Please help me fix bad sink window design decision!

Madeline616April 6, 2013

Hi all,
Re-posting with a more coherent title.

Please offer your opinion/ideas! Question posted below pics:

Basket weave b-splash:

Pics of area in question:

I'm regretting this window moulding decision as much today as when it was installed year ago. I've lived with it, and it's still driving me nuts.

I have this basket weave tile b-splash, which I adore, along the sink run.

Rather than continuing the tile run straight through under the window and putting traditional wood moulding along the bottom of the window, we put a large piece of marble below the window. Bad decision.

It's big and chunky, but worst of all, it ruins what should be a continuous visual line of the basket weave tile.

I think I know what has to be done, but I wanted to start with an open mind and try to get some input from the GWers.

The marble counters are *fragile* and prone to chipping, so that needs to be factored in.

I'd just like a traditional window moulding all of the way around the window, with the basket weave tile running straight through as with most sink windows, below the bottom piece of window moulding.

My idea is to have my very meticulous GC carefully remove the marble piece and window moulding, and have new wood moulding installed all of the way around the window.

The tile installer could then continue the basket weave tile straight across, under the new wood window moulding.

I know the basket weave design won't line up exactly--there'll be a small gap, which I can live with. We'd fill it in with a narrow, vertical piece of pencil moulding or a wider grout line. (My pewter canisters hide that, anyway.)

Alternatively, we could "bump out" the new wood window moulding at the bottom 1/2", and then it wouldn't matter whether the basket weave tile lined up perfectly, as the "bump out" would provide a visual transition.

My other idea is to install the bottom moulding and b-splash tile below it, applied/adhered directly *over* the existing marble.

The marble would serve as the "bump-out" for the bottom piece of wood window moulding and the strip of tile below it.

This would prevent potential marble countertop damage during removal of the marble piece, but is it possible to install wood window frame moulding and tile directly on top of marble? Will it adhere?

Any thoughts or ideas on how this project should be approached would be greatly appreciated!!

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Boy, I don't know... my first thought when I saw the pic was how beautiful it looked. Gorgeous tile and marble. I'd be leery of disturbing it for fear of both damage to the marble and ending up with tile that didn't line up. Do you still have some backsplash tile left over so the color would be the same?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 9:02PM
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Thanks so much for your response, Deedles, and for te
kind compliments. Yes, I do have plenty of b-splash tile.

I really thought that if I lived with it for a year I'd stop noticing it, but it really looks awkward to me...

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 9:08PM
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I understand what you mean, but I don't think it would be worth chipping your counter for.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 9:16PM
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I think it's beautiful and not worth the risk. Personally, I like the break from the busy basketweave. I also think it's possible the the window sill at the bottom (is that the sill?) will jut out more than what you have now, which might make cleaning a bit more of a challenge.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 9:56PM
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The legs that are on either side of your sink - what do they look like? Because I really like your marble backsplash under the window. What I don't like is the window moulding as I find that it is quite fussy against your backsplash, (but I don't like frou-frous.). However, if the legs on either side of your sink are the same design as your window mouldings then I would leave the whole thing.

But, I don't look at it everyday either and I don't have a preconceived idea as to what I wanted the area to look like as you do.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 10:13PM
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I like the marble, but after reading blfenton's reply, I looked at the picture again and what seems to me is off is that I would normally expect to see the same trim on the bottom of the window as the sides. You have a lot of design elements there to consider. I appreciate that you took a year to live with it and see if you didn't change your mind.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 10:33PM
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Thanks very much for the replies. It's really nice to know that not everyone sees this as an eyesore, like I do! I wish I liked it, I kept hoping it'd grow on me, but no such luck.

Blfenton, yes, the legs on either side of the sink coordinate with the window molding, but even still, I agree with you and don't care for that fluted molding. I'd just like a plain, classic window moulding all the way around, including the horizontal piece under the window.

HammerMom, you hit the nail on the head (lol). What I don't like is that the marble deviates so much from the classic wood window sill or trim that should be on the bottom of the window.

Melle and ellendi, there's one craftsman who I'd trust to do the marble removal. He's the most meticulous person I've ever met, except maybe for some surgeons I know ;). I know there's always a risk, but he really understands the fragile nature of the marble counters and the care that needs to be taken.

