Backsplash tile

honeybasilNovember 6, 2012

Just needing some input on backsplash. We got this Black Pearl granite a couple of weeks ago. I posted before, and I know my floors are not the easiest to match, but it is not in the plan anytime soon to change them since we have a lot of area that would need to be replaced. We had an opportunity to get the granite as a trade for work my husband did, which is why we decided to go ahead and get it now rather than wait until maybe one day we could afford to redo the floors. I actually don't mind the tiles as I have four small children, and it hides dirt really well. My dilemma is backsplash. I don't want to compete with the floor, and a lady at the tile place gave me a couple of suggestions. I am posting pictures of them. She suggested the glass tiles in either the gray or almond color. I am also drawn to white subway tiles, and I can't decide what to do. I love the look of white kitchens with the bluish/gray or greenish/blue glass tiles, but I don't know if that works with my floors. Any suggestions? Budget is a big concern. The glass ones I have in my picture are $12/sq foot which is the most I can spend. The ceramic subways are super cheap. Thanks!

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honeybasil

Here is the glass tile - the almond color she suggested is third from the left and the gray is second from the right.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 7:00AM
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Angie_DIY

I think the almond would work nicely. Certainly goes with the floor, and the tone works fine (to my eye) with the black counter.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 1:28PM
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sprtphntc

i also like the almond

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 2:32PM
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mom2sethc

ditto on the almond!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 2:56PM
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palimpsest

I like the almond, and if you wanted to do conventional subway tile, Daltile Rittenhouse Square comes in several Almond, Biscuit, and Putty shades.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 3:06PM
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honeybasil

Thanks! The granite has warm almond flecks in it, and the almond glass tile was the one I was immediately drawn to, but almost every kitchen I see online has white or off white subway tile with the white cabinets and black counters, so I am having a hard time visualizing the almond. The more I look at the gray ones, the more I don't like them. I really do like the look of the subway tile matching the cabinets, but maybe the almond tone would pull my kitchen together better. I am also open to other suggestions!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 4:30PM
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starinasgarden

Are your cabinets white or cream? I can't tell from your photos. The white subway tile appears to be more of a stark white than your cabs on my monitor.
I'm going to be the lone voice of dissent, the almond looks very dingy and drab to me.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 4:45PM
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honeybasil

The cabinets are more cream and not stark white. I will definitely look at other white options and find one that matches better, I just happened to have that tile and put it up there to get an idea. I worry about the almond. I would definitely have to paint my kitchen if I picked that color tile. It's actually much prettier in person, though. I tend to pick everything in a neutral beige, so I am trying to not make a mistake by doing that. I want to pick the right thing!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 4:56PM
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Namarie

My counters aren't black, so this may or may not help you visualize the almond, but I have a similar colored glass tile in my white kitchen. I love it.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 5:58PM
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honeybasil

Those tiles are really pretty Namarie. Love your counters also! What are your tiles exactly? On my screen, they seem a little lighter than the almond sample I have. I think maybe if I had a lighter sample, I may be a little more confident.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 6:48PM
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annsch

Another vote for almond. Almost a taupe color.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 8:19PM
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mrspete

First picture: I hate the white tile -- I don't like that its reflection shows in the granite. Seems to detract from a great granite.

Second picture: I like the pale green glass. It's subtle, but it adds a touch of color.

Namarie, I like your tiles.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 8:25PM
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EAM44

The trick is to incorporate tiles that speak to the floor color in the overall scheme. You don't have to use almond for the entire bs. It will be sort of dark, will limit your options for floor tiles later on, and no matter how hard you look, the tiles are never going to match. You can choose white (far right), and add some almond accent tiles in a random brick pattern, or go for a mosaic that uses some floor related color in an overall look that brings to ming the greys and whites you want - like the ones below (the first one is $15/sf, and the slate one is $14/sf, so a little over budget).
Stone

Glass 3/4" x 3/4" $6.34 for a 13" x 13" sheet

Glass 1" x 1" $11.86/sf

Glass Slate $14/sf

Marble $11.32/sf

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 8:42PM
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deedles

What about a combination of the almond and the green glass tiles? I like the almond but as EAM says, you don't have to just pick one. Or what about almond, green and the white that you like?

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 9:53PM
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Namarie

Honey basil, my tiles were by a manufacturer called Terra Verre and the color is Glacier. Their website lists distributors. I believe it was only around $13/sq. ft.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 6:32AM
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honeybasil

Here is a sample of a mosaic that I have. Now that I am looking at it, I actually really like it. It seems to bring together all of the colors in the floor tile. I just worry about the floor and the backsplash being busy. What do you think of this combination?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 9:12AM
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honeybasil

And another picture of that same mosaic

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 9:13AM
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badgergal

I like it. If there are enough gold/brown flecks in your granite then I think it ties all your elements together. There are a lot of plain subway tile lovers on this forum so they may chime in that it is too busy but i dont think it will be. Maybe you could start another post with a picture of the tile and a picture of your kitchen taken from a distance and ask if one of the photo shop gurus on here could photo shop the backsplash area for you. They do a great job of helping visualize.
And remember it is your kitchen so do what makes you happy.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 9:55AM
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ellendi

I know that you are not ready to do the floor but it really is stopping you from having a really great kitchen. I just feel that choosing a backsplash with this floor in mind is a mistake .
Personally , I would try to do something with this floor first. You can live with a painted backsplash for a while. Some here never tile the backsplash area.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 5:06PM
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EAM44

