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The Pros and Cons of Marble Countertops

by MSIBLOG 13. April 2014 20:10

Marble is the epitome of luxury, and yet it is surprisingly one of the most affordable natural stones. So why doesn’t every home have marble countertops and backsplashes in its bathrooms and kitchens? Let’s explore the pros and cons of this timeless stone to determine if it’s the right stone for you.


Natural Stone – As natural stone goes, marble is easily the most recognizable. Though marbles can be white, grey, beige, pink, or even exotic green, no other material option is as obvious in its visual hallmarks as marble. Those indicators include thick or subtle flowing veins, gentle movement, and an elegance which works in large expanses or small. For those who embrace green options and value natural building materials, marble will stand out as an obviously natural selection that connects a room to the outdoors. (The idea of natural stone is particularly appealing in the kitchen, where the countertop serves as the surface for preparing colorful foods. For home cooks and bakers, marble is also an attractive option for preparing pastries, as it is a cool stone perfect for rolling dough.)

Elegant & Sophisticated Option – Marble has long been the stone of choice from castles of old to commercial applications of the finest quality. From monuments to ballroom floors, window sills to sophisticated foyers, it is a stone that rarely competes with other elements for attention, though it can blend in or serve as the centerpiece of a room, depending on its pairings. Whether a classic neutral like Crema Marfil, or a more striking variety like Rosa Verona, which is dominated by oranges and reds, marble is an elegant but eye-catching stone. Surprisingly, marble is a comparatively affordable option when measured against other natural stone options. This makes it an elegant but attainable option for today’s homes.

Fits Old World and Contemporary Designs – Marble is susceptible to chips or stains, as it is a softer stone. To some, this is a con rather than a pro. To others, the romantic patina of an aged marble is prized, particularly for an Old World design scheme where the enduring personality of stone is highly desired. Fortunately, today’s sealants and cleaners mean that marble can be better protected if a smooth, unblemished style is preferred – lending this stone to a more contemporary design scheme if desired. Near solid white marbles (like Elegant White) or black and white marbles (like China Black) are both suited to modern design palettes.


Softer stone than granite and others – Marble is known to be a more porous, softer stone than some of its natural stone counterparts, which makes it more susceptible to staining and etching. It is one of the advantages that granite (or quartz, which can mimic the look of marble) has over natural marble. However, finish choice as well as proper care and maintenance can make a big difference in keeping marble looking like the day it was installed. Some finish choices, such as choosing honed over highly polished, can disguise etching better. Additionally, as marble is beautiful in both Old World and Contemporary design schemes, the overall design theme of a room can be adjusted over time to adapt to the changing character of the stone – i.e., one may start with a contemporary design scheme for years while the marble is smooth and elegant and shift the décor to fit an Old World style as the softer stone ages naturally.

Requires maintenance and care - Avoiding preparation of acidic foods and regular sealing will also protect the stone, if a smooth appearance is desired. (Some actually prefer an imperfect patina in their marble or simply enjoy watching their natural stone age over time, so it really depends on preference.) Today’s natural stone cleaners for marble, and even some great DIY methods, can diminish or completely draw out stains. Respecting your countertops by using trivets, potholders, and cutting boards can also prevent scratches or chips. Finally, regular sealing will prevent liquids from penetrating the stone and will also protect pores from collecting bacteria, too.

Marble isn’t the perfect option for every home – certainly maintenance and care are required to keep it looking new. However, we’d argue that the PROS of beauty and versatility may outweigh the CONS. Marble might just be the right material for your next build or upgrade. Explore the more than 50 marble slabs and countertops MSI has to offer in varying colors and patterns, or visit our Kitchen Visualizer which allows the user to imagine a wide variety of marble, natural stone, and quartz countertops with different cabinetry, flooring, and mosaic choices.