I really appreciate y'all taking the time to reply! If anyone who thinks I should do the job has any design ideas, I'd love to hear them :)

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 10:48PM
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I don't mind the marble as it seems nice and also practical to me. Easy to wipe off vs. The beautiful, but bumpy basket weave and grout. What does seem off to me is the lack of a window stool. Doesn't look like you have much room for one though hard to tell from the picture if you can move the latch/crank up to fit a piece of stool in. I think I'd try to see how you like it with that first.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 11:12PM
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I actually wanted to do this this behind our sink but we didn't have enough material left to do it. So obviously, I like it the way it is. But that doesn't matter one bit. If it drives you nuts that's all that matters and you should fix it so you love it.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 11:29PM
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Well I really like the marble there! It seems like it would be very difficult to mesh in a new section of backsplash with the complex tile design without wrecking something.

Would you be happier if you added a wooden windowsill on top of what's there?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 11:50PM
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Hi tinan,

Thanks for your suggestion.

Yes, putting a wood sill or molding right over the marble (glueing it, I guess?) would probably help. I just wasn't sure if that was something that could be done.

I'd leave a narrower strip of the existing marble below the sill, rather than messing with the tiles. This is one idea I've played with.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 11:57PM
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What bothers me is not the break in the BS tile -- it's the fact that the window frame seems to be almost floating there.

Our door casings have fluted moulding down to the base and then a block. Your window just has that short piece, so it looks more like a horizontal piece rather than a block or leg for the window to "stand" on. KWIM? I'd take a piece of trim and try adding a relatively low profile piece of wood trim from the bottom of what you have now (or also covering the short horizontal piece) so that the foot comes all the way to the counter and leave the marble in place and exposed for the majority of it. Have you considered anything like that?

In case the description isn't making sense to you, maybe I can show you a photo of what I mean, thanks to google

I think there is an advantage to not having all those grout lines behind the sink an the marble is beautiful.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 12:09AM
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I would hate to clean the basketweave grout behind the sink. I like the marble too.Do you think you could cut some of the height off of it then put in wood or another piece of marble for a window sill? T shaped? What about taking the wood trim off around the window and replacing it with marble around the window. (Sorry if that is the stupidest thing you have heard! I am not very creative.)

By the way, on your other post, your blue mixer was gorgeous against the marble and backsplash. Now I want one! Peke

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 12:45AM
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First off, I so love your basket weave backsplash. I too have struggled with my sink window trim, so I understand your angst.

Here's what I'd do: remove the marble. Lay a 2 or 3 row of the tile perpendicular to the countertop. Add a matching trim width or narrower piece of wood above it. Lyfia is right - the window crank should be on top of something. Then, fill in with wood filler the grooves along the rest of the window trim, sand and repaint.

Did I mention I love your tile?!

This post was edited by oldbat2be on Sun, Apr 7, 13 at 7:30

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 7:26AM
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How did that piece of marble go in? If you can remove the window trim moulding that went in after it was installed you may have access to the back of the piece to cut the mastic.
Those window cranks look like obstacles.
I would sacrifice some moulding to get at the back.
An oscillating tool could be used to cutt much of the mastic. Tapping a taping knife down behind the slab can get the rest. A razor blade knife can cut the caulk at the bottom.Sliding taping knives under can protect your counter.
Another possible step could include cutting the piece in one or more strips from the top to be removed for access to the mastic on the rest.
Remove individual tiles to weave the new in.

This post was edited by dan1888 on Sun, Apr 7, 13 at 8:31

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 8:24AM
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I too love your tile (and marble) but I am of absolutely no help with suggestions as to how to fix what bothers you. It does look like something is missing but I am not sure what exactly!

What kind of tile is that?
Hope you come up with a solution :)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 8:53AM
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If it's possible remove or cut down the marble just enough to slide another piece of marble, (or wood) tight up against the window cranks. Have that new piece become a stool that stands proud by an inch or so of the existing marble, runs beneath the casings on either side, and extends past by that same inch or so. This will give the fluted casings a base to sit on, and become more grounded, rather than floating. Also gives you a nice little ledge for a bud vase or something...

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 9:10AM
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Thanks so much for all the replies! So many great eyes on this forum.

Ali80ca--the tile is Sonoma Tilemakers Arched Herringbone, in a glossy white--I think it's called Blanco.

Lyfia, lascatx, tinan, Peke, and ctycdm you've all drawn my attention to the fact that the existing marble seems to need some sort of horizontal wood moulding to finish it, or ground it, or help it look like nothing is floating. Also, the fact that there is no stool cold be part of the issue.

I appreciate this observation. I'm really thinking about it--maybe the lack of tile in that area is not the primary problem making the area look so "off" to me. I'm really going to think about your suggestions.

Oldbat and Dan--thanks for giving me the advice and the courage to think the marble removal can really be done! I've actually worried whether it's even possible, but with Dan's explanation, I think it is.

