Help me choose backsplash

kswartwoutFebruary 3, 2013

I'm feeling overwhelmed and could use some help with choosing a backsplash. I am going to be painting the cabinets Simply White (BM). I will keep the granite, which is a shiny greenish granite (would LOVE white marble, but not in the budget, maybe someday!). I am trying to choose between honed carrera marble or polished carrera marble for the backsplash. Etching concerns aside, what would look best from day 1? Also, if you think this will just be too busy, and plain white subway tile would look better, please say so. My tile guy starts in 1 week and I don't know what to do! Thank you! BTW, I'll also be changing out the hardware to chrome or maybe a brushed nickel.

Also, if you know of any pictures with dark shiny green granite and marble backsplashes, I'd love to see. I haven't really found any, mostly just soapstone and marble.

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oh my....just have to ask do you really dislike it so much to proceed,seriously? the only thing I would change is the white knobs and handles.Not much help. [and I seriously love the backsplash..I'd clear those counters in half a second and be gazing at that to the point you'd have to drag me out....a couple pieces of tall porcelain pottery and wow-like no one else's counter/backsplash in the whole world.]

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 11:10PM
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Etching isn't a problem for a bs unless you have a tendency to splash a lot - a whole lot. You can chose a honed tile to minimize the likelihood of etching in case you experience myoclonus while squeezing lemons daily.

I would look for a white marble with very little veining to keep the look as simple as possible with your complicated stone (that looks like either butterfly green or verde ubutuba to me). Similarly, I would look for large format tiles, not small subways. My vote is for the honed 6" x 12" Thassos marble tile below. Make sure you like the white with your proposed cabinet color before you paint.

I know you didn't ask about this - I love painted cabinets, but I wouldn't paint yours if they were mine. I'd paint the ceiling, change the hardware, and possibly the bs, that's it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tile

This post was edited by EAM44 on Sun, Feb 3, 13 at 23:24

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 11:19PM
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Gosh, I love your kitchen just as it is. Lovely lamps and a cool ceiling.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 1:59AM
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I love your kitchen as is, too. I would only change out the hardware and paint the ceiling.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 6:07AM
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Gosh, you are going to loathe us all. My first thought was "Oh no she is going to paint those gorgeous cabinets!" The lights are gorgeous, the hood is lovely, it is a great kitchen.
Paint the ceiling, change the hardware. Then if you still aren't happy change the backsplash or the island top.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 6:42AM
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Beautiful kitchen the way it is.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 7:17AM
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I actually like the ceiling, lol. That's a wow kitchen. Maybe you could start with just painting the island to make sure you really like it. I don't think Carrera would be the best choice. I like the subway better. JMO

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 7:21AM
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I have to agree. I have and love white kitchens, but your wood is in such good shape and looks great.
I would change the backsplash though. I can see that. But, I am not sure about marble with the green counter.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 7:33AM
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That is an absolutely beautiful kitchen that isn't the flavor of the week that you are attempting to recreate. Leave GOOD design alone and don't remuddle it. I wouldn't even change the knobs. They are an appropriate choice to the kitchen. I wouldn't paint the ceiling either. It's completely Architectural Digest worthy as is without touching a thing.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 7:44AM
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Sorry, I just clicked on your name to see on what date you registered for GW. I thought maybe you'd just signed up to have a little fun with us, and that your post was spam! :)

So you really do want to paint those cabs, huh? Your kitchen is drop dead gorgeous as is, but I understand wanting a space that fits one's style. I hope you achieve it one way or another!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 8:34AM
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So sorry, but have to agree - beautiful kitchen and gorgeous cabinets. I think changing the backsplash would make such a difference - give a whole new look, if that's what you're looking for.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 8:42AM
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There are people all over this board who are chasing their tail searching for something "timeless" for their kitchen. You already have that. It's not part of the current "trendy" look of pale marble operating rooms, but it IS as "timeless" as you can get precisely because it's not part of the current trend. Those warm woods and calming greens will never be out of style. It is PERFECT as it is. Put in some new living brass knobs on it if you want to be ahead of the next style curve in your neighborhood. Brass is back in a big way, and simple wood cabinets are also a strong contender for the next trend. Be on the leading edge instead of following the Christopher Peacock tone on tone that he isn't even really doing anymore.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 9:17AM
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I have always LOVED white kitchens, but I agree with everybody else here: Don't paint your cabinets. I also really like the ceiling but understand that it may be a bit dark.
Is this a copper hood? If yes, perhaps copper hardware. If not, nickel.
The only thing I'm not too crazy about is the backsplash. Perhaps some light greenish subway tile. Lighter than most in the thread below, bit still interesting for starters, maybe.