Countertops | Marble | Natural Stone

Hardscape: MSI Natural Stone Ledgers & Veneers

by MSIBLOG 31. March 2014 12:12

When one hears the terms panels and veneers, the first mental images may be of an old fashioned wood-paneled wall or the manufactured stone wall of an outdated chain restaurant. Panels and veneers have admittedly been synonymous in our minds as false exteriors for decades, as surfaces that cover up flaws or that are somehow less substantial than “the real thing”. Fortunately, these unseemly connotations are swiftly becoming a thing of the past, as contemporary homeowners are learning that there are other kinds of panels and veneers – options that are now recognized as desirable upgrades rather than substitutions. MSI’s ledger panels and veneers are convenient, real natural stone that will enhance your outdoor hardscape, interior walls and fireplaces. 

Ledger Panels

Ledger panels are a popular hardscape option for incorporating the organic nature of real stone into modern and old world design schemes. These trimmed pieces of natural ledger stone are affixed together to form modular panels in a stacked look, for creating walls, columns, and other facades.

Ledgers offer an authentic dimensional look and will blend into the existing natural landscape or create a new one seamlessly. Whether defining a pathway, showcasing a water feature, or upgrading an outdoor kitchen, these landscape stones add the texture and elegance of quality natural stone.

In addition to creating extravagant landscapes, ledgers also offer a unique façade for beautiful outdoor (or indoor) fireplaces. Fireplaces are in fact one of the most popular applications of these panels, as it takes a functional piece of the outdoor living hardscape and transforms it into a centerpiece!

Ledger panels are available in slate, quartzite, sandstone, marble, or travertine. They coordinate with hundreds of slab options as well as matching “L” pieces to form or improve whatever structures you desire.


MSI also offers a wide variety of Natural Stone Thin Veneers. This lightweight alternative to full veneers is a higher quality to manufactured stone and is a true product of nature.

The defining difference between manufactured stone veneers and MSI’s natural stone veneers: the natural stone color permeates the entire stone, not just the surface. Scratching, chipping or long term exposure to the elements of the surface does not affect the veneer’s appearance, which makes these veneers perfect for vertical surfaces throughout your hardscape display for years to come.

Like ledger panels, one of the more popular applications for thin veneers are outdoor fireplaces. The panels tie the feature into the existing natural design scheme, while also providing a clean and natural backdrop to showcase a crackling fire.

MSI’s veneers are available in a wide selection of attractive colors and finishes in stones like marble, slate, sandstone, granite, and travertine. Like MSI’s ledger panels, there are matching corner pieces available for a finished look.

Today’s ledger panels and veneers are truly a great marriage between genuine natural stone and modern convenience. Imagining and executing a backyard paradise can be realized in days rather than months or years, and the look will be far removed from past expectations.

View MSI’s short video to see the real possibilities for enhancing your home’s hardscape with modern Ledgers & Veneers. 


Hardscaping | Landscape Tile | Natural Stone | Outdoor Landscaping | pool tile | Quartzite | Slate | Tile | Travertine

Imaginative Backsplashes: Glass Subway Tiles

by MSIBLOG 25. March 2014 09:28

Mosaics are a creative and arguably inexpensive way to recreate a space and maximize on a design theme. Few materials are as adaptable as the glass subway tile – these rectangular pieces can easily create three distinctive looks: urban, country, and old world.

When it comes to a remodel or even a project from scratch, wall tiles are one of the least expensive materials when one compares them to larger scale items like flooring, appliances, cabinetry or countertops. Whether your tile is for the bathroom wall, kitchen backsplash or focal accent in any room, tiles can accomplish significant change in mood and theme without a hefty investment. In fact, subway tiles can stretch that modest investment even further – simple décor changes can transform the same tiles into very different design looks, allowing for a fresh take on a room year after year.

Urban – Today’s glass subway tiles have modern appeal. Their translucence and straight edges lend themselves to a crisp, monochromatic appearance – a hallmark of modern design. Additionally, when used liberally, such as stacked floor to ceiling, they call to mind contemporary architecture like glass skyscrapers and big-city subway stations. Artic Ice and Mint Green are two popular selections for creating this look, stacked with fine grout lines for a more solid palette or wide lines to mimic brick mortar. Paired with chrome or stainless steel and cool woods (versus rich-colored woods like cherry and oak), subway tiles will achieve the urban look easily.

