Kitchen wall between 6 in. granite backsplash and kitchen cabinet

RGJR18November 29, 2012

Hi all. We are buying new construction and awaiting completion of our home. Wanted to know whether adding a nice complimenting mosaic glass and stone wall tile above the 6 in. granite backsplash (sometime in the future) would be ok or just leave that part of the wall above the 6 in. granite backsplash as drywall and paint it with an appropriate color that compliments the Giallo Ornamental granite we selected. I would like to add we also chose to go with dark java espresso kitchen cabinets. The builder paint on the wall at move-in is Sherwin Williams Swiss Coffee. Builder states on their Standard Features List "Gloss at all wet areas and doors/trim. Appreciate any and all input on this subject.

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Can you omit the 6" granite backsplash and just do the tile, either now or down the road? I'm not sure if the granite return and the tile together might look too busy.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 2:49PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Leave off the granite backsplash and just have them caulk the seam between the counter and wall.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 3:06PM
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Agree with Holly. Leave off the 6" matching granite splash. It is considered dated by contemporary standards. If you want tile on the wall, use that instead of the matching granite.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 3:13PM
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From what people have commented, it sounds like if we were to add mosaic glass and stone wall tile in the future, then the answer is NO, it's not ok to add mosaic glass and stone wall tile above a 6 in. granite backsplash. Is this also saying, if at all possible, DO NOT include a 6 in. granite backsplash with the granite countertop?? And, if there was a 6 in. granite backsplash, to just paint that part of the wall with a color that compliments both the kitchen cabinets & granite countertop??

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 4:48PM
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Yup. That is what everyone is saying. Well, I don't know about "not ok"--just might look too busy/choppy to have mosaic glass and stone wall tile above a 6" granite backsplash.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 4:55PM
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It seems that most of the GWers do not recommend the 6 (or 4) inch backsplash of the countertop material. Probably most builders are still doing that type of backsplash because thats the way they've always done them and/or with the 6 inch backsplash the countertop installation doesnt have to be quite as precise along the wall.
If you plan on tiling between the countertop and cabinets someday anyway for sure I would leave off the 6 in splash. It really does look nice to have your tile to go right down to the countertop.
Lots of people still put tile on the walls even with the 6 inch splash. Also lots of peoples just paint the area. I had only painted walls above a 4 inch backsplash in my previous kitchen and never had any issues with splashes leaving stains on the walls. I'm not so sure I'd want a glossy paint in the backsplash area though. I would use the same sheen you are using on the rest of your kitchen wall. If your are using quality paint which SW the should have a paint that is washable but not glossy.
For my laundry room and current kitchen I chose not to have the 6 backsplash. The painted walls look just fine. I only put tile behind my cooktop and vent hood.
You really can do whatever you want. The backsplash police will not give you a citation, I promise.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 6:12PM
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I guess what I really wanted to know was does adding anything above a 6 in. granite backsplash (whether it's mosaic or a simple tile) an absolute design NO NO...and would give the kitchen a tacky look. Will the right choice of material make a difference I wonder. As mjsee noted above, maybe?... if the material chosen doesn't make it look too busy/choppy

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 7:02PM
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Much depends on how busy your granite is. My rule of thumb, busy backsplash or busy counter--not both. (I chose an exceptionally busy backsplash---so my counters had to be EVER-so-chill...)

If you are considering doing 6" of granite...have you considered taking it all the way to the cabinets? Seamless....

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 7:10PM
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Adding something above a 6" granite strip is not an absolute design no-no. As Badger said, the bs police won't write you a citation. It's just not on trend. And, to many people, it looks busy regardless of the tile you choose.

Personally, I think builders put that strip above the counter, in part, because they are lazy. It's one less design decision by not picking a tile, and it hides sloppy counter fabrication instead of tightly templating the stone to the wall.

Yes, at 16:48 all of your assumptions about the comments made previously made are correct. Ditto mjsee.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 7:19PM
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6" is non standard. Standard is 4". Be sure that your are clear about what size the builder is proposing. 6" with paint above it can be an interesting modern look, just as a 2" backsplash can look quite modern. 4" looks traditional, but it only looks traditional if the wall above it is painted or wallpapered. Tile above a 4" splash isn't a traditional choice, nor is it a today choice. It's most often perceived as a design "miss" rather than a hit. Mainly because the depth of the granite will be 3 cm (about 1 1/2") and all tile will be much less in depth. That leaves an awkward transition between the two materials, and they eye perceives the differing depths as "wrong".

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 11:50PM
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Why do you want the 6" granite backsplash? Do you like the look? Suggested by builder/KD? Or just what you are used to?

Personally in most cases I don't think it is attractive to tile above a granite/or what ever material backsplash. Someone here on GW did a quartz 5" backsplash and it looked nice, with no tile above. The material was thin so it looked nicer than a 3 cm piece of granite would but thats just my opinion.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 6:50AM
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Have you cruised around on Houzz to see what different backsplashes you like? I've linked a pic of what appears to be a 6" granite BS below...I don't think it NEEDS anything else...

Here is a link that might be useful: 6

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 9:34AM
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Hit post too quickly. I've been thinking about why I DON'T like counter material backsplashes topped with tile regardless of the size. (DISCLAIMER: This is my personal opinion, not any kind of decorating dogma. I am not a KD.)

It's because a tile over counter material backsplash usually looks "added on" rather than intentional. If it goes all the way to the counter, tile is obviously planned. If it goes to a 4" counter-material bump up it looks as thought that was the planned BS...and then one decided that wasn't quite enough and added tile later. Whether that's what happened or not--that's how it usually "reads" to me.

Does that make sense?

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 9:43AM
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It is OK, if it is what you want to do. It is just a matter of taste. Some people think that the 4" granite splash with tile on top is dated, but it is also determined by area/region. Where I live it is very normal, and I am abnormal for not doing one, but I am also abnormal because I am doing a more modern kitchen.
This is an image from Houzz that shows Giallo Ornamental countertop with mosaic tile backsplash to the counter(If you click on any of the images they should go to the Houzz site and you will see them bigger):

Traditional Kitchen design by Toronto Interior Designer Jennifer Brouwer (Jennifer Brouwer Design)
These Houzz images show a 4" splash with mosaic above:

Traditional Kitchen design by Dc Metro Design-build Synergy Design & Construction, Inc.

Traditional Kitchen design by Newark Kitchen And Bath Tim Kriebel - KRIEBELDESIGN
This is just the low splash:

Contemporary Kitchen design by Atlanta Kitchen And Bath Teri Turan
Which look do you like?

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 3:37PM
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I intentionally chose a 5" thin backsplash of my Cambria quartz. I have had and done a ton of tile backsplashes and I was ready for something simpler and less busy than tile and grout lines.

The real question that I think some people have asked above - what do you like? What looks good/finished/polished to you?

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 4:37PM
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Hags00, it was your kitchen I was thinking of. I'm glad you posted a photo.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 5:25PM
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Now, see...that looks PLANNED. Love that, Hags00.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 5:46PM
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