceptionally resilient to scratches, stains, and bacteria.  It does not require sealing, re-polishing, or reconditioning.  Keeping your Q countertop clean is easy. Simply wipe it down with warm water and a mild detergent.  They are also environmentally sustainable and come with our Residential Lifetime Warranty. If you are looking for the perfect countertops for your kitchen or bathroom, Q Premium Quartz countertops are the answer!



Backsplash | Countertops | General | Quartz

Improving Upon Perfection: Capella Porcelain Tiles

by MSIBLOG 25. November 2014 07:44

What if you could combine the beauty and warmth of old-world terracotta – or the rustic elegance of hardwood – with the durability and easy maintenance of porcelain tile? The Capella Porcelain Collection does just that. 

Builders and homeowners are choosing porcelain tile options for flooring, backsplashes, countertops and other applications for good reason – it's extremely durable and is resistant to scratching, staining, and moisture damage. Above all, it is easy to keep clean and needs very little maintenance. There is no need to polish or wax it, seal it, or scrub it with more than just a damp mop.    

Out of the benefits of porcelain the Capella Collection was born - a premium surface uniting the beauty of cotto and hardwood with the durability of porcelain! Hardwood floors and cotto tiles add tons of character and warmth to a room, but may not always be a practical or viable solution, especially for water prone areas. But with Capella, you can have it all! From the kitchen, to the bath, to all those high traffic areas, we’ve got you covered.       

Not only does the Capella Collection offer exceptional durability, it also comes in 2 patterns and 4 color choices to suit your style. Choose the Clay or the lighter Sand and Talc cotto-look tiles in a large-scale grid pattern, or the rectangular Silt tiles which look great staggered. These tiles are full of old-world character and stunning color variation throughout, allowing them to enhance any type of décor. Pair them up with wood-look Capella porcelain tiles in dark-hued Java, medium-brown shades of Ash or Stable, or the light and refined Birch and you will have beautiful, durable porcelain options that work well either alone or together to create a unique look that will last for years to come.   


Flooring | Porcelain | Tile | Wood Tile

Unique Installs: Floors and Walls

by MSIBLOG 12. November 2014 08:38

Accentuating your home’s distinctive features with natural stone surfaces has never been easier! Entry halls, fireplace surrounds, as well as backsplashes and the walls, floors and countertops of your kitchen and bath can be quickly remade into a striking space with some creativity and a talented installation team. Contemporary and traditional styles alike can be transformed with the innovative use of unique patterns, accents, and colors that will turn your home into the envy of the neighborhood.

Bold Looks for Floors & Walls

Let’s start from the floor and work our way up. Hardwood floors were all the rage, for many years. And while they do bring the essence of nature into your home, they are simply not as durable as tile flooring. One of the most dramatic ways to update any interior space, is by swapping out your hardwood floors for tile. Before you think of the simplistic square tiles laid in a grid format, imagine a floor with true character that reflects your creativity.

Once a design of the past, laying tiles in a herringbone pattern is making a comeback throughout the design world. With our Botanica Porcelain Tile (shown below), you can have the look of hardwood floors, without all of the maintenance. When laid in an interesting, non-linear pattern, your space can be immediately transformed.  

Another design trend for flooring is to use mosaics or complementary tiles as an inlay for accent. For example, you can create a dynamic entry space in the shape of a rug or medallion by mixing patterns, colors and textures. For hallways, a combination of mosaics and tiles can create the illusion of a carpet runner, leading your guests into the heart of your home.

Let’s not overlook the opportunity to add drama to your entry hall’s accent wall! You can echo the color and pattern from the floor, or you can create something uniquely yours with stone ledger panels for an earthy natural feel, with mosaics for a contemporary splash of color and texture, or with complementary porcelain tiles for a continuous flow of design.

For another unique way to bring together both your horizontal and vertical spaces, consider using coordinating tiles of the same tone and texture for walls and flooring. Perhaps you like the look and feel of 6x40 planks on an accent wall that is grounded by 12x24 tiles on the floor like our Capella tile line (shown above). Or perhaps, you would prefer the 6x40 planks laid in a herringbone pattern on the walls, with the larger tiles on the floor. Your options are truly endless!


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

Travertine Pavers Offer Timeless Beauty

by MSIBLOG 3. November 2014 14:09

You have many options when it comes to choosing a material for paving your patio, pool deck, walkway or other outdoor living space. Travertine pavers should be at the top of your list, for many reasons — they are practical, beautiful, durable and work well with any decorating style from rustic to contemporary. And unlike many hardscaping options available on the market today, the beauty of travertine will only improve with age.

