Another Backsplash Option

erinctAugust 21, 2011

I'm trying to finalize our backsplash and would love some input on whether we should do 3x6 subway tiles or 4x8 subway tiles (looking at White Thassos), and which mosaic we should use above the range. Our electrician already put in the outlets on a horizontal so that they would fall within a 3x6 tile, but I suppose we could have him move them up if people think 4x8 is better (the tile store thought it would be a cleaner look and make the space look larger, but I think the design box may get a little lost?!?).

Mosaic #1 with 3x6 tile:

Mosaic #1 with 4x8 tile:

Mosaic #2 (a bit concerned about how large the arabesque is and whether you'd see enough of the pattern to get the full effect):

Our cabinets are Simply White and our countertops are White Fantasy/Super White. In each mosaic we can basically choose any stone for each of the parts. I had thought I would do the larger parts in White Thassos and the smaller outlines in Carrera but now I'm kinda liking the first mosaic they way it is. I didn't want the design box above the range to stand out too much. Any thoughts?!? Also, any thoughts on whether the White Thassos will be too cool or white for the Simply White cabinets are welcome too!

Thanks so much for your help!!!

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Looking at your first and comparing with the second, I prefer the second. The mosaic and 4x8 look more in scale with each other in my opinion. The other mosaic is neat too, simpler and I assume, from your discription, it is larger. Both mosaics are beautiful and it will be such a treasure to have in your kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 8:34PM
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I love mosaic one with the 3x6 subway tiles. Mosaic one is beautiful and I think it would get lost being surrounded by the bigger 4x8 tile.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 8:52PM
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The first mosaic needs the 4 x 8s.
I like the second one too.
Can you post them side by side with the 4 x 8s? I can't get size perspective on the second one without the tile nearby....

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 10:55PM
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Are you serious? How on earth do you expect us to choose between these gorgeous back splash options?!! I've never seen them before. If you had to twist my arm I guess I'd choose the first mosaic.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 11:11PM
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You had me at "Hello." Loving pic #1.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 11:45PM
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You guys are the best -- thanks so much for the input!

dianalo: I wish I could see and picture them side-by-side, but I had to return the arabesque and now somebody else has it out. I'm hoping to pick something this week, but maybe I can wait until it's returned.

As for the size difference, option 1's main design is 8.5 x 8.5", but the inner part and the "octagony" part are only 3.5 x3.5" ish and it's busier so you see more design. With the arabesque, the overall design is the same but the inner part is 6 x 6.25", so it appears larger and since there's a single design I'm afraid it's going to be harder to get the full effect unless you have more rows of it. Does that make sense?!?

Thanks again for the thoughts everyone!!!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 9:06AM
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I think I'm back to the drawing board and really need some help! A good friend of mine thinks that both of the mosaic tiles I posted, while beautiful, are going to stand out too much in our kitchen and may look too busy especially since we're going to have a pot filler there as well (covering up a fair portion of that expensive tile!). So, I'm now thinking I need to go more "tone on tone." The problem is that I've been scouring tile sites and can't seem to find any white thassos mosaics or design tiles. Does anyone have any ideas?!? Or do you think the ones above would flow ok? Another thought I had was to do a white thassos subway, then frame in a slab of white thassos over the range. Is that crazy?!? Is that ever done?!? I'm so out of my element here . . . Thanks for the thoughts!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 7:12AM
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Yes. When you're at that drawing board, start drawing yourself some pictures. Unless you can do it on the computer. You'll figure out whether you like a slab of Thassos for yourself, and if it looks good, great--all the better if it's not already common.

In any case, to get a look specially pleasing to you and avoid disappointment, the ideas you gather have to be evaluated in context by you. Love your direction, BTW.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 8:21AM
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I loooove Mosaic #1 with the 4x8 subways. I really think you need the scale of the 4x8 subway tile though-- I think the mosaic might look too *big* against the 3x6 subways.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 8:37AM
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I think mosaic one is beautiful and won't be too busy. Usually you want a mosaic above the range or cooktop to stand out. If that is not the look you want then maybe do the slab. It all depends on what look you really want for your space. By the way, who makes mosaic one?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 8:43AM
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erin, are you by any chance redoing a bathroom too? Why do I ask? Well, I love the first mosaic, and I think you do too, but are you using it in a forced way because you love it and are just trying to get it in somehow? I think your friend who is seeing this in person might be right. If you put up a section of this and then cover it with the potfiller, will you really be getting the bang you want? I think this tile needs a larger area to give you the look you want. Maybe not, I could be completely wrong.

I loved the herringbone subways you had on the wall. I would seriously consider just doing that all the way. Don't do a framed area over the range. The subways are gorgeous and with the herringbone pattern, you automatically have a "statement". Sometimes less is more.

I love the mosaic and the arabesque (obviously). However, I just don't want this to be a situation where you just love them and are trying to find them a place. do you know what I'm trying to say?

The reason I asked if you by any chance are doing a bathroom is because I could see that first mosaic being framed with a chair rail tile as an accent area in a shower. About a 3x5' section. It would look great in a large area, like a panel.

