Too busy? Opinions wanted

myboys1August 20, 2013

I would appreciate everyone's opinions about this backsplash choice. It's ok if it's not your style or if it seems too trendy. Still feel free to give your opinion :)

I am wondering if it is too busy? The cabinets and countertop are plain, so I thought some texture for the backsplash would be good. But in general, I think mosaics can be too busy and I am afraid I will get tired of the look after a short while. These are glass tiles with a small piece of stone mixed in. I know it is hard to see under the plastic.

At the same time, I think something solid might be boring since there is no "movement" to the countertop - it is a solid gray quartz. I don't want the backsplash to stand out, but instead to blend with the kitchen and add some visual interest to a pretty plain design.

If your opinion is "not good", "dont like"or "too busy", do you have a suggestion of something else that might work better? ie. less busy, not boring or dull, works with the color and style of both the cabinets and counters, and that helps to tie the kitchen together? Thanks!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think this is better than the previous options you tried out.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 11:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It all depends what you like. They seem to work well together. If you want something contemporary, snazzy, it's that. It could be uplifting and refreshing that way. If you tend to tire of things fairly soon or steer from busy patterns, it might not be the best choice unless replacement isn't a big deal. If you want calm and peaceful in the morning, when you're preparing meals or if there's chaos around with the family, I don't think I'd pick something so energetic.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 12:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you do the whole backsplash that way, it could look very busy. You could always tone it down by using it sparingly. Maybe as an accent stripe, with some neutral coordinating tile as the field tile. You could still do the whole backsplash behind the cooktop with it, to make that area pop.

This post was edited by gpraceman on Tue, Aug 20, 13 at 12:35

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 12:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The colors look spot on. I think it's the one I liked the best previously? I like a larger tile, but since you don't have a lot of area to tile, a mosaic wouldn't be too bad. It would look nice as an accent strip, but I don't think you have enough room between hood and cooktop to use it as a feature.

Here's an idea. It's a large subway but it's stacked instead of brick pattern, so it looks very modern. The subways have a little linear texture. The mosaic color is close in tone to the subway so it's subtle, but you could use those mosaics. It gives just enough interest while keeping it clean and unfussy.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 12:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"The colors look spot on."

ha, I was just going to add that the counter looks like a cool bluish gray and the backsplash tile a green gray. Anyway, you could lower the color contrast and go for more texture than color pattern. Since everything else is simple, the busyness of this might be a bit much, appearing as one lively band around the room.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 1:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I thought it was the one on the end here. That looks blue-gray like the counter.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 1:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In the picture above I like the second from the is all different shades of gray and looks less busy and is more subtle. I think the one you like is nice and will go...but it is the contrast of colors that make it look busy..especially the white. I think if you want this mosaic look for the whole BS keep all the colors in the gray family with no white, etc..or go with a plain field tile and use the contrasting mosaic as an accent.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 1:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If it were me, I would keep it up for a while as you decide. I think it's a good candidate but the fact that you are concerned you might tire of it is something I would pay attention to. I almost chose a particular tile for our backsplash but had this nagging feeling I would find it to be too busy after a while. My tile salesperson told me to keep looking and I am really glad I did. Even though we, like you, have relatively simple cabinets and plain quartz countertops, we chose a more "quiet" backsplash with subtle color variations. Perhaps you can find a glass tile mosaic in a similar format with softer colors/less color variation. Try something much more subtle than you think you want, and go from there. This is what my tile person recommended to me and it worked!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 2:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I really like your counters and cabinets. Very calm and quiet. You do seem to want a 'pattern' for your backsplash but it just does not need it. Have you looked or tried just a clean one color tile?
So many things in our daily lives add color and decoration. Fresh seasonal flowers, a harvest of tomatoes...
Tile in one color does create a pattern just by the application.
I know this is a bathroom pic but i just stumbled upon it and thought of your kitchen.

Here is a link that might be useful: tile

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 3:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like it. It is a very modern look to me, but classic enough that I don't think it will look "dated". Love the colors.

But I like gpraceman's option even more.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 3:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My observation is that mosaics always look busier in a full installation than you think they will when looking at a sample. When I combine that with your comments about mosaics in general, yeah, I think this will be too busy for you. Mosaics look least busy when they are all one color, and busiest when they have strong contrast. The one you are looking at has pretty strong contrast from the white to the dark gray.

I wasn't involved in earlier discussions--what about stainless steel tiles? All one color, but the reflections provide interest.

Contemporary Kitchen Tile by Other Metro Kitchen and Bath Fixtures Eden Mosaic Tile

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 6:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't quite understand the concept of tiring of something in your kitchen. Once the renovation is done, your kitchen becomes a functioning room. You are so busy doing kitchen things that you stop thinking about all the individual elements. Your kitchen becomes.....a kitchen!