Here is a link that might be useful: green subway

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 9:27AM
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I'm going to echo what everyone else has already said...It's a beautiful kitchen as is. I cannot think of a single thing that you could do that would improve on what you already have.

That said, I can understand your wanting to change the backsplash (to lessen the dark) but marble just isn't going to play nicely with the other elements and is going to look like a huge mistake, IMHO. And, sorry, but my imagination can't picture any other BS material that is going to look right.

But painting those cabinets?? Criminal!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 9:41AM
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Thanks for all of the feedback! I appreciate it and find the variety of opinions interesting.

For me, I've never liked wood cabinets. I've always coveted white painted cabinets, and didn't do it on my first house because they weren't "in". My next house had nice wood cabinets and I didn't want to diminish resale value. Now, I'm in my home that is intended to be very long term. It's an 1870 tudor, and painted cabinets will perfectly fit the home and make me love it so much more. The ceiling is dark stained wood and is fabulous, IMO. I think it's easier to appreciate in person than in the pics. I guess it's slightly unfortunate that my style isn't cutting edge and doesn't agree with the popular opinion, but what the heck, I know I'll enjoy it. So I'm definitely painting the cabs white, and I definitely am changing the backsplash. Just trying to decide between honed or polished carrera subways or plain white subway...

I'll post pics for you guys as we make progress. We've just bought this house, and I've got a 4 month old baby, so it's a little slow going, but we are doing a lot of remodeling, and I'm loving the progress so far. BTW, we just installed the lights in the kitchen and I do love them. :)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 9:54AM
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Whomever did the current kitchen had a very sympathetic aesthetic to the home's bones. Wood, stained medium or dark is very suitable to a Tudor style home. White painted cabinets aren't really at home in a Tudor. At all.

I REALLY suggest living with what is there for 6 months or more before making any drastic decisions that will be impossible to reverse once done. And you should also read the "Design Around This: Tarting up a Tudor" thread to get an idea of the things that could work with your home's bones. Many of the links are broken, but there is enough there to give you an overview of how to achieve continuity of design and work WITH your home instead of against it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dsign Around This: Tarting up a Tudor

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 10:12AM
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After looking at the tarting up a tudor link, it's safe to say, I don't want an authentic tudor look. I'm thinking more pottery barn/restoration hardware, as inauthentic as it is! I guess this is why I'm not a designer. :)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 10:44AM
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Well then, in answer to the question you actually asked, if you're going to choose marble, choose honed over polished. If you are only interested in carrera marble, plain white subway tiles would look better with your stone, although, again, I would recommend thassos marble over ceramic tile.

If you think you will eventually change out the counters for white marble, choose as inexpensive a tile as you can find. The bs may be damaged when you make that change.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 11:16AM
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See link below on backsplash.

Here is a link that might be useful: backsplash

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 11:21AM
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Sophie Wheeler

To each his own, but it's physically painful for me to think of someone taking that beautiful individualistic kitchen and turning it into the equivalent of a 70's harvest gold and avocado green popular design kitchen---Disney Edwardian. After all, earth tones are so timeless... and white is so timeless that you didn't see it at all in any magazine for 30 years.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 11:40AM
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OK now we need to support your decision! This is YOUR kitchen and you need to be happy in it.
I hope that you will have them professionally painted. We can help you pick a white if you'd like.
But, I still feel that if you keep the granite, marble would not work. Maybe you can use marble someplace else un your home.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 11:59AM
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I'm with ellendi: it's your kitchen, if you want to change it, change away! I think it's very pretty, but if I lived
in a place where it was cloudy a lot, maybe it would feel
dark. (We don't have weather anymore in Texas, so I
couldn't tell ya.)