Country – These same tiles can lend themselves to a completely different design scheme. A country cottage look can be designed by a change in décor, like new fixtures or countertops, or can be fashioned from the very beginning with inspired placement. Variation in vertical and horizontal placements or even as a border or half-wall backsplash, rather than a full wall indulgence, will lend a charming personality to these tiles. Color and size choices may also impact the country theme. Larger tiles that recall barn wood planks or cottage bricks are an example of how size can impact theme. Cinnamon Glass and Caramel Glass are two color selections that will give a warm look to any space while still keeping the style up-to-date. Varying them in a checkerboard pattern will take the country design scheme even further!

Old World – Backsplash tile like Ayres Blend is the most literal translation for an old world look. The warm cream, chocolate, and grey colors create a rich depth and variation that are necessary to achieve this style. The textured pattern capitalizes on the colors, too. However, other glass tiles can also create this look, depending on the colors chosen. Cinnamon Glass and Caramel Glass that create a country look can likewise translate to an old world style with the right décor. Coupled with textured walls or paint patterns, stone countertops and porcelain tile floors that mimic the look of real wood (without the maintenance of real wood) will help to accomplish the desired old world theme. Accents with glass metal blend tiles, like Rustic Creek mosaic tiles or natural stone tiles, can also expand on subway tiles to take this theme a step further.

Subway tiles offer great flexibility when it comes to styling. From urban to old world, these tiles offer the ability to achieve a distinctive look that may be evolved down the line with changes to their surroundings. In the meantime, they will offer a low maintenance, protective surface for your kitchen or bathroom walls. MSI offers a variety of glass subway tiles to realize your desired look as well as carries a comprehensive line of wall tiles and mosaics including metal, porcelain, and stone mosaics and moldings, borders, & sheets in various sizes and finishes to recreate whatever theme you imagine.


Backsplash | Backsplash Design Guide | Countertops | design | Mosaics

Granite Countertops: An American Staple

by MSIBLOG 17. March 2014 08:14

Baseball, apple pie, and…granite countertops?

Granite countertops have become a staple for American living. What at first may have seemed like a selling point, or fad, in the early 1990s has become a standard just two decades later. Rather than viewed as a bonus selling point of a home on the market, these days granite is an expectation. Interestingly enough, however, is the fact that when a prospective buyer expects or desires granite countertops, or backsplashes, for the kitchen or bath, what he is often saying is he wants an updated home.

Granite has become a signal to real estate agents and prospective buyers that a home is updated. An advertisement for a home on the market these days will include a mention of granite countertops if it can, and if it cannot, it will certainly be noticed by the reader: New roof, newer furnace, hardwood floors throughout, granite countertops.

Simply put, if a kitchen has been remodeled, it will have new countertops. Those will likely be granite. If those countertops aren’t granite, the perception is that the space must still be in need of additional renovation, which translates in the buyer’s mind as a future expense.

Design, though, is not a static thing. It changes over time. So too is real estate and the catch words that prospective buyers search for. “Granite countertops” became a selling point synonymous with “modern kitchen” over time, but these words have also become a general statement that may really mean something else. Just like some of us ask for a Kleenex to mean we need a facial tissue or we ask for an Aspirin (a registered trademark of Bayer) when we mean any acetylsalicylic acid pill will do, a buyer who says his dream home must have granite countertops may mean he really desires natural stone.  He may want quartz, or marble, travertine, onyx, limestone, or quartzite countertops. Or maybe he uses granite countertops as a phrase that really means something else to him:

“I want a greener home.”

“I want a timeless look.”

“I want more durability.”

“I want updated.”

“I want elevated.”

“I want something different than what I had before.”

Granite countertops have all of these attributes, but so do other natural stones. A real estate agent who shows this buyer a home with quartz countertops, for example, is still listening to her client – but she is interpreting his desire to mean he is looking for an idea, for a certain kind of home. She knows granite countertops are an upgrade that has in actuality become a standard. She also knows that granite countertops have become a generic term that can also mean natural stone. She knows, indeed, that granite countertops have become an American staple – but the real American staple is an ideal that we all want: the latest and greatest.

