Featured Image: Natural Stone Slabs
If you want to add a unique look to your home – something that no one else has – then look no further than natural stone for your floors, countertops, backsplashes and walls. How can that be, you say?
Because natural stone is created and quarried from the earth, no two pieces are alike. So even if you and your neighbor get the same type of travertine or granite from the exact same Arizona Tile location (wink) you both will get two different slabs that are not identical and thus will have two different looks in your home.
Why Purchase More Tile Than My Estimated Square Ft?
Because of this unique quality of natural stones like marble, travertine, granite, onyx and slate, buying more tiles than you need ensures that you match up the color of the tiles as much as possible. Darker or lighter sections of the area that you are tiling might not look appealing to the eye.
This is also the reason why, when you are shopping for granite slabs for a countertop, you need to look for a piece that is larger than you need or perhaps why you need to find two similar slabs with similar veining.
Many slabs are book-matched, meaning slab one and two are cut and polished to create a mirror image of each other. Large sections of veining can change the overall color of the stone, which is something to consider if you are going for cream and the veining is making the slab or tile look more peach than cream.
Slab Defects or Natural Beauty?
Veins, pits and fissures are a natural part of the stone and can sometimes make the slab more valuable.
While these characteristics need special care to maintain the stone, they should not be thought of as defects unless the stone has visible cracks from mishandling – another reason to purchase more than you need.
Go ahead and think of stone in unusual ways. Create walls, dividers or countertops that are backlit to create a beautiful glow.
Because stone is quarried all over the world, the minerals in those geographic areas create interesting colors and patterns that cannot be created anywhere else.
Each stone is more beautiful than the next. So choose natural stone to create a unique look in your home that no one else can possibly have. Before you get started, try out our Just Imagine™ Visualizer Tool and let us know what you think in the comments below!
*Featured Image Above – Arizona Tile – Anaheim, CA Showroom
We recently caught up with manager Caroline Hulshof of our Anaheim, CA Tile Showroom on Lewis Street. We asked what makes this Arizona Tile location stand out from the competition. Here is an excerpt from that conversation.
Tell us a little bit about your Arizona Tile branch and what sets you apart from other tile stores in your area.
Our friendly, knowledgeable staff offers great customer service! We take pride in referrals from repeat customers and their friends. Because we are a distribution center we are able to offer customers the opportunity to view current stock of stone and porcelain tiles, as well as the ability to purchase the same day.
We also offer architects and designers special order selections, including larger sizes, in stone and porcelain. In addition, we have the opportunity to view potential new products and offer our opinions. We have a brand new slab yard where customers can view our large selection of slabs both indoors and outdoors.
What type of product trends have you noticed lately within your area?
Here in the Orange county area, we see a range of design styles from traditional to contemporary but have a lot of customers looking for a fresh take on a classic look; something timeless. To achieve this look they are using a combination of glass and stone stacks, mosaics, and subway tiles for backsplash materials. For their floors, many customers are also seeking out the larger format tiles and rectangular tiles and stones. Most still prefer a granite countertop, but we have seen an increasing interest in our quartzite and Samsung Radianz Quartz slabs.
What kind of special orders does your store see?
When it comes to special orders, we see a range of glass, stone, and larger sized tiles being ordered. We also have continual interest in our custom medallion program.
Has anyone in your store received an excellent customer service recommendation from any customers?
As we always strive for outstanding customer service and customer satisfaction, we regularly receive comments from our customers expressing their gratitude for the help and time we give them in our showroom.
We also receive emails from happy customers:
Hi Caroline, My big tile remodeling project will be underway on Wednesday. This has much to do with you. My contactor, Dean Atkins with Atkins Tile and Stone, had nothing but praise for you. He said your ability to expedite the tile delivery and good communication were superb. So, a big thanks from me. Steve VamVaketis
Natalie, Thank you so much for your detailed note…you were a delight to work with and I appreciate all you are doing to make my bath the one I dream of having. Thank you and your manager for your kindness and prompt response. Sincerely, Debbie
Do you have any customer success pictures of before and after we can share?
Absolutely! Here is a recent kitchen renovation that features a backsplash using our Rustic Gold Stackstone.
And here is a recent renovation where the homeowners used our Madrid Red Porcelain and Seville series as an accent.
Next time you’re in Anaheim, California – be sure to stop in at Arizona Tile and let our friendly and knowledgeable sales staff help you design and find the tile style which fits your lifestyle, and your budget.
There are projects that instantly add value to your home and some are bigger than others. When it comes to your kitchen what can you do that doesn’t involve tens of thousands of dollars in renovations yet will instantly add value and freshen the look?
We are talking backsplashes! Homeowners have so many choices for tiles – natural stone, large format, subway tiles and mosaics. They all are hot in 2013 and will add instant pizzazz to any kitchen.
