Full granite backsplash vs 'something else'...

patty_cakesNovember 15, 2007

That something else possibly being 6" of granite, leaving wall space to wallpaper, texture, or another treatment. I feel the full granite backslapsh is too much granite, and also takes away the possibility of any personal decorating treatment.

One of my DD's has the full and is always complaining she can't decorate her kitchen, and doesn't even have one wall. She now wishes she would have left a portion of the backsplash for decorative purposes. Thoughts??

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this is personal taste. i prefer contrast to a full splash as well. if you go to finishedkitchens.com, you'll see pics of both - see which you like best.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 5:02PM
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Personally, I find granite backsplashes with granite counters to be overwhelming. I would not even do the 6" backsplash in granite. I would pick a complimentary tile that won't compete with the counters. Definitely need to leave some wall space somewhere that isn't covered in tile or granite or cabinets for some "breathing room." The eyes need a place to rest, and if you have too much going on, your kitchen could wind up leaving you feeling claustrophobic.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 5:03PM
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I *needed* to hear that! I thought for sure I would be in the minority, but than again, it'a a real personal choice.

Any more opinions? And *why* did you make *your* choice?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 5:15PM
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patty cakes- We chose a slate tile full backsplash with a neutral granite. We specifically chose this granite so it would not compete with a busier backsplash. Before the tile, the kitchen looked great, but adding the slate changed the "feel" of the room and made it warm and cozy. It was just a vision in my head that came to life, little by little. We took our time and didn't rush the process until we found just the right combo for the vision.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 5:52PM
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Full granite backsplash would be WAY too much granite for me - but then I didn't even want granite on all my counters. Plus I prefer variety of materials, textures, etc. I also prefer not to have the short granite backsplash but that's really just me. If you don't tile the backsplash then that's maybe the way to go. I find some granite/tile combos have too much going on for me too - but again I prefer things that aren't so "busy".

Here's a nice combo with short tile/granite and walls open for other decor.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 5:58PM
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We did granite countertops...and then used a travertine/glass tile backsplash. I think it brings an interesting dynamic and look to it all. I hope to get up some pictures in the next few days of our kitchen.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 6:01PM
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Sheet glass.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 6:16PM
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i vote for "something else." it's funny you are asking this now because i have just been thinking "whatever happened to walls?" i love loads of the beautiful backsplashes i've seen on the board, but, i do love painted walls and this will be a dilemma for me when i finally decide on a countertop.

all granite, or all anything would be too much for me. as others have said, i love the contrast in both color and texture. good luck on your decision.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 6:52PM
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I've never cared for the look of a full granite BS. It's just too much of the same material. I'd go with something different for contrast, which IMO, is important in a kitchen.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 7:59PM
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WOW! I really thought anyone who had granite countertops would also have the full bakspash, as that's what i've seen in the majority of model homes~probably an upgrade.

I don't want to use another 'hard surface', such as tile, slate, glass, etc., and was thinking 6" of the countertop granite, and then adding just a border of tile. I want enough wall space where I have the option to paint/wall paper and change when I feel the urge for something different.

The house will have a totally separate cabinet on an outside wall that will be a different finish(stain)than the other cream/glaze cabs. It's 12' of cabinets, and I plan to use a lighter(in color)countertop, possibly Corian. I *would* prefer an oiled walnut, but in $$$, that's getting up there. Anyway, I was *thinking* a mirrored backsplash might be a good idea, as this space looks like a long buffet-type serving bar. I saw a picture in a magazine and liked it. Crazy?? (it's good Feng Shui. LOL) Thoughts, please.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 9:24PM
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Hi PattyCakes, mirror does not sound crazy to me if you are describing a 'butlers pantry' type area. What you might consider is doing no backsplash for your initial build/remodel. Then, once you've lived in it a bit you can figure out what you want to do with the BS. Does it need a pop of color or texture? For the mirrored part, you could rest a cheap mirror (like a $5 target wall mirror, horizontally) in that space to see how you'll like a mirror during day/night, etc.

There are a few on GW with full granite BS that I think look striking but I think it takes a really good eye to make that work. There was a thread about 2" granite backsplashes and I was surprised at how great that looked. It definitely leaves options for something else...

Good luck!
(No, your fairy dust has not yet worked.)