In the natural stone industry, the “latest and greatest” material depends on lifestyle and the needs of the buyer. MSI offers a full range of kitchen, bathroom, bar, and customized countertops to suit your space. Choose from every popular countertop material including Granite, Marble, Travertine, Limestone, Slate, Q Premium Natural Quartz, Onyx, Quartzite, Venetian Marble, and Semi-Precious. MSI also carries Quick and Easy Countertops and Prefabricated Countertops that are cut to size for easy kitchen and bathroom installations.


Countertops | Granite | granite countertops, | Natural Stone

Hotel Luxury Style

by MSIBLOG 28. February 2014 18:47

Are you looking to create your dream bath inspired by the look and feel of a high end hotel? We all visit hotels and dream of creating that special oasis back at home. Bathroom updates are often looked at as a low priority because they are behind walls and considered a private space. However, having a beautiful, functional, and stylish bathroom can enhance your everyday life. It can help in the chaos of hectic mornings and help you relax after a long day’s work. One of the most luxurious materials to use in a Master Bath is Marble. See below this photo using Arabescato Carrara 12X24 tiles to create a floor wall combination that’s exquisite. 

 Along with a more simplistic look of 12X24 Arabescato Carrara tiles, we feature many mosaics to compliment the collection.  From Herringbone pattern, to hexagons, and 3X6 subway tiles all the necessary trims and large floor tiles make this collection the perfect suite to complete any designer bathroom or kitchen. 

For those of you that are looking for another material option to marble, don’t worry, our Pietra Calacatta Collection offers a beautiful porcelain look alike of real Calacatta Marble.  Warm caramel color veining blended with subtle gray tones creates a sophisticated option that will not disappoint. When considering the materials for your space, be sure to think about all of the details. Do I want a soaker tub or would we be happier with a large walk in shower and give up the tub all together? Do I have the right lighting, fixtures, storage, etc.  The designer bath below boasts beauty and style that will fulfill your dreams of re-vamping your master bath. 

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Backsplash | Marble

Hardscape for Outdoor Living with Porcini and Aegean Pearl Pavers

by MSIBLOG 24. February 2014 11:25

Natural stone pavers are a rich and dynamic way to surface your landscape for additional living space. From generous expanses that create a clean floor for your patio living to economical accents that highlight focal points, pavers are an excellent way to define your space. MSI’s pavers are available in travertine, granite, slate, quartzite, marble, basalt, sandstone or limestone. Today we’ll feature two of the most popular selections: Porcini (travertine) and Aegean Pearl (marble). Both are attractive natural stone options that represent different ends of the color spectrum.  

Tuscany Porcini, imported from Turkey, is a rich, multi-colored travertine stone available in chiseled, honed, unfilled, or tumbled finishes. These finishes offer a range of options for your hardscape design scheme – old world to new world – and the stone itself features creams, beiges, golds, greys, and even hints of rusts, as if your piece of landscape was carved from a mountain. These pavers offer a finished look to any landscape while keeping you connected to nature. Around pools and water features, as walkways and steps, travertine pavers invite barefoot travel even on the hottest days.  

 Aegean Pearl pavers (also from Turkey) are an elegant, neutral marble available in a tumbled finish as well as a variety of sizes. Porcini is a warmer stone color-wise than Aegean Pearl, which offers hues on the lighter end of the color spectrum with soft beiges and white veining. Pavers enhance homes and outlying buildings as patios, driveways, paths, and pool decks – Aegean Pearl accomplishes this beautifully, creating an inviting, fresh palette for sophisticated decor that will contrast with your colorful foliage. Like MSI’s other paver selections, including Porcini, Aegean Pearl is recommended for indoors and out, which makes these pavers perfect for creating a consistent theme throughout, starting with your hardscape and carrying through to your indoor kitchen, bathrooms, entryways or anywhere you’d like to bring nature inside.

MSI pavers are consistent in thickness for easy installation and are perfect for sand-set application. Most pavers have matching pool coping colors to give edges and steps a finished look. MSI offers a full collection of copings, caps and treads that matches most paving options in travertine, granite, slate, quartzite and limestone. Pavers are available in an assortment of shapes, sizes and colors and are also used for wall caps and column caps. Options include 1 ¼ or 2” thickness and sizes like 4x12”, 12x24”, 16x24”, 12x12” or 6x12”. 