I'm sorry if this isn't what you wanted to hear. I know it is hard when we find something we love and we want it to work, and then you have someone suggest not using it.

(is there any way to use mosaic #1 all over and not use the subways?)

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 9:55AM
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I have to disagree. Because the mosaics are a repeating pattern and not a single "picture" of sorts, they can be used with a potfiller in the middle. I don't think a potfiller is so big that it will hide the design. I would not use that as a reason to not use them. I'd hate for you to do your kitchen and have regrets about not getting what you really want because others did not share your vision. If your dh felt strongly against it, that is another story. Either spouse should have veto power.
How wide is the stove you plan to use? The larger ones would carry it best but I'd do it even with a 30". If you do have a 30", I'd go with the smaller pattern though. If it is bigger, then you have a tough decision as both are really pretty. I am leaning ever so slightly towards the first mosaic, but if you want a less dramatic look, then #2 is gorgeous as well. Like Bee said, but differently, I'd use one in the kitchen and the other in the bathroom someday. Why not get both the ones you love?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 11:47AM
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You guys are the best!

rosie: Great advice! I guess I'll have to get to work and draw some things out! I wish I could rough it out on the computer but I have no such skills (or programs!).

tanders: Thanks for the vote!!

epressler: I guess I need to really figure out what look I like best. Maybe I should go back through my inspiration binders. I'm not sure how else to figure this out! The first mosaic is by AMC American Stone & Supply ( It's the Celtic pattern. As much as I like their mosaics though, they are NOT customer friendly and they don't have a great website. When I called to ask a few questions, they told me they don't deal directly with customers at all so all inquiries had to go through our tile store.

beekeeperswife: You hit the nail on the head!!! I know exactly what you're saying. I do love the first mosaic, but I'm just not sure how it will work in the kitchen. And doing it all over isn't an option given the price. I love the herringbone idea, but it wasn't me who looked into it -- maybe I should!!! We finished two bathrooms last year, and we plan on doing some renovations to the master bath at some point (shower mainly) but I'm not sure it's going to happen any time soon. But I love your idea of using one of the tiles in there.

dianalo: The range is 48" and the mantle style hood above it is 60", so we should have a big enough space to make either work. The hood will be in Thursday, so maybe I can draw it out and see it then. And I think I understand what you're saying about the repeating pattern and the pot filler. It's not a huge potfiller, but it does bend and is basically placed in the middle of the mosaic area so you would see two "lines" of it. Unfortunately, my "vision" is all over the place!!! I really appreciate your insights into design!!!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 1:43PM
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geez, then who was it???? sorry.

Now that I know your range is 48" wide, I think you will have plenty of room! Really, I'm not trying to be wishy washy or anything. But I have a 36" range and really that is not that big of a space to have such a tile be featured. But I think with 48", it will look great.

Hey, check out the herringbone idea. Now I have to go looking for who that was.....

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 2:55PM
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It was enduring. You both start with an e, take out a couple of letters from her name, and you have erin...

Here is a link that might be useful: enduring's thread with herringbone

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 2:58PM
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Here is another option I just ran across today. You wouldn't have to box it out like she did.

By the way, I think your countertops and all your options are gorgeous!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 9:08PM
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Yes BKW that probably was my herringbone.

I currently have a posting asking for opions on grout color and a few pics of one wall finished of herringbone 2x4" tannish marble.

Here is a link that might be useful: Herringbone BS underway...sudden impulse(pics)

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 10:00PM
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Boxerpups placed a collection of very nice herringbone pics on the link I supplied above. She put one picture up that looks a lot like your mosaic over a stove, it is so soft and lovely.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 10:09PM
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With a 48" bs area behind the stove, then you seriously have to get one of these.
I think the first one is more interesting to look at over time because it is a more intricate pattern, but I can totally see the other one being gorgeous.
I can't tell you which one, but I can say to go for it!
You can't go wrong.....

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 10:12PM
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beekeeperswife: The hood (and maybe range) will go in tomorrow, so I'm hoping to tape it off and then insert a photocopy of the pattern to see how it looks. But the herringbone is beautiful as well, so that's always an option! And I totally understand the confusion between erin and EnduRINg!!!

mpagmom: I love that backsplash on Willow Decor! Do you think its all marble?!? Or just the center part? I love how calm and soothing it looks!

enduring: Your backsplash looks amazing -- I can't believe it's DIY!! You're very talented! I also loved the picture bee posted on that link with the interlocking circles. I saw that before but wondered if it works so well because it's in such a large area as opposed to a small box over the range. Hmmm

dianalo: Thanks so much for the encouragement!!! I'm not sure why I'm always so wishy washy on decorating decisions!!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 4:20PM
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Thanks, erinct! As I reread my initial post about my choice of your samples, it sounded a little confusing. So, to restate my choice in new words, I like the first mosaic but with the larger subway tile. I think the larger subway 4x8 scale with the mosaic is a good match, they relate well together. I think the larger subway will be less busy than the 3x6, because of less grout lines. But, never having done any of this before, I could be wrong in the grout assessment. When I first opened your page seveal days ago I just thought the second picture in you list of 3 looked the best. Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 5:20PM
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Check out New Ravenna's photo gallery of both kitchens and bathrooms if you're still looking for ideas. Their tile is pricey (they supply a lot of Waterwork's tiles), but beautiful, and they have some fabulous mosaics. Also, they have one of the most extensive photo galleries that I've found on a tile website. (If anyone knows of others, please do share!)

