I'm so done with this kitchen. Please help me with backsplash.

april_loveAugust 2, 2013

Hi everyone,

It's been one year since my kitchen was complete. However, I'm still ABB. I'm posting a few picks with samples to see if I'm even on the right track. Can you all please comment.

The first pick shows a corner of my kitchen. The remaining pics show three different tiles. I know the glass/stone tile will fight with the counters but I'd hoped to use it as an accent. There is also a square of a lighter tile that I'm considering. I'm pretty sure that I want a subway tile...but then again if I was so sure I wouldn't be here asking.

Any ideas? Suggestions? Help!!!

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This picture shows the lighter tile. I like this tile; It's similar to the floor tile but it's not a perfect match. It actually looks like 'a mistake.'

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 5:31PM
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Here's the third pic. This tile is a darker glass tile. I like it too. It looks more intentional in the kitchen but it's somewhat dark.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 5:35PM
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I wouldn't do glass with this kitchen. Once again, I recommend you look at a2gemini"s kitchen.(I seem to be the president of her fan club:) She inserted some glass tiles as a border.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 5:39PM
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I like that lighter glass tile on the bottom of your last photo. Maybe work in a strip of that glass and stone mosaic for an accent.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 5:40PM
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Connie K

What is your countertop? I love it!

From a distance, I really like the square tile, but that's me. I don't really care for the glass, but again that's me.

What I like about the square tile in the first picture, is that it appears to be in the same color family as the floor and countertops, only a lighter shade. I think when you start using beiges on different surfaces, you have to be careful that they are all from the same family, otherwise it just looks wrong. Can you find subway tile that is the same color as the square tile?

I can't comment on using glass or jewels as accents, because that's not my area of expertise, but I'm sure others will chime in.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 6:26PM
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I think that a light colored subway or square ceramic tile would look better than glass given the style of your countertop and cabinets. Google Grazia Rixi Crema and I think you will find some images that might give you a sense of what that tile would look like as your backsplash. It's a very pretty tile. If I had any ability to link photos, I would post a photo for you, but alas..... I hope you find the tile that you can really love in your beautiful kitchen!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 6:38PM
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I prefer the square tile, too. Are you changing the electric outlets or will you like the high contrast with the BS choices you showed? Have you considered where the BS will end relative to the left end outlet, counter and upper cabinets?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 5:54AM
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I like the square tile but would do it in a 3x6 subway or some form of that size in a subway pattern. I think it really would compliment your entire kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 6:35AM
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So hard to tell from photographs, but even the white tile looks too white and bright. The counter is creamier.

I would look for something traditional for your kitchen. Maybe there's a new twist on it that would work for you.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 10:58AM
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Here's a few photos of some I've loved from Houzz

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 11:05AM
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Pops still can't get more than one picture in a thread.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 11:07AM
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I am not a big fan of mixing patterns as it is hard to do it well so I would likely not choose the mosaic. I do like the glass tile but the ceramic is very nice as well. If the counter has a lot of sheen, I would lean towards the more matte finish of the square tile than the glass.

I chose a matte 4 x 16 tile to go with my granite because the granite has a reflective surface and the cabinets have a slight gloss. It keeps it neutral and mixes the sheen levels for interest. I was considering glass tile but had a few of the sales people and the installer tell me it was very difficult to keep it looking clean. I preferred the matte porcelain slightly and it was $3 per foot compared to $30 per square foot for the glass tile. No brainer for me.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 11:53AM
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Thanks for the feedback everyone.

@digginginthedirt - The countertop is Giallo Ornamental.

@javachik - The outlets in the rest of the house are dark. I tired to make the outlets look intentional by using oil rubbed bronze hardware. My original intent was to use the glass/stone tile as the backsplash but it was just too busy.

@snookums2 - I agree. I think the square tile is too white. Everything else is a little creamier.

I've literally been to EVERY tile store within a 40 mile radius. I just simply can't find anything that has the right undertone. The lighter tile has the right undertone but I just wish the color was a little deeper.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 11:56AM
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Any chance you might consider changing the color of the outlet covers? I'm sure that in and of themselves they're nice looking, but that's the first thing the eye will see when looking at your backsplash. At least it's something easily changed down the road.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 12:05PM
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@april_love - Have you considered travertine tile? A beige travertine might coordinate well with your counters. We have Crema Bordeaux granite and went with a travertine backsplash to go off of the creamy color. We did apply a color enhancing sealer to the travertine to make it a bit creamier. You will likely find travertine in all sorts of sizes and mosaic patterns locally to choose from. We wanted a honed finish, not tumbled, which was a bit harder to find.

Here's our backsplash, prior to grout and sealing. The only accents are copper switch plate covers that coordinate with our sink.

