Need help choosing backsplsh tile

bowyer123March 13, 2013

Cross-posted this on the Building a home thread.

Our kitchen is nearing completion, but we still haven't decided on a back splash. We wanted the cabinets and granite in before deciding. We originally thought about white subways, but I'm not sure white will work. I'd like a pattern of some kind (
maybe herringbone) over the cook-top. We need tile color and shape help, please.

We like subway tile due to the clean, classic look. I'm not opposed to crackle-finished subway or even the subway tiles that are 'wavy.'

My wife has kicked around the idea of arabesque tile, but we don't want it to be too busy.
The pictures are not the best showing the color of the granite and the cabinets, but hopefully you'll get a good idea of what I am working with.

And please excuse the mess, we are still working on the crown moulding and unpacking.

Thank you!

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bowyer123

Another look...

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 1:30PM
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bowyer123

different angle...

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 1:31PM
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bowyer123

This shows the floor color.

Thanks for any help you can give me.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 1:38PM
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karen_belle

Your kitchen's tones are all really mid-range (I am no colorist but that is what I would call it) - nothing is very bright or very dark (except for the dark veining in your beautiful granite). So to keep the granite as your star, you will need a very quiet backsplash. I'd take your granite sample and a section of painted cabinet to a big tile store and start looking for a good creamy color in a 3x6 subway tile. You can do a running bond installation or even a herringbone to create an interesting pattern.

Many people like to put something special over the stove. You have a lovely hood - somehow it seems to me like your kitchen wants a mural or some other figurative mosaic over that stove. The tile store will have some interesting options there, too.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 2:02PM
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bowyer123

Karen_belle, I agree with you, the granite needs to be the 'star' of the kitchen. We knew this would be the case when we chose our slabs. I also like running bond, perhaps the center can be on a herringbone design. Creamy tiles is also something we will get samples of.

I am a bit reluctant to use a mural because I haven't seen anything yet (we've looked a lot over the last year) that spoke to me.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 3:57PM
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karen_belle

You might want to scroll through the Finished Backsplash blog to see if there's anything there that catches your eye. Also search on houzz.

Here is a link that might be useful: finished backsplash blog

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 4:28PM
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TSG1104

I think I'd go with the dark color in your granite since you already have so much white in the cabinets and counters. In the pictures it looks grey to me Maybe a dark grey subway tile - solid or glass. I think the dark color would be a nice contract without overwhelming the granite.

Edit: The entire kitchen is lovely and the granite is beautiful. I agree that it should be the focus.

This post was edited by TSG1104 on Wed, Mar 13, 13 at 17:21

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 5:16PM
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ellendi

I see something to match the cabinets,so they recede, and the granite will not compete for star billing.
I am not sure of the color of your granite, but if you don't want a color than go with the lightest that will match the gray? taupe? color in the granite

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 7:22PM
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a2gemini

Your kitchen is looking lovely - I think a plain arabesque might be OK - but again - keep it simple overall. Your counter is the diva, so I am putting in a non-compete clause!
I also don't think you want to go too light - you don't want to blend in with the cabinets and make it look like you were trying to match and failed.
Let's get you into the ABB alumni club!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 7:35PM
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bowyer123

What is ABB?

We are looking over the link provided thanks! Also checking out Houzz and Google images now, so many choices.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 12:06AM
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plumberry

I don['t think it needs a backsplash other than behind the stove. if you had to have it I would just keep it the same color as the cabinets, and plain, in a subway glass or ceramic with no grout lines maybe longer or wider than 3x6 (2x8, 4x8 or 4x12?). Your kitchen is beautiful, by the way,

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 9:50AM
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may_flowers

Subways would actually be a great choice because you have a lot of stars in the room all ready. Your cabinets have a lot of detail, so they demand attention just as much as the granite and chandeliers. I'd go with a medium to dark charcoal tile.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 10:01AM
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island

Your kitchen is beautiful and agree there are a lot of design standouts, especially the countertops, cabinet details with glass, and the chandeliers. Therefore I'd keep it simple like a light creamy color subway and that matches your cabinets. I hear Ann Sacks subway tiles in many shades of white and cream.

I'm not big on murals or accent pieces behind the range and in your case you already have a lot of details in that area with the curved hood, windows on both sides and chandy above.

Can you please tell me what that granite is called; I've never seen anything like it. Also what are your floors and stain? They are the perfect shade of brown!
Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 11:37PM
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gw1997

ABB = All But Backsplash (I think) :)

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 11:51PM
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a2gemini

Affirmative on the ABB

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 6:02AM
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EAM44

Image 2 made me all weak in the knees. What a beautiful stone you chose! If it were possible to use the same stone as a bs I wouldn't hesitate for a second.

If that's too Stonehenge for you, and you want to sneak in the refinement of an elegant bs tile, I think the arabesques would be fantastic. Their uniformity in color keeps them from upstaging the counter, but their shape provides interest.

You've already had this idea and are looking for alternatives, so here goes.

Classic polished grey marble hexagon tile

Outrageous marble bubbles in homage to the splotches on your stone.

Gunmetal Grey sticks

A 3D woven tile like Madeline616's below

This post was edited by EAM44 on Fri, Mar 15, 13 at 10:43

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 10:32AM
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nosoccermom

Simple and light.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 12:14PM
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wi-sailorgirl

Ditto on the simple and light. And by the way, that might be the most amazing granite I've ever seen on here. Absolutely stunning.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 3:07PM
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mpagmom

I love, love, love your kitchen so far!

I was recently searching the internet for ideas for my sister-in-law's backsplash and came upon this blog post. I don't agree with her 100%, but it's an idea for you. At the bottom is a link to another article, "Which backsplash tile goes with granite?" that you may find interesting.

I would probably try white subway with gray grout.

Here is a link that might be useful: Backsplash blog post

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 3:18PM
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