Is a 4 inch granite backsplash out of style?

terri76January 19, 2013

The lady where I am ordering my granite said a lot of people order their granite with the matching 4 inch backsplash, Yet when I look on line most of the pictures have decorative tile etc. as the backsplash. Does she just want to sell me more granite or is the 4inch granite backsplash still "in"? Thanks

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ck_squared

Well, one of the contractors we got a bid from tried to tell me that *everyone* is still using the matching 4 inch backsplash around here. I told him I didn't like it and wasn't going to do that. He argued with me. That's one of the (many) reasons we chose someone else.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 7:18PM
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writersblock

It's definitely out here, but when I look at decor mags, it appears that many decorators haven't gotten the memo on this from GW. I would do whatever appeals to you.

This post was edited by writersblock on Sat, Jan 19, 13 at 21:56

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 7:37PM
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boschboy

I would say it is still 50/50. I found it more of a personal choice and I am happy I went with it.

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0415554711974.html?6href>

Still love it after all these months!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 8:20PM
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gr8daygw

What we are seeing here are taller than 4" more like 6" It looks cool. I like it. It looks modern and updated because it's not 4" and it still gives an opportunity to do something else above. I've seen it in magazines lately as well.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 8:23PM
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amandapadgett

My husband wanted to just do the 4" granite backsplash and I about had a stroke. LOL I said I wasn't going through all this to put a 4" backsplash and call it done.

So, we went with tile from the granite up, except for behind the sink, where we did a 3 inch granite backsplash then tile. This is because our water would likely discolor the travertine tiles over the years. I hate the look, but agree that functionally it was a good choice.

To answer the question - I think if you want that "high-end," custom look, the trend is to do full tile or full granite (from counter to cabinet).

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 9:47PM
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grlwprls

I'm not planning a tile backsplash by my main sink *and* I need to hide a wonky corner so 4" backsplash it is! I had a 4" backsplash in my last house because my soapstone was damaged in transit, and the 4" backsplash covered the issue. Oddly, I ended up really liking the look.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 10:20PM
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catamount90

I opted out of getting the matching granite backsplash because I knew that eventually I wanted to do full length one out of tile and I wanted to save the money. The tile I purchased was about the same cost as the 4" granite would've been.

Here is my DIY tiling project as of today... all I've got left is to grout.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 10:23PM
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breezygirl

When this topic is discussed here, many are of the opinion that a 4" strip is dated. (One thread linked below.) I agree, especially if you are going to tile above that strip to the uppers. Most folks just tile the whole backsplash area from counter to uppers. Still, you do see some folks using the strip. When done with only paint above, it can look simple and not quite so dated.

I have a peninsula in my kitchen that wraps around to the DR. I hadn't needed to do any bs at all-- just caulk the seams where the marble met the drywall. When my fabricator made a cutting error, the gaps were too large to caulk so we compromised with a 2" marble strip to hide the seams. I don't mind the look as somehow it feels fresher than the 4" strip builders love to slap up. If you didn't want to tile, but wanted to ensure the seam was covered, you might consider a tiny splashlette like mine.

Catamount--that looks amazing! Great DIY job.

Here is a link that might be useful: Just one of many threads

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 12:50AM
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monicakm_gw

We remodeled our kitchen 10+ years ago (couldn't have done it without GW) :) The 4" backsplash was out back then! Apparently it still is but like everyone will tell you, if YOU like it DO it!
Monica

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 1:05AM
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GreenDesigns

It was never in style, or out of style. It was just the accepted functional way of doing things because that's what you got when you ordered the standard laminate countertop. As granite became more popular, more people wanted to emphasize that they didn't choose laminate and eliminated the 4" backsplash. I mean, what's the use of spending all of that money only to have someone think it's a really good imitation of stone? So, the full height alternate material backsplash became "in style" for those who did stone counters. And then the folks who chose laminate started copying that with a flat deck counter and laminates that are exact copies of real stones.

