Stellar Surfaces

Written by Niki D Category: At Home Issue: July 2012

Progressive Hardscapes takes plain concrete and turns it into treadable art. “The material can be anything from Lithocrete, which is a seeded aggregate, to seashell, mother of pearl, things like that,” Progressive Hardscapes manager Mike Riggs says.

Gem Surfaces offers a stunning staircase made with agate from Madagascar Minerals in Tucson. The backlit, banded gold-and-amber agate lends a lovely and lofty air to any ascent.

With textured surfaces from Modular Arts, walls never looked so three-dimensional. Their Tucker Tiles form a pattern on walls, suitable for smaller, more intimate spaces.

When it comes to counters, local stores like Signature Surfaces, Inc. carry cool, cutting-edge options like the DuPont Corian Illumination Series. The synthetic, trademarked Corian material makes a naturally translucent surface; when backlit, it glows.

Need a backsplash with that? Gravity Glas in Scottsdale has you covered. Owner/artist Greg Schadt handcrafts kilns for his custom cast pieces, like the “Salsa Linen” backsplash, with tints that fade from red to orange. Schadt says the most popular place for his backsplashes is behind cooktops, but they can go “anywhere where somebody wants a ‘wow’ factor.”

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Clockwise from top left:

1. InterlockingRock Tucker Tiles
These 16” x 16” tiles boast a light texture with small shapes. Suitable for spaces 8’ x 12’ or less, the white tiles, made from high-grade industrial gypsum, can be painted any color. $150 per box of six tiles (10.67 square feet).

Modular Arts, Inc.,

2. Agate Staircase
This exhilarating escalier is fashioned from backlit
agate, which creates a colorful, shimmering effect
between floors. Call for pricing.

Gem Surfaces, 15125 N. Hayden Rd., Scottsdale, 480-779-0791,

3. DuPont Corian Illumination Series
Corian provides a radiant touch to rooms, with material that can be thermoformed, bent, textured and cut. $40-$80 per square foot installed (pricing varies depending on complexity, color and project location).

Signature Surfaces, 1678 W. Superstition Blvd., Apache Junction, 480-474-1149,

4. Salsa Linen Backsplash
This custom-cut, single-piece backsplash from Gravity Glas ($95-$125 per installed square foot) sits atop a burnished, hand-painted silver glass counter with a slate texture and a sand-blasted edge ($125-$275, installed).

Scottsdale Design Center, 15125 N. Hayden Rd., Scottsdale, 623-334-0808,