Backsplash to go with Giallo Napoli granite???

tngardener19August 19, 2012

I love my Giallo Napoli granite with white cabinets, yellow walls and red oak floor. However, I feel like it needs something a little darker to break up all the brown/yellow tones. It sort of blends together into a yellow landscape.

It will be under the cabinets (countertop to cabinet) and a bit taller behind the stovetop.

DH wants something "interesting" while I was leaning toward a solid color because I like things simple and a little plain with the "interesting" granite. So, we are trying to find a compromise.

I am considering this Jackson Ridge Grotto - Black ceramic tile. It has a hint of brown in the texture and brings out the small smoke-colored clouds in the granite. This is 12 x 12; I don't want small tiles because it just looks too busy to me (and all that grout!) - especially since the granite is really busy. Any opinions on the color and/or size for my backsplash?

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Beautiful stone! Full disclaimer - I would not have paired it with yellow paint, so my taste may not be on the same palette as yours.

I get that you want browns to pull in the granite, but you already have grey in the granite to tie the bs and counter together and I think in the tile you've chosen, the grey is fighting your wall color and the texture is fighting your granite. I would recommend a bolder color with no texture at all.

I am obsessed these days with Fireclay Tile's Claymonde sheets. They are rectified edge sheets (although bullnose is available) that measure 5 3/4" x 35 1/4" or 11 11/16" x 35 1/4", so very little grout, and have a gloss finish. Because of their size and beautiful glazing, they definitely will make the bs an interesting feature in the kitchen, without upstaging your lovely stone. The top two tiles are Charcoal, followed by Olive (my favorite) and Fennel, and I think all three would harmonize with the warm and cool colors you have in your space. It's hard to do that with a single color, by the way. If you were a fan of mosaics, I would have recommended one that had all your colors represented in some way, but I like plain, bold visual statements, especially with granite that has a lot going on.

The principle I would go with if none of these is to your liking, is to pick a color with no texture that is pretty with each individual element. Good luck finishing up!

Here is a link that might be useful: Claymonde Sheets

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 1:31PM
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Always love the backsplash ideas EAM comes up with. Can't wait for him/her to help me out when my time for that comes in about 6 months.

As for your BS - DH needs to give in to you on this one. I'm not a fan of that tile with your very pretty and somewhat busy granite. If something like a plain glass or ceramic is too boring for DH, how about something with some texture but one color. I'm not sure this color is for you, just the idea of a plain tile with some texture.

Same tile, different color and size (seems like some of the texture is not as evident in this smaller tile):

Or a subway that has color variations. Or getting large format glass subway tiles primarily in one color, with a few in another color, and "randomly" mixing them. Or using frosted and gloss in the same color glass to add some interest. I think you could come up with some idea that isn't totally plain, but won't compete with your counter. Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 2:48PM
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Hello. I almost picked the same type of granite but I wanted something totally different so I ended up going with a crazy/busy granite and painted my cabinets a grayish color. I had oak cabinets and I was leaning towards painting them white with the a yellow/goldish granite (imperial taupe, giallo napoleon, santa cecilia, venetian gold) but again, I wanted something different.

I like both of your choices (granite and tile) but not together (sorry).

I would visit a granite yard and look at every slab. I'm sure something new will grab your attention.

With my granite being soooooo busy, I had to choose a very sutble/simple backsplash (busy granite + busy backsplash = clash (almost always)) I went with Crossville's 4x8 tile. I too HATE grout so we tried to keep it thin.


Granite I picked - Ivory Sukuri


Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: kitchen remodel - b&a

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 2:55PM
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Thanks for your responses. I tend to agree with all of you. I want something solid in a darker color so I may just have to wait out DH's preferences. I love your gray, MrsShayne, and the entire look of your new kitchen! Something like that is just what I would choose left to my own devices. Maybe DH would settle for smaller tiles and more grout to satisfy his need for interest. Is it sealed well so it isn't hard to clean? I don't want to spend my time getting grease out of grout.

By the way, the yellow wall looks better than you might think when you take away the black tile. It's a mellow sort of yellow. :) And that isn't a big factor - they can be changed down the line. I'd rather figure out what paint to go with granite and tile than the other way around.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 3:34PM
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BTW, it's a relief to have people respond that I should have a solid backsplash. I saw so many pictures online with mosaics and distinct textures paired with busy granite that I thought I was the only one who believed they clashed. It's all a matter of taste, but I'm relieved that at least some people with experience believe it as well.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 3:51PM
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Some of them certainly get too busy for me. Another look I do like is the plain glass tile with a 3" (or so) row of accent tiles - mosaic or linear - that brings the colors together. Something like this (although I have been told this look is "dated")...