Travertine is a natural rock, similar to limestone and marble. It's been used as a building material since ancient times; many of the famous landmarks such as the Roman Colosseum were constructed by travertine. This beautiful and durable natural stone is about 50 million years old and has many qualities that make it an exceptional choice for any project. Its unique composition allows for natural expansion and contraction in varying temperatures, making it resistant to the freezing/thawing cycle that can damage concrete and other materials. In fact, this premium surface is two to three times stronger than concrete… and more aesthetically pleasing as well.

The All-Weather Option

One of travertine's most appealing properties is its ability to stay cool to the touch even under extreme temperatures. This makes it perfect for installations anywhere it might be in contact with bare feet, such as a pool or spa deck or backyard patio. Our Tuscany Riviera Tumbled Paver, shown below, is one of the many popular travertine options for pool decks, not only because it stays cool but also because it's a non-slip surface even when wet. It will not grow mold, does not react to chlorine or other common pool chemicals, and comes in a wide variety of edging/coping options to create a finished, integrated design. 

If you're in a cold-weather climate, you know how tough it can be to keep your outdoor surfaces from cracking and otherwise disintegrating through seasons of freezing and thawing. Repairs are often visible and unsightly. Travertine resists such damage, but even if you do need to replace one tile or a whole section, the natural color variation helps it blend in. After your new tile is installed, chances are you won't even be able to tell where the repair was made.

Ease of Maintenance

All natural stone products have benefits, and appropriate uses. Travertine is superior for many outdoor living applications because it is extremely easy to maintain. Like our Tuscany Scabas Paver, as seen below, these tiles do not require sealing and do not absorb dirt, so cleaning only takes minutes, with no scrubbing. Travertine pavers are not prone to discoloration, do not support mold growth and their color will not fade. In fact, many people believe that travertine's beauty only improves with the passage of time.

The Perfect Choice

Travertine pavers are the perfect choice for pool decks, patios, walkways, and other landscape applications. Because they are available in many sizes, these natural stone products can be used to create any shape your design application requires — gently meandering natural walkways and garden paths, curved patio edges, or a more formal layout. Select from an almost endless amount of patterns to suit contemporary style, formal, casual or rustic styles. Its natural color variation creates a beautiful end result every time, regardless of the application.

Your choice of travertine pavers for your outdoor living spaces will certainly provide a handsome return on your investment in terms of beauty and durability. For more information as well as some design inspiration, click here to watch this video which covers MSI's line of natural stone pavers and copings.


Flooring | Hardscaping | Landscape Tile | Natural Stone | Tile | Travertine

Venetian Marble - Natural Stone Look At An Affordable Price

by MSIBLOG 27. October 2014 13:39

Have you always loved the beautiful natural look and feel of granite, marble, and natural stone, but could never bring yourself to spend the money? Venetian marble could be the answer for you!

What is Venetian Marble?

Venetian marble is an environmentally sustainable and affordable alternative to cultured marble, granite, and other natural stone products. It is man-made and formed by taking recycled natural marble that is pressed and heated with resins, polymers, and pigments, to make a tough and impervious premium surface. The material is factory-made in slabs and then cut and polished by fabricators to allow for easy installation. It comes in a variety of colors and decorative edge finishes to complement any design project.

Venetian marble has become a popular renovation material and is often preferred over other natural products because it is easier to install, requires less maintenance, and has an excellent resistance to stains and bacteria. The resulting product is so durable it can be used to create custom countertops, backsplashes, shower enclosures, and floors. Venetian marble can be used anywhere natural marble, granite, and tile are used, and so much more!

“No Seam” Easy Installations

You are no longer restricted to the traditional 48" wide surfaces. Venetian marble is the first 60"+ wide engineered marble in the industry. Because it requires less seams, installation is easier, faster, and there is very little fall off waste. Venetian marble is one of the most environmentally sustainable products on the market today. "No Seam" back wall tub installations are now possible for standard 60" wide bathtubs!

A Variety Of Color Choices

Natural rock varies in color and pattern and will often have surface pitting and marks. Engineered stone, on the other hand, has a consistency in color and texture throughout the slab helping to minimize seam visibility, making it a good choice to use where color consistency is important. Venetian marble offers a variety of color choices from our popular Tibetan Beige and Coco Emperador and to our more traditional colors such as Vanilla Sky and Melange.

