Backsplash for galley kitchen layout

judibeanMay 5, 2013

I have a backsplash dilemma. I have a galley kitchen with a stove at the end of the run. I'll be redoing the kitchen soon - the positioning of appliances and base cabinets will remain the same. The wall cabinets will be replaced with floating wood shelves and the range hood will be a freestanding chimney style hood at the end of the run. Note the side wall at the foreground of the pic that acts as "end paneling" for the wall and base cabinets - I think they are called "knee walls" - this will factor into the equation later.

My dilemma is that I want to do a backsplash only against the long run of wall along each side of the galley - if I tiled the window wall, then I have to tile the cabinet side of the knee walls on each side of the galley. The other side of the galley is just counter space, so functionally there, I don't need tiling on either the window wall or knee wall. However, as you can see on the other side of the galley, the stove is at the end of the run and the window wall next to it will get cooking splatters.

I'm wondering if I should: (1) choose form over function - tile just the long run of walls and use scrub-able paint on the side walls and knee walls or (2) choose function over form - tile up to 18" to where my bottom wood shelf would start and run that straight across behind the stove and along the window wall and across to the knee wall as well. Then do the same-height run on the other side of the galley for symmetry. Tiling up to the ceiling on both sides is not an option - I like the look of painted walls over tile. Am I missing other alternatives here? What would you do?

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Here is the other side of the galley.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 8:07AM
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Because the tile will be for the stove only, it is not necessary to tile both sides of the window. Have you considered stainless steel sheeting? There are several on this forum that have used it for their cooking BS. Keep us posted on your project!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 9:07AM
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i agree that it would look strange to have one side of the window wall tiled but not the other.
Is there any way that you could move the range over a little, perhaps by getting an undersink dishwasher.

Other suggestions:
1. no tile, just scrubbable paint and repaint every now and then, maybe metal sheet

a "strip" of tile

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 10:35AM
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That strip is pretty neat. And painted drywall is a very doable, visually uncluttered option. I know because I have it. My kitchen, though, includes a dining/sitting area and a wide doorway to the rest of the house, so allowing one surface to flow around just worked better for me there. For me the option of tiling just part of a room and stopping it willy-nilly with the counter wasn't nearly as pleasing.

Unlike your kitchen, Judibean, which as a discrete space takes to special treatments like velvet to a jewel box. I'm unclear about how high the knee walls will be, but you're going to do open shelves, and tiling everything up to the lowest shelf is such a great look. You could continue that shelf line right across the window wall with wood trim that has the same edge profile as the shelves.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 4:24PM
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Having the range against the wall would drive me nuts. I know, because I had that situation for 15 years, and it DROVE the remodel. Are you open to considering a new layout?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 10:34PM
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I agree with Angie on the range placement. It belongs on the opposite run to the sink, which means you need a plumber to move either the sink or the range.

Also, shelves look fantastic visually on houzz when accompanied by tons of other storage options. The relatively tall uppers you have now are insufficient for holding your stuff. Are you sure you want to eliminate them altogether? Even if that fits your personal taste, it's a horrible idea for resale.

Finally, if you are replacing cabinets you can get rid of the pony walls and use finished end panels, gaining a few more inches of storage and a more updated look in the process.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 9:16AM
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That stove has to be moved... Even just 6-8" off the wall will change your life. Cooking on a stove top with no clearance on one side is miserable - I am remodeling now and this has been one of the main drivers. My understanding is that it is also against code.

You should not paint drywall if you decide to keep the stove flush with the wall. You should put something heat resistant with a nice, solid finish. The paint on drywall beside my stove has peeled from heat and moisture from the cook top time and time again. It's actually a bit dangerous.

The open shelves should be used conservatively. They look lovely in big kitchens with lots of storage because they only contain visual pieces, very few, and nicely arranged. If you're using them for primary storage, your small galley kitchen is going to look cluttered and disorganized very quickly. Something to consider.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 10:21AM
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modern life interiors


    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 11:39AM
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Galley kitchens of the type pictured by the OP can look much wider if the window wall is tiled properly. Tiling walls only on the long sides make the kitchen will cause them to look longer and narrower. Not tiling a full wall -- especially with open shelving -- will look as chopped up as tiling up to a horizontal line that doesn't line up with windows or anything else. Sorry if this is not what you hear but it is how visuals tend to work in that type of space. Had one. Been there.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 12:52PM
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Please refer to brooklyngalley's kitchen. She decreased the size of her sink to move the range from the wall. Her kitchen may give you other ideas. Hers is my favorite galley kitchen on the GW forum. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 6:56PM
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Another vote for NOT tiling the window wall and for moving the range.

Here is the link to Brooklyn Galley's kitchen.

Here is a link that might be useful: Brooklyn Galley's kitchen

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 7:10PM
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I think the sink works very functionally next to a stove - I would move the fridge instead. But if you cannot, I would replace all the tile and eliminate the pony wall. Either increase your cabinet space or add an end panel. The walls are a waste of space and a visual distraction.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 7:20PM
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Also, it were my kitchen, I'd go with deeper base cabinets on the second wall (where you have only cabinets right now) if the isle size permitted. Then you could have deeper uppers (15" or 16") as well. It would increase your storage space.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 7:23PM
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Hi all,
Thank you so much for your feedback! Unfortunately, the stove needs to stay where it is given the tight budget. I actually don't mind its location at all, just that it complicates things when it comes to what should go on the wall. I'm really liking the fridge next to the window in the Brooklyn galley - that would've been ideal for my kitchen as well, but I have a very narrow kitchen (barely 3 feet of clearance across the aisle) and my current fridge, which is close to counter-depth, will not even work in that space.

I'm not sure what to make of the comments about the open shelving. We'll be living in this apt for a long time and we don't plan on having kids - we barely use two shelves per wall cabinet right now. We plan to replace the open shelving with wall cabinets when we move in the distant future, so going with open shelving now doesn't worry us.

At this point, I think I'm leaning towards paint rather than tile. The pictures posted here were very helpful. Please post more pics of kitchens with the same layout if you have them! I will post my After pictures at the end of the month when my kitchen is (hopefully) done. Demolition starts tomorrow!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 9:40PM
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You might find this blog helpful

from one of my favorite small kitchen redos (not forgetting the famous brooklyngalley of course!).
gardenweb handle calypsochick and the finished kitchen here:

I've been TRYING not to say anything about the wall/range issue, but if you could switch the DW and sink and get the range off the wall I think you'd be very happy. I know the 9" I have now is amazing! I wouldn't normally suggest putting the DW in your prep space, but it would allow you to have more prep between sink and range, but perhaps that expanse on the other side is enough. Have fun!

Here is a link that might be useful: calypsochick's galley

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 10:10PM
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It is not expensive to move a gas line a few inches. Actually, they may not need to move it at all as they are using flexible tubing now instead of metal. I looked into it as I thought I needed to move mine. Just as a reference point: it was ~$400 to move my washer connection but the plumber had to cut through studs etc. (so it was more involved that yours may be).

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 10:08AM
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