The colors on your mosaic are great. When I put your mosaic on the image, it looks a little busy to my eye too. If you have more sheets of this, perhaps you could tape a few into place and see if it looks better in your space than on the monitor. The image below might be helpful.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 5:54PM
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gone_south

I agree with ellendi. If there is any way you can hold off on the BS and change the floor, you'll likely end up with something you are much happier with in the long run.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 6:06PM
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EAM44

But look how much better it looks when the pattern is a little subtler, and the tile contains a little black along with cream and brown. These are gorgeous I think. The top one is $11.32/sf and the bottom is $13.90/sf.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 6:08PM
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honeybasil

Thanks so much for the input and opinions and for the photoshop help! I'm still not sure I'm sold on a busy backplash, but it does help to see them like that. The colors do really seem to tie everything together, but I'm not sure I want the backsplash to be the focal point. It could work, though, since the granite isn't busy. Just so many choices!

I appreciate the suggestions about the floor, but the reality is that we will probably have these floors for years to come. With four young children, we have so many other priorities, and the floor would be a really big expense since it flows into our great room which would have to be changed also. I am envious of you who have the budgets to be able to design and build your dream kitchens, but we are just not at that stage of life. We bought this house for the space for our family knowing that we would have to live with some less-than-perfect design, and I am okay with that. The floors really don't bother me, and maybe it's because they seem more subtle when you see them in person. For some reason, the photos seems to make it look more bold than it actually is. Most everyone who comes in my house comments on liking the floors, so I don't think it's such an eyesore.

In any case, I am trying to make the best of what I have and make my home look nice, and since we were able to unexpectedly get this granite, I would like to finish the look and enjoy it. Removing the old counters pulled up part of the drywall, so it really does need to have a backsplash put on. I suppose we could fix the walls and paint, but I'd rather just go ahead and find a backsplash that works.

I've never had the opportunity to do much design or remodeling since we have never had a budget for it, so this small project is really fun for me, and I don't want to make a mistake. I know there are probably multiple options that would be okay, but I'm enjoying the process of thinking about it, looking at samples, and getting opinions. I love my new (to me) home so much, imperfections and all!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 7:50PM
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honeybasil

EAM, what is that first mosaic that you put on your second post - the one with the linear tiles? Do you have a source for that? I worry about small square tiles because my floors are large squares, and I don't want to be overloaded with squares!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 7:54PM
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EAM44

It's the better choice of the two. One thing to keep in mind is that this is marble tile and the appearance of the stone can vary from box to box. The black-ish pieces are emperador dark, that can vary from milk chocolate to licorice in color. I think it would be a terrific choice. The link to the source is below, and right now they have three specials running: free shipping on orders over $99, 5% off every order, and samples for just $2.95.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tile

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 8:51PM
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crl_

I like the almond glass tiles best, although an almond or cream ceramic would also be really nice and give a less modern vibe. I think your floors sound very practical and look quite nice.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 9:11PM
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honeybasil

Thanks for the info! I also picked up a travertine sample that looks really good with my floor. It has the same very light tan tones in my floor, so that might be an option also - a subway travertine. It seems very subtle and ties my floor in really well. It didn't photograph really well or I would hard posted a picture.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 1:12PM
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nycbluedevil

I like the mosaic much better. It adds interest and I think it will make it easier later when you change the floor out because you will have more options, given that you will be able to pick up the colors in the tile. A fun and pretty backsplash is great. I think the almond is too boring and would not settle for it. I think that you are not going to notice the floor that much. You might even put a rug on the floor to cover up some of it, if that you make you like it all better.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 1:38PM
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beekeeperswife

a vote for the almond glass

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 2:35PM
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honeybasil

This is what I would really like to do with my backsplash. This was the original idea that grabbed me, and I wonder if it will work. I wish I could find this tile, but there doesn't seem to be a source. Think something like this would work? This is my dream kitchen!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 2:36PM
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honeybasil

And here is a better view of my cooktop area. Please ignore my "vintage" oven and cooktop! Ha ha!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 2:39PM
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honeybasil

And thank you so very much for all of your opinions and for helping me with this process. I know I am posting a lot, but I really do appreciate your help!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 2:41PM
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deedles

Do what Oldbat2be did: take your tiles and photocopy them and then tape the copies up on the backsplash to get a real life feel for how they'd look. That was you, OB2B, right? Sorry if I'm wrong on that...

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 3:58PM
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EAM44

If I had a dollar for every homeowner who installed a travertine bs then regretted it, I could afford the kitchen of my dreams and the house in La Jolla that holds it. You'll end up with an entire kitchen that looks like your floor. If that's what you want, go for it. But I recommend you check out some of the travertine posts on this site first.

Re: your inspiration photo, you can incorporate that color now if you want to, but to make it work with that floor tile you will have to incorporate colors that speak to that tile, like the 2nd and 4th mosaics in my first post. Hopefully I've given you an idea of how to do that.

I think you should wait until you find a tile you love, or can afford to lay and stain hardwood, as in your inspiration photo. You're getting by without a bs now. Just paint the wall and live with it for a while. Best of luck and bye from me.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 4:21PM
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ellendi

Another vote for paint it for now. Sometimes it just takes longer to do things that we would want.
Your kitchen looks nice now. If you make a mistake with the backsplash,you will not be happy.
I agree with you that although the floor is not an eyesore, it is not the best choice for the elements you have going on in your kitchen whihc is why is will be very difficult to find something to coordinate.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 5:25PM
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