Backsplash Help

chrisk327November 6, 2012

I've been living without a backsplash for about 16 months. We've been in decision paralysis since we remodeled the whole house and chose everytthing from flooring to paintcolors to trim to the exact measurements of the rooms etc. so we had a baby and stopped making house decisions and said we would just do it later.

Later is finally here, we are tired of living with a few trim pieces off the cabinets and a backsplash of paint and water spots.

We've gone through probably 15 or so samples, and are pretty decided... well sort of.

the layout- kitchen is open to the dining room. Dining room is the same color as the kitchen walls(in picture). Overall, there will be no paint in the actual kitchen since cabinets go to ceiling.

We do have a chimney style hood and will be tiling to the ceiling there.

We've basically decided that we want to do 1 type of tile for the whole backsplash. maintly b/c we have a lot of tan between the floor and countertop and can't see doing a backplash in yet more beige with just an accent. Also, due to the chimney hood I think the transition can be awkward if you don't do the fieldtile up the wall.

Now to the question... we have 2 versions of the same tile pattern, 1x2s or 2x4s. Its glass tiles with a bit of dimension to them. What do people think?

we're leaning 2x4s, since we think it could be a lot of small tiles and look more busy iwth the 1x2s...

however, are open to the smaller tile. And someone PLEASE tell us if we're making a mistake. I'm totally fearful that when its all done and up, I'm going to hate it, which is why I've been so gunshy in choosing...


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These are the choices

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 6:15PM
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I have a mosaic in my kitchen that is a mix of stone, 3 colors of glass and stainless tiles. I only did my mosaic behind the range hood and ran it to the ceiling. I love the way it turned out and I have gotten tons of compliments on it. I am telling you this so that you know I am a fan of mosaics but my first thought is that in your kitchen the mosaic would be too much of a good thing and might distract from your beautiful cabinets and granite. A backsplash around the entire kitchen while often done isn't really necessary. Usually the greasy splatters are behind the cooktop. In other areas you should be able to get by with just paint. So I guess I am suggesting that you think about maybe just using the mosaic behind the range hood. If you feel you want tile in the other areas maybe just pick the lightest color of the glass in the mosaic and use that in a bigger size between your cabinets and countertop. You could run the mosaic vertically in the area behind your cooktop/range and hood. (And if you want other tile for the rest of the space it could run horizontal) Below is a picture of how I used mosaic in my kitchen.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 6:53PM
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The tile looks fine. I agree the smaller sized mosaic will look busier than the larger one, but it's really the multicolor mosaic that is adding complexity to your complicated stone. You've got brown and cream from the stone along with that pinky taupe that matches your wall color - good choices, but perhaps a few too many colors.

Another option would be to choose a mosaic that is one color with different sizes or interesting placement, or one size with a variegated glaze for interest. Or, you could pull out just the cream and brown of your stone and add a pattern for interest.
Shell glass mosaic

Crackle diamond mosaic

Marble diamond mosaic

Here's what these tiles look like in your image.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 8:06PM
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Have you thought about a pretty solid backsplash? I think both back splashes you have picked out compete with your beautiful counter tops. They make some great solid subway tiles in glass which I think would look great. You could pick a solid color from one of the flecks in your counter.....

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 11:35PM
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Interesting points of view from everyone. Definately some things we did consider and some we didn't

EAM44- the last pic didn't come through.
its funny, the first tile we picked was a 1x2 subway of that is a sister of that crackled diamond tile you showed. Same color alternating with a soft gray.

we were afraid that picking a single color back splash would be too boring looking, but I'm also afraid of making to too busy

