Is honed travertine considered "busy" w/busy granite?

Kek10April 7, 2013

We are trying to pick a backsplash. Our granite ("Top Star") has a lot going on. I'm really trying to keep the backsplash as simple as possible, with a little something over the cooktop.

We're looking at a really light limestone called Toasted Almond (not sure who makes it) in 4x4 along with small glass/stone combo in some pattern over the cooktop.

Would this be too busy with the granite? Pics are coming...

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And here are the cabinets and potential backsplash. Perimeter will be the Ant. White and the island is the darker color.

WDYT - will the variations in the travertine/limestone be too much? Should I be looking at man-made materials instead, to make sure they're even more uniform?

This post was edited by Kek10 on Sun, Apr 7, 13 at 13:27

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 12:08PM
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Bump - Good Monday Morning! :)

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 8:23AM
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it's okay but I'm really liking that wash of green in the granite. I'd skip the strictly brown mosaics and find something with that light mint or celery/with copper or bronze for the mosaic and go perhaps for a cooler white tile with it. The tile does look a little "peachy" with your cabinets anyway.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 9:00AM
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So you've got a big statement piece there, but you're only showing us a small part of the picture. When you evaluate busyness, you have to consider more than just granite and backsplash. What other "look at me" things will you have in the room? Fancy lighting, hood, appliances, sink? Glass cabinets? Beautifully framed windows? Something has to play a supporting role.

How would you feel in a garden like this one? Everything is beautiful and colorful, but doesn't it need some shrubs and foliage to give your eye a place to rest?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:14AM
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Just a bit of caution. Travertine was popular but is currently out of favor.
Although there are many people here who have had good experiences with it, there are many who have not. One reason is that depending on the lot you get, it can run grayish or even pinkish.
Some say that behind the faucet where the splash tends to get the most wet, it stains.
I agree with Herb, if indeed there is green in your granite. i would recommend a green ceramic tile.
You are also right in being concerned with how the travertine varies in color. It can look nice though even with a busy granite.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:15AM
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I wanted travertine because I thought it would be a neutral backsplash that wouldn't take attention from my busy granite. The longer I looked at the samples the more I realized that it was actually really busy!! Plus the upkeep of it with staining, sealing it and getting color variations, blah blah... We decided to go with a porcelain mini brick. I'm so glad we didn't go with the travertine. It was just too risky for me. It took me a long time to come to that decision though.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:23AM
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You should seriously rethink this. All of it.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 2:21PM
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Awesome. Thanks Oceangirl.

This post was edited by Kek10 on Mon, Apr 8, 13 at 15:22

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 3:22PM
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If I were you, I'd hold off on the BS until your granite is in. I have a very similar granite (Magma Supreme) that is busy and bold. When I was planning my kitchen, I thought I had the perfect tile selected for the BS. Looked awesome with the cabinets and the granite and I carried that tile sample around for months. But once the granite went in, the BS tile looked awful with it! The huge expanse of granite changed everything. I ended up selected a completely different tile. Took longer but I am so glad I never ordered tile and waited until the granite was installed.

Never mind oceangirl. Oceangirl just likes to troll around here and say ridiculous things. Obviously someone with a very sad life and little to do. Someone to be pitied.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 3:52PM
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I love, love, love your granite, but the backsplash isn't doing much for me. The biggest issue is that the travertine is introducing another color as it doesn't match the cabinets and doesn't really seem to be in the counter either.

That and you'll see lots of posts of people recently upset with the color of their travertine once purchased "en masse" vs the sample which they liked.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 4:08PM
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I would use a plain tile in a color that complements the granite instead of competes with it.

Be careful with the color.

Light reflecting of a colored surface will alter the perceived color of the granite (and light reflecting off the granite will alter the perceived color of the backsplash).

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 4:30PM
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I love how Poohpup handled her bold stone. Depending on what else is going on, you might not want to get too wishy washy with your backsplash. It might need a strong supporting actress.

Holding until the counter is in is often recommended. So good advice!

This post was edited by snookums2 on Mon, Apr 8, 13 at 16:48

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 4:33PM
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I love my travertine with my busy granite. I understand most strongly dislike it here, but I have no complaints. I cook a lot and it has been easy to keep clean. It has been a couple years and I should probably reseal it. I do understand many believe it is outdated and you may want to take that into consideration when choosing your BS material. There are many beautiful ceramics and glass now, you may want to wait until your granite is installed to choose. You granite is beautiful BTW!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 4:36PM
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Not sure where my pic went!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 4:38PM
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Thanks all. DH thinks we're "done" with the BS selections but I'm not there, obviously! He is completely in LOVE with the granite and I think all that motion scares me, LOL. The biggest blob will be on the island so the perimeter will have the more busy parts along the bottom of the slab. (We have another slab, too that's similar with a smaller blob, more like a large vein.)

Stacieann your BS looks great with your granite - very uniform! I know many don't like travertine but I've always liked the look. My Houzz idea book has loads of travertine bs's. But I do think what I have isn't quite right yet. I wonder if the GC will let me delay selection until the granite is in?

Poohpup I've been trying to find your BS as someone mentioned it, but I am a horrible searcher, even with Google's help. Could you post it?

And re: Oceangirl, I have been lurking long enough to know she's a bother. But of course I couldn't let it go. I'm actually flattered she posted here. Makes me feel like I'm really part of the group. ;)

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 5:05PM
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Snookums, thanks for the compliment on my BS. :)

Kek10, your GC may not be happy with your waiting until the granite is in, but it is a whole lot better than your buying expensive tile that doesn't work and you're stuck. I was POSITIVE I had the right tile. Just positive. It looked gorgeous with everything. Then the granite went it and I was shocked how awful the tile looked with it. I even called my KD and told her it wouldn't work and she argued with me about it. "Of course it will work! It's lovely!" She came over, walked in the door, took one look at the tile and said "You're right. That looks like crap." lol

I ended up bringing home tons and tons of samples because the granite had such a strong influence on how the tile looked. Caramels went pink. Rich tans went flat. The tile that I ended up using was just brought home because I was bringing so many samples home and grabbing anything that looked like a possibility. Truthfully, the tile looked like barf in the tile store. UGLY! Brought it home and it looked fabulous in the kitchen. I ended up using Seneca Handmold in Bamboo. Who knew?

Anyway, here are some pictures of my BS and granite. Good luck and try to enjoy the process!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 5:56PM
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Thanks for posting Poohpup!! It really does look gorgeous, not barfy at all. ;)

I think I am going to keep trying. I wish I could use an arabesque. I am in lust/love with it, thanks to Beekeeperswife!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 6:45PM
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Another vote for waiting until the granite goes in. It's beautiful, but does have a ton of movement and color variation and I'd want to see exactly what sections end up next to the wall where the backsplash is going, especially if I'm covering a big area with either. See it with the granite and cabs in the correct plane, under my lighting etc.

On my monitor the travertine looks slightly pink in undertone next to the cabinets and I see none of that in the stone. I think the mosaic is too much. Again wait until you see it all installed. Don't know what your floorplan is, but I've seen very few that benefited from any extra backsplash accent at the range.
Good luck. Can't wait to see it!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 7:04PM
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poopups kitchen is the bomb..! One of my faves. Also the one with the great dog, a gray dog, Weimaraner? What is her screen name...??? Dang, can't think of it but her kitchen is another one of my favorites and backsplash is awesome. Wait a's PIPDOG!!! Yeah, that's it!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 8:17PM
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