Tile backsplash for craftsman kitchen

moopieMay 26, 2014

Anyone have ideas or suggestions? Quartersawn red oak cabinets, soapstone countertops, antique pulls. I love the greens, browns, and reds of craftsman tiles. I also love subway tiles and don't want the kitchen to be too dark. Help!

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Pics would be helpful. How about subway tile with Craftsman tiles as a row or three a few inches above counter level? I would suggest a light color for the subway tile to keep the kitchen from becoming too dark, and the deeper colors of the counter and cabinets as the trim.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 1:05PM
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Thanks. Good suggestion. I just found a hand made tile website with templates to design your own pattern. I might try that. I would love photos anyone else might post of their own patterns, just to get some ideas.
I have no photos yet. Beginning demolition soon.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 2:47PM
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We have a Craftsman style kitchen. I used subways as BS with a crackle glass and have been very happy with it. Here is a photo that is fairly true to the color.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 2:55PM
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Beautiful backsplash. May I ask where you found the tile?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 9:48PM
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Some quintessential craftsman stoneware art tiles. Not cheap, but scream craftsman and are gorgeous!

Here is a link that might be useful: Terrafirmaarttile

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 7:04AM
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Here's a website all things arts and crafts - where to get stuff.

Here is a link that might be useful: Artsandcraftscollector

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 7:19AM
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Fori is not pleased


Especially perfect if you're in the upper midwest.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 10:07AM
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How dark are you staining your cabinets? I ask because I know you don't want to create a dark hole.

I have soapstone counters with honey colored cabinetry and maple floors. My kitchen has lots of light, but I still know it would seem quite dark if I had a darker, natural-hued backsplash in those darker, lovely craftsman tiles. (I have biscuit colored subway.) The soapstone seems to soak up the light. I say this because I can definitely see the contrast to the other part of the kitchen where I have a carrera marble counter.

If you want to go with some of those lovely (and horribly expensive) craftsman tiles, I'd suggest some in a lighter, very subtle shade of green or gold.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 10:23AM
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Heck yeah to Pewabic!

This is what I used in the bathroom of my 1916 house (not sure where the photos of the finished bathroom are!). Subway tiles and motif tiles from Pratt and Larson. There were just two rows of the (pricy!) motif tiles and the rest was subway.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 1:33PM
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Moopie - Sorry to be so late to answer your question, but I was out of town. Those are Pratt & Larson hand made 3 X 6 in crackle glaze (not glass as I said, what was I thinking?) from their Water Color line. They come in lots of colors.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 6:38PM
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Man, I love kalapointer's, possibly my favorite on GW.

[If you have any more pictures, I'd love to see them. ÃÂâ¿ÃÂ]

I've been looking at cherry cabinets in a natural stain. Don't think they'll get quite as dark as kalapointer's. Countertops, I'm looking at soapstone, unoiled. Oiled it would somewhat similar to kalapointer's (which is granite?) I don't plan to oil it so it'll be lighter/grayer.

I'be been relatively up in the air on backsplash but I love that water color. I was thinking something with less color (more gray/white) to not fight with the cherry or soapstone, but, wow, now I don't know.

Another favorite:

Throwing in some art tiles does appeal to me (though I worry I'll take it too far ...) My architect-friend has taught me some of the difference between mass produced and traditional/hand-made subways, so now I'm ruined for that (= $).

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 11:04PM
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Kalapointer, I love your backsplash too, a beautiful color.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 11:12PM
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Moop- upper Midwest has both motawi and pewabic hand made tiles (one west of Ann Arbor and the other in the Detroit area)
Both are expensive if you use as a field tile. If you use as an accent, be sure your subways are thick enough.
Love the P&L tiles above. I ogled Heath tiles but just never found the right one for our kitchen
Quite a few fireclay tile kitchens popping up and they are gorgeous!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 7:01AM
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Thanks for all of the great advice and gorgeous photos. I am leaning toward a 3x6 glazed tile from North Prarie Tileworks. I don't know if you can see this link, but it's on Houzz.com under Crocus Hill kitchen. http://www.houzz.com/photos/3317777/Crocus-Hill-Kitchen-craftsman-kitchen-minneapolis

I would not use any decorative tiles with it and am a little worried it will be too dark, but it keeps calling out to me.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 10:08PM
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Here's your pic of the kitchen you referenced. That's the only one I could find that showed the backsplash.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 10:42PM
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Yes, that's it. Thanks! It's a really interesting and beautiful tile with lots of variation in brown, green, and blues. I am just worried that it might be too dark. My cabinets will be the same color, same soapstone countertops, hardwood floors, and I will have a white farmhouse sink.

Any opinions?

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 10:03PM
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That's a very dark backsplash. It works in the photo above because: The room has tall ceilings and light walls. The room has extreme daylight from large windows on BOTH sides of the room, plus a lot of daylight from large windows entering the room from the doorway showing more windows beyond it.

If your room doesn't have light colored walls, high-ish ceilings, and lots of daylight penetration, then you will definitely feel the cave effect of such a dark backsplash (especially with blackish grout). It also depends on how many actual square feet of this dark tile would be used.

On the other hand, you could get a similar (earth-tile) look using their tiles, but in a lighter color, such as their gas fired "buff" (which is green not gold).

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 10:21AM
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aptos and romy Thank you for the nice remarks. My cabinets are quartersawn red oak with a red stain called vineyard. The island has a clear finish. The counter top is serpentinite which is closer to marble then granite. It is dark green with white veins. I wanted soapstone, but could not find any that I like here. Here is a photo that shows the tile around the winds up to the soffit ledge.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 12:39PM
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I apologize for taking the thread off topic, but I was wondering if you ever had to seal your backsplash tile? It's gorgeous and I would love to have the same in my kitchen when we get around to doing the backsplash.

The manufacturer's catalogue recommends sealing, however, so I may or may not have created an account here (long time lurker!) to ask. :)

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 2:25PM
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I used glass subway tiles from Home Depot in my non-craftsman kitchen, but I think they might be great with craftsman style too.

I think they're 2"x4" I used the blue-er version, but the greenish version would look great with the warm woods. They were about $9 per sq ft, and you could add an accent stripe of hand-made tiles.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 2:46PM
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emmybean, yes you must seal tile that has crackle glaze before you install it. Otherwise the grout will migrate into the cracks. It should be sealed every few months for about a year or so because the glaze keeps cracking with time.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 4:41PM
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I agree that the backsplash is dark & is sucking up a lot of light. I think you could find something lighter that would highlight the beautiful wood of your cabinets.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 11:25PM
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Such great input from you all. Beautybutdebtfree, I think you are right that they would be too dark in my kitchen. Kalapointer, I love your tiles and started looking for something in a lighter color. Roger at North Prarie Tile has patiently been working with me, and I think we have found a beautiful compromise. I will post photos later. Choosing tile backsplash has been the biggest challenge for me.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 11:26PM
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