Is this backsplash too busy?

magicpFebruary 1, 2013

So 4 years after completing our new kitchen (with the gardenweb reference guide of course), I am now ready to choose a backsplash. I have always thought I wanted a creamy white subway tile backsplash to go with our creamy white cabinets, soapstone counter and cherry island. But in my search for tiles, I found this tumbled carrara marble tile that has caught my eye. I love it but can't decide if once its on the walls, it'll seem too busy and I'll tire of it. I love all the white/ cream kitchens with soapstone that I have seen on here. What do you think?
Here is a pic of my kitchen overall and then a close up of the tile. This or creamy white subway tile??

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inspiredisabel

Hmm... tough call! The tumbled marble is beautiful and not at all loud. The subway tile is great, too. I'm kind of in the same position in choosing subway or a smaller pattern. But with your counters I would personally choose the tumbled carrara.

Good luck! It's looks fantastic thus far!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 6:43PM
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cat_mom

I like it, so my vote is, use it! :)

This post was edited by cat_mom on Fri, Feb 1, 13 at 18:44

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 6:43PM
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ellendi

Do the tumbled!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 6:47PM
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blondelle

Honestly, I wouldn't go any smaller than a 1" high mosaic tile. If it were me I would go with a 2 X 4 or a 3 x 6 subway instead where you can appreciate some of the veining and beauty of the marble. This just reads as mottled gray. The subway tile is reading a bit pinkish, but maybe its the lighting or my monitor.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 6:51PM
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blondelle

Honestly, I wouldn't go any smaller than a 1" high mosaic tile. If it were me I would go with a 2 X 4 or a 3 x 6 subway instead where you can appreciate some of the veining and beauty of the marble. This just reads as mottled gray. The subway tile is reading a bit pinkish, but maybe its the lighting or my monitor.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 6:53PM
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blondelle

Honestly, I wouldn't go any smaller than a 1" high mosaic tile. If it were me I would go with a 2 X 4 or a 3 x 6 subway instead where you can appreciate some of the veining and beauty of the marble. This just reads as mottled gray. The subway tile is reading a bit pinkish, but maybe its the lighting or my monitor.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 6:55PM
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nosoccermom

Subway; I think the smaller tiles will get "old" pretty quickly.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 6:56PM
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eandhl

I like it and this is coming from someone that doesn't like really busy back splashes.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 6:58PM
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blondelle

Honestly, I wouldn't go any smaller than a 1" high mosaic tile. If it were me I would go with a 2 X 4 or a 3 x 6 subway instead where you can appreciate some of the veining and beauty of the marble. This just reads as mottled gray. The subway tile is reading a bit pinkish, but maybe its the lighting or my monitor.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 6:59PM
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catbuilder

I like it. It gives life to the space.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 7:16PM
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CEFreeman

I like it because it's a wash of neutrals.
If it were a bunch of different colors, oh, yes, it would be obnoxious after a while.
What you're showing is cool and calm. I highly doubt you'll notice it enough after a while to tire of it!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 7:20PM
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magicp

sorry, here is the pic of the whole kitchen. thanks for all of your opinions!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 7:32PM
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karin_mt

I vote for the tumbled marble - it's soft yet interesting.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 7:38PM
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inspiredisabel

Can I vote again?? ;)

After seeing your entire kitchen I definitely vote for the tumbled marble!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 7:44PM
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palimpsest

I don't think the marble is too busy. But I would look at a larger format in the same marble for comparison. Your kitchen could use a little subtle pattern, and marble of some sort could be it.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 7:45PM
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berardmr

Where did you get the tumbled marble? I definitely vote for it.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 9:30PM
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msrose

I love the tumbled marble! I'd also like to know where you found it.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 9:33PM
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oldbat2be

Larger format marble. It reads too small IMO. If you want, post some pictures taken from straight on, with the tile samples there too, and we can photoshop for you.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 10:00PM
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magicp

Photoshop would be great. Does this photo of the tile work?
The tile is Hampton Carrara smooth rectangle tile from The TileShop. its a 12 x 12 sheet.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 10:17PM
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sixtyohno

