Tile medallions and tile mosaics - your opinion, please?

boone_2009September 20, 2013

What do you think of using a tile medallion or a tile mosaic over the cooktop area? That's the only area in my kitchen that is big enough and also will make a pretty focal point.

I've seen some medallions that are not too expensive and quite striking. My only hesitation is about practicality - most are made of stone( like travertine) and I don't know how easy they will be to keep clean. I am thinking of medallions more than mosaics, and in porcelain.

If any of you have either of these in your kitchen, could you please post your pics?

Thanks!! :-)

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This is in a small condo. Hope this helps. Sorry the picture is sideways.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 7:10PM
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Some people think they're dated. I don't have an opinion on that, but it seems to me that if you're going to draw attention to that area of your kitchen, the cooktop and hood should be something you'd want the eye to be drawn to. The medallion is part of the whole.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 7:44PM
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There are some fairly recent threads on this (one linked below).

In most cases, I'm not a fan but have to admit, some are lovely. We picked a bold tile (which several GW'ers said they thought would make their eyes hurt to be honest) so simply used the bold tile all the way up to the hood.

Here's ours:

I also like making the lighting more of a focal point. Here is babs711's gorgeous backsplash (bottom of the linked thread). The tile itself is amazing - anything more would detract IMO.

Here is a link that might be useful: Did anyone NOT do a special backsplash design over the range?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 8:14PM
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Ours just put in a couple of weeks ago (Walker Zanger), ceramic tile.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 9:02PM
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robinle: your focal point is a stunner! I like the abstract design - keeps it contemporary and clean.

may_flowers: yes, I know they're a bit dated but our cooktop area is begging for one :-). I like some of the striking circular and square medallions that have geometric patterns.

oldbat2be: your tile looks so much like wallpaper - very pretty. Unfortunately, our cooktop is in an alcove with an antique brick arch, so I can't choose bold patterns like yours. babs711's backsplash is beautiful and I agree - it needs nothing more to enhance it. I'll probably have plain white subways in my cooktop area which is why I thought a medallion would stand out. Love the lighting, too.

meek95: beautifully done!

Thanks for posting pics, all! So kind of you. Please keep the ideas and photos coming :-).

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 10:36PM
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Boone_2009, if you wish, post a picture of your area and some tile choices, and I can try to photoshop for you. Best, oldbat2be

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 10:39PM
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Just saw this one this morning - GORGEOUS!!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 8:00AM
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I think these are gorgeous. Oldbat2be I love your tile!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 8:08PM
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Holly- Kay

OB, as usual every time I see your stunning bs I drool.

My bs will be installed this week and I can tell you I am nervous in the service over it. It seems like at every turn I didn't like something or another about my kitchen. Having lived with it for several months I love it and I am afraid the bs could ruin my "perfect to me" kitchen.

My tile and flooring guy suggested a medallion but I nixed the idea in favor of my beloved and rather inexpensive antique tole wear tray. It is so simple but I think it looks so pretty there and I can remove it and put something else in it's place if I ever tire of it!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 9:17PM
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Holly- Kay

Here is a pic.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 9:21PM
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I saw something similar to this in my local store and just fell in love with it. It is much prettier in person. I would design a kitchen around it. I would worry though - imagine tomato sauce splashing into all those tiny crevices.
My current kitchen still has the original ivory formica - and it even goes up the walls to the cabinets. I hate to admit it but I really like the formica.. It is sooo easy to care for and goes with everything.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 11:22PM
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I am on the road and haven't been able to post pictures. I did put small medallions behind my cooktop. I like it and received a lot of positive compliments. (Badger or others feel free to pop in a picture).
I just wanted something to break up the wall.
OB- just love seeing yours!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 9:37AM
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Holly- Kay

I love all the medallions posted here. They really add a lovely touch!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 10:35AM
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oldbat2be: thank you so very much for your sweet, kind offer. I am still looking at tiles, tiles, tiles and at this point I am ready to go with plain ole white subways - today, however, I saw the beveled ones and think they look a bit more elegant than the flat.
I'll post a pic when I get a few more samples.
That mosaic pic you posted is stunning.

holly-kay : your tray is *very* pretty as a backdrop to your cooktop. If my backsplash area was smaller I would have run with your solution! What kind of backsplash did you choose?? Good luck with the installation... I am *sure* it will fit in with your 'perfect-for-me" kitchen!:-)

musicteacher: Oh, that is so tranquil as a background! I worry, too, about the little crevices in most medallions. We had Formica, too, in our previous house, and it was just perfect behind my cooktop ( and on my countertops, too)- cleaning was a breeze and it looked brand new 5 years later when we sold the house.

a2gemini: do post pics of your medallions when you have time. "Something to break up the wall" is the exact reason why I thought of medallions for my cooktop backsplash! Previously, we had only white tile and I always wished I had something to look at and enjoy while cooking :-).

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 8:42PM
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Oldbat2be, I love your taste in tile...both your stunning backsplash, and also the photo you posted above with the botanical focal tiles.

As we consider our kitchen update, I keep coming back to the idea that the area over the range is an opportunity to let some of our personality through. I realize the pitfalls of going too far toward "personal tastes" for resale, and/or looking outdated down the road, but then I remind myself, removing a tile mosaic or medallion is not exactly a horrific job, if a future owner isn't in love with it. (And you know, the whole "life is short" thing.)

My kitchen has a low ceiling so I'm hesitant to do any backsplash design except a fairly monotone treatment, under the cabinets...most any kind of horizontal line of contrasting color might emphasize the horizontal, instead of the vertical. So the area over the range keeps appealing to me as the best possible focal area.

I don't have experience with using travertine stone over a range, and I'm thinking the cleaning might be an issue. I'm leaning toward some kind of decorative mosaic design using smooth tiles, and I've wondered about using the epoxy grout I've read about here (supposedly pretty bulletproof as far as staining and cleaning, although more expensive.)

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 9:09PM
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Holly-Kay, I really like your tray as focal point. Your kitchen looks so nice... I am looking forward to seeing your backsplash pictures!!!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 8:14AM
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