Backsplash idea to go with my vintage tile in my green galley

GWloloFebruary 24, 2013

For those of you who have seen my kitchen remodel saga, we are finally at the stage where we have to seriously start considering backsplash. I was strongly considering ABB just to give me a break but it may be too much hassle with code and DH really wants it to be done.

Here is a choice that I kind of like but would like some feedback on.

First the vintage Stonelight Tiles from 1940s that I want to reuse

My long green galley with soapstone counters. We plan to leave it gray and unoiled.

This is the best view I have of the cooktop area. The holes are in the counter behind across the sink. I have a 36in induction and a 12in gas.

Hood- this is not my hood but it is similar. It is modernaire PS26. The color is darker and sort of matches the burgundy on the vintage tile. For the color pros, it is same as ilve burgundy.

One more view of the tile with the cabinet colors

Backsplash tile option by Heath tile.There are 3 levels of glaze and 2 colors in this sample board. The grout is a dark grout. I love how it looks like leaves and twigs

Here it is with my vintage tile. I think the dark grout really makes it work with my vintage tile. I was thinking 4x3 in a panel behind the cooktop. The extra tiles can be used elsewhere or not.

The same tile is available in lighter shades and here it is with a light grout. I think the colors can be mixed up and I think dark grout works better.

OK folks - does this work even a little bit?

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I am not an expert, but I love the color choices and the vintage tile is exquisite

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 3:53AM
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How does it look with the soapstone?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 6:55AM
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robo (z6a)

I love all the color! And I love both tile choices.

Do you picture using both the vintage tiles and the heath tiles behind the stove only? Is that how many Stonelight you have?

To me the Heath tiles and the vintage tiles are both statement tiles, very attention getting, so I would be inclined to use one or the other. And since I love vintage, I'd vote for those. Especially since they'll be tied in with the gorgeous hood.

So I'm no expert on 1940s tiles, but I could see those in a panel behind stove with dark pencil liner surrounding them, then a nice matching-size handmade tile in cream or white picked out from the stonelight tiles with the pencil liner accent on the rest of the backsplash.

It's a bit hard to tell with the lighting in your photos but I think your kitchen has a lot of dark tones? The cabinets look pretty dark? Do you prefer a darker sort of jewel box experience or a lighter brighter one?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 10:48AM
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I only have 16 vintage tiles. So I thought a picture frame behind the cooktop and use the heath tile as field tile for rest of the backsplash. If I can get to the house, I will try to take more pictures today. The ceiling is low and is wood t&g. I do have under counter LEDs and 2 big 30x30 skylights and light through the windows and the french doors. It will never be light and airy kitchen. I would like it to feel warm and cozy and have enough light for functionality.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 12:02PM
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I love the darker tile with the grout. I agree, it looks like leaves and twigs, which I love, and it looks great with the vintage tile! I bet it will look good with the soapstone, too. The only thing that give me pause is the photos of your kitchen and the photo of the sample colors look really off on my monitor. If the cabinets in the lighting of the kitchen look like the samples shown, I think it will be great.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 12:17PM
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robo (z6a)

I definitely love all the color! I am not a designer person so they may feel differently, but I'm wondering where the eye gets to rest --- where is the negative space that will make all the beautiful elements in your kitchen really stand out to the eye and work together.

When I look at that gorgeous Heath tile, I think it would look beautiful in a white, cream, or wood kitchen where it would stand out. And because the shapes are really busy, it really would hold its own on its own without fighting with the strong geometrics in your vintage tiles.

Another issue is with the color which I find too similar in tone to your cabinets. It feels to me more like a wall or sea of green, and quite a strong green at that.

If you were willing to use the vintage tile somewhere else, I could see going with the lighter green Heath tile as a lovely backsplash that would complement your cabinets in a serene way.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 12:26PM
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Just thought I'd add some nonpro 2cents

Your vintage tile is really lovely, and deserves to be the star of the show. To echo the other commenters, the motion, sheen and color variances of the tile selection with the dark grout may compete a bit with the featured vintage tile.

I see you are pulling out the colors of the tile into the hood. Is the blue in the tile also being featured somewhere?