You can certainly do a multicolored BS. Small or large tiles are a preference.

Go on Houzz and google as many kitchens as you can. If you keep coming to a halt at the same style tile, then that is the one your gut is telling you you like best.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 6:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yeah, for me, it would be way too busy.

Does this kitchen already exist? If so I would get foam boards equal to large swathesof the proposed BS (if not the whole area) and make careful paint selections to match those tile colors. Then paint the foam boards in a facsimile of the tile, complete with grout lines.

Then attach thegfoam boards and live with it for a month or so.

Then take it down and see what you're reaction is. For me it would be (I think), "Whew, peace at last!" But if you miss it, then you will know it's right.

Or you can try again with another tile pattern on the foam voards until you get one that perfectly matches the effect you're looking for.



    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 8:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you are really set on a smallish mosaic, my tendency would be to go with a very small mosaic blend that became textural. Ann Sacks Trend is a 3/4" mosaic that comes in 100+ colors and starts at $8.00/sq ft. You can select the blends and you may be able to come up with a blend that avoids both "boring" and "busy".

Remember, that unless you keep your counters completely clear, that a backsplash is really a backDrop to what is kept on and what is prepared on the counters. You are looking at empty kitchen counters and this might be why you think you need "more". If you keep your counters empty, maybe so, but if you have a typical kitchen "more" in the background may shift toward "too much".

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 9:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think the tile you posted 11:31 is great. The gray in the tile looks like a good match with the countertop and the brown toned tiles relate very well to your cabinet color. I don't think it is too busy and it will provide some nice interest to your space
It seems that many on this forum do not like mosaics. I am glad I didn't ask for opinions about the mosaic I used because I might have been talked into thinking it was not a good choice. The mosaic I used is a random mix of frosted glass, plain glass, textured glass, stone and stainless. I can honestly tell you I love it today as much as I did when I installed it almost 2 years ago. Mine is only behind my cooktop/venthood but it does go to the ceiling. I think I still would have liked it just as much if I had put it between the countertop and cabinets in the whole kitchen. I don't think I will ever get tired of my mosaic. Just as some find mosaics too busy, I find plain subway tiles too boring.
I hope you can figure out what you want without too much more agonizing. Good Luck

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 10:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Second from left in the above pic!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 3:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Be aware that the color grout you select will be the "deal breaker" for your mosaic. I selected a beutiful glass mosaic and purchased a dark tan grout recommended by the tile store to give the tile a harmoneous look. The sample board using that color grout made the tile look so busy I hated it. A quick SOS call to my interior designer resulted in a deep brown grout on my next sample board. Viola!!!! Suddenly my tile became one cohesive background. That gorgeous glass mosaic tile is the wow factor everyone comments on in my new kitchen. Bottom line is that I think your selected mosaic tile will be wonderful IF you use the right color for the grout.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 3:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Second from the left would be my choice!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 8:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Texasgal made a very good point about the grout color. I used a dark grout (onyx green) with my tiles and it definitely has a different look than a sample board at the tile store that used a tan grout.
To try and show you the difference here is a close up of my tile. ( I think the difference is actually more noticeable in real life.)

And a website image with tan grout

I think the grout lines disappear with the dark grout. IMO seeing all the grout lines is what would make the tile look busy

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 9:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Too busy for me, and at least in my part of the country, already on the way out. I really love your kitchen. It looks classy and simple, and I'm really sorry to say, but in my opinion, this kind of back splash does look a bit cheap. Maybe I feel like that because I used it in a rental.
If you want to go with a smaller mosaic, I agree with Pal to go for a look that will be more uniform from a distance but still have interest from close-up.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 12:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It looks busy to me. Whether it's too busy for you is really a matter of personal preference. I think it goes well with the counter, but with small tiles and multiple colors, it is certainly a busy backsplash. There's nothing wrong with liking busy backsplashes, it's just a personal preference. I think I personally prefer something more textural (fewer colors / tones rather than varying colors) like Palimpsest has suggested. But what do you like?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 1:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks again to all of you for sharing your opinions. It is very helpful. Clearly, a full BS of mosaic tile (or all of the BS samples I have shown) are not "sitting right with me" or I wouldn't keep hesitating and posting about it :)

My kitchen just became useable very recently so I think I might just take a break from getting a backsplash right now and give it a little time to see what feels better. I will probably know when I see something and I don't need to ask for lots of opinions. Lol.

But again, I really appreciate everyone's opinions, suggestions and photos. It helps me see that I haven't found the right idea yet and to just be patient. I am happy to be using the kitchen again and to have the function and storage capacity that I now have. Half my drawers are still empty!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 2:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like Mayflower's idea of running two or three rows together, as an accent tile. You could use the cream color as the main subway tile. Of course, you could do the same thing with any of your other tile samples, too.

