Backsplash or no Backsplash.

lilmissunshineMay 2, 2013

Hi everyone, I'm new to the forums, but I have a slight dilemma that I'm trying to decide on. I am redoing my kitchen & am about to get my new granite countertops fabricated for installation very soon. Now, originally we told our fabricators to include the typical 4" backsplash in the fabrication of the countertops, because, as of now, our walls are painted only. But, with more thought & looking at so many pictures of kitchens, I have noticed a lot of people do not do that type of backsplash anymore, instead, they do a tiled, metallic or stainless steel backsplash on their walls. I never thought I wanted to get into the work & expense of tiling my walls, but, I also want my kitchen to look it's best & found so many updated kitchens that don't do a granite backsplash, instead, go with tiled backsplashes that I just love, I am not sure what to do, so, my questions are this:

#1 Is a matching granite backsplash to your countertops outdated? I don't want to "outdate" as I "update" :) Our granite is 3cm, therefore, the backsplash will be also, which is what our existing formica backsplash is & I don't like it.

#2 If I do decide to tile, will I need to tile before the countertops are put in or can I tile afterwards, I don't want to make it more difficult for myself.

I appreciate any advice or ideas that you all have one way or the other :)

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gpraceman55

In our last house, we removed the existing granite backsplash to put in tile. Leaving the granite backsplash would have left less room for the tile and IMO breaks up the look of the tile backsplash too much.

Tile after your counters are installed. That will help make sure that the tiles don't get in the way of the counter install.

This post was edited by gpraceman on Thu, May 2, 13 at 12:46

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 12:45PM
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lilmissunshine

Thanks so much for your reply, yes, I thought the same thing, but wanted to make sure. I want to make sure I make the right decision about the backsplash before they even do a 1st cut, afterall, once it's in, it's in, so, I appreciate your opinion. :)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 1:04PM
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gpraceman55

I forgot to add that we are going to do a full tile backsplash in our new home also, as we really liked how it turned out in our last home. We are getting ready to do the demo soon. We still have to decide what type of tile and pattern to use to go with crema bordeaux granite counters.

The photo is of our last kitchen. The new kitchen will be even better!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 1:14PM
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lilmissunshine

You will LOVE the crema bordeaux! It was my #1 choice for so long, being that our cabinets are golden oak, just like your picture, I fell in love with the crema Bordeaux, but, in the end, we decided on Madura gold. I had ruled it out originally, but, found a slab of it that I really liked, so, we decided on that instead. Good luck, I know if your new kitchen is anything like your old one, it'll be breath taking. I'm in awe of your old one already lol.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 1:23PM
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teachertile

Most people on here say the granite backsplash is "dated", but we went with a 2" granite backsplash with a tile backsplash above that. I'm so glad we went with the small granite backsplash. To me it makes the granite look thicker. I would have done granite all the way up to the cabinets if I was willing to spend the money, but I knew I didn't want a 4" backsplash. I think it just comes down to personal taste. Do what YOU want to do.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 1:25PM
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Angie_DIY

Teachertile is correct -- the prevailing opinion here is that the 4" backsplash is somewhat dated. Plenty of people still use 'em, or use a different size of them, though.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 1:38PM
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gpraceman55

We do love the colors and movement in the crema bordeaux.

With your golden oak cabinets and madura gold counters, are you going with a contrasting backsplash? There are so many choices now a days, ceramic, porcelain, glass, metal, stone, etc. and different patterns as well. We are having a harder time choosing the backsplash tile and pattern than we did with the granite.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 1:38PM
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lilmissunshine

This is what our kitchen has or will have in it :) What do you think?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 2:16PM
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lilmissunshine

Oh, I forgot to add, our walls are a warm peachy color, I think the paint color is called spiked pumpkin

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 2:20PM
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gpraceman55

The cabinets, counter and flooring all have a similar color pallet. That may make your kitchen blend together too much. You may want to have a contrasting backsplash and have accents that coordinate with the counter. Maybe use that glass tile as an accent stripe, instead of as the entire backsplash.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 2:23PM
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lilmissunshine

Thx gpraceman, I'm still looking for a good backsplash, any suggestions? lol, too many to choose from :) But, I will say, the one I posted, I do like it, but yes, it does blend, so, idk idk lol, still looking :)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 2:37PM
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gpraceman55

I don't have any specific recommendations. You may want to do a search on Houzz and Google Images, using the name of your granite. Find kitchens with the same color cabinets as you and see what they did for the backsplash.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 2:47PM
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snookums2

I think the small busy pattern and multi colored design of the back splash you're looking at will detract from and clash with your counter. I'd opt for something simpler.

When you look at the photos above, does the coloring look accurate? The granite reads dark and pink toned here. I thought it was a bordeaux. Or is it lighter and more gold? Darker one in second picture.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 2:49PM
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lilmissunshine

I have & I think it just comes down to personal taste, some blend, some really contrast, some contrasts I like, some I really don't lol, so....I have come to the conclusion that there is no defined conclusion for me yet, but, I appreciate the feedback :)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 2:53PM
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lilmissunshine

Hey Snookums2, the 1st picture looks pretty close to what I picture my countertops are going to be, yes, so, you're right on there, the second picture has a bit more gold in it than our slab, but, is still fairly close, some Madura golds that we looked at were really gold, almost a brown, but ours seemed to have more flow of color to it, more maroons, peaches & bronze, along with the gold. I like the tile backsplash in the 1st picture, thx for sending it :)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 2:59PM
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lilmissunshine

Hey Snookums2, the 1st picture looks pretty close to what I picture my countertops are going to be, yes, so, you're right on there, the second picture has a bit more gold in it than our slab, but, is still fairly close, some Madura golds that we looked at were really gold, almost a brown, but ours seemed to have more flow of color to it, more maroons, peaches & bronze, along with the gold. I like the tile backsplash in the 1st picture, thx for sending it :)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 3:00PM
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gpraceman55

I assume that is a darker toned travertine backsplash. You could do that and mix in some bronze accent tiles to coordinate with your cabinet hardware.

