For those who are looking for the most innovative surface materials, Opustone continues to deliver. Here we catch up with Eric Schigiel, the Miami-based company’s Vice President and Co-Founder to discuss their new Value Vault, market trends and how this 31-year-old bachelor spends his free time.

What is Opustone’s hottest product right now?

There’s a product that we just started bringing in, a black marble, Planking. It’s long, 6 inches wide and looks like wood, but it’s not wood, it’s actually stone. We have that now in three colors.

How does your company set itself apart other tile and granite companies?

We actually just opened a center, it’s called Value Vault by Opustone. It’s perfect for the do-it-yourself homeowner. You have the product available immediately as opposed to in a showroom, and it’s 30 to 50 percent cheaper. You’re getting the same quality, the same name and the same material at a fraction of the cost.

Opustone carries only imported stone. Is there one country where you find the most impressive materials?

Italy always produces numerous designs, finishes and products and everybody else seems to follow. Just like in fashion, it’s the industry leader.

You said you “knew nothing” about this industry when you founded Opustone in 2001. What did you imagine yourself doing?

I had no plans to go into this business but what I can say is that once you are in this business, it’s very difficult to get out—it’s kind of addicting.

Where do you live?

I’m a single bachelor living in Miami Beach.

Where do you like to go out?

I’m sure you’ve heard this a hundred times but the best restaurant in South Beach, hands off, is Prime One Twelve. I go to Mondrian, a friend of mine is one of the owners there. We go there, have a good time with him. The Florida Room in the Delano.

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