1915 Craftsman Home -Deciding on Walker Zanger BS Tile - Pix

LaurieAugust 6, 2012

I've been slowly coming to a finish on the kitchen of my 1915 Craftsman (mostly) home for quite a while now. I'm not totally happy with the outcome - there were a lot of problems along the way due to the house not being plumb, pipes in the way which couldn't be moved, some amount of inexperience on the part of the guy who put together my cabinets, mistakes made by everyone and nobody wanting to take the heat for it, etc. Maybe some day I'll be able to afford to correct the ones which irritate me the most *sighs*

Anyway, there's a few tweaks it needs (one of which is the seating area, I'll be starting another thread shortly about that) but the biggest one is the backsplash. I think I finally found the tile I want to use but could use some other eyes to help me.

First, I apologize for the quality of light on these samples. It's my kitchen. I don't get very good light at all in it, and even with all the lights turned on, it doesn't seem to help much taking photos of these tiles. I tried using the flash but that made it worse. Plus, 2 of them are very close in tone.

My counter is Ceasarstone "Jerusalem Sand". The samples are Walker Zanger's Gramercy Park in "Hamptons Beige" and "Heirloom White". The last one is from the "Tuileries" collection in "Breton Beige". I wasn't thinking about white for the most part, but include it for the sake of comparison as this white is the first one I've seen that I would consider using. I'm not looking for anything to make a statement for the splash, I want it to be simple. To me, it's a working kitchen - not a showplace per se. I like it to look good, but I don't really have an interest in putting a tile back there which puts my personality into it. I will, however, be using some trim strips. I have my tile guy coming out this week to let me know how much tile is required, and to give his opinion on how to handle certain aspects of the job, such as how to end it off at the run which ends near the arched doorway - nothing evens out there at all.

Also, you can see that I have a 4" splash attached to my counter. This, was a mistake on the part of the fabricator. I wasn't home when they did the installation, and decided not to have them come back to remove it since I wasn't charged for it. It's served me well for all this time, except that I find it doesn't quite do the trick of keeping things as clean as I need them to be plus, the paint is chipping in back of the sink due to the faucet handle hitting it (it had to installed closer to the wall due to a shallower deck than we anticipated). And of course, I have to get one in back of the range because it's rather dangerous not to have a splash there due to heat being generated.

So, here's the pix I took, of each sample, and then some together. I also am including a few of the kitchen so that you can see the overall feel of the room.

Gramercy Park "Hamptons Beige" (which is the front runner at this time)

Tuileries "Breton Beige"

Gramercy Park "Heirloom White"

Group Shot #1 - Smaller pieces are the Gramercy Park

Group Shot #2 - Smaller pieces are the Gramercy Park

Group Shot #3 - Smaller Pieces are the Gramercy Park

Kitchen View #1:

Kitchen Shot #2 (the tile needs to go on the area under the microwave)

Kitchen Shot #3:

I can get a discount on all of these, not sure how much yet, but it should be rather decent as I work for an architectural firm and typically they will give a percentage off to designers. I'd think at the least 20%, if not more.

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I like the larger tile, it seems closer to the counter/backsplash and I think perhaps would be less busy. But I think you won't go wrong with the Gramercy Park front runner. Personally not keen on the whitest one, that seems to add another tone to your kitchen.
Which looks beautiful, by the way!!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 11:49AM
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You are right - Gramercy Park Hampton Beige looks the best, i think. I really wanted to use Gramercy Park in my kitchen, but the colors were just a little off for me. It was the nicest crackle tile I found.Did you try the off white color in the Gramercy line. Once you get it home, you might like it too. Very nice kitchen, too!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 11:51AM
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The larger tile in group shot #2 looks very close to the color of countertop on my monitor. If that is the case, it gets my vote. I think it would give a more seamless look to your kitchen. Love the floor, wall color and your cabinets. Since you have the 4 inch Ceasarstone backsplash, you could just forego the tile. The kitchen looks very nice with just the painted wall and no other backsplash.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 12:13PM
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First - thanks everyone for your kind comments on my room. I know it's very different from a lot of the kitchens seen on this site and isn't everyone's taste but I tried hard to keep it in character with the rest of my home. I think I mostly succeeded; even the contractors who come here for other trades have said it came out rather well. I did it all on my own as far as picking materials and designing the overall space. I did have a local kitchen designer work with me to draw out the plans, but for the most part, I led him, not the other way around.

The Hampton's Beige and the Breton Beige are so similar it's hard to tell them apart. It's more the sizing and shape of the tile at this point - the Gramercy Park tile is smaller and has more rounded edges. As far as the white tile, I just through it in there to see the contrast as so many people said "try white", even my boss - who is a pretty well known architect in NYC. I told him I didn't think it would work too well - he said "white goes with everything" and I said "Um, not in this case lol". I think he was saying it because he has a ton of leftover white subway tile at home he's trying to get rid of :P

Designnov - I did try the off white. The problem with it is it had an odd tone to it next to the counter - which is the issue I was having with many off-whites. I was also given a few other colors by the WZ rep, some darker ones and a blue toned one (I forget the names off hand) but none looked good with the counter although, great with the cabinets and floor. I'm telling you, this counter turned out to be more problematic than I thought it would be considering how neutral it is.

Badgergirl - I can't go without the splash as I mentioned, because I'm having several problems without it. Worst is the faucet handle is chipping the paint behind the sink. We had to adjust the location of the faucet because the deck was shallower than we anticipated (in fact, we had to twist the faucet to the left a smidge in order for the handle to go all the way to "hot").

Also, you'd be surprised just how much grease winds up on each side of the stove in spite of having the hood and 4" splash there. And of course, I need a splash behind the range. That Viking puts out a ridiculous amount of heat and it's a hazard not to have something fireproof behind it.

I never did a tile splash in my other home, I had the 4" splash in granite there but I also didn't have a professional range there. I had electric (blah!) with a very large back to it and pretty much nothing splashed over it. I also had wallpaper which was waterproof and easy to clean down.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 12:30PM
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