Need Backsplash Feedback

gpraceman55June 8, 2013

We've been trying to finalize our backsplash choices and are looking for some feedback. Our granite is Crema Bordeaux and our cabinets are a medium stained cherry.

Here's the outlet/switch plate covers that we want to use. They have an antique copper finish. That coordinates with our hammered copper farmhouse sink.

Since the granite has a lot of color and movement to it, we want something that will be more neutral but still has some character to it. We've ruled out anything that is polished, as the room gets a lot of sun and didn't want the glare. We are thinking of doing a honed travertine.

Option 1 is a stick mosaic. The only accents will be the switch plates and outlet covers. These we can buy locally off the shelf.

Option 2 is a Versailles mosaic. We would use a 2x2 hammered copper accent tile sparingly. These we would have to order online.

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I like the materials you're using -- the countertop and the finish on the cabinets but I think the backsplash is bordering on too neutral. I'd use the space to bring in color -- of course this depends largely on your personality and decorating habits -- which is the risk of asking strangers to offer you their opinion -- but if it were me I'd do something with color -- probably green (with all the red undertones you have I think it'd set them off nicely, such as Pratt and Larson "Water Colors #07" 3x6 subways, which is near the middle of this thread:

Here is a link that might be useful: Beautiful green backsplashes thread

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 11:23AM
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Sophie Wheeler

A medium to light gray that picks up the gray in the slab would be a good choice to tone down on the too matchy matchy bit. Do a plain 6x6 tile turned on the diagonal. You could do a gray slate if it were light enough, but even that bit of variation that slate gives will be a lot of visual noise next to that granite. You're at the edge of the "too many clowns" syndrome. Everything can't be a star.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 11:33AM
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I'm not so sure about greens. I could see using a blue gray color, as the family room will have some blues and there will be the dark gray of the soapstone fireplace hearth and surround.

Subway tiles look too boring, IMO. We had done square tiles on a diagonal for our last house, so we want to try something a bit different.

We don't really want the backsplash to be a star, but it should have some interest to it. We don't want something that is plain and monotone. We have seen photos of several kitchens with ivory travertine backsplashes and they've looked pretty good, so we've been exploring that look.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 12:07PM
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I think the tile with the copper is pretty lovely - it seems like a green background, no? It seems it would play really nice with your counter - and your copper sink, too.

PS - If amandasplit shows up on this thread, I'd love to know the name of the tile her brother used in the pics on the link provided here showing green tiles.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 2:16PM
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The photo for the accent tile makes it look verdigrised, but it is not. The tile looks very much like our hammered copper sink, with the dents being a darker copper color (like an old penny).

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 2:23PM
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I love crema bordeaux with cherry. I was thinking gray, like hollysprings, because of the gray in the granite. But I love gray with cherry. I would keep it very understated, because the granite is really the star here.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 2:45PM
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There's a lot of warm tone on tone in this kitchen. And visually stimulating patterns. I don't think more warm tones are the answer. Or more busy patterns. I agree with the gray, but was thinking something more interesting like a brushed stainless. (And I'd probably pick a grey for the walls as well.)

Plain 6x6?

Pennyrounds with a matching grout? (Borderline busy.)

Hexagons? (Too busy a pattern, I think.)

A simple stainless sheet would provide a calm backdrop for the granite.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 3:54PM
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I think you're on rack with a light neutral since you already have a lot of dark with the cabs, counters and floors.

However I don't know about the strong geometric patterns you posted. Don't think I'd like that with your swirly bold countertops. Don't care for accent pieces either, especially with that countertop. Think they would just compete and distract from the countertop which is clearly the star.

I'd wait until the countertops are in and look for something that matches a light shade in the granite.
Please keep posting samples. It's always fun to ponder the options!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 4:14PM
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You are right in thinking ahead to the backsplash. Many here have installed the granite only to find it almost impossible to match it to tile.
I would not go travertine, as it is dated and I don't see where it relates to the backsplash. There are other Bordeaux"s that have lighter tones in them.
If you are set on this granite, then a light gray would probably be the way to go. You can do an interesting pattern, as long as the tiles are a solid.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 6:45PM
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The slabs have already been purchased and will be cut this week.

We looked for tiles in a light gray today and found none that we like. They were all just too drab for our tastes.

Unless we find something else that we like shortly, we are probably going with our Option 1 choice. The color does work with the crema of the granite and the different height tiles gives it some interest.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 6:53PM
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I like option 1. You can always use a gray grout to bring out the gray in your granite. If you want to keep browsing, you can try looking online at The Tile Shop. They have a lot of backsplash options. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 10:12PM
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Agree about blah gray, but would suggest reconsidering the copper outlet and light switch covers. I get what you're saying about they match your sink, but they don't match the color of your backsplash and outlets and light switches aren't a design feature to highlight. Let the sink stand on it's own without the distraction of that in random spots in the backsplash.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 1:21AM
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option 1 or 2 with neutral grout and no particular accents in the form of tiles or switch covers would be my leaning.The cabinets have detail in the form of the glazing or relief of the outline around the framing of each door-this is not a minor detail/and with cabinet hardware and counters there is plenty of stuff going on. No need for more detail with grout color.I prefer the Versaille option 2.....You have great storage, BTW.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 10:50AM
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Talked it over with DW and we are going with Option 1. The horizontal tile pattern should lead the eye around the kitchen.

We intend to use the copper outlet and switch covers as the only accent. If they don't end up looking good, we can always take them off.

We are not sure quite yet what we will do about grout color. We may wait until the counters are in (should be by the end of the week) and tile is hung before we decide that.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 12:06PM
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That tile doesn't read neutral to me. What relationship are you seeing between the choppy, linear, gray tile to the swirls of rich color in the granite? Your lighting and hardware is very traditional and floral, which reads soft and feminine. Then you've got those rigid lines in the tile. I also think it's too contemporary for the other elements.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 6:07PM
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@may_flowers - The ivory color of the travertine looks neutral to me. I'm not sure what gray tile you are referring to. While we like a traditional style for the most part, we do mix in some more modern elements here and there so we don't mind the liner mosaic tile. We can either highlight those lines or mute them by what color grout that we choose. We'd be more likely to mute them.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 8:19PM
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