Found my backsplash-accent it or not?

vdinliSeptember 2, 2014

I think I have found the perfect ceramic tile for my backsplash to go with my Sienna Bordeaux granite. It is a Roth+Allen tile from Lowes in 4X12. It is not glass like I had wanted as I couldn't find the perfect cream in glass and the fancier ones that are a good match have too long a wait. I am hoping the larger format will make it a little bit different.
Here's a mock-up board.

The questions I have now are should I add accent pieces to get some interest in the backsplash. I was thinking of adding this pencil liner as strip above the third row of tile.

Yes or No? These liners are just 5/8" tall-the tile shop lady was suggesting doing two rows-I am not sure.

The other option is to do a row of crushed glass 1X1 in a garnet color.

I want to keep the counters as the focal point but am worried just the tile is too blah. It is not a big area for backsplash-only 160 lineal inches together on both sides of the galley.

Thanks for all your input on this and my million other questions-am almost done!

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We did a pencil liner with subway tile and with a similar colored granite. I love pencil line tile!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 11:05AM
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I don't think you need an accent. You've got beautiful granite. I can't see much of your cabinet but between the granite & the wood, the larger format tiles will look lovely all on their own.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 12:34PM
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i agree with romy....
no accents needed.
you have a small space and beautiful granite, adding anything else will take away from the granite and make it too busy....

when u add your deco pieces and everyday items to counter it will look complete....

simple is best !!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 12:51PM
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I think you could do without. Nothing wrong with it, but with your granite I don't think you need an accent for interest.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 12:54PM
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I would go without it. Personally I would like it at first, but grow to not like the accent. I think the simple subway is the way to go.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 1:16PM
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No accent. I would make it a staggered subway pattern instead of stacked.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 1:26PM
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No accent stripe, staggered instead of stacked, and, if possible, a tile with slightly less yellow.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 1:31PM
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i would have to see the cabinets and the cabinet hardware before saying "stacked" or "not stacked". If the cabinets and hardware skew contemporary I would do stacked for sure. If they are more traditional I might lean towared running bond.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 1:44PM
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Like linelle, I'm seeing yellow in that tile while your granite reads cool. I think you need a whiter tile or light gray if finding the right off-white is too difficult.

If you like the accent, do it. It won't ruin your kitchen. I think with smaller kitchens you have more leeway to add a fun element.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 1:59PM
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I am opposed to an accent tile 98% of the time. This is no exception. I prefer a cleaner look. You granite is beautifully busy as it is.

I also see a yellow in that tile, but monitors can be deceiving. Is there a reason why you can't wait for the perfect tile? GC in a hurry? I recommend waiting if you can. You're going to look at your BS for many years to come. Another 6 weeks to wait for the right choice is worth considering.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 3:03PM
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Another vote for no accent. I also think the tile color appears off---look at the truer whites. Nice granite.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 3:19PM
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Thanks everyone. Seems like the majority like it without an accent. debrak, that is a lovely pencil tile installation-through mid-tile too! I will show it to DH as he had trouble visualizing it and we don't have samples of the pencil liner yet.

As for the tile reading more yellow than the counter, I think it is an issue with my lighting/iPhone washing out the counter colors in the foreground. The cream in the tile is an almost perfect match for the cream in the counter. I will try taking more pictures tomorrow in morning light.

As for stacked vs running bond, I like the stacked more only to keep it from looking more traditional and more transitional like my other choices . Pal, here's a poor fuzzy shot of my cabinets and hardware. Do you think I should consider running bond?

I have looked at 10+ local stores and these are the closet match I could find to the cream. I did find a gray crackle tile that was a great match for the gray in the counters and DH liked it too. I just felt with strong gray runs in the counter, gray paint and stainless appliances, I didn't want one more gray thing. But, here's a pic just in case.

breezygirl, the time crunch is becoz GC has some more finish work to do( painting doors and trim and hiding UC wires etc) that he wants to club with the backsplash work. Becoz the work is spread out over almost our entire first floor, I can't move stuff back into place till that gets done. and we have company coming in less than two weeks. So I would much rather have him come in and do it all together.

Thank you for all your opinions. I truly appreciate it.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 5:10PM
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I think staggered would look much better than stacked. Maybe I'm crazy but stacked looks so sterile to me...and there is zero room for error in the stacked pattern. The color looks spot on to me on my monitor.

ETA...I would go no accent.