The 4" is making a resurgence in designs. Not that it ever went away completely. Along with wallpaper as a backsplash instead of tile. Or other materials like stainless or resin or glass panels for the full height.

This is one particular case that the "do what you love" crowd is actually right. There's no "in" or "out" so much as there are more "classic" and "popular" looks. Either can work well. It will depend on the style of your kitchen and it's other components what would look "best".

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 2:06AM
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eam44

Yes.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 8:48AM
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palimpsest

I sometimes specify 1 to 1-1/2 inch to get the change in actual materials up of the counter a bit so the caulk line between the two isn't buried in the corner.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 9:06AM
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hags00

I love the people here that declare themselves the style gurus!!! Backsplash is a matter of preference. There is not a right or a wrong or an in style or out of style. It is a matter of the look you are trying to achieve. I have done 3 kitchens in the last 4 years. I did a full tile backsplash from the granite/quartz counter up on two. In my last kitchen (which is my current home), I chose a 5" thin matching quartz backsplash. I was looking for very simple lines and to showcase the paint color above the quartz. I did not want the busyness of all the grout lines. Not right, not wrong just different. I like it!

My personal view is I see some beautiful stone counters that miss being showcased by the tile above them and then I see some that the tile is just the finishing touch it needs!

Don't let anyone tell you you have to have a 4" splash or you shouldn't have a 4" splash. Look at a lot of pictures and see what look you like.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 9:29AM
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zaphod42

I'm working through the same question. I like the look without, but someone brought up the grout join between backsplash and countertop will get cruddy over time and that the extension of the quartz up the wall a bit will remain more pristine over time. Makes sense theoretically. Thoughts about this practical aspect?

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 10:03AM
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writersblock

Any time you change planes you caulk, not grout. If you use the same material for your backsplash, you still caulk, so I don't see any difference there, zaphod.

EDIT Unless you're talking about something with a pre-formed built-in backsplash. I've seen that for laminate (and then only the 4" splash), but not for any other material. If that's what you mean, do you have an example of it in quartz? I wouldn't think it's possible, but if it is I'd be curious to see it.

This post was edited by writersblock on Sun, Jan 20, 13 at 11:02

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 11:00AM
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michellemarie

Yes. It is a very dated look. The only reason the installer wanted to do it is because than he doesn't have to be as exact on getting it close to the wall. Everyone knows it is for the installer's benefit for you to go along with this.
Another thing they will want you to do is go with a negative reveal on you undermount sink. Again, it is easier for them because it is less time consuming.
All of the high end houses forgo 4" backsplash and negative reveal.
Good Luck. And always fight for what you want!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 11:05AM
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msrose

michellemarie - What's wrong with a negative reveal? I will be replacing my countertops before long, so just want to educate myself on this. I know the positive reveal is trickier to do and that certainly makes me nervous that they might mess up my granite slab trying to get it right.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 12:05PM
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palimpsest

If you use the same material, you can epoxy the short piece on or have it fabricated with a slight radius, like using sanitary base tile in a bath. Then the joint ends up being between the two materials, off the counter, if you tile the rest.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 12:26PM
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writersblock

Thanks for clarifying that, palimpsest.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 12:40PM
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palimpsest

These ultra expensive and relatively recent kitchens all have short backsplashes, with the exception of something full-height behind the range, usually.



    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 12:45PM
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function_first

Yes. Not proclaiming myself a style guru, but she asked and I'm sharing my own opinion.

The thing about putting it in there is that if you concede to doing it, the fabricator will take the opportunity to give himself a good amount of leeway (the thickness of the granite piece - an inch or so?) in fitting the countertop to the space -- so you WILL BE STUCK with the piece being there whether you tire of it down the road or not. I would always specify it without to get a really good fit with small or no gaps between the countertop and the wall. I have a 4" backsplash in a kitchenette that I no longer want, yet it's staying because I know I can't cover the mammoth gap that's undoubtedly beneath it with the thickness of a single piece of tile. And that stinks.