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 9:36PM
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patty_cakes - I think you'll find model homes don't necessarily have the most imaginative or creative kitchens.

I personally wouldn't do a 6" granite backsplash with another row of tile on top of that - the "striped" effect just doesn't sound good. Though it's not my kitchen in the photo I posted, I do prefer that look with no granite backsplash and the row of tile abutting the counter.

Mirror on the separate area sounds nice - though I agree I like the sound of it with oiled walnut better than Corian (and I have Corian). Some of the new Corian patterns are very nice - now that I think about it those might look good. I was thinking of mirror with my Corian - not a good visual for me.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 9:40PM
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Full backsplash here, did not feel that the granite was overwhelming the kitchen at all! In fact, I think it gets overwhelming when granite gets mixed in with different pattern/texture/color scheme of the backslash. It was hard enough to match the granite to the cabinetry!

To me, kitchen with a full backsplash appers more polished, and also looks like it was carved out of stone. Together, granite and cabinets become the focal point.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 10:52PM
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Gibby- do you know who's kitchen that is that you posted? I have always liked that one and I want to see it again from another angle. I am thinking of doing that sort of idea for my backsplash, with art hung on the walls instead of tile.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 10:59PM
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Yanalg - your full BS works! IMHO.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 11:18PM
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After living with my new kitchen and full granite backsplash for over 3 years i would probably go for a sort of tumbled backsplash if i had to do it all again. I agree that it gives it the contrast it would so well deserve. DH and i went back and forth with a tile backsplash but it was just so hard to decide. Either way i feel blessed to have had the opportunity to do it and still love cooking in my new space. Go for what is pleasing to your eye!! Good luck......

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 12:24AM
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It depends upon the specific surfaces you are using, what you want to showcase, and how much continuity versus contrast, or motion versus rest appeals to your personal sensibility. I'd like to hear more about your other finishes. By all means, if you dislike the look of granite backsplashes, don't use one. What range or cooktop will you have? How will you protect the wall behind it? I may have missed some other postings of yours.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 12:32AM
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I had a difficult time with this decision as well. KD tried to talk me into full backsplash, and I might have been inclined to do it if I had chosen a light granite. I went with a dark granite and I didn't want that dark reflective look when I entered the kitchen. We went with a tumbled marble to give some contrast to the dark cabinet and countertop and we love it. People often comment on the backsplash. Here is a picture.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 12:17PM
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i agree with gibby.i would do 6" splash (actually i'd do 2"!) OR a row of tile. i think both would seem odd.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 1:05PM
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Great thread!

We are currently debating this same issue & I love reading everyones perspective on it.

My DH is leaning towards full granite & I am leaning towards tiles on the diagonal. ~*Sigh*~ We may compromise by putting full granite on the wall where our cooktop is & tile on the opposite side...if I can get him to compromise, LOL!

We chose a darker granite & cabinet combo also...so your combo really stands out to me susan4664! It is breathtaking! I did notice that your backsplash matches your flooring & our flooring is a spanish tile color. My DH thinks it is too light for our kitchen. He may be right. I need to get out there to some big tile stores & LOOK for something (hard with a 2yr old & 4 yr old at home all day!)

ANYWAY...keep the pics coming if anyone else cares to share. ;-)

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 1:26PM
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JT, Thanks!
My floor is actually quite a bit lighter than the backsplash. The floor is the original tile put in when the house was built 20 years ago!!! Its kind of a creamy taupe with. The backsplash is darker, with varying creams, and beiges. Its called Dark Andino.
Good Luck!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 2:22PM
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Beautiful, gorgeous kitchens many of you posted!

WHENICIT, that might be the way to go~nothing!LOL I *do* like the picture GIBBY posted with the small tile BS, with NO granite on the BS. It has a clean look and blends rather than standing out. I have a feeling our tastes are similar. I like the idea of the mirror, just one of those back-of-door type mirrors should work~great idea. Thanks much. ;o)

YANALG, your BS works VERY well in your VERY professional looking kitchen~you must be a gourmet cook. It looks to be the type of kitchen you could give cooking classes in. Are you another Julia Childs? LOL The counters/cabs are a great match.