This post was edited by dcward89 on Tue, Sep 2, 14 at 19:14

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 7:12PM
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No accent ... and it's a hard choice between the grey and the cream.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 9:49PM
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the tiles don't look as ylw at post 17:10

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 10:26PM
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grey, grey and grey way better than the cream

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 11:01PM
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I looked at your photobucket pics. In some photos it leans yellow, in a few pinkish. I know my backsplash does not photograph true to life. If it looks like a true cream to you without a yellow or pink tint, go for it. I do also like the gray, especially in the pic where it looks so glossy.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 11:30PM
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    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 11:32PM
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I like the gray much more.

I, too, was trying to finish up my tile selection at the end of my whole house reno, but I couldn't find THE right tile. That was almost 3 (yep 3) years ago. Company has come and gone. Holidays have come and gone. Special parties have come and gone. I still don't have tile. I don't give a rats you-know-what if my company doesn't like the blank bs area. :)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 4:08AM
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I completely understand how difficult it can be to capture color properly, so if you say the creams maych I believe you. That said, I am with romy on this one, if the creams match I vote that way. I think the gray is way too cool, and your cabinets are probably a much warmer wood than the pic shows. But staggered is def the way to go, a classic running bond.

I prefer the cleaner look of no pencil, but if you do it, outline the upper third of the backsplash height, and whatever you do, don't cut the space in half. Rule of thirds!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 6:23AM
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I also like the last one you posted in gray.

For some subtle interest instead of using an accent tile, how about placing the bottom row of subway tile as one tile vertical like the upper portion of your sample shows, and then the rest the bs in the traditional brick pattern. Color looks perfect with your granite and you can add uniqueness without going too over the top. I think that color just blends better when you look at the overall scheme of things and other elements can be used and changed out for color.

Can't wait to see the finished choice! The bs is the most stressful and also one of the most important finishes I learned when doing ours.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 6:29AM
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Thanks guys for weighing in some more. The grey (or is it gray) tile is a great color match and blends well. But, I am just worried about adding another grey element to the mix after the counters, the appliances and wall paint will make the room read 'cool'. Also, it only comes as a 3X6-and I wanted to avoid that size.
Here are some more pictures in morning light and a better camera.

A couple of closeup of tile and counters

I am going to stop by another shop today and see if I can find something else. BS is just so hard. Thanks for all the hand holding and opinions.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 9:58AM
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I can see how well that cream matches, but I also am not super crazy about that tile. It just looks like formerly white tile that got old and yellowed and dated.

I agree with everybody else that the counter has enough pattern that you don't need accent tiles. However, I think it'd be nice if the backsplash tile were all little more interesting -- some crackling or depth or variation in the glaze would be nice. The cream one you're looking at is too solid of a color to relate at all to the patterned counter.

Really solid-color tiles have a tendency to look cheap and/or dated too. I think that is what is contributing to how I feel about the cream tile.

How about a white onyx mosaic?




Some subtle pattern to relate to your counter, it's not grey, and it looks as modern and new as the rest of your kitchen.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 6:15PM
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The grey looks amazing. Go with that one! Fresh and currant, very polished.

The cream looks a little dated.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 6:30PM
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Cream is dated now??? When will it end??? Arghhhh!!!!

Frankly, I love the cream color!! I agree with greenhaven that it goes better with the cabinets than the grey. Besides, give the grey a bit of time and it will be dated, too. :-)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 8:14PM
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I love the cream even more in those last photos. Nothing against grey, but I think your instincts, vinudev, are spot-on regarding the "too much" factor. I think the grey makes everything shadowy and flat while the cream looks crisp and bright.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 6:35AM
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While either the gray or cream would work, I like the cream. To me, the wood tone of the cabinet is more of a warm look that I think the cream goes nicely with. I love a gray tile with white cabinets, but with wood, I kind of prefer the cream or beige tones. Just my personal preference though. I think a pencil liner would look good too, to break it up a bit, add a bit of color and interest but still wouldn't take away from the beauty of the counter top. I disagree that cream is dated, its a neutral and those never really become outdated. I'd worry more about tiles in colors (green, blue, etc) becoming dated, lovely though they may be at present.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 6:38AM
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The cream looks better in your latest pictures. I think a light, clear gray would look nice with your warm wood cabinets, but that gray looks a little muddy and taupey to me (beige-brown undertone).

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 10:30AM
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