Just trying to think of a compromise with DH. :)

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 4:23PM
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I think you are getting excellent advise. I also like things very simple. My stone has lots of movement so we went with a glass subway. I thought I would like a border, but when we added it, I didn't like it at all and we ripped it out.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 4:35PM
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Thanks beeps - I'm a woman and I'm happy to help when that day comes. I love both your choices for this space. I made a board of them below, with the Fireclay tiles, and hope that's helpful.

I think picking your own backsplash can sometimes be like editing your own writing - difficult to do well. YOU know what you mean, and when you read what you've written you sometimes miss the words on the page and can't spot what's missing. In a kitchen that you've made a thousand decisions for, you know you want it look a certain way, but when it comes time to add that last element, you can't always see what's missing. Other peoples eyes can help add the finishing touch or even mix unexpectedly disparate elements.

TNG, if the colors represented in the image are off, perhaps you could post another one if you're hoping for specific recommendations, as well as an approximate budget. If you're just trying to get ideas, no need, and good luck finishing up.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 4:55PM
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I have stained cabinets and tan walls...but here's what I put with ours

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 5:19PM
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Here's a picture of the main cabinet and countertop. It's a small kitchen but enough for us.
beeps, I like that look. Is the tile 6"?
eyegirlie, that's really nice. I'm afraid I would think it is too light under white cabinets, though.
EAM44 - I love that composite picture and your idea that someone else needs to help at the end. You are so right!
I like the look of MrsShayne's grey but my colors seem to be in the brown family.
What would anyone think about something similar in chocolate brown glass or ceramic - maybe 6" tiles? Is the space too small for tile that large? It would be 3 rows under the cabinets (18") and another row+ over the stovetop (27").

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 9:15PM
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And here it is from the oven looking the other direction. I agree, sixtyohno, the advice on here is so helpful!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 9:29PM
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Mrs. Shayne, your kitchen is gorgeous! Can I ask how did you go about painting your oak cabinets? Also what is the name of your granite? It is stunning!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 9:43PM
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Hi again - if you are talking about the brown with the accent strip - I managed to find the source (linked below) and it is 6 1/2 x 20. I don't think the size is too big but they do have it in 6 1/2 x 13 also. (It's funny but I had no idea what tile that was and as it turns out my 2nd choice for flooring was that same tile in a gray. And in the beginning, before I changed everything, I was going to use it in the guest shower. I must have a thing for that tile!)

But, it isn't glass nor glossy so it may not be what you are looking for. The must have used some extra lighting in that pic.

As for color - I would love a chocolate brown with your granite, I'm just trying to figure out how it would look with your black appliances. I'm not sure about that. But maybe you could find an accent glass that would pull them together, and run a strip of it around the BS. This one says its black/brown but I see mostly brown. EAM is the glass tile wizard, I'll let her make a suggestion! :)

Sounds like DH has folded already, eh? =)

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to brown BS

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 10:00PM
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Well, sort of, beeps. I showed DH MrsShayne's grey and he liked it. He's actually pretty easy to please, but he had only seen travertine and kitchens with simpler granite and more decorative backsplashes. Once he sees something that looks good, he knows it. It's my job to show him the right thing. :)

I was wondering about the size of the bigger tiles but thanks for the info on the accent. I don't think I have a problem with black/brown since the granite has black in it and I like them together, but I'll keep that in mind when I bring in my trial tile. I may need an accent or border to make them blend. And I'm considering a matte finish, too, which would probably not show streaks as badly. Thank you for all your thoughts.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 10:40PM
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Oh, sorry, which bigger tiles? The first ones I posted?

The first, with the square brown tiles which have texture are Daltile Concrete Connection. The color I pasted in earlier was the Eastside Brown. The backsplash pic is in the Steel Structure (which is what I'm putting in my house in 20x20 for flooring throughout except bedrooms). I love it because it has a leather-look with the texture - but is a smooth matte tile. It just looks like it has texture. Scroll down on the page on the link below and you can see the tile sizes. It does come in a 6 1/2 x 6 1/2.

The one I posted in my subsequent post I linked already. It is the Daltile Veranda.

Good luck. Glad DH is open to alternatives. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Daltile Concrete Connection

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 11:55PM
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Bixa525 - thank you for the kind words :) I really love hearing good reviews since my remodel lasted 4 months..

I took off all the cabinet doors, cleaned them, sanded them and added two coats of primer using CabinetCoat (which is paint and primer in one) then I used Benjamin Moore's advanced paint (not oil based)- love it- leveled beautifully... I haven't painted since sixth grade!

Color is 1550- cumulus cloud

Granite is ivory Sukuri but also goes by the name gold coral.

Below is a link to my blog. It shows lots of pictures and explains everything.

Thanks again!

