Grouted Herringbone, the deed is done

enduringAugust 27, 2011

After backsplashing in to the wee hours of the night Friday I got my sink wall essentially done. I had a discuraging few hours and thought I'd made a mistake with the direction I took with the BS. Nothing I had thought I would use as decor was looking good to me. Mind you I was short on sleep for two days, and it was after midnight. Dianalo put me on the straight and narrow earlier today when I was complaining on another post. Moral of the story is don't trust your thinking when you're in a "panic", that is panic with a little 'p'.

I still have to seal the grout Monday, and caulk the periphery.

Have a look:

Last night after grouting, YIKES! or HOLY COW! I just don't know if this was a good idea!!!


no matter what I do...YIKES!

Starting to like it, but this cute fabric isn't working for me:

This is the original fabric I invisioned several months ago, but that was before I went herringbone. Last night I hated it, today I'm thinking the dark is right. I might have to find another dark. I love the colors in the pattern, they ended up being my colors - unknown to me at the time! There's even purple in there amongst the oranges, golds. and greens.

The grout formula I went with was going to be a 2parts "Natural"(dark gray) : 1part "Standard White". But, as is my style, at the last second I mixed it up as 3parts dark gray:1part white. I wanted to go for that stainless steel look in the color. My sample boards where starting to all look the same as the grout dried over the last several days. I was becoming comfortable with the grout. I asked opinions from the sales help at the tile store. They were no help as each of the 3 had 3 different preferences, and they were sticking with it.

Thanks for your help in selecting this grout with your comments on my other post.

Here is a link that might be useful: Samples of grouted herringbone backsplash, please give feedback

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I just fainted.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 6:12PM
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The backsplash looks great. A great transition and complement between/to the cabinets and counter. Well done!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 6:12PM
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I just came back to myself now to tell you it is Perfection. I love it!

But to be honest, I'm not diggin any of the fabrics just yet. Keep looking on that front.

Congrats to you on a job so well done!


    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 6:16PM
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You did it! I'm so proud of you. That sounds so silly coming from a complete stranger. :-/

I just realized that you have the same faucet as me! Btw, I don't like fabric above the window. The wood valance is enough for me.


    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 6:17PM
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Blfenton, Pupwhipped, and Breezygirl thanks for the cheers and the suggestions.

Regarding the fabric, I knew that throwing that fabric into the vignette might shake things up. How about that plate not looking good with the patterned black fabric up in the window, yuck. But that plate is soooo cute. It is a melanine plate from Target. I like how the little black veining in his wings looks like herringbone.

This is what I was thinking regarding the fabric plans. Making a minimally padded cornice board that is the same shape as the wood valance and have it mounted to the wood casing and peek down about 1.5 or 2", mirroring the wood valance. I like the dark up there and I don't like looking at the square light painted wood at the top of the window. I was going to go looking on line for some fabrics. But that is going to have to wait now. I LOVE fabric.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 6:36PM
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Not crazy on the fabric choices yet either. What about a roman shade or a board with that type of structured draping. - sort of horizontal pleating. Something that will add a little more softness to the area rather than just your straight board. I don;t think I would follow the curve of your valance either as I don;t think you would get the full effect of the fabric.
I like the valance as is, but also appreciate the love of having fabrics around you.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 6:51PM
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Your grouted backsplash looks wonderful!!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 6:58PM
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wow! gorgeous backsplash! and amazing that it was DIY!!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 7:02PM
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It is stunning, and I love how you created your backsplash. It is very well done. I think a darker curtain would go well. What about a woven shade that is on the darker side?

That's my two cents. Again, well done, and now you can get some sleep in this hurricane madness.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 7:05PM
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Not only does the bs look fab-u-lous, but seeing it with the floor makes it work even more (if that is possible).

If you like purple, a dark jewel tone fabric would look lovely there. It would add a pop of color and you can get kitchen linens to coordinate. The plaid ones does not work because of the colors and the pattern. The black seems too dark and the pattern takes away from the bs.... Keep this simple and get a nice tone on tone dark purple fabric. I think a straight line across would highlight the curve of the valance. YMMV.

So glad you can appreciate now how nice it came out!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 7:11PM
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Fori is not pleased

I like it a lot and I like the dark something over the window too.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 7:14PM
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I love fabric also so can appreciate that. (I'm early in my fabric obsession.). Personally, I wouldn't do a curved valance. Leave the shape of the wood alone to highlight it. I like blfenton's roman shade idea. You still get to use a loved fabric, but it's subtle and let's the structure of the cabs shine. I guess I'm saying not to frou-frou it up too much. You've got great bones now, and they could get lost with too much "stuff."

