Help: Question about Where to End Backsplash Tile

CassandraJanuary 4, 2010

I have a situation where the soapstone countertop sticks out on the sides about 3/4" from the white upper cabinets. My tile guy is about to do a white subway tile backsplash. He thinks it will look best if the backsplash is on the same line as the upper cabinets; since they are both white, they'd form one long line. But this means, as stated, the backsplash will then hit the soapstone not at its edge but about 3/4" in. There are three such corners in the kitchen. The other way to go, of course, would be to run the tile on the line with the soapstone edge, but then where the tile meets the upper cabinets it would hang out a bit to the side. Any opinions on this?

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piaa

We have EXACTLY the same situation also with soapstone and white uppers and I "think" (99.999%) I am going with the edge of the soapstone (once I actually choose my backsplash)

Piaa

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 1:01PM
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squigs

I haven't done my backsplash yet, but when I do I'll end at the edge of the cabinet. I think it looks fine to let the counter overhang. I don't really care for the other look.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 1:21PM
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staceyneil

I agree with squigs. It makes more sense to me from a design standpoint to have the tile reference the wall cabinetry than the counter. The edge of the cabinet and the tile edge are both vertical edges, while the counter is a horizontal plane: a different thing.... just my 2 cents! (I have seen it done both ways...)

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 1:26PM
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piaa

I had never thought about it that way......hummm I might need to re think it (one more thing ha ha) but I think, and see, subway tile as being a horizontal line like the counter unless they are placed vertically then I think of them as being a vertical edge like the cabinet - but what the heck do I know I can't even pick a color (lol)

If anyone has pictures that would be a great help :)

Piaa

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 1:35PM
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weidiii

this picture from a friend's kitchen looks close to what you're talking about

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 1:35PM
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palimpsest

I tend to agree with the vertical vs. horizontal reference points, particularly for 3/4". I would line it up with the edge of the upper cabinet.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 1:49PM
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piaa

With all of my sample tile I am off to play right now - who knew there were soooooo many things to think about.........arrrrgh :)

Pia

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 2:01PM
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bill_vincent

If anyone has pictures that would be a great help

If you want to look, rather than load the thread with a bunch of pics, I show backsplashes both ways in my website's gallery... in fact, within the first 4 pictures:

Here is a link that might be useful: My Backsplashes Gallery

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 2:05PM
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theanimala

There was a thread about this a few months ago and the general consencus then was to end at countertop. That's what we did, but our overlap is very small it isn't very noticeable. I don't think either one will look wrong.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 3:47PM
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piaa

Thank you for your link Bill - being the King of tile do you have a preference?

theanimala - you have a fantastic kitchen - do you also by any chance, have a photo of your tile where it ends showing both the upper and counter?

Thanks

Piaa

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 4:41PM
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Cassandra

Thanks for your comments, everyone! Gotta make this decision by tomorrow morning. Bill, I see noticable examples of the tile backsplash being aligned with the countertops in your photos (and thus sticking out beyond the upper cabinets), but can you direct me to one of your photos that shows the opposite situation (which is what I think I will do)? Thanks.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 4:47PM
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Cassandra

Oh, sorry Bill, I just reread your post and note that you do point out the first four pictures. After reviewing the photos, I'm pretty convinced I'll line the tile up with the upper cabinets. I think the fourth photo you have in your line-up (the Burrows' one) looks odd.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 5:34PM
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Cassandra

I wanted to include a few photos. I forgot to say that I think my situation may be a bit more complicated because I also have the 4" soapstone backsplash. Moreover, how far beyond the upper cabinets that the soapstone countertop sticks out varies by about 1/2" on the two sides of the stove wall. So if I align the tile with the upper cabinets (as I most likely will), it will still look a tad uneven between the two ends. (Hope this makes sense).

Here's the one end of this wall with tile aligned with upper cabinets:

And here's the other end, where the soapstone would stick out a tad farther. Let me know what you think.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 6:10PM
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bill_vincent

On the left side, I'd run it right to the door frame. Don't worry about going all the way down with it. The space is small enough that it won't look strange. On the right side, though, I'd stop it flush with the outer edge of the upper cabinets. If you go out past, it'll look like someone "missed", and the window's too far from the countertop to go all the way to the window casing.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 7:21PM
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Cassandra

Thanks Bill. Just to clarify, though: on the right side (my lower photo) you said you'd align the tile with the upper cabinets. That's where the single tile in the photo is now placed. So it doesn't look funny to you that a good inch of soapstone countertop/4" backsplash juts out from the tile?

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 7:37PM
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bill_vincent

Piaa-- sorry I didn't see your question before, but I think I've answered it anyway. :-)
Marita-- Nope! :-)

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 12:22AM
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Mom2AEA

I am having a hard time figuring out if this is right. I have upper cabinets that end before the lower "backsplash"-- (aka countertops that have a small 3 inch backsplash) and I'm not sure if the glass tile for backsplash has ended in the right place. I liked it, but hubby now says it should end where the counter ends. I think it looks like we were too lazy to go up the wall with the tile (though we couldn't because cabinets wouldn't open on one side if we did). I know many of commented on this before, but wanted you to see the picture. I'll also send a picture of the other side of the kitchen. Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 12:41AM
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Mom2AEA

Here is another picture of my kitchen. I like it where it is. I know it seems to be a preference situation, but hubby thought it should end at end of counter top. See other picture too. I felt like if we ended at end of counter top, it would look like we were too lazy (or ran out of tile) to go all the way up the wall.

Please help!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 12:57AM
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