Another website to check out for tile patterns is New England Stone.

Good luck, I love the look of a mosaic backsplash, and your direction is great!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 5:42PM
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I love, love, love your choices. Especially the first one! You MUST go for it. Please?!?!?!?!?

A 48" range is screaming for that tile. I'm not generally a proponent of a tile feature over the range, but you've got the space. I'm jealous of your range and of that SW. I'm glad you chose that beautiful quartzite in the end. I would have gone that route had there been anything like it available in my area. You're doing great in your choices so far. Btw, I chose BM Simply White for my cabs with my gray Carrara also. You struggled with a cab color too if I remember. And, I'm thinking of an unusual bs also.

Can I beg you again to please, please use one (preferable the first) of those cool tiles? ;)

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 5:49PM
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Forgot to mention that if you really think the first mosaic is too busy IRL, could you swap the Thassos and Carrara? The look would be more subtle that way, but you'd still get that fabulicious tile!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 6:29PM
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enduring: Thanks -- I think most people think the 4x8s would look best. I'll have to talk to our GC to see how much of an issue it will be to move our outlets.

jmcgowan: Thanks so much for the links and the vote of confidence! I just checked out the Ravenna web site and their picture with the Waverly tile was in my inspiration file! It's a little more subtle than the ones I've showed above, which I do love.

breezygirl: Thanks so much for your thoughts and enthusiasm! Reading your post recharged me (which I desperately needed!). I'm am strongly leaning towards going for the first one, but I want to see if the tile store can talk to the manufacturer to see if it's possible to "guarantee" me that they'll use the lightest, most subtle parts of the carrara for those portions. There's one part in the sample that is pretty dark and I would be disapointed if ours came out with a lot of that coloring (are they going to think I'm crazy?!?). I think swapping the Thassos and Carrara would look great for the backsplash, but it may be a bit too busy with our countertops. But maybe it's worth bringing home some samples of that to see. And you have a great memory -- I agonized over the cabinet color forever and drove our GC crazy with all the sample doors we ordered. In the end we chose Simply White and I couldn't be happier with it! The color is perfect in all lights and looks great with the counters IRL. You're going to love it!!!!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 10:02AM
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Love the first mosaic with the 4x8s. The scale looks just right. I really love that first mosaic, although the second is lovely too. I can't wait to see the finished product.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 10:34AM
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erinct: The Willow Decor backsplash has calcutta marble for the center and the shelf. The rest is white subway tile.

I really love mosaic #1.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 1:42AM
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I'm glad you're feeling recharged.

When I suggested switching the Thassos with the Carrara, I meant doing that within the mosaic as you suggested in your OP. I thought it might make the wilder Carrara seem more quiet.

If you don't use the first one, I just might. It's very me. Oh, wait. This is about you. ;)

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 2:28AM
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Thanks prickly and mpagmom! And thanks for the clarification breezy -- maybe that would make it stand out a bit less. Definitely something to consider! I wish I were better on a computer so I could create these things!

I'm now having a "moral" issue with this tile though. The company that makes it is so not customer friendly and was so rude to me when I called with questions, especially compared to the owner of the company that makes the arabesque tile (who couldn't have been friendlier or more helpful!). I really hate giving my business to a company that acts like that. But the tile store seems to think it may just be a rogue employee, so they said they would mention it to the head of the company. We'll see . . .

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 9:04PM
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Ahhhh - I hate going against the grain, but I do love me some arabesque. So a very quiet, in the corner #2 vote which should only steer you should you decide not to deal with company #1.

Good luck - they're both beautiful!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 10:23PM
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found this picture that boxer posted in that linked thread of enduring's

I think it is your answer to the potfiller issue

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 3:40AM
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let's try again

use the link below

or go about 1/3 of the way down on enduring's post
linked above by bee

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 3:53AM
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well i posted all this on the wrong thread
probably because i should be in bed!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 4:15AM
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I was wondering what you decided on. Both of your choices were so beautiful I can't wait to see pictures of the finished product.


    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 4:56PM
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epressler: Thanks so much for checking back! Unfortunately we've made no real progress on our backsplash, and very little progress on the kitchen in general! :/ With respect to the backsplash, though, I did as others suggested and made color copies of about four options, taped them together and hung them up. The only thing I decided is that I don't love the "box behind the range" look. It stood out too much and was a real focal point against all the white. I also don't love anything too busy with our countertops, so I'm leaning towards a plain white thassos subway, or doing some type of mixed marble tone-on-tone white mosaic everywhere (mtnrdredux had one in a shower that was lovely but I've had a hard time finding anything like it). Backsplashes are so hard. Any advice is welcome!!!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 11:02PM
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