Sink vs windowsill...what to do w/ backsplash?

warmfridgeApril 16, 2010

The countertop behind my sink will sit about 2 1/2'' below the windowsill. My original plan was to use a granite backsplash of that height to fill that space, run it all the way around the perimeter counters, then do my tile backsplash above the granite extending on either side of the window. However, the electrician advises that this strip of granite will be in the way and require moving numerous outlets and switches.

Need another plan. Cutting little pieces of tile to fill that space will involve a lot of seams and grout behind the sink, which I think is a bad idea. I'm having a hard time envisioning something that looks attractive and flows into the backsplash on either side of the window.

Does anyone have pictures of how they filled a little space under the window behind their sink?

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In my last kit I the small space you have and we did a full piece of granite under the windows and they beveled the ends down. Then I had to the counter in the rest of the kit a granite tile BS.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 11:15AM
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If you have a wet saw, cut strips from a 24" by 24" tile and use that as a border.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 11:18AM
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warmfridge, I have exactly 2 1/2" to the sill. I hate having to have the plugmold there, but code says we have to have outlets within two feet on either side of the sink. I should have had them cut one outlet on the plugmold but didn't feel like making an issue of it. I'll just have to make the most of it. It will be painted, which I hope will make an improvement. What do you think about fire engine red? ; )

Is this what you are asking for?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 12:27PM
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Eandhl, that was my first thought but everyone I polled here thinks it would look strange. I may hold out for it anyway.

David, that would fit well, but I don't have any 24'' tile and I don't think I want to add a totally different material to the mix for purely aesthetic reasons.

Jsweenc, yes, except I won't have the horizontal board under the sill, and the sill doesn't protrude out from the window casing. I don't know about putting wood there behind the sink where I'm sure it will get wet all the time. ???

Hmm, fire engine red, or banana yellow, or maybe bright turquoise? LOL Couldn't you have put the outlets under the edge of the counter?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 4:03PM
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Did you ever find your green tiles? How wide is the window? Is there any part that is not behind the sink? I am really lacking ideas for you right now but I'll keep thinking on it. Others will have better ideas than I could come up with.

The plugmold looks just as bad under the counter. We had some put on the ends of the big island. At first they had the junction box that sticks out 3 1/2" from the cabinet attached, and I made such a fuss (in a nice way : ) ) that they found a way to eliminate the box. It still looks bad, but not hideous like it did before. And I think they had to be above counter by the sink.

I will have that apron painted with something a little more water resistant, and caulk it well with silicone.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 4:37PM
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Davidrol - that's a great idea!

Warmfridge, do you mean more like this? (although this is 3 1/2 inches)

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 8:04PM
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Yes! My tile guy searched high and low for me and found the green marble tiles that I fell in love with for the backsplash. They would have to be cut into small pieces with lots of grout to fit between the sink and windowsill though.

Squigs, kind of like yours without that unfinished horizontal piece of wood and about 2 1/2'' of drywall there. (The existing piece of wood has to be removed because it's taller than yours and won't permit installation of the countertop.)

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 10:56PM
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Jsweenc, I don't want to be negative but I will agree with you that plugmold does not look good.. and will you ever use all those outlets? Could you not ask them to replace it with the unobtrusive sillite things or whatever they are called (see my link?) But perhaps they would not be to code? Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: sillite receptacles

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 1:08AM
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Jsweenc - WOW - to follow up, I just saw a picture of your kitchen on another thread. Wow, absolutely GORGEOUS. What a wonderful job you have done. Once you see the whole picture the plugmold does not really look like a big deal - and you will be able to plug in lots of things if you need to!I am sure you will be very happy when everything is done. The range with the backsplash looks great. I'm looking forward to seeing it with the paint color. Good luck with everything!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 8:24AM
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Mine is probably a little more than 2.5 inches. I continued the limestone tile in this area. This tile in the rest of the backsplash is a 6x6 so it's quite a bit smaller under the sill. I've had this for five years now and no problems. I suspect it's the kind of thing that seems like a big deal now and will be a complete non-factor after you've been in your new kitchen for about a week. If you're doing a tile backsplash I'd keep it consistent by the sink rather than trying something "cute" that later looks like a kluge.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 9:57AM
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Circus Peanut

I did what gibby did: just ran the tile along the wall under the sill. My counter-to-sill distance is 3". I actually ran a strip of trim over the tile under the sill to hide the caulk line there, and it has worked very well. It looks great and after 2 years have never had a problem with the grout lines.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 10:12AM
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I did a kitchen where it was more like 1-1/2" and we made windowsill and stool or apron)(the trim piece underneath) out of countertop material. The sill was made to allow the wood trim around the sides of the window to abut against it as if the sill were wood.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 5:09PM
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I think it all depends on what your tile backsplash looks like. Do you have a picture?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 5:24PM
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Gibby and CP, I don't have a sill that protrudes like yours, mine is recessed like Squigs. If I run tile along that area, there will be a bare cut edge along the top of the tile, and I think it will look raw and unfinished. I think maybe I need a narrower decorative horizontal board along the bottom edge of the sill, then the tile or a narrower strip of granite underneath.

