HELP! Can a short granite backsplash be the answer here?
Update link posted below for all the wonderful folks here who helped me out! Muah!! :-). I'm not sure what happened to the original photos though...whenever I edit a post it deletes my pictures!
Please, please bear with me as this post got VERY long and picture heavy. I am at my wits end with my kitchen backsplash and feel that I may have had an epiphany. i would like to share it with all of you for some feedback.
After four months searching for a ceramic subway tile to go with my granite, I have come to the conclusion that I may be looking for something that doesn't exist. Meaning I am not sure even if the perfect one is starting me in the face, is part of my apprehension due to possibly not feeling the tile backsplash look in any form??
History in a nutshell -
A year ago last month we had a perfectly fine kitchen. 7-8" New Venetian Gold granite backsplash (made it a bit higher when it was put in 9 years ago to cover the drywall where the white ceramic tile counter and backsplash with had been torn out) and no island. Although my kitchen is narrow, I longed for an island. I needed more counter space and hated preparing meals with my back to the rest of the kitchen and family room.
Right before Thanksgiving 2011, we had a slab leak downstairs. We had a continuous wood floor so it all had to be pulled up as well as a bank of cabinets in the kitchen. They tried to save the granite on that side but it cracked so we needed new granite and instead of having to refinish the existing cabinets so they would all match the new bank, we chose to replace
them all while the granite was up. I also had to choose a backsplash. Mind you, I was happy with the one I had before. After it was originally put in and I saw friends kitchens as they redid them over the years (full granite or full tile) I never warmed up to that look. I felt the full granite would be too heavy or suffocating in my kitchen (felt the partial made it feel more open) and had pulled out tile prior to my granite so I wasn't feeling the love for a tile backsplash either. However, it's what's 'in' now and I was strongly persuaded to do the same.
Kitchen PRIOR to reno:
First day the travertine backsplash was put in over my new granite I hated it. It felt weird to me and the color was OFF. This was back in August 2012. I have spent the last four months and posting several subsequent threads to all of the WONDERFUL members here for help on choosing a simply subway ceramic tile that won't change colors like travertine and will just fade into the back round. I have over 40 tiles in a box in my dining room varying from ivory to gold/honey/amber and every shade inbetween. I am feeling NONE of them.
I continued to search google, Houzz, Gardenweb in search of something, anything, hoping that I will know when I see it that it's right. However, I am coming to the conclusion that it just may not exist. Why? Because I never felt tile it in the first place. Is it possible that I am one of those 'one off's' that actually like the short matching granite backsplash with just paint above it? Perhaps I am.
So...here is my dilemma. The run of Juparana Persa granite that I have is long gone. I put a deposit down in May. The granite yard has searched to no avail, as have I at many granite yards. The Juparana Persa that is available now is more beige/olive green whereas mine is more golden amber based. When it was purchased, due to the size of the island, we needed three slabs. When I sent to the yard to visualize placement before it was cut, we saw that there was about a third of a slab that was going to be left over. Perfect I thought, we'll have the window seat in the kitchen covered with it too! In hindsight, I felt it made for a 'sea of granite' kitchen, but it was fine. As you will notice the island seating area does not offer the 'recommended' island spacing between it and the bench seat. It's perfect for us though, as we always had a kitchen table there that offered less space than the island seating does now and that worked fine for the past for 14 years. The bench has always been just for show and never used because of this. It can't be removed as it's a false space on the exterior and the inside doesn't go all the down to the slab. It had to stay as is because it's a townhouse which makes it against the CC&R's to alter the structure in any way:
So...and I am finally getting to my point! Have I lost you all yet? Please hang on!! :)
The granite fabricator has told me that he feels he can get the granite off of the bench intact. It's 96 x 20 inches. This will leave me with enough granite
to have a 4-6" (which is better? Or even shorter??) backsplash fabricated as well as a full piece for between the cooktop and microwave! Of course the pattern won't be matched up perfectly, but considering everything other option is not panning out, is that really a huge issue?
I put a brown blanket over the bench area to show how it might look if I have the granite replaced with maple stained to match the cabinets. I threw a pillow on there...I'm thinking I might nix that idea as the bench can't be used for sitting anyway due to space (it hasn't been used in 15 years despite having had a custom bench cushion made) so I need other ideas of how to use that space or I may just leave it empty! ;) I think with the granite gone it will take away some of the 'sea of granite' feeling I have now. I also included a few random pictures of Juparana Persa in other kitchens where they paired it with a short backsplash with the same granite. Add in a creamy paint throughout - could it work? In the picture below of the family room, please keep in mind that we haven't put any thing back up on the walls or any decorations around yet. I have been in a depression tunnel over this whole kitchen and haven't ventured to any other rooms yet... I am thinking the cream color that I choose for the kitchen can also be added onto the far family room wall as an accent to tie it into the kitchen. The sofa is also going to be replaced sooner than later...
I know that I ABSOLUTLEY will have some drywall repair
and casing replacement to factor in...the casing is horrible the way the tile folks left it. I am planning on a matching fabric valance of some sort and just a simple shade tucked underneath to pull down for privacy at night.
Do think this can actually WORK?? The thought of the possibility of this long tunnel finally coming to an end is making me giddy!! I know that there are others here that have been going through this for a lot longer - I need my saga to end before I lose my mind!
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU Gardenwebber's!!
Here is a link that might be useful: Gardenwebnewbie's updated kitchen
This post was edited by gardenwebnewbie on Mon, Apr 22, 13 at 14:53