If you go with the green (or cream), I would see how a single color, single sheen works, and then pick up one of the tile colors (blue or burgundy) in a pencil liner or occasional random tile. You could also switch to one of Heath's 4x4 field tiles or 2x8 subway.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 12:58PM
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I adore all the colors in your kitchen. I am concerned that the gorgeous Heath Tile with the gorgeous vintage tile might be too much. I think you need to use the vintage tile because it is the tie in to the hood. It's your kitchen though, and you have made great choices so far. I say proceed with caution and if you think it will work, go for it.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 2:29PM
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My thought was to essentially use the Heath tile as a field tile. The wall of green is my concern as well. I am not sure if I am going for strong statement presence for any tile. All the colors are fairly intense and my thought is that they will balance out so that no one color will shout out "look at me". I want the vintage tile to be there and have a presence but not necessarily shout. Also as my kitchen is a longish galley, there is really no perspective where someone sees the vintage tile straight on unless they are cooking or standing in the landing area. I will try to take a couple of perspective shots and post it.

On using other 4x4s or cream or white tiles as field tiles. I have gone to fireclay multiple times as their tile time is similar to stonelight but nothing has really clicked. I am not able to picture the pencil liner around the vintage tile picture frame and the continung elsewhere idea.

Robotropolis - Negative space for eye to rest --> I think I sort of get it but not sure how to achieve it :) Hopefully the wise ones in this forum will guide me and prevent me from going astray.

Localeater - you are right. I do want to use the vintage tile as that has been the inspiration from the beginning and it is the tie in to the hood.

Mabel - I specified the colrs based on the BM color sample sheets, The cabinet guys mixed it in the lacquer they use for spraying. I will recheck but the issue maybe the light when I took the photos. It was late evening on a cloudy day with only my splash.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 4:37PM
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I really like the Heath tile, and given what you said about kitchen perspectives I think it will work. While I get what others have said about it being busy, about it competing, I think that your kitchen layout means that you will never be stepping back to take in the whole thing at once. You'll be appreciating the tile from 2 feet away, where you are standing to chop something. And from that perspective I think it will be fabulous.

I like that the vintage tiles look like flowers to the twigs and leaves of the Heath tile.

I have two concerns, though. First, in the pic you posted of the Heath tile, the gloss tiles are glaringly obvious. That could be just a bad angle of the light in the pic, but I think I would prefer a mix of just matte tiles. Second, you didn't show a pic of the Heath tile with the cabinet color. They seem like they are probably pretty similar greens, which could result in too much of one color. Or if the colors are close, but not quite, the difference could be glaring in a not-so-good way.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 5:26PM
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Cawaps - That is helpful. I do not have samples of the heath tiles in that shape. But I have them in that color. I will take some pics with the doors and post. I agree about the super shiny ones. The colors have a lot of variation and I can play with the sheen.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 5:52PM
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We will help you become an ABB alumnus. I love your vintage tile and love Heath tiles. If the colors coordinate - go for it, if not go with the lighter tiles so the vintage tiles pop more!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 6:47PM
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I love your vintage tile too and would use them with a darker warm gray grout. I too think the surounding tile should be more low key to let the vintage tiles shine. Maybe a simple cream tile in a larger format (6x6) than the vintage tiles (4x4?). If you still want to use the green leaf tiles maybe you could use them in back of your sink(s). With the stove and sink on opposite walls I think that might work. What color is your flooring? Is it tile?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 7:15PM
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a2gemini - I am not able to find the simple low key field tile that I like and I feel works with my vintage tile. The a-ha for me with the heath tile was actually the use of the dark grout. Instead of using a pencil liner or some other molding to frame the vintage tile, the dark grout made it work with the heath wide hex as is.

lannegreene - The vintage tiles are actually 8x8. The heath wide hex tile is 5 1/4 X2. So it is not tiny mosaics.

Here is the website for theHeath tiles

The floor is tile in a reddish saltillo color.

This post was edited by GWlolo on Tue, Feb 26, 13 at 0:10

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 8:25PM
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Can't you use the same colors of Heath tile and the same burgundy colored grout, but in a more simple pattern? The hex twist just seems too busy to me. And this is coming from someone with a very busy backsplash, so it is rare for me to say that. Sorry, but it seems to take away from the beautiful vintage tile rather than compliment it.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 9:02PM
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I actually love the Heath green, though I agree to skip the highest gloss tile and just use the other two. A restaurant near us has these (or very similar) colors in another of their tile shapes with the dark grout and I find myself just gazing at it whenever we're there! Love love love. So I'd embrace the green and go that route, assuming it works with your paint and cabinet colors.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 12:36AM
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