The great thing, is that even the most reluctant DIY’er can handle installation with a little research. A new backsplash is relatively easy to install. Homeowners can tackle this project on their own and it can be done in stages or over one weekend.
Depending upon your kitchen style, you can choose tile that is modern or traditional or somewhere in between. Even Mosaics can run the gamut of traditional to modern. Have an older home from the 1930’s? Choose our Luxe Octagon Mosaics.
Is your home modern? Nothing is hotter and adds more sparkle than beautiful glass tile. Our beautiful Soho Glass Stone Stacks or Watercolors Glass are just the thing to make a statement in your modern kitchen.
For a more traditional home, consider some Alexandria tumbled stone with Medici Bronze accents.
Of course, once you update that back splash those counter tops might look a bit dated…
Mark Gershman, Outside Sales Representative for Arizona Tile in the Phoenix Area took the time to share the interior design trends that he’s seen recently in his region.
Natural Stone Finishes
Shiny is out, matte is in. Customers are asking for countertops that are matte/satin/brushed finished. There are many requests for soapstone, marble, and granite that are not polished—especially for higher-end homes. Higher-end clients do not want what everyone else has—they’re looking for more unique, original materials and surfaces.
Clients are requesting marble countertops for their kitchens though the material requires special care and maintenance. Clients have also been selecting two different colors for their kitchens; one for the perimeter and one for the island; the result is a custom-look piece of furniture in the center of the kitchen.
Stacked Stone Backsplashes
Stacked stone and Fibra stacked are popular choices right now. Linear looks are doing well. The fact that many of our stacked stones and glass mosaic sheets can be cut into three equal bands for listelles and bands, has helped drive sales; especially for backsplashes, tub decks, and shower surrounds. We have several series of stacked stone to choose from including:
- 3-D Mesh Mount Stack – available in honed or split travertine, in 11 combinations
- Stackstone Mosaics – made of slate, marble, and quartzite, available in 6 colors
- Soho Glass / Stone Stack – glass/stone combinations profiled in a recent On the Surface post
- Fibra Series Stack – easy maintenance and value-priced stacked tile made of Rectified Color Body Porcelain
Color Body Porcelain Tiles
Speaking of color body porcelain, the broad assortment of porcelain tile series we have means we have something for everyone. Customers who had stone/marble in their previous homes are opting for porcelain because it’s easy to clean and maintain, and is more resistant to scratches and cracks than natural stone, wood or other materials. Updated technology in tile production has resulted in outstanding color, shading, and design never seen before.
- Nu Travertine sells well in our region because the variation and detail is excellent.
- Wood-looks are doing very well—Over Series will be a home-run for us. There is no other wood-look like Over on the market and our clients are amazed by its striking clarity, color, and variation. The ability to offer this series with pattern options make this a best-seller. Our clients continue to order Misingi in large volume; the texture and color tones offer a warm and inviting wood look without the challenges of maintaining real wood—scratching, fading, warping, ability to use in wet areas (especially kitchens and baths) and the scourge of termites.
- Large-format tile is a big trend—we’re getting many requests for 24×24 and even larger. Clients are finally comfortable putting large format tile in small spaces, including baths. 12x24s in showers has been doing well.
- Tile as wainscoting has done well.
- Subway-style porcelain tile is very popular. The Subway-look is considered ‘classic’ and not a trend which gives this look longevity.
- The cool earth tones—grey, taupe, moss, anything subtle that isn’t a primary or earth-tone color is frequently requested.
Cabinet Colors & Natural Stone Countertops
Cabinet choices are trending much lighter. White or off-white are more popular choices now. Dark espresso is another popular cabinet color choice and coordinates well with today’s color palette. Customers request marble or granite countertops to complement that look. For residential projects, the following granite slabs are preferred:
Many production homebuilders offer customers granite colors that are warm and easy to colorize with including Venetian Gold, Juparana St. Cecilia, Giallo Santo, Giallo Cream, Café Cream, Giallo Portofino, and Tahoe Brown.
Glass and glass blends sales continue to be strong though some clients express concern that glass tile is trendy and could go out of style quickly. Glass is popular when applied strategically or subtly. Clients use glass as ‘jewelry’ to dress up other materials; the results are pleasing and tasteful.
Customers are more comfortable now mixing man-made materials with natural stones. Installing porcelain and glass with tumbled or honed natural stone enhance each other’s beauty; the results are a custom look that not is only original but is also budget and design-friendly.
This opens up new and limitless possibilities in decorating that have yet to be discovered. For more ideas and to learn about what trends will stand the test of time, as well as how to make your decorating budget accomplish more, stop into an Arizona Tile showroom near you.