countertop and backsplash considerations

foodonastumpJune 16, 2013

In our kitchen reno we're trying to stay rather style-neutral because we'll likely be selling soon. We figured the cabinets (Kraftmaid, maple, praline) was a middle ground that wouldn't completely turn off people who hate either white or dark. I realize wood floors are preferred by many these days, but connecting/matching into the adjoining floors was an issue for a variety of reasons so we felt it was easier to go with tile. We chose a light cream because it's a dark room with only one window that looks out into a screened-in porch.

Anyway, now it's time to pick counters and backsplash, and now that we're here I understand why I've read pages upon pages of people stressing over this decision!

For the counters I'm considering something again "medium", probably a granite that has some movement, something in the neighborhood of the golden flower linked below. Thoughts?

More concerning is the backsplash choice. My plan was some sort of tile and to continue the backsplash up to the 8' ceiling over the range. (There'll be a stainless chimney style hood there.) Therefore it needs to be interesting enough to be a focal point, but again I don't want it to be overly stylized in any direction.

Do I need to keep the backsplash light like the floors? (The floors are lighter than my monitor shows.) I'm thinking it might make the room top heavy to go darker. Any general suggestions for material? I was thinking porcelain tile but am open to suggestions. Do you like the idea of extending up the wall, or would you keep it simple and just go up to cabinet height all around and then paint above the range? I'm not crazy about a stainless sheet behind the range - for my particular application.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions, whether high level or specific. Cost is a factor - we're in a middle class neighborhood where from what I've seen online and in person people aren't going too nuts.

Here is a link that might be useful: golden flower

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First, yes, go up to the ceiling because a SS chimney hood is a focal point.

The undertone in the floor tile doesn't seem to go with the golds in the granite. I like the granite with the cabs and could see a blue backsplash, but I think you need to coordinate floor tile with your countertop first.

Can we see a better photo of just the floor tile, or do you have the manufacturer's photo available?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 11:44AM
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Here's a picture in full sunlight, and linked is a picture from Neither displays it perfectly but it's closer! It's 18x18. The link says polished, but I definitely wouldn't call it that. It's not shiny smooth at all, but maybe I'm just not up on the terminology.

Overall we thought the granite slabs that we saw in that color worked well, but there were small sections of goldish-yellow that you could actually feel, and I liked neither the color nor the texture aspect of those sections. They got quite defensive and insisted it was the stone not filler, which annoyed me because I wasn't accusing them of anything, just that it was a concern.

Here is a link that might be useful:

This post was edited by foodonastump on Sun, Jun 16, 13 at 12:43

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 12:33PM
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I love your floor tile. It looks really nice in your kitchen.

I would definitely do a light color backsplash, and run it behind the hood and up to the ceiling. Do your cabs go to the ceiling?

I agree that the granite might be too golden-y, especially if your floors are even lighter in real life. Although, it does work well with your cabinets. Take one of your tiles to the stone yard with you when you choose.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 1:17PM
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The Golden Flower may be too gold.

Look at Giallo Ornamental granite - fairly common, but not too busy, not too gold, and a decent mixture of color flecks that aid in picking paint colors. My DDi is using it with a BR vanity that is similar to your cabinets and her flooring is in the same color family

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 1:37PM
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Sorry for being OT. But I had to show you an example of your user name. DH asked if I was now doinng basil on a stick when I put the planter here yesterday.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 3:19PM
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LOL LoPay - I like your handle, too!

Thanks all, for your comments, esp the warnings about the gold. Definitely something to look out for, and to pay more attention to the floor/backsplash match. The cabinets are more forgiving. And yes, they run to the ceiling.

One look we love is stacked stone. Something along the lines of the picture in the link below, but not necessarily that exact color. And hopefully without the big crack - great marketing! And hopefully a bit cheaper. One tile place warned that due to the texture, no grout, etc. it's a "commitment" due to cleanability. Makes sense, esp behind the range, but has anyone here done this and care to chime in?

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 6:26PM
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