I love the tumbled marble but also think a larger format would be better.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 10:42PM
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taggie

I'm not a fan, would prefer a larger tile. With the small tiles the backsplash will read busy and be kind of a first-thing-you-see focal point of the kitchen. Not a personal fan of that myself, but many people really love that look and perhaps it's what you're going for. If so, go for it. If not, look for a larger tile in similar color tones.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 10:42PM
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toepytoe

I looked at marble tile in the subway 3x6 and the smaller thinner size. I ended up with the 3x6, it complimented my counter top. The smaller tiles were to busy and distracting.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 11:25PM
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dretutz

Love your space and the tumbled little tiles are p=e=r=f=e=c=t
Really subtile colors so it does not look busy. The subways are a yawn here.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 11:57PM
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hosenemesis

I love the look of the marble but I think it would look prettier in a larger tile. Have you seen Kevin's backsplash?

Here is a link that might be useful: Large marble tile

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 12:55AM
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eam44

Too busy for what? Your palette is essentially empty. You have white cabinets, white walls, a black counter, and you are choosing between bs tiles that are white, or white with grey veining. Either one will work. The marble will add a very little bit of visual interest.

But I have to ask, why have you worked so hard to avoid color? Even neutral colors can add warmth and interest to your space. the glazes below are from Fireclay's Vitrail series.

Shell

Antique Bone Odyssey Silver Haze
    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 2:20AM
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oldbat2be

Great picture of the tile, thanks. Now if you could post pictures of the area(s) you would like photoshopped, again please fron straight on, I will get started.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 7:12AM
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hobokenkitchen

I do not find it busy and agree you could use some visual interest. I love that tile!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 7:20AM
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mitchdesj

It's a strong look and I love it; I really think your space can take it, lovely kitchen by the way.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 7:59AM
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oldbat2be

No need, these were ok.

Version 1:

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 8:51AM
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oldbat2be

Version 2, with a larger tile:

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 8:52AM
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oldbat2be

Full kitchen:

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 8:53AM
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blondelle

I'm going to add my $.02 again and hopefully it posts only once this time. Sorry about that. Looking at the tile close up I feel it might be a bit too rustic looking for your kitchen. From the larger photo of your kitchen, even with the beadboard, it has more of a formal look. The tile is a random placement which also makes it more informal. I would prefer something like the tile below. A small herringbone mosaic, a basketweave or a small hex pattern would also be pretty and more in keeping with the look of your kitchen.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 9:04AM
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magicp

Oldbat2be, THANK YOU, that is so cool. I went to bed last night and woke up to find my kitchen "tiled". I'll show my husband but I think I agree with those who think its a bit small and busy. It is a beautiful tile and I love it in the first photoshop pic but I designed the kitchen as a creamy white kitchen and I think when this is on all, it will be darker and busier than my orignal intentions. I also agree though that we need something to finish that backsplash. I have samples of larger carrara but they have much more white white in them which makes the creamy cabinets look more yellow in contrast. Not what I'm going for. Anyone know of a marble that is more creamy and grey? Possible the one blondelle suggested? Thank you for all of your opinions!! The search continues......

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 9:28AM
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blondelle

A calacatta marble tile would be much less gray and be creamier than the carrara which generally runs towards the gray. It's more expensive than the carrara though. Daltile has a creamy white marble with many mosaic options called First Snow. The link is below. A crema marfil mini mosaic with cream grout would also be pretty in your kitchen. That's on that page too. Here's one that would be creamier.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 11:26AM
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blondelle

WHOOPS! Scratch the crema marfil. I didn't realize the counters were soapstone. Any of the First Snow tile should work. Love the one above although it's a smaller 1/2" X 1". They don't have many sizes as they only have larger subway in 3 X 6.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 11:35AM
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magicp

Thanks blondelle -I'll check out the calacatta marble in person if I can find it. I like it too.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 5:31PM
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PRO
Sophie Wheeler

None of the above. The small tile is too busy and the plain white is too blah. If you do a white subway, use some type of colored liner with it. But, it would look much better with some type of pattern and color for some warmth. In fact, I think that a wood look ceramic tile would be just the ticket.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 7:13PM
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