Pal, I don't think we can make a sill out of granite unless we take the window casing all apart. See Squigs' picture above.

Dora, I don't have pics of a BS because we're still trying to design it.

Purely rhetorical question, but why am I, and by extension other GW'ers, trying to figure this out? Isn't this why I'm paying a GC, granite fabricator, and tile installer all large sums of money???

P.S. CP, I love your copper.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 9:54PM
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(hijack, sorry warmfridge -- buffalotina, thanks for that input and the kind words. I wish I had really considered sillites, but didn't think I wanted extra holes in the granite. And I really thought plugmold would be thinner and less obtrusive. It was a shock, to be sure, but kind of like the kid who asks for a pet giraffe and then says just kidding, can I get a dog? and the parents think a dog is not so bad... that's how I felt when they eliminated the junction box. It suddenly became something I could live with. They will also be painted, and I think you are right, they really don't show up that much from a distance.)

warmfridge, if I'm reading you right, the main issue is cutting the tiles, right? I hear the grout issue too, but I don't understand if it's cutting the tiles, leaving raw edges, that will create the need for more grout, or something else. IOW, if you had a different size tile or a liner that didn't need cutting, would that work? What kind are they, and what are the dimensions?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 2:33PM
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Hi Jsweenc,
The tiles are a 2x2 marble mosaic, but the actual tiles are slightly less than 1 7/8''. We'd have to cut some really narrow pieces (? 3/8'' allowing for grout lines) to fit in that space. Also the cut edge of the tile would be sticking up which I don't think is very attractive. I think the carpenter needs to make a decorative wood strip to run along the bottom of the window to cover the top of the tile and that would solve the problem.

I don't think you'll even notice that plugmold after you've used the kitchen for a while (unless you paint it shocking pink).

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 4:05PM
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I think a decorative wood strip would look nice above one strip of the tile (is that what you are saying?). They do make premolded strips that might be narrow enough, depending on what you want them to look like. Like a narrow strip of crown or base molding. Sounds like a great solution for your window!

About the Ughmold, you are probably right, and no, I was just planning to paint it the same color as the window trim, boring white. However, I do plan to ask if they could install the sillites there under the window instead, and if it's a simple switch (since it's already wired, they'd only have to drill a larger hole) I think we will do it. I'd love to do that on the island as well but it's more difficult to patch up the holes that are there already. If it's not simple, I'll leave it alone. (Made DH roll his eyes when I said I was going to ask about it.)

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 10:46AM
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Plugmold or not your kitchen is going to be GORGEOUS. But I also do encourage you to see if they can put in the sillites. If there is just a hole with wire coming out then I don't see why it would not be possible. good luck!!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 10:22PM
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Thank you again, buffalotina.

Warmfridge, any further decision today?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 10:39PM
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I'm going with the decorative wood piece idea, until someone else tells me this won't work.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 9:14AM
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Circus Peanut

warmfridge -- if your window has no wooden molding (trim) beneath it, why not just run the tile over the edge and make the windowsill tiled too?

I've seen this in California-style windows where they don't have trim, just rounded inset drywall, and it looks great. Use bullnose tile or pretty edge pieces (made for countertop edges) and it will be smashing. It makes the whole area waterproof, which is really nice for keeping little pots of fresh herbs etc up there.

And this is a Gardenwebber's kitchen, sorry I forgot whose! They used a piece of their countertop stone for the sill:

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 11:43AM
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Circus Peanut

Whoops missed your last messages - thanks for the copper compliment! :-) I love it too.

Hmm. You do have those window cranks in the way, eh? Of course, you could take them off to tile, then replace them -- a good tiler would be able to do that I believe.

Also, if the tile is marble, there's a good chance that your tiler can create bullnose (rounded) edges on the ones lining the window. It's easier than it sounds, depending on the tile, but it is indeed possible with most real rock. Alternately, make the trim strip out of tile trim, not out of wood.

Do you have any closeup pictures of that actual area? It would really help us help you troubleshoot.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 11:52AM
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