ATHOMEWITH3, It *is* a tought decision, cause once it's done, it's DONE! I've always loved the tumbled stone, and always thought that would be my choice. I just have this *need* for wall space. LOL

KITCHENDETECTIVE, I want things to flow, so not a lot of contrast. If I use a tile border, it will be the color(or close)to the paint/glazed cabs. I'll have SS cooktop. As far as protection, I don't cook that much to have to worry. LOL Those days are over since all my kids are grown. Scrubbable wallpaper is a possibility as my taste tends to be on the traditional side, and have seen it used in many traditional kitchens in the south, usually with some type of tile border below it. I'm just not 'into' what I see in a lot of showrooms today. Trends come and go.

Susan, gorgeous! That could be an option, as I love the look, but really want that itty bit of wall space. I can understand why you get many compliments. Is your countertop Absolute Black? It's hard to see if it has flecks of color.

Thanks all for your input. I'm sure it wasn't an easy task when some of you had to make the decision, and *know* you'll have to live with what it is you've chosen for a long time.

How come only one comment on the mirrored BS?LOL Not good??? LOL

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 3:20PM
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I think the final decision comes down to a few factors-what look are you trying to create, what do you want to look at everyday in the kitchen for the next 10-20 years. We debated the backsplash question for quite a while before we started our remodel and ended up with travertine tile and granite countertop. We don't have a large kitchen and felt that full granite would be overwhelming.

Still working on the remodel - mostly diy but here's an early picture of the backsplash.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 3:56PM
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Patty cakes,
Thanks. My granite is Peacock Green (or Verde Peacock, depending on who you ask). It doesn't photograph well, but its deep dark green with butterfly bursts of blue, black specs and gold veining throughout.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 4:02PM
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Looks like I'm in the minority here. I love full granite BS. I've seen some gorgeous tile BS but I think granite looks more dramatic.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 4:17PM
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I think a lot depends on the size of the kitchen, and what you want for a focal point. In our case, we had a small (11Â x12Â) kitchen with two walls of cabinets and a peninsula. With a kitchen this size too many surfaces and it becomes too busy. We opted for a granite with a lot of movement. This became a dominate feature, and the use of a tile backsplash would have taken away from that. However to prevent it from overwhelming the space, we used a full backsplash only on the stove wall and a 4" backsplash with just paint above on the sink wall. The kitchen ends up with just 3 main elements, the cabinets, the appliances, and the granite.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2007 at 11:38AM
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athomewith3 - I think your kitchen and full BS does look lovely - your whole kitchen is very pleasing to the eye in my opinion. In some cases I think adding a "busy" tile backsplash to a dramatic granite can also be just too much and maybe detracts from the beauty of each item. I don't think you should have any regrets - plus there are so many tumbled tile backsplashes - it's refreshing to see something different.

chinchette - the kitchen belongs to a friend of mine - here's a link to a couple more photos.

Here is a link that might be useful: my friends new kitchen

    Bookmark   November 17, 2007 at 11:56AM
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Thanks for the kind words gibby3000, unfortunately i didn't find this site until my kitchen was finished. Then when i saw MOST people doing tile backsplashes i was so dissapointed. But you are right, it is even refreshing to me to know i was in the minority with a full granite backsplash. It is a simple kitchen with not alot going on and is very calming to me. Thanks again gibby!!

Pattycakes, glad you are able to see all kinds of pics before making your choice, cant wait to see your finished product!!!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2007 at 12:28PM
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For me the choice to do a full granite BS was based around the floor. Since I had one pattern in the tile and another somewhat busy one for the granite counter I thought adding a third pattern with a BS would be too much. I also believe it has a lot to do with the granite itself - AB black lends itself to a BS much better than my Santa C because it is not busy. In my new house I'll be doing a wood floor, less patterned counter and a BS. I'm curious to see which I'll like better when it's all said and done.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   November 17, 2007 at 12:44PM
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I actually love full BS, because once I fall in love with a granite, I love to see it upright. Especially the ones with movement.

We chose a dark granite, Emerald Pearl. But with our situation I really have only one wall that was going to get any backsplash: behind the range. So having the dark granite as the backsplash wasn't overwhelming.

We got creative and had the fabricator hand chisel a slab in a mountain profile (some people see a wave, some people see the curve of a woman's body - whatever floats your boat I say).