This post was edited by gpraceman on Sat, Aug 3, 13 at 12:35

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 12:09PM
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Agree on the outlets. Why was black used? Once you get your back splash figured out, I'd replace them, not just the plates, so you won't still have black plugs and switches dotting the wall. Maybe light almond.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 12:23PM
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Grazia Rixi in crema. I have it and so do many others on this forum. Check a2gemini's kitchen)
Your granite looks like a Giallo?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 12:31PM
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April - Love your countertop and your cabinets and can't wait to see the final reveal. When you finally find the tile - it will be love at first sight!

I really wanted a glass backsplash. I had those same tiles in my kitchen plus others. I also considered back painted glass but the cost was way out of budget. I also could not get the glass to talk to my kitchen no matter how hard I tried!

Some others to consider - there were a number of Jeffrey Court tiles that were close seconds. I also loved Heath tiles but was too far away to find a match (I was too embarrassed to ask them to send me a third set of samples especially when I said I didn't want crackle and ended up with crackle LOL)
Here is a picture of the Grazia Rixi Crema that I used
It is probably a bit lighter than this picture but my little camera had difficulty with the light.
I also put small accents above the cooktop.

The accent row is called Beach - not sure who actually makes it but it came from the Tile-Shop (not Tile Shop)

Again - probably a bit lighter in real life.

PS - Ellen - I think you are my "fan" club! (of course, you have the same tile as well!)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 7:01PM
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The Grazia Rixi goes well with the Giallo!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 7:27PM
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April - From what I can tell I've got a silimilar tile floor and coupled with a relatively neutral granite I feel it's really limiting my choices in a maddening way. Personally I'm not a fan of glass tile, though I did find something I LOVE this morning. Bad part is the best price I've found is $47 per light square foot which puts it way above what I feel like spending. Unfortunately the company's web site is lame, but you can get a slightly better picture on at the link below, 2x4 stack in hemp color. This particular color has a hint of green which compliments my granite, and a thin brown border that ties everything together.

Here's another option that I'm more seriously considering. It's a porcelain mosaic, about $21. I'm posting this as an idea, but I hope you don't mind a minor hijack by saying, "opinions welcome." (I did my best to get lighting decent but it looks a bit better in real life.)

Good luck to us!

Here is a link that might be useful: Glass tile

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 9:56PM
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(Oops for the link I meant 2x4 offset, not stacked.)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 9:58PM
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Your selections are very similar to mine. I wanted the same color cabinetry as you but DH wanted cherry.

I've also found tile that was perfect but well out of my price range. I agree, our current selections do make the choice for a backsplash very limiting.

I"m going to send off for a sample of the Grazia Rixi Crema. Maybe it will work for me.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 10:20PM
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April I was only able to find Rixi on the east and west coasts - but maybe you are there or will luck out. I had to order samples. If you are in the area - I have some leftovers. I dropped off a sample to Breezy (even though I knew it wasn't quite the right color in hopes of getting her motivated to finish her magnificent kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 10:25PM
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Yeah up until yesterday I was hoping/expecting to stay in the $5-6 range that I've spent for the rest of my kitchen and bathroom tiles. 5 stores later $22 seems cheap. I'd like to do what you did, and what is currently being advised on another backsplash thread and live with it for a while without and see what I want down the road, but my wife is having none of that. Anyway, I'm not helping, just sympathizing.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 10:41PM
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In the second pic I like the bottom glass tiles...the square tile and top glass tiles come across too gray and I think you need warm, creamy tones. Try shopping with a piece of your floor tile in hand if you can ..it looks like it has the same tone as your granite. You can go a little darker for depth if you want as long as it is in the warm family instead of whites or grays.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 10:41PM
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I think the Rixi is around $10 sf. The local discount tile store had some crackle cream for less but it was just too white and I needed warmth as well.

I looked at one that was $100 a sf (and out of budget and fortunately not a match)

Also -search for Poohpup to see her backsplash. Her colors are in the same range - her countertop is darker (and gorgeous) but still in the warm tones.

We will help you get out of the ABB club! Hang in there.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 11:02PM
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April, what is your budget in $/sf?

In your original posts you have a light glass tile that you like but are concerned because it's not a perfect color match for the tile on your floor. Their color tones should be harmonious, but they should not be the same. Your floor tile is on a horizontal surface in your kitchen, not a vertical one like your bs wall, so when you pop your floor tile against the bs wall and look for a color match, you're not viewing the color as it really appears in your space.

Which is a long way of saying that I think the lighter glass subway looks fine. You might be able to improve on the stone insert (might you consider adding color from youe slab, like the garnet glass below?), but I think you are on the right track.

Other options would include mother-of-pearl tile, or glass mosaics, as well as porcelain tiles. Almost any creams/beiges will be harmonious with your choices, so it's just a question of what you like.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 1:38AM
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