So, would be too busy for me, but might be very nice as an accent strip.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 4:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think they sometimes become even more busy as an accent strip, because instead of countertop material and one backsplash material, there is now Two backsplash materials. Plus if the backsplash stops at a certain height with no cabinet above there is a wall color.

So the vertical surface becomes 1)cherry, 2) stainless, 3)wall color 4) backsplash and 5) accent of backsplash, --more really because the accent is often multi colored and patterned

If we were talking about a 5-or-more-colored pattern of wallpaper for another room many people would run out screaming.

I've seen the 5-6 total number of finishes look fine as well, but why does everyone want to add more and more and more, in a kitchen that will also have a bunch of things on the countertop, and yet other rooms have to be so limited in palette?

This is a point of discussion that goes beyond this thread and I am not trying to single out this backplash in particular but it's a esthetic disconnect that I've noticed before.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 5:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think it's a good idea to live without a backsplash for a while. I'm sure you've looked at loads of BS, but below a few more :)
Which ones do you like?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 5:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I know you've made up your mind to wait and that sounds like a good idea.

My opinion? You don't care for it :) You said " in general, I think mosaics can be too busy and I am afraid I will ...". I will fill in "regret it".

I like the tiles posted by may_flowers (My Page) on Tue, Aug 20, 13 at 12:58 and I like the mosaic posted by palimpsest (My Page) on Tue, Aug 20, 13 at 21:27

I think I would go plain and let your accessories be the interest. Look at the 4th picture in this post. Those little tiny stove knobs carry the room. Everything else is harmonious and beautiful but secondary (to me!). And there are only 3 pieces of turquoise in that room. I think this idea would work in your kitchen, too.
(I called my stove company to see if they make colored knobs and, sadly, they do not.)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 6:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think she does need a little additional color and/or texture, Pal. It feels so two-toned and a little boring with all the solid wood and the solid countertop, then to add in a solid tile. I suggested a tone-on-tone accent row with some textured tile if she wants to use mosaic. I'd be happy with just the textured tile, but when all her samples are mosaics, you can't ignore what the customer wants either. But, in favor of the mosaic, the countertop is really a gorgeous gray-blue and it'd be nice to bring some of that into the backsplash.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 7:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't mean that those are boring choices in cabinet and counter. My kitchen is also cherry Shaker with a solid quartz counter. And it's a neutral color to boot! No back splash yet after a year, so I'm in the same boat with trying to add interest while keeping the clean lines.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 7:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

But you will rarely see the counters completely empty, the backsplash with nothing else in front of it in rest of the life of the kitchen. My feeling is that too many backsplashes are selected as if the kitchen will remain empty. It's like treating the walls in a different room as if there will be no furniture or artwork in the room. If you hang Zuber wallpaper you generally don't cover it with artwork.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 8:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

myboys1, have you seen this recent thread on a mosaic backsplash installation: Anne2326's WZ Mosaic Backsplash? It reminded me a bit of your mosaic tile dilemma and I think Anne2326 is very successful with hers.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 4:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Prickly's suggestion to check out Anne's BS is great. However, I'd say that her BS is quite different despite using mosaic tiles. The individual colors are much closer to one another, so from a distance, it looks more like a shimmery, textured wall rather than separate colors.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 6:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like the 2nd from the right posted by mayflowers at 13:31. The one under the MW handle. I think the colors in it pick up the color of the cabinets and the color of the counter. Plus it doesn't have the high degree of color contrast that makes the other tiles 'busy'.

Although personally, I'm ok with a little bit busy. And also I leave very little out on my counters. The only things that are left out are a few carefully chosen decorative items. Everything else gets put away including the coffee maker, etc

Edit: had typed "color of the cabinet" twice

This post was edited by angela12345 on Tue, Aug 27, 13 at 8:01

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 7:58AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
It starts with the sink... Kohler Stages 33 or 45?
Hi all, I'm new to the forum and just starting a kitchen...
Help! Are rift cut, slab cabinets always veneer?
We got a sample of our door color for our slab, rift...
New to Kitchens? Read Me First!
Welcome! If you are new to the Kitchens Forum, you...
Can you look at my kitchen layout and tell me what I'm missing?
Sorry I posted this once previously, but I wanted to...
Week 44: Spring, spring, SPring, SPRING dreams!
I am having spring fever. I can't wait until it's...
Sponsored Products
Laundry Crate on Wheels
| Dot & Bo
Laundry Basket on Wheels
| Dot & Bo
Travel Inspiration Pillow Cover
$29.99 | Dot & Bo
Steve Jobs Laser Engraved Framed Tribute
$499.00 | FRONTGATE
Newbury Wire Baskets - Set of 3
$147.99 | Dot & Bo
Leslie Wire Storage Baskets - Set of 3
$149.99 | Dot & Bo
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™