The Beauty of Variation

We believe the beauty of our materials is inextricably linked to the natural variations they possess. Every subtle shift of color, every uneven edge and unexpected inconsistency is a mark of authenticity that should be showcased and celebrated.


We have an intimate knowledge of the individual characteristics of every one of our products. We are in constant conversation with our clients about the variations they should expect to see, and with our partners overseas about how variation evolves within specific materials over time. Our goal is to educate our clients and enable them to discover the perfect materials for their projects.

Variation is the key to creating spaces that are deeply personal, truly exquisite, and always one of a kind.

"Variation is inherent in all things natural and handmade. it's not a flaw—It's a beautiful feature."

Franck & Alexis Nataf
Owners, Exquisite Surfaces


Natural Materials

Natural Stone

As every quarry is unique, the types and degrees of variation that can be found in natural stone are wide-ranging. We work very closely with our quarries to monitor these variations, and to determine which will be present in the stones we select and source. Contrasts in coloration, unique veining patterns and differences in fossilization levels are the most common variations, determined by each individual stone’s density, mineral composition, and accumulations of organic matter.

Once our stones are sourced and fabricated, they are treated with a variety of finishing techniques that may highlight or deemphasize certain types of variation that are present. Ultimately, the process of transforming this raw material into a beautiful, usable product is both scientific and artistic, in equal measure. 

Our natural stone showcases the stunning geological diversity of our planet.

natural wood

As a living resource, the variations we see in wood develop over time and in relation to the geographic location of each forest. The oak in our wood collections features variations that can be attributed to both the mineral content of the soil (coloration), as well as the climate and rainfall patterns of the forest (rings and graining).

Additional variations are revealed during fabrication, as different sections of each tree contain a randomized presence of knots and splits. As a result of their singular characteristics and tannin levels, planks may also react uniquely during certain coloration and finishing processes.

Every plank is carefully crafted to accentuate its individual character.


Handmade Materials


Our tile products are crafted by hand using traditional techniques that have been passed down for centuries. From hand-poured decorative cement to hand-molded ceramic, every single tile will possess its own unique characteristics.

The artisanal nature of their construction means that slight irregularities and imperfections are to be expected from piece-to-piece. Our cement tile collections display subtle variations in both color and pattern from batch to batch. Our ceramic tiles are distinguished by their hand-cut edges and slight surface undulations. Lastly, our enamel-glazed Fez collection features strikingly rich color variations in every tile.

In the hands of master craftsmen, no two tiles will ever be exactly alike.


Manufactured Materials

Decorative porcelain was first introduced in the 15th century, but this versatile material is widely used in building applications to this day. Composed of fine clays and minerals that are molded, pressed and fired at extreme temperatures, porcelain is a beautiful, durable, and no less variable flooring alternative.

The high end porcelain collections we offer are crafted in Italy. Our trusted partners share our love for the variations found in authentic natural materials and use cutting edge technologies to recreate them during production. Unique fossil and veining patterns are strategically imposed onto the surface of every tile, flawlessly replicating the dynamic look and feel of natural stone.

Matching nature’s true spirit with expert skill and superior craftsmanship.


Reclaimed Materials

Installed, in some cases, centuries ago, our reclaimed wood, stone, tile and terra cotta products are respectfully handled and restored to highlight their historic depth of character. Originally sourced from countless locations, these rare, antique materials demonstrate a combination of both natural variations and variations resulting from their initial fabrication and handcrafting processes.

The appearance of every individual piece and plank has also intensified with consistent use and the passage of time—their inherited wear and patina create stunning new installations full of unique characteristics, colorations and irregularities.

Our reclaimed collections capture historic beauty, enriched by time.

Truly Exquisite Surfaces

Variation, in its many forms, is an intrinsic attribute of natural materials that we shouldn’t just anticipate, but appreciate. We firmly believe it is the most essential and thrilling aspect of the products we offer. But we also recognize that variation is subjective and complex, and that this overview is by no means comprehensive.

The best way to get to know the intricacies of variation, and how it will present itself in each of our products is to start a conversation with your local E/S showroom team. Their extensive knowledge and product expertise are your resource, and guiding you to unexpected, perfectly imperfect materials is their mission.