To fully enjoy the look of Porcini and Aegean Pearl pavers, take a look at them in action! MSI’s new video on Pavers and Copings offers examples of both, as part of MSI’s stunning outdoor showplace at the Orange County headquarters in California.



Granite | Hardscaping | Landscape Tile | Limestone | Marble | Natural Stone | Outdoor Landscaping | pool tile | Slate | Travertine

The Many Moods of Mosaics

by MSIBLOG 17. February 2014 09:03

The art of mosaic design begins with beautiful mosaic wall tile and ends only with the limits of your imagination. To help stretch that imagination past its limits and beyond, M S International names mosaics for the moods they can create – making it easier than ever to bring your personal inspiration to life with a literal translation. Expression through mosaics is indeed permanent art that will elevate any room for years to come.  

Castle Rock: Aptly named to create a majestic mood, castle rock is a glass, stone and metal blend mosaic of grey and silver tones that will easily complement a sophisticated décor. A wide expanse of mosaics across a wall can lengthen a room or a countertop surface, like a long stretch of castle wall; a tall expanse of mosaics from floor to ceiling can draw the room upward and make it feel taller, like an unbreachable royal tower. Literal translations for sure – but a less tangible mood may also be achieved with this mosaic selection. With creative lighting, Castle Rock wall tile can feel warm, cold, mysterious, or grand, and this mosaics’ palette will strengthen the theme of any room.

Autumn Leaves: Another beautiful glass, stone, and metal blend, Autumn Leaves is an elemental interpretation of its namesake – a multi-colored mosaic variety with shades of brown and gold on a bed of silver, like autumn leaves on a sidewalk. Home designers who wish to employ this mosaic as a literal translation could apply imaginative patterns of this tile as a backsplash to resemble actual leaves or as an artistic decoration near entrances to bring the outdoors in. Less literal translations could be employed anywhere a warm, rich look is desired.

Manhattan Blend: A chic glass and metal blend mosaic, Manhattan Blend offers a dramatic landscape that calls to mind the diversity of a busy city. Its rich grays, browns, and creams with highlights of iridescent tiles can recreate soaring skyscrapers or Central Park depending on the design scheme. This mosaic is as comfortable among the high end décor of Park Avenue as the fun and quirky décor one might imagine for a Central Zoo theme. Extremely versatile, the Manhattan Blend can create many moods to fit your personality and do it with style.

Glacier Peak: This cool glass and stone mosaic is an appealing blend of white and blue glass and darker brown and gold stone, recreating glassy ice and snow on a mountain peak. This mosaic is sure to create a peaceful mood. For literal translations, Glacier Peak can be arranged in vertical displays for a feeling of height and strength. With its clean, unblemished look, this mosaic tile is also great for the kitchen, where the idea of a pristine glacier peak can be translated into cool tones, granite, and stainless steel. This palette will also complement colorful foods to the fullest.  

Mediterranean Glass:  This glass mosaic looks just like its name – a soothing sampling of the sea. Within the category of Mediterranean Glass, there are two styles: Mediterranean Pearl and Twilight Opalescence. The latter is a vivid and colorful selection of black, blue, green, and purple – like peering down into the swirling waters of the Mediterranean around reef in low light. The former, Mediterranean Pearl, is a lighter version with cream, white, pink, and gold, like coral reefs in the sunshine. A perfect selection for creating a tranquil mood, Mediterranean Glass is suited to any areas but particularly those with water themes. Bathrooms  and kitchens can be enhanced with accents or large displays of this mosaic, with a traditional installation or even though unique applications like swirls or wave patterns. 

Mosaics are a great way to incorporate art in a lasting way. Whether they are employed in large displays or more simply as accents, mosaics give a finished, textured look to every room. MSI strives to make design decisions even easier with mosaic collections that are fittingly named and lend themselves to the imagination. Explore MSI’s many mosaic options – from Desert Mirage to Ocean Wave and the dozens of themes in between.





