Once declared The New Neutral, gray has ripened into a vital component of sophisticated commercial palettes. Nowhere is that more evident than in surfaces, which compensate for the absence of in-your-face color by shifting emphasis to pattern and texture. The contrasts are compelling, from the timelessness of richly veined quartz slabs to the playfulness of speckled rubber flooring. Woods like European oak retain their graphic grains despite the gray wash, but check the tile—it might be porcelain.Surface interest emerges in dimensional stone mosaics and jacquard-woven vinyl. And since it offers the broadest spectrum of any color, gray is a natch to mix or match.