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 7:19PM
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OMG I love it. I don't know why you're in a panic. It looks great with your counters. Agree with the above though on the fabric. But that's a much less expensive fix :)

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 7:28PM
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The grout turned out perfect

And it's so much easier to change a fabric window treatment than a backsplash.

Your kitchen is gorgeous.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 7:28PM
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Job well done!! The BS looks amazing! I am so impressed that you did all that yourself, I am not a DIY'er. I agree that a darker fabric would be better, but you really don't need anything on that window IMO. Again, great work on the BS!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 7:31PM
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Yes, I like it too! Congrats. It was fun watching you go through the process. I also don't care for the fabrics. Many of us opted out of window treatments on the kitchen window.
The herringbone is going to make finding the right fabric a bit tricky.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 7:39PM
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I know you obsessed over the grout (because that's what we all do best) but with that beautiful backsplash you couldn't go wrong. I love how it turned out! Good luck with the fabric. I have no idea what would work...

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 8:08PM
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Beautiful!!! I'm so impressed with your backsplash skills -- maybe you've found your calling ; )

I agree with the others that a darker fabric would probably work best in your space, and you clearly have great taste so I'm sure you'll find the perfect one during your next trip to the fabric store! I can't wait to see what you come up with!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 8:34PM
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Thanks for the complements about the marble tile installation and the grout color, it really is the color of my stainless steel.

Great ideas about color, shape, and style of any potential window treatment. As some say they would leave it alone, I'm listening. Today with the backsplash looking more at home in my vision, I'm thinking about what you all have stated. I've saved these comments to my clippings file.

I see why people adore marble. I am seeing the softness of the marble and would like to play that up a bit. Not froo froo, I'm not that. You are all great to take the time to look and give your thoughts about issues we work with.

Another thought I had about fabric was a lace of some sort or a fine shear panel that would be without fluff. Kind of like a delicate hankie panel in the creamy white of the tile assortment. Maybe tied in 2 places to hold it up like a roman shade. But the panel I'm thinking about would only be about 12" long unfurled. I'll be giving this window a lot of thought over the weeks ahead.

Sudden awareness has just hit! Window treatments are like the backsplashes, very thought consuming.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 8:50PM
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You did an amazing job and this grout color looks fantastic! It's almost silly how excited I am for you that it worked out so well :) I have to say, I was planning on a regular running bond pattern with cheapo white subway tile for my own backsplash, but seeing yours is making me consider herringbone.

I'm with many of the previous posters on fabric. I think simple shape, maybe roman shade style, and simple or no pattern would be best here. I can imagine a dark jewel tone looking good, but I think any print will take away from the backsplash. Good luck finding the perfect window treatment!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 9:07PM
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Glad jewel tone was mentioned again. Earlier dianalo, in response to my joy at having purple in the dark print, suggested a jewel toned purple. Now its brought up again. I have to give some thought as well to the option of no window treatment, as breezygirl and a few others suggested.

I have I have a Le Creuset utinsil crock in purple that I just bought and it's nice on my counter. The colors that I had been planning are, of course green, and then orange and purple revealed themselves as accents. A real tertiary color plan. Other colors are vying for time and are blue and teal and yellow. When I got married years ago I couldn't decide on wedding colors so I had them all, and let my Matron of Honor select what ever color and style dress she wanted (upon approval of course:).

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 10:19PM
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WOW!! Your backsplash looks amazing! I love it!

I with those that don't like the fabric valance. I would leave it plain or go with something more tailored.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 10:45PM
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You did such an amazing job! After all that stress about the grout color, you did find the perfect one.
I have to say I don't like any of those fabrics... how about a softer color close to the color you most want to pull out of the tile?
Good luck- so far your choices have been fantastic!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 10:50PM
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The backsplash looks amazing. But step away from the fabric store and put down the swatches quietly.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 11:09PM
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Kudos to you! The back splash looks great! Your grout works!

Step away from the lime green/red combo fabric (if you love, think about your master bath :). Think nature, stone, wood, earth, natural to match what you have going on in the cabs, granite, and backslash stone.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 11:14PM
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I love your BS with your beautiful cabs! Of course, I've always been partial to the herringbone pattern :) The grout looks great--I think you chose the perfect formula.