Backsplash | Mosaics

Black Granite: A Piece of MSI History

by MSIBLOG 11. February 2014 09:57

One could say M S International’s very foundation is made of granite, and it owes much of its early history to black granite. It was granite that co-founder Manu Shah first sold to distributors across the U.S. while he was still working full-time as an electrical engineer. It was granite that his co-founder, wife Rika, distributed mainly for monuments and tombstones for the larger part of the 1980s. Later, it was a contract to supply black granite for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. that solidified the company, proved its potential to the owners, drove Mr. Shah to dive full-time into the business of granite countertops, and the impetus for the Shah’s to begin a truly international expansion with a range of natural stones, growing their imports to the U.S. from India to imports from an impressive 36 countries. Black granite, it could be said, was really the start of it all.  

Today, MSI is a leading importer of all natural stones, not just granite. Given its special place in the history of the company, however, they continue to celebrate black granite by offering a generous selection of black granite tile flooring and countertops from a variety of countries for your home or business. Though MSI actually offers over 250 colors and patterns of granite, and many have bits of black in their overall color schemes, there are a few that are primarily black and we will highlight each:


Absolute Black – Also known as Premium Black or Premium Plus Black in the industry, this stone’s name is accurate. Just as “Absolute Black” implies, there is no discernible pattern or variation in this stone. It is a solid black, unrelieved by other markings. With a highly polished sheen, this stone is impressive, whether it’s gracing an ultra-modern kitchen décor or standing tall as a national monument. It is also commonly available in honed, brushed, and flamed finishes for even more styling possibilities.

Arabian Black – This black begins as a dark canvas of pure black but is highlighted by an even pattern of light grey to white specks for a soothing overall look. This color blends beautifully in a variety of design schemes with enough pattern to draw the eye. (For busy areas, Arabian Black does a terrific job of disguising life’s messes, too!)

Black GalaxyLike Absolute Black, this black lives up to its name. It really does look like the night sky. Less predictable in pattern than an Arabian Black, the specks in this night sky are more seemingly random, clustered in stars and galaxies that are gold or white strewn across a black backdrop. Black Galaxy can serve as the centerpiece or focal point of any room.  

Black Spice – This selection offers a low variation with sweeping dark charcoal flecks. It is a highly popular selection for its sophistication and versatility - it works as easily as a kitchen buffet or backspash as it does a backlit bar for entertaining by the billiard table.

Silver Pearl –Also known as Black Pearl, Black Labrador, or Black Ubatuba, Silver Pearl is a semi-solid color granite with speckles of blacks, golds, silvers, browns, greens and shades of gray. The opulent colors of this stone give it a complex and rich dimension that adapts to a variety of designs – likely one of the reasons Silver Pearl is MSI’s most popular black granite.


Cambrian Black – Cambrian Black granite is a stunning black granite for a variety of applications, indoors and out. Its primary color is black, but it is refined by a dusting of lighter and darker shades of black and occasional light, almost white flecks. It is an elegant choice, whether employed in polish for a rich design or antiqued for a more organic feel.

Nordic Black – This black offers a less discernible pattern that some other black granites. There are areas of pure black, and other areas closer to veins than flecks. It feels rich and elegant in large or small spaces, and its gentle pattern works in bathrooms, kitchens, wet bars, or like all granites, outdoors.


Angola Blackand even a hint of heat, as is some lights the flecks appear brownish, offering a range of options for décor. 


Black Beauty – It may say black in the name, but don’t let the name fool you. Black is its primary color, but this stone selection offers a variety of colors, similar to what one might see in a piece of slate: a blend of blacks, grays with just hints of rusts and whites. It’s an eye-catching, dynamic selection that will be a focal point no matter how you design around it. 

South Africa:

Impala Black – Of all the black granite options, this is arguably the lightest. The primary color of black is contrasted with a generous amount of dark grey flecks. This is a beautiful, neutral selection that allows for a vast range of design ideas.

MSI has come a long way since its founding in 1975. From a beginning in black granite for a timeless monument, imported from India, to today’s vast inventory that includes marble, travertine, slate, limestone, quartzite, sandstone, ceramic and porcelain tiles, glass and quartz for commercial and residential applications, indoors and out, and imported from 36 countries on six continents.