White upper cabinets and a lighter colored backsplash
would really brighten things up. But the marble look is
pretty standard fare these days.... What about something
like glass tile with a green element? This one is from
Home Depot. I'm not sure it exactly goes with your granite,
but something along these lines, perhaps? Bright, prettyy,
still in the lovely green theme, and unique to you.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 3:55PM
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Your wood cabinets are gorgeous. I wouldn't touch them. Such a warm beautiful honey color. I would just change the gray walls, and the dark ceiling. Have a white kitchen in your next house, but please don't destroy this gorgeous wood one to get it. I thought this was another just done kitchen posted here and I thought "wow" when I saw it.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 8:19PM
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For those of you who think it is criminal and stupid to change the look of these cabinets, I should also tell you that they have a green glaze on them. Yes, a hunter green glaze in the detail of every door and drawer. You can't see it in the pictures. Orange cabinets with green glaze and green countertops aren't my thing. They were also done about 15 years ago, and they look that age to me, style wise.

Is there really nobody that thinks this kitchen would look good in white? We are in our early 30s and want a current look. In Chicago where we live, the older neighborhoods with newly remodeled kitchens are getting the white look. I don't care about being ahead of the curve. I love the current trend and would like to implement it.

Thanks for the suggestions regarding the backsplash, I got some samples and agree that the honed looks better than the polished marble. I am probably going to go that route. I also agree that a light green subway tile would be nice if I wanted to embrace a green kitchen, but I don't. I'm in love with white kitchens. If it were in the budget, I would be changing out these green countertops.

Someone mentioned that I wouldn't be able to save the backsplash if I later change out the countertops. Is that true, or would it just need some repair on the lower tiles?

Also, FYI, whenever guests come over, everyone loves the ceiling as is. Nobody has ever complemented the cabinets.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 9:17PM
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I think you should do exactly what you like for your kitchen and I hope you enjoy your honed marble and white cabinets. I love white and green and think it will look wonderful!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 9:58PM
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I'm sorry but I can't see carrara tile with that green granite. I don't think it goes with it at all. Ming Green marble would be a better choice but you don't want more green. The other problem is the design of the stiles on your glass fronted cabinet have a craftsmen look to about them. I've never seen a craftsmen style kitchen in white.

Can they remove the backsplash without damaging the counter? If the backsplash was installed first and the counter butted up against it it will be hard to remove and if you manage to, you will have a space between the counter and the wall that would be larger than the depth of any tile.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 10:09PM
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Sorry I have to agree with everyone else. That is one very very nice kitchen! Paint ceiling, get new hardware and leave the rest as is. I also love white cabs, but I doubt you'll get the quality you want by painting over these. I don't think a marble backsplash would look good with that granite either. Save those changes for when your ready for a new kitchen.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 10:39PM
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I'm on the OP's side and say she should do whatever she wants to her new kitchen. But before considering a backsplash I'd take the old b/s down and get the cabs painted. Then look at backsplash tile. At that point it will look considerably different and something new may emerge.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 11:37PM
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Of course we all want you to have the kitchen of your dreams, and if white is your dream, it shall be white! But your current kitchen is really lovely, and it was fun to drool over it.

I love your light fixtures and your ceiling, by the way.

I would use plain white subway tile with those counters and white cabinets. I think they would look nice with the sink, and if you replace the counters some day they will go with whatever you put in. I don't know if the marble would look good with the granite, but I suspect it would not.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 1:45AM
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Blondelle, I don't know if a single one is kosher, but Houzz has a lot of hits for "white craftsman cabinets."

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 10:33AM
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I would not like the green stain over the wood either. It would just look like green dirt. Why not paint the cabinets, and wait to see how it looks before you pull down the backsplash. The kitchen might take on a whole new look that pleases you and it might save you a messy job of removing the backsplash and perhaps damaging the counters. Then if you are still unhappy, go for whatever pleases you.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 5:23PM
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I would paint that kitchen white in a heartbeat and I think I would choose white subway tile over Carrara marble for the backsplash. I would also consider beefing up the crown molding a little bit, maybe something more geometric.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 6:26PM
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here is part of our Carrara Marble 4x4 tiles

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 7:59PM
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