As far as a window treatment, I'd live with it for a month or two unless for privacy reasons you need to get something up there sooner. If you're like me, you'll find the perfect fabric for the window treatment when you're shopping for something completely unrelated. Of the suggestions offered, I like your handkerchief material idea. I think it would look very nice but not detract from that beautiful BS. Clean and simple might be the perfect solution.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 11:35PM
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You are amazing - what a great job! I love to see DIY work. Congratulations!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 11:45PM
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Reading the comments just gave me an idea. How about a linen panel that you tie up with purple ribbon? It would give you a pop of color and the linen would look great with the rest of your kitchen and the style of it. Just a thought...

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 11:48PM
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Grout and splash look wonderful!!!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 12:10AM
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Thanks all, I have heeded your advise and, as several have suggested, backed off of the window treatment ideas, at least for now. Anyway, I'm only less then halfway done with the tiling. I have to do the stove wall next.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 12:18AM
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yep. take a rest between BS and WT!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 1:41AM
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Wow, your backsplash turned out awesome --- the grout color/intensity is just perfect. Niiiiiiiiice job!!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 6:06AM
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And maybe a fabric like this...I can't help myself. I am
so excited about your kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 9:34AM
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Wow, Boxerpups I kinda like the top one! But don't tempt me with fabrics! You heard Marcolo's calm warning to me? Oh and now I see little plates in the corner!

You're great bp thanks.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 10:00AM
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hhheeeeee heeeee heeeeee
Yes. What would we all do without Marcolo's sound advice.
She knows how naughty I can be.
I just could not help myself. I'll put the fabrics down
and ever so quietly walk away. But please know I had a
fleeting smile on my face for a few minutes of fun.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 10:08AM
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I have just discovered GW and all of the generous lurkers and worriers and obessives who frequent this site. What a great site. The kitchens have been inspiring and wonderful. Something for everyone. Now, if I may, I would like to ask Enduring a question. Have I got it right about how you did your backsplash - you ordered tile in running bond format (2"x4") and changed your mind and created the herringbone instead? Does that mean that you had to take all of the individual tile off the "grid" and then set them separately? And cut what you needed to fill in the gaps? You seriously did a great job. Could you have gotten the same effect if you had purchased them in herringbone format in the first place? No offense intended, I am just trying to figure out your approach from what is out in the market place as I an not a DIY person. I love the effect you acheived. Great job. Big pats on the back.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 11:42PM
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Welcome Barbara1NC, it is great to have you join this supportive, fun, and informative forum.

Ya, I took them all apart. No it did not come in a herringbone at the store I was working with. Early in my search all the tiles I liked were at specilty shops and were $30=50/sqft. I was looking a veined silver travertine mosaic running bond, and larger tiles. I wanted to spend a lot less money, so I went the the big DIY tile shop in town. They had plenty to choice from. I looked for a tile that I liked and it took me 3 trials before I settled on this one, the running bond marble mosaic. I had always figured I would do a running bond. But I just love herringbone. So I gave it some thought from time to time over the months that I had the tile, waiting to get to the installation stage. I was warned off of doing it by friends and family because there would be so many cuts. I agreed and would just assume I was going to put the 12x12 mosaics up until the moment I went to pick it up to install it. I just decided that I was going to cut it up and put it up in a herringbone pattern.

I have done a lot of "making" in my life. I used to sew as a child and young adult. I have sculpted and fabricated all kinds of things in college in the art classes I took. I'll tackle anything if it's not too heavy to lift. So it was not a stretch to take the tile and redesign the layout.

Tonight I am doing the other wall and it is a bit larger than the tiled wall pictured above. It is still taking me about 2 hours/1sqft. Its very late because time has just gotten away from me.

I said this earlier but I have to say it again - my grout looks like the color of stainless steel. Isn't that cool?! I have stainless steel sink and faucet, etc in the kitchen and it just matches my grout! Then of course the marble tile is so beautiful. Even though this is not high end tile I think the mix of so many light whites and tans and grays is very nice. Marble is translucent, and very soft focused. Looking at this installation is like watching clouds in the sky.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 4:28AM
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I approve of boxerpup's first idea about the fabric.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 10:38AM
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I keep checking this thread to see how your backsplash project is progressing (it's looking fantastic!). I love your enterprising idea to keep costs down to achieve the herringbone look you love. It's beautiful, and with your patience and endurance, you've hit the jackpot here...staying tuned in

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 10:44AM
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