Explore how black granite can become a timeless centerpiece for your next project – visit MSI’s Kitchen Visualizer to compare a wide selection of granites to floors, cabinetry, and mosaics to find the right combination for you.







Countertops | Granite | granite countertops, | Natural Stone

The Versatility of Wood Tile Planks

by MSIBLOG 7. February 2014 17:38

The latest buzz in the tile world is all about wood plank tiles. They look great, have tons of variation and are virtually indestructible. The opportunities for design with wood tile planks are endless. Are you afraid to put wood in a bathroom or basement? Fear not, the new Sygma line offers four lovely colors in a clean hand-scraped 6” X 24” plank that will create a dream space for you. The best thing about this new line is that it’s a great price alternative to many of the wood plank lines in the industry. It is a ceramic body tile with rectified edges for precision installation. 

Remember when designing with these plank tiles to think outside the box when it comes to design. For the floors try a herringbone installation or even mixing to colors together. The combination of Ebony and Ice would create an unexpected drama to any room. When it comes to waking up your walls, use these planks as a shower wall tile or even as a dramatic accent wall in an office space. The combination of these wood looking planks with many of our accent tiles could make a dynamite space. Check out this designer kitchen below. It features Sygma Chocolate on the floors, Carrara White Marble on the countertops and Arabescato Carrara Herringbone Mosaic backsplash over the range.


Backsplash | Ceramic Tile | Flooring | Wood Tile

Wall Tile: Raise Your Expectations

by MSIBLOG 5. February 2014 08:36

There’s a hot new trend that is here to stay. Porcelain tile, ceramic, marble and onyx are meant for more than just beautiful floors and countertops today. They are rapidly growing in popularity for more extensive use, beyond the horizontal to large wall expanses.

For decades, tile flooring like ceramic and porcelain have been relegated to specific rooms and functions. Namely, they’ve performed as floor or wall tiles in bathrooms and kitchens (usually as a backsplash), valued for their durability and wall protection. These days, porcelain tile and ceramics are proving they are much more versatile. In fact, they are growing in popularity with designers for larger scale projects, both residential and commercial, like inviting foyers, stunning entryways, living areas, and basically anywhere a designer wishes to exploit the beauty of stone by showcasing it as much as possible. These tiles and slabs aren’t just a protective layer; they are indeed a pretty face that adds to the overall look and feel of the room.

When it comes to porcelain tile and ceramic tile, both are known for durability and high function in the busiest of areas. If a porcelain and ceramic tile can withstand the moisture and abuse of a busy family bathroom, surely they can hold up anywhere. However, these days, trends show we are looking for more than just function. We want that perfect combination of function and beauty. With so many sizes, colors and textures to choose from, finding the right fit for any room in the home is easier than ever. Porcelain or ceramic as wall cladding offer the following benefits:

- A durable surface to protect walls from damage.
- A smooth palette or backdrop for striking décor.
- A surface that does not need frequent replacement, like wallpaper or paint.
- An easy to clean surface for busy areas.
- An opportunity to expand the gaze upward from the flooring, creating the impression of a larger area.
- An elevated, finished look to the room.

Onyx and marble flooring, likewise, are materials that have been underestimated when it comes to walls. These are higher-end options that truly indulge in an extensive use of stone. In addition to the benefits offered by ceramic and porcelain tile, onyx and marble selections also offer the following benefits as wall cladding:

- An upscale appearance that showcases natural stone, for contemporary or traditional themes.
- A design that includes a bold statement wall or walls.
- An introduction of color and pattern that simply cannot be matched by traditional wall covering like paper or paint.

Raise your expectations, and your eye-line, a bit higher to envision porcelain, ceramic, onyx or marble on your walls – and not just in the bathroom. Any room can benefit from practicality and style! MSI has specialized in premium surfaces since 1975 and offers thousands of selections in porcelain and ceramic tiles and mosaics, as well as premium onyx and marble slabs.




Backsplash | Ceramic Tile | Flooring | Marble | onyx | Porcelain | Tile