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Bringing Your Home’s Surfaces to the Forefront

Concrete flooring now comes in beautiful finishes and colors.

Show Off Your Style With These Sinks, Veneers, Floors And Kitchen Islands

The large surfaces of your home – such as sinks, floors, kitchen islands, fireplace surrounds and walls  – play a major part in setting the tone of its style and beauty. Because of the size involved, the  materials may be a big investment upfront, but they pay off long term due to their longevity and their role as focal points. We’re  highlighting some surface trends that will reflect well on your home’s flair and elegance.


Integrated Sinks

Integrated sinks (sometimes called integral or seamless sinks) are constructed of the same material as the countertop into which they are set. They impart a minimalist, streamlined look with the added benefit of being easier to clean than undermount sinks. The seamless design downplays the appearance of the sink, enabling the focus to remain on an elegant fixture or eye-catching backsplash. Users can simply sweep counter debris into the sink without worrying about it getting stuck in seams or cracks.

The integrated sink is a great option for homeowners who want to replace their countertops as well as their sink. There is no shortage of choices, as they come in all types of materials, including quartz, copper, marble and concrete.

Available in a myriad of interesting colors and patterns, natural stone is a great option for integrated sinks and lends a distinctive, sophisticated look to even the most basic kitchen. Because every stone is unique, the design possibilities are virtually limitless.


Waterfall Islands

Once only seen in modern and contemporary kitchens, waterfall islands are becoming increasingly popular in a wide range of kitchen settings. Because the countertop surface appears to “flow” over the edge of the island, the effect is a sleek, seamless aesthetic that is at once beautiful and functional. In addition to their striking looks, waterfall islands offer a practical way to hide appliances and other stored items – especially important in more open kitchen layouts – and can also protect cabinetry.

Due to the numerous choices of materials – from quartz to natural stone in muted or more lively patterns – each waterfall island has individuality. The overall effect of the minimal lines works well with other kitchen surfaces such as counters and floors depending on the colors or patterns of your material choices.

While a number of surfaces can be used for waterfall islands, natural stone is selected by many designers and homeowners. Not only is stone durable, timeless and sustainable, but it provides a one-of-a-kind design that can’t be duplicated. A stunning marble, granite or quartzite waterfall island can double as a piece of artwork, creating a dramatic focal point for the kitchen.


Plank Stone and Brick Veneers

Architectural stone and brick veneers made of concrete work well on surfaces such as walls and fireplace surrounds and even outdoors.The firm Eldorado Stone recently earned the prestigious GOOD DESIGN™ Award  for its wood plank stone veneer, Vintage Ranch. The profile captures the character and warmth of classic American barn wood in an easy-to-install panel format, combining planks of varying height and depth to preserve the rich color tones and textures of naturally weathered oak, Douglas fir and pine. Its concrete construction makes it extremely  durable. Each plank is painted to display the patina and depth of weather-worn boards, and rustic finishing details embody the resilience of authentic wood.

In its Modern Collection, Eldorado Stone leverages the warm tones and timeless textures of authentic stone for a modern look with inherent visual and tactile appeal. The collection includes a variety of stone and brick veneers with nuances of color, depth and shadow that allow the undeniable appeal of natural materials to have a place in contemporary spaces. The Modern Col­lection includes 14 stone and brick veneer profiles, each available in a variety of color tones.


Stained Concrete Flooring

To many, concrete flooring is seen as the base layer that lies underneath other flooring such as carpet, tile and wood. However, for the greater Houston area, especially since the flooding rains of Hurricane Harvey, concrete floors are being seen as a good antidote to replacing other types of  flooring that don’t react well to water.

Fortunately, advances in colors, textures and finishes have added some definite advantages to concrete’s durability. Now it can be considered part of your decor.

Concrete can be treated with different finishes to give it a customized look.  A decorative colorizing effect comes from acid staining, also known as dyed concrete. According tooneawesomeconcrete.com, acid staining “produces an array of finishes that not only change the surface color, but also permeate the concrete creating a rich translucent tone.” The firm has eight standard colors available that can be mixed to create a color that enhances the space and desired style.

It is most cost-effective when the concrete is already in place as a subfloor. While some concrete contractors prefer to use acid staining with newly poured concrete, the process can also be applied to most concrete surfaces that are free of grime, coatings, glues and various sealants.


 Large-Format Tile

The world of tile is consistently seeing upgrades to the quality and type of materials used, along with new sizes, shapes and patterns. Popular these days are large-format tiles that go beyond the long-standing workhorse of 12-by-12-inches. Of course they’re popular with installers because they are easier and faster to put in your home, but homeowners appreciate the 12-by-24-inch and 12-by-36-inch tiles for their great look. They also are easier to clean due to their larger surface area and fewer grout lines.

Experts onHGTV.comdo caution that large-format tiles are heavy, requiring a level substrate and a professional installer.

Like the smaller options, large format tiles come in porcelain or ceramic. Porcelain tiles are denser and absorb less water than ceramic tiles, generally making porcelain a good choice for bathrooms, parts of the kitchen and mudrooms. Its density also makes it good for high-foot-traffic areas because it offers long-term resistance to scuffs and scratches.

Homeowners have little to worry about when in comes to tile’s resale value. The products are very durable and will likely be a one-time buy for homeowners.


Information gathered from sources including usenaturalstone.orgApartmentTherapy.com,eldoradostone.com, houzz.comand HGTV.com.

A waterfall island in White Cherokee marble coordinates well with black cabinetry. (Photo – POLYCOR)

An integrated sink and a wall feature in coordinating natural stone. (Photo – Aria Stone Gallery)

A waterfall island in Calacatta Gold marble from Rocky Mountain Stone. (Photo – Robert Reck )

An integrated sink in Onyx from Puma Marble Co. in Miami reveals splashes of color. (Photo – ROCKIN’TERIORS)

A waterfall island in Dolce Vita quartzite adds elegance to a well-lit kitchen. (Photo – Aria Stone Gallery)

Cristallo Tiffany quartzite gives a waterfall island artistic flair. (Photo – Aria Stone Gallery)

Vintage Ranch is an award-winning wood plank stone veneer. (Photo – Eldorado Stone)

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