Care and Maintenance

Venetian marble premium surfaces are easier to care for and maintain than traditional stone and tile surfaces. All you need to do is wipe with a damp cloth, sponge or paper towel. For those more difficult stains, a mild soap or a neutral pH cleaner and nonabrasive scrub pad ensures your surface will provide you with many years of trouble free use. It is recommended that additional sealing be provided by simply using any available marble sealer. Highly sustainable, Venetian Marble countertops and backsplashes are an ideal option for those looking for the elegance of marble and granite stones with lasting durability and longevity.

With so many Venetian marble options to choose from, you will always be able to find one that matches your design preference, lifestyle and budget. Click here to view our entire line of Venetian marble premium surfaces!



Countertops | Marble | Venetian Marble

Carefree Luxury: Pietra Porcelain Offers All of the Elegance Without the Worry

by MSIBLOG 20. October 2014 09:46

Do you love the look of natural stone, but fear the maintenance? If so, our Pietra Collection can give your design project the look and feel of natural stone, in a durable, virtually maintenance-free line of porcelain tiles.

From traditional to contemporary, this versatile collection offers a variety of colors, sizes (complete with bullnoses), designs, and finishes. With over 10 different styles to choose from, these long-lasting porcelain tiles offer unfussy, livable surfaces with the sophisticated movement and color variation of marble. Here are some of our featured items from this collection:

Calacatta – With sweeping whites and creams with darker veins of grays and browns, Calacatta is available in various sizes making it adaptable to any project. Reminiscent of Calacatta marble, these porcelain tiles are ideal for floors, showers, bathtub surrounds, backsplashes, and countertops. The quiet and timeless elegance of these tiles works well with both contemporary and traditional designs. 

Dunes - Mid-tone beiges and tans blend with natural cream and darker veins to create a durable tile suitable for a variety of projects including flooring, countertops, backsplashes, shower surrounds, and accent walls. Available in 4 sizes, Dunes facilitates unique design of any living space.

Lagos – The rich mid-tone beiges and browns and lighter cream veins of Lagos is reminiscent of natural quarried stone. This durable tile is available in a polished finish, in a variety of sizes making it suitable for an assortment of design projects. The rich earth tones partner beautifully with a range of natural wood finishes, natural stone countertops, and stainless steel appliances.

Rio Rustic - Available in 12x24 matte finished glazed tiles, Rio Rustic is arguably the most dramatic piece in the Pietra Collection. Resplendent with reds, beiges, and grays swirled together for a natural earthy feel, these tiles are ideal for floors, accent walls, shower surrounds, countertops, and so much more. Rio Rustic tiles team up nicely with a variety of natural stone products to create a warm and inviting environment.

Travertino Romano - Travertine is one of today’s hottest surfaces. Travertino Romano, emulates the look natural travertine but with significantly less maintenance. Perfect to create a premium look in any entryway, kitchen or bath, when complemented with mosaics and natural stone, these travertine inspired tiles create a warm inviting atmosphere in any home.

The Pietra Collection was designed with durability in mind and can be used in most residential areas, as well as some light commercial flooring projects. With 8 additional tile designs currently available, and many more making their debut in the coming months, your project options with the Pietra Collection are virtually endless.


Backsplash | Countertops | Flooring | Natural Stone | Porcelain | Tile

Limestone Looks with Quartz

by MSIBLOG 7. October 2014 11:40

One of the hottest trends in countertop design is natural quartz. Our Q Premium Natural Quartz is unmatched in beauty and durability - available in 29 wonderful colors, it is scratch, heat, and stain resistant and, unlike many other surfaces, is also relatively maintenance-free and easy to keep clean. The naturally nonporous surface of quartz is resistant to bacteria, mold and mildew. Quartz countertops have the potential to last for as long as you have your kitchen, keeping its like-new beauty for decades. In fact, they come with a Residential Lifetime Warranty!

Why Quartz?

Q Premium Natural Quartz products are the perfect intersection between natural stone and engineered materials. They are manufactured by fusing 90 to 93% quartz crystals with resins and pigments. The result is a material that can mimic the look of many natural stone surfaces, such as granite and limestone - or create a new look all its own - while maintaining superb durability that is, in many cases, superior to the natural stone alternative. It's also a versatile material, and can be used in methods that are impractical for natural stone, such as vertical surfaces - including the kitchen backsplash - and large areas that need to appear seamless.

Two of our newest quartz products to imitate the look of natural stone are Boletus and Mocato Brown, both offering the stunning beauty of limestone with the durability of quartz. Limestone has long been prized as a building material because of its timeless elegance; it is sophisticated, resembles marble and is a popular option for countertops. It is an excellent choice for those who understand its needs for special care. Natural limestone is, however, a relatively soft material, and may scratch, stain, or etch when exposed to cleansers and foods normally used in a kitchen. Our Q Premium Natural Quartz is easy to care for and gives the look of sophisticated limestone without the maintenance. It will last for decades and is an investment that will pay off handsomely should you ever decide to put your home on the market!