I had always loved hand chiseled counter edges. LOVE them. But 1.) way too expensive, and 2.) being out on the west coast where we only get laminated edges, it wasn't going to work. But we were able to get the hand chiseled edge on the backsplash and it's just so appropriate.

The reason why I love the hand chisel is that the roughness reminds me, and others, that this beautiful material is actually rock, actually comes from a mountain, and not man-made. We found it important to remember "from whence" our granite came.

Oh, btw, we made the mirrors: they are the sun (or moon) and stars setting behind the mountain.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2007 at 1:06PM
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svwillow1, could you post a photo or link to your kitchen? That's exactly what I have in mind...backsplash only behind the range, and I haven't found many examples of this.
Gibby3000, is that what your friend did? It looks like only full BS behind the range. That kitchen rocks! Classic look that I don't think will look dated 10 years from now.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2007 at 5:19PM
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I'll try to insert the images:

If this didn't work you can go to the GW home galleries and search on SVWillow1

Here is one of the pics

Here is a link that might be useful: Full granite backsplash

    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 11:30AM
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coffeehaus - yes that kitchen has full backsplash only behind the range and then the short tile mosaic around the rest. It's really lovely - the picture's don't do it justice.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 1:34PM
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I have tumbled travertine tiles. For me, having any granite backsplash, 6" , full heighth, would be too heavy a look. So I have 6" x 6" travertine tiles, picked a color that was fairly neutral and a basic color of my granite. Then used that color for my walls too. So the wall and backsplash all flow.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 5:05AM
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Thanks Gibby.

So what material is behind the range for a backsplash? Glass?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 10:15AM
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Chinchette - it's an ivory tile that coordinates with the mosaic - I honestly can't remember the shape. She lives in another city so I don't see her kitchen in person that often.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 11:15AM
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As a pet sitter/house sitter I see & work in many kitchens. I often find granite walls/backsplashes too heavy looking especially if dark or heavy patterned. Looks impressive but find I tire of it after just a few days.

I will be having a mountain shape backsplash done next year...(no time to get it done this week & next 2 weeks am too busy to go over design plans-tis a busy time of year for me work wise.) Since I have an unobstructed view of Mt. Diablo it will be a similar shape & not just one hump- wave looking. Probably will have natural edges since I like the rustic look. Did not want tile on other walls, want to be able to change color scheme. Just hoping the kitchen will be functional this weekend. Electrical still needs final inspection. I am in a gated community so no work allowed on weekends or holidays as well as no work beyond 4:30 PM. Range has not been delivered, was supposed to come in yesterday.
Link to snapshots of small kitchen in process, & there is another gallery (sunroom office - link in purple above thumbnails) with the awesome views of Mt. Diablo. Also links to the awesome tile jobs in the 2 bathrooms. Jeff will be the one to do the backsplash...he has awesome design ideas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rossmoor Kitchen Remodel

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 12:23PM
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I'll comment on the mirrored backsplash- I had one for over 10 years. I HATED that thing. I kept begging for DH to take it down. Got every excuse in the book. Had a water leak in Sept. That's probably the only way I was ever going to get rid of it!

Why I wanted it gone- #1 showed every single bit of mess double. #2 Anything and everything on the counter is doubled- and I only keep a few things on my counter- K/A mixer, toaster, coffee maker. #3 Cleaning is a complete pain. People that have SS complain- try mirrors. I'd always see streaks. #4 After a few years, behind the sink the mirror had gotten wet- and started to lose the "silvering"- ugh. Looked awful.

Honestly, unless you never use your kitchen, I'd stay away from mirrors.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 7:57AM
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Of course you should get what you like. I'm not trying to convince anyone to get full granite BS, but here's my kitchen. I chose full granite BS for my small galley kitchen because, as someone said earlier, in a small space it's good to minimize the number of finishes. I chose a quiet granite. I love it, especially when I wipe down the part behind the stove after I cook something that splashes, like bacon. (mmmm...bacon).

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 3:13PM
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People, this thread is just a bit over 5 yrs. old. I suspect she's made her choice by now! (Although, at the rate MANY of us are taking on picking our BS.... perhaps not yet! ;-)

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 3:32PM
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Angie, LOL! I just saw the Nov part of original posting date. I have to be more careful now that it's so easy to search for old listings. Thanks for the reminder. Happy Holidays

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 6:04PM
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