Forego it.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 12:52PM
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oldryder

Yes. It is a very dated look. The only reason the installer wanted to do it is because than he doesn't have to be as exact on getting it close to the wall. Everyone knows it is for the installer's benefit for you to go along with this.
Another thing they will want you to do is go with a negative reveal on you undermount sink. Again, it is easier for them because it is less time consuming.
All of the high end houses forgo 4" backsplash and negative reveal.

michellemarie: your statements reflect considerable ignorance and are completely inaccurate. read the following and be educated.
1st. "a dated look". I do high end kitchens every month in million dollar homes and roughly 1/3 of those homes have matching granite splash. In stones with movement the splash is cut such that the grain of the countertop appears to flow up the wall which is a beautiful effect. roughly 1/3 of the homes do tile splash and the other third do full height granite or some alternative like embossed metal. so, no, it's not dated.

2. regarding getting the stone as exact to the wall .. this is true that a measure with splash allows for more fudge factor in the measure. However, any competent fabricator deals with irregular walls, corners, and cabinets on every measure so it's not a big deal particularly with the photo or laser based measuring systems in common use in the industry.

3. regarding a "negative reveal" or overhang. It is actually HARDER for the fabricator to produce an overhang the fabricator has to create a custom cutout or CAD file since virtually ALL of cutout files have a reveal despite the fact that an overhang is usually preferred by the end user. The OEM cardboard templates and on-line CAD files all have reveals because in many localities the building codes require that "any surface in the food prep area be naked eye visible".
The reveal exposes the rim of the sink to scratches, it creates another surface to clean, and most importantly, it exposes the caulk between the sink and countertop. after 3 years that caulk is yellow and cracked and looks like hell. In my shop we customize the OEM cutout (more work, not less)to make a very small overhang (1/16") and I've only had 2 customers in several thousand jobs that insisted on a reveal after we showed them the very slight overhang.

So, completely contrary to your assertions, high end home often have granite backsplash and will select a slight overhang on the sink cutout 99% of the time if given the option.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 12:53PM
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zelmar

For me, it all depends on the kitchen and the materials/colors involved.

We renovated our kitchen a long time ago, back in 2004-5. We are still working on small things and we will some day change out windows and add a back door to the dining area connected to the kitchen.

My entire kitchen is probably considered dated at this point. But way back when we were planning, this same issue was bandied about. We decided to add the short backsplash. The height is about 3 1/2" in most places but rises just a bit higher to meet the matching sills under the windows.

I'm still really happy we did the short backsplash. I like the way the dark stone interacts with our medium brown cabinets and the light green beadboard above it. I like the way the backsplash envelopes the counters and the kitchen as a whole.. I like the way our windows are anchored to the counters by the backsplash.

catamount, your tile is beautiful.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 2:04PM
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lesinsf

I am so happy to read this vigorous debate about back splash height because I am in the midst of trying to figure out what to do in my new kitchen. I have selected a 1"x1" glass mosaic tile (in 12"x12" sheets) -- first decision made (phew!). The tile is pretty snazzy -- different shades of blue glass with a few stainless steel tiles scattered throughout. The walls are painted white (not green like in the drawing).

So now I have to figure out:
1) how high to go on the west wall with no cabinets?
2) how high to go on the north wall with the cabinets?
3) do I tile to the underside of the hood or to the top of the wall cabs (I have already ruled out going up to the ceiling)

The hood is 30" wide in a 36" opening (intentional for more open space and future expansion possibilities). The outlets and switches are at about 5" from the counters and the counters don't have an integrated back splash. Doing a 4" strip would be the easiest, but would it look strange adjacent to the big swath of tile under/behind the hood.

Thanks in advance for weighing in and helping me think this through!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 2:51AM
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debrak_2008

lesinif, You will get more responses if you start a new thread of your own.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 8:25AM
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