Visualize It!

Not sure how quartz will look in your home? You can view these "limestone looks" in our Kitchen Visualizer Tool, which lets you choose a variety of colors and combinations, including backsplash designs, cabinets and flooring. You can also view your countertop choice with a variety of edge styles — rounded, beveled, ogee and more — with our Countertop Edge Visualizer. This takes the guesswork out of edge choices; you can choose between 12 of the most popular edge profiles and display the result right on your computer screen. This gives you a realistic view of how your finished countertop will look before you order.

Q Premium Natural Quartz countertops are growing in popularity for good reason. Their durability, ease of maintenance, versatility and beauty set them apart from other countertop materials. These premium surfaces give you the timeless charm of natural stone with less maintenance. You can feel confident ordering Q Premium Natural Quartz from MSI, which has provided premium surfaces since 1975. MSI is the leading importer of natural stone in North America, and now offers 29 premium quartz selections - including solid colors and granular patterns that resemble granite and marble. MSI also provides a full line of mosaics and wall tiles that complement these quartz surfaces beautifully.



Countertops | Kitchen | Quartz

Looking to Add a Little Shimmer to Your Next Project? Mosaic Metallics Are the Perfect Choice!

by MSIBLOG 29. September 2014 14:21

Does your bathroom, kitchen, entry, or living room need a makeover? Mosaic metallic tiles are an elegant way to bring depth, character, and life to any room. Available in a wide array of designs and natural stone blends, metallic mosaic tiles add drama and shine suitable for all design aesthetics providing a premium surface and backdrop to your design style.

Change the look of any space by adding metallic touches that echo throughout the room. Metallics are showing up in multiple applications. We are seeing actual brushed aluminum, metallic-painted slate, and shimmering glass – all with a hint of glimmer for a subtle sparkle. Available in neutrals, mid-tones, dramatic colors and everything in between, metallic tiles partner nicely when paired with organic elements. Glass, metallic, natural stone flooring and countertops, and wood cabinets and floors can come together in harmony to dramatically change your space. Here are some creative ideas to jumpstart your design process!

Decorative Wall Accents

Entryways are an ideal space to incorporate the timeless grandeur of metallic tiles. Dramatic Titan Interlocking tile features deep shades of charcoal and black accented by silver tones. For a more contemporary graphic look, Icelandic Blend combines soft whites and grays comprised of Arabescato Carrara, glass, and metal. Both of these choices are available in easy to install mesh-backed sheets that interlock naturally for a seamless appearance.

Kitchen Backsplashes

Stainless appliances, crystal stem wear, and light fixtures are complemented by metallic mosaics. Mosaics with metallic accents are ideal for backsplashes over the range, and over the kitchen sink to contrast or complement countertops, floors, and cabinets. Triton Interlocking is a unique mosaic that incorporates metallic paint in its design. As seen below, the rich brown porcelains blend beautifully with the copper-painted slate pieces. This neutral mosaic coordinates quite easily and will enhance your traditional kitchen design with a subtle hint of glam! 

Shower and Tub Surrounds

If your bathroom borders on the “ho hum” variety, consider installing mosaic metallic tiles in your shower, as a backsplash, or on your soaking tub’s surround. Choices are endless, and the amount of shimmer and shine you want to add to your bathroom is at your discretion. Perhaps a dark shower would benefit from an entire wall of the blue glasses and silver metal accents of Cityscape Interlocking, or perhaps you would prefer just an accent stripe or two incorporated into the design. The warm tones of beiges and browns contrasting with the cool silvers of the Madison Avenue Interlocking pattern reflect light and add dimension to this eye-catching accent wall.

Cristallo Interlocking mosaic tile is a luxurious blend of Arabescato Carrara, glass, and metallic tiles that bring opulence and drama to a bathroom. The shades of white tile, some with veins reminiscent of Carrara marble and the glass tiles create a spa type atmosphere suitable for backsplashes, around soaking tubs, and in shower enclosures. As with other mosaics, marble, travertine, and granite countertops are easy to match.
With so many color and style options, mosaic tiles can enliven any décor. For an all-metallic backdrop, consider Silver Aluminum Metal tiles that provide for a graphic and sophisticated feel on accent walls, fireplace surrounds, in bathrooms and kitchens alike. Click here for more unique mesh-backed mosaic tile options and design ideas.


Backsplash | Countertops | Granite | Mosaics | Natural Stone