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 2:24PM
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The colors in your mosaics look nice, but my first impression was also "too busy." I like the first one EAM posted. I think you'd get enough variation with a solid. I know what you mean about worrying about it being too boring-- I have the same thought about some of my choices. I just think you have enough going on visually without adding another color-varied element. Take a good look at the mockups above-- maybe print them out in black and white and see if that helps.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 2:56PM
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I think you will be sorry if you install either one of those. I agree that they will compete with your already busy backsplash.
I hear that you don't want more beige but with your busy granite a light cream or a light tone that matches one if the lightest colors in your granite would work. Honestly, your kitchen is anything but boring now and a simple backsplash is not going to turn it in a boring kitchen.
I have been a member of GW for almost four years. I have never seen anyone who has chosen a backsplash like yours coupled with a busy granite like yours actually keep it. What I have seen over and over is it being torn out and a more simple backsplash installed .
What we like to say here is that the kitchen should have only one star . Yours is the granite.
In order to pull off the mosaic, you would need a solid or almost solid counter.
Not what you want to hear, sorry but I have to be honest.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 4:22PM
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i agree with others...the tile you picked out is pretty on its own, but not so much with the granite.

i would go with one color tile and find a pattern that you like and do the b/s in that pattern.
remember, you will have things on your counters so that will increase the "busy-ness".
you can have a gorgeous b/s without it being "loud"...beautifully understated.

good luck!!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 4:24PM
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In EAM44's mock-up of your backsplash choices, the tiles you picked look very pink compared to your granite. It may not be like that in real life, but it reminded me of an old thread where a woman was very unhappy with her new backsplash after it was installed She had a busy granite and backsplash that competed with each other. I also think that a less busy tile will look better with your granite.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hate my new backsplash

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 4:49PM
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we were afraid that picking a single color back splash would be too boring looking, but I'm also afraid of making to too busy

Yeah, hard line to walk. (I am struggling with this myself in another thread that people are generously helping me with.)

I think you are on the right track, but need to do more playing to find the right balance. For example, perhaps you could use those pretty 2x4s (or even find 3x6s) but have one of the colors predominate. Use mostly one color, but add in only a small number of the other colors. (Of course, this would mean you would need to buy individual tiles rather than the mesh-mounted mosaic, but that should be doable.)

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 5:07PM
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love the diamond tiles above. The diamond crackle and marble diamond mosaic. Either of those would be gorgeous. With an edge to the simpler one.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 5:08PM
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I too have been reading AlOT about back splashes here on GW. Nobody seems happy when they pick out a busy back splash to go with their granite. Some have even torn everything out......Your kitchen is so beautiful that a solid color back splash would never be boring, just classy!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 7:42PM
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See the crackle tile we were originally considering

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 8:15PM
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    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 8:17PM
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Not sure if this is better. I was thinking about using the 2x4s on the right as a field tile then using the other there as an accent. But don't know about what pattern

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 9:56PM
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The original crackle tile will be fantastic.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 11:09PM
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Love the original and the plain subway tile - much better choice in my opinion!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 10:41AM
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Wow, I think either of the last two tiles would go really nicely. I think you could do all of one, all of the other, or a mixture (as long as not too crazy) as you suggest. They both seem to complement, rather than compete with, the granite.

Seems much better than the multi-colored tiles in your first pix.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 11:22AM
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OP here from this thread. FWIW We've been all over the place on this, and finally made a decision. well we made the decision a few times since this thread and finally bought all the tile and its going in today. its actually none of the above.

It kind of happened pretty quick, we decided last week, I ordered the tile, it arrived last friday. I contacted our tile guy who we haven't really contacted since our major renovation 18 months ago. I sent him an email saturday, I didn't hear back until yesterday, and he was like, I have tomorrow available...... I'm actually away on business, didn't pull down the chimney range hood, prep by pulling out the outlets or even get the grout yet... but I said, sure meet my wife today and we'll figure it out. so he took down the hood and is apparently rocken and rollen on the backsplash.

I'm pretty nervious about the decision, and now the grout color, which we haven't picked yet.

I'll try and post pictures of it complete. Kitchen was technically done probably 16 months ago and I still haven't posted finished pics due to the backsplash and a few pieces of molding, I guess I should get on that when this is completed.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 10:16AM
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