We will be mixing in copper accents into our backsplash to go along with our copper sink and hardware.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 3:08PM
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lilmissunshine

That sounds nice, I like copper tones, esp with a more golden tone to our cabinets :) thx

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 5:23PM
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snookums2

Since you like that stone backsplash on the diagonal, consider doing a bottom row and liner tile. I think it makes a nice and smooth transition from counter to backsplash. I find the style shown in the previous photo a bit abrupt. Being that your kitchen bones are going to be monochromatic, the tile pattern there will also bring needed textural interest into the mix.

Here's a beautiful example in one of the GW kitchens. The bottom row is often done in a 4x4. This one shows 1x1's which is also lovely and interesting. That's actually more current looking in that people are using a lot of smaller tiles now in their back splashes.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 11:07PM
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dodge59

We have a granite backsplash, that goes all the way up.
I don't care if it's "dated or not", we do what we like the looks of, and have never followed the "Joneses" on their various time journeys.

We had all tile in our kitchen before the remodel and the last thing I wanted to see in the new kitchen was grout lines and tiles , no matter how pretty the tiles are.

Our granite has a lot of movement, (Arandis Gold) and we like to be able to see it without standing over it.

To Me, I just don't think tile and granite go together.
You have a nice smooth surface on the granite, the cabinets sink etc are all relatively smooth, then you add a buncha cracks and pieces of whatever in the name of a backsplash and again to me, it just doesn't fit.

I sure don't miss cleaning the grout or the tiles, with the granite, just a quick swipe will do it.

We've had the granite backsplash for 7 years now and still love the look and the other attributes I mentioned.

Gary

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 10:48AM
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lilmissunshine

Hey Gary, yeah, I definitely thought about just taking the granite all the way up the wall, I've seen pictures (like the one you uploaded on here) just like this & thought about if I liked that look, unfortunately, it's more money than I can afford to do, but, I have to agree with you about the cleaniness part, something smooth is definitely nicer & easier to clean than something with grooves etc...I guess that's why, if I did do tiles, I would want them to be more of a glass, as apposed to something with a rougher finish. Is this your kitchen btw? It's really nice if it is :) I guess I'm just glad that I have time to decide, because the tile or paint, whatever I end of doing, will come "after" the countertops are done. I wish I could do granite all the way up in a way, but, I'm a poor woman lol.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 1:53PM
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gpraceman55

A less expensive alternative to granite slabs as a backsplash is to find that type of granite in a tile. IMO, that works better if the granite does not have much movement to it, so it doesn't end up looking too patchy when you do tiles.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 2:01PM
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dodge59

yep that's my kitchen.
Sorry it's not in your budget, but gpraceman does have a good idea about granite tiles. I have seen these used in place of granite slabs for the counter, when a budget dictated it.
"To Me", they did not look that bad.

I had to redo the area of the granite where the cook top is,
due to a bad choice I made about cooktops, a 36" semi-circle Caldera.
It died in about a year and the company went broke, so I had to replace it with a rectangular induction cooktop, Hence the granite rework. Well I could find Granite remnants (Arandis Gold) for next to nothing, (I paid about $75 for a little less than a half slab. So you may be able to do that too, and then have it cut to sizes you want for the tile, myself, the bigger the better, and the less grout lines.

Thanks for your kind words about my kitchen, it is pretty unique, and as we tell folks here, Do what makes you happy, after all, it's your kitchen.

For those of you that do like tiles and grout, that's great, as long as it's what you want, and you're not following others or doing what you "Think", might help sell the house later.

Gary

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 2:29PM
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gpraceman55

@dodge59 - With all of our renovations, we do try to keep in mind resale issues. We still do it so we will enjoy it, but we will not be so bold as to do something that will hurt resale. That strategy has worked for us so far. Our first house sold in 10 days and our 2nd house sold in a single day.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 2:38PM
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dodge59

Yep fortunately I don't have to deal with resale.

We bought this house new in 1975 and they will drag us "Feet First" out of it!!!!, (but of course, Your Mileage does vary)!

Gary

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 2:55PM
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lilmissunshine

LOL, you guys are a hoot, yeah, I have to say, I had this house built going on 22 yrs ago now, (moved in & found out I was pregnant with my daughter on the same day, surprise!) not knowing then that I'd still be living here today, lol, I guess being a young woman at the time, you don't "for see" your future as far as you think you do, but now, I plan to stay for the long haul, I want a house, not an apartment, for my kids to bring their kids home to, so, this is why I've decided to do all of this. I really appreciate the feedback from everyone, it has helped a lot actually.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 4:21PM
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teachertile

Here is my 2" granite backsplash with tile.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 7:32AM
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