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen remodel

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 12:32AM
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Hi, everyone. I realized I had so much trouble choosing a tile backsplash because I don't really want tile. Sometimes it's hard to know until you wait a while. Anyway, thanks to eam44, we are considering painted wood in the color shown in the pictures. She recommended a similar blue as a possible wall color and DH likes it, too.
1. What do you think? I never would have thought of blue with this granite, but I think it might work!
2. Is wood the way to go, or is there another material we could paint that would be more durable and easier to clean since it will be a backsplash. I thought about bead board for a minute, but cleaning the grooves seems overwhelming.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 8:10PM
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why not paint the wall the color you want?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 8:23PM
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That's a definite possibility, thanks. But we removed a 6" tile backsplash from the wall and it is pretty torn up. Whoever put in the tile in the 80's left peeling places and holes in the wall and put the tile over the damaged wall board. We were thinking it would be easier to put something over it than try to make it suitable for painting. I am also very fond of my cheerful yellow walls and wouldn't two-tone walls look odd?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 8:47PM
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I love the blue! You can absolutely just paint the wall beneath the cabinets as remodelfla recommends. Just use a scrubbable paint finish (and possibly outdoor paint?). You are wise to pause before proceeding with beadboard (see GW post below). If you want wood texture behind your color, I guess that'll work too. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Beadboard

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 8:51PM
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Thanks! I'd love to just paint, but the wall is such a mess. Is there something thin and simple I can use to cover it and then paint? DH is not at all excited about trying to fix the wall after all he's done so far. He's been great. I don't necessarily need wood texture, just something to cover the wall.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 10:51PM
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What about something like this? Simple but would cover the damage to the walls.

Here is a link that might be useful: Beadboard tile

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 12:08AM
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Spackle can cover a multitude of sins. Spackling is an art, but it's not hard really, and there are videos on YouTube that can give you the basics. Every other option I can think of (self adhesive wood veneer, paintable faux tin backsplash rolls, tiles or panels) has the same flaw - they are either flammable, or will melt behind your range.

Which brings me back to the Claymonde sheet tiles at Fireclay. They are large format 35 1/4" sheets so fewer grout lines, but they are expensive, and they are tile, which you don't want. I'm sort of stumped, unless you want to spackle, sand and paint the wall, and place a sheet of clear glass behind the range. Some clever GWer will think of something.

I do think the color is awesome.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 12:21AM
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The blue is very pretty.... but I agree with EAM that spackling a wall isn't rocket science. You do need a certain touch and will want to get the area as smooth as possible. You can buy patches if you have a bigger hole somewhere that you need to cover. For me that would be easier than cutting the wood to fit and putting it up - cause I suck with a saw (unless it's a chain saw!). :)

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 10:35AM
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I know, I sound lazy. I'm actually a whiz with spackle and repairing holes, (DH has been amazed) but I'm a little worn out after all the DIY for the countertops and a bathroom that isn't part of this project.
In spite of my statement about tile, it was mainly the ceramics that didn't suit my style. I am intrigued by the sheet tiles. But the only blue-ish color I see on their site is Nordic Sky which looks gray. Do they make a blue similar to this one? The cost might not be too much of a factor since we only have about 17 sq ft to cover. If they don't make a suitable color, we might think about some other brand of large glass tile. DH painted another piece of plexiglass with the blue paint just on one side and we put it up with the glass side out to get the effect. We both kind of like it if we can minimize the busy-factor and grout. Or, I might rest up and attack the wall with spackle and paint. LOL Thanks for all the suggestions.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 9:59PM
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Lazy never crossed my mind, but I know it can be intimidating to try something new, so I wanted you to know that it is doable. If you don't want to do it because you are completely worn out, I have one more possible option for you.

I am totally captivated by my latest find. These are large format glass tiles. Their stock colors are not optimal for you, but these people specialize in custom colors - they can copy anything. Their stock sizes will put a smile on your face: 84 in. x 130 in., 42 in. x 130 in., and 65 in. x 84 in. Any customization in size can be accommodated. It's a really cool site. I have no idea how expensive this stuff is, but it looks pretty awesome and NO GROUT. If you're interested, contact them, and let us all know how it goes!

Here is a link that might be useful: Dreamwalls

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 12:34AM
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Those are beautiful. I will definitely research them. Here's a painted plexiglas rough draft of what we are going to look for. It will go up to the cabinet, of course. I love it and so does DH. This will be fun now that we know what we want. And I was just kidding about being lazy. Exaggeration is in my southerm blood. :) Thank you so much for your ideas!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 8:13AM
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You're welcome. Enjoy your beautiful kitchen, and please post pics when you're done!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 12:14PM
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Well, here it is and I'm very excited! It only took from June to December to decide and get this new backsplash installed. LOL. Thanks to everyone for their input - especially to the person who called my attention to the wine-colored spots in the granite. We decided on a Crossville Tile called Sixteen Candles from the Color by Numbers line. We didn't want a vivd grout line because of the busy granite, so we used Quarry Red grout with a basketweave pattern. DH loves it, too!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 3:30PM
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