Oldbat--when you mention removing the marble then adding a 2 or 3 row of the tile perpendicular to the counter, did you mean in the same basketweave pattern, or in more of a brick pattern with the tiles straight? I hadn't thought of that, but these tiles are designed to be laid either straight or as a basket weave. That would give me the tile where it seems to be missing, but solve the problem with trying to continue the basketweave pattern.

Thanks again for taking the time to read my post and offer such great observations and suggestions!!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 3:54PM
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I definitely meant, continue the basket weave. Now you may have to tweak the spacing a little or live with a 'seam' somewhere, where they come together, but who knows, you may luck out. If you add a little shelf, you may be able to go all the way up to it with your tile. I've seen this a good deal on Houzz and like the look.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 5:28PM
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I agree with you: The basketweave is great, but the marble sort of breaks up the look. Admittedly, I really dislike marble, even under the best of circumstances . . . so I'm inclined to council you to ditch the marble.

If anything were possible and affordable -- and it may not be -- I'd remove the offending marble and replace the window with slightly-taller, counter-height windows. This would give you a little more window, which is usually a good thing, and it'd excuse you from the need to "match up" the basketweave, which is likely impossible.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 6:11PM
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Thanks, Oldbat, for clarifying. Can you explain what you mean by adding a little shelf? I'd like to look that up among the Houzz pics, but I'm not totally able to picture what you mean.

I did the math, and including grout lines, I'll end up with a seam. No big deal, the trade off is worth it.

MrsPete--another creative idea!! This forum is amazing. The thought of removing the entire window makes me nervous, but I'll certainly keep it in mind in case the other ideas don't work out.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 6:22PM
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I like Lascatx idea of using a "block" to finish off the casing bottom edge, down to the counter. It could be very thin wood and a bullnose type thingy added to the outer edge that would go into the tile.

Here is a drawing I just did to try and illustrate what I think Lascatx is saying:

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 7:22PM
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Enduring, thanks so much for taking the time to create this drawing!!

The idea is one I hadn't considered at all--I'm not very creative :)

I think you and lascatx may have something here. I'm going to use your drawing when I speak to my contractor.

Thanks again!!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 11:07PM
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You're welcome. Your contractor will get it. Just point out that I didn't intend for the "block" to be so thick, but instead sort of like a veneer. The fix needs to be in scale with everything. This might not be the answer - but wouldn't it be great if it was. This would be easy to do:)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 11:13PM
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Yes, enduring, you got what I was talking about. I looked up photos and posted one in the thread or a link to one and now it's gone. I'm going to try again just for curiosity's sake now.

Madeline, it's called a plinth block. Your contractor is likely to know that term, and if so, the shortcut might be helpful. I agree with enduring, it should be thin so you don't create a cleaning or splash issue. In door trim it is generally a thicker piece of trim that the door casing literally sits on top of. Here, you'd be creating that illusion.

The photo previewed, but it disappeared. You can search with the terms plinth block and fluted casing and get photos of many variations (block slightly wider than casing or same width, squared top/simple block or a detailed edge -- even a stacked treatment. More decisions! LOL

This post was edited by lascatx on Mon, Apr 8, 13 at 10:04

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:01AM
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Even if you do decide to do the basket weave there, I think you will still find it lacking unless you have a window stool as that is what is really throwing it off for me.

To fix it since you have very little space due to the crank, you might be able to build a faux window stool, but you'll need to remove the trim around the window no matter what as it is common for it to rest on the window stool.

You could use a think piece of plywood, maybe 1/8-1/4" - not sure how much space you have and then rest it on a molding strip that would form the lip of of the molding and then trim the edge out in a think strip of molding. Going to show you a picture of how generally the pieces are put together. A true stool is at a minimum 1/2" thick when it rests on the window frame and I don't think you have the space. I think you can get the trim strip to adhere to the marble with construction adhesive, but realize this will ruin the marble in that area. You will need to remove and redo the casing on the sides though for the right propertions so it looks correct resting on the stool.

I don't think you need to add an apron under the faux stool as the picture has it. That is often forgone when using tile or other materials as a backsplash.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:24AM
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Here is a window with similar trim to yours that has a piece of granite (or at least I think it is is granite), under the stool and no apron.

Another without the apron, but sill and casings.

Lots more if you do a google image search for kitchen window.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:32AM
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I really like the marble under the window. I, also, feel that the lack of a window sill is what seems off. It feels unfinished. We put a piece of granite under our window instead of the backsplash for ease of cleaning, then put a wooden window sill on top of that.

Just to give you an idea of the look:

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 12:09PM
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Lascatx, your image came to my email notification of your posting, but your actual posted image in this thread is missing. What gives with GW. Over the weekend, on the bathroom forum, I had trouble getting an image to stick. On the remodel forum I had trouble just getting the whole post to stick.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 7:45PM
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