Need some inspiration...backsplash time...

adh673December 16, 2010

Granite goes in Tuesday. My wonderful husband is pushing for backsplash to go in on Wednesday. I'm pretty sure there is no chance of this happening but I guess I need to get started on this anyway. I've put a pic of my kitchen below as a general summary of the space.

My current back splash thoughts are:

Subway in tumbled travertine (photos from a stop at a tile store today, may not represent final pick after I inevitably go to every store within 30 miles)

Or a subway with a crackle glaze look (they didnt have a subway shaped sample):

Or possibly even a crackled GLASS tile, I am like a moth to a flame with shiny stuff even though I dont know that it fits here

Or an ivory beveled arabesque tile like beekeepers wife (got sample in mail, and of course it looks great in her kitchen)

I also wanted to do some sort of focal point over the range, but the tile store didnt have any of those insert things. I've even thought about stainless steel shiny tiles around the range which I realize is probably a very bad idea for this style kitchen but I need to say it to get it out of my system :-) I've also seen some sort of quilted looking backsplashes which are also cool.

Anyone have any other ideas of what I should consider or specific tiles? I actually sort of like the dark paint that is there now so I dont know if I should consider a darker backsplash.

Floors are a dark walnut.

Here is my granite, the sample pieces I have are strong on the gray but its sort of warmer mixed toned gray and beige.

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dianalo

I'd keep it all mellow. You have a great pattern in what I am guessing is the dining room and your counters have some activity to them as well.
I vote for the crackle tile with a change in shape or direction behind the stove, to keep it interesting, but not wild.
I would do a medium tone grout to mimic the glaze on the cabs.
Your kitchen looks lovely, and has a nice vibe to it. I'd stay away from anything harsh or strong.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 9:15PM
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ellendi

What a beautiful kitchen! I love the crackle. You have to careful with the tumbled as it could appear pinkish, depending on the lot that is available. The crackle will be what you see. (I have the Grazia Rixi crackle)I don't have special tile behind my range.Many people here do, so I am sure they will chime in. Also, I understand that your husband wants this done, but try not to rush it. I had to replace a backsplash because I didn't like it.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 9:15PM
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adh673

Thanks for the feedback thus far. Here is the missing granite shot:

So the back of that crackle tile had the name folio artistica which I didnt see in a google search. It was somewhat expensive, I think - $20/foot and 35 dollar per fancier tile, I dont remember what we paid for our last backsplash but I'm betting it wasnt that. So does anyone know of similar tiles in a better price range?

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 9:30PM
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itsnotrocketscience

I too prefer the crackle tile because of its beautiful pattern, although the arabesque would also go well. Would you mix the patterned crackle with field tile in the same color and crackle, or all tiles with relief?

You mention thoughts of a darker color. I notice your island and cabs in the foreground are a medium dark brown, which seems to be similar to you floors. I can't help but wonder what a colored backsplash would do for you. Perhaps something that compliments your island and floor, just a bit lighter. You might want to explore that a bit.

By the way, I absolutely love what you're doing.

Jon

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 9:45PM
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adh673

Jon, thank you...

I was thinking probably the plain subway, possibly working that small beaded piece in (maybe as starting point from granite) and then using a few of the detailed pieces as accents or as dianalo suggested, making it a tone on tone framed focal point behind the range.

Although based on your comments about the dark cabinets (character knotty alder stained walnut with a black glaze), I also think I should consider a darker focal point to tie it in, like some antiqued bronze/iron or something.

What is the opinion on using the bead as a starting post (and possible top point) for tile?

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 10:22PM
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donnaclover

adh673, REALLY love your kitchen design, cabinets are beautiful and I love seeing the view of the pretty patterned wallpaper in the dining room. I also have creamy cabs, wood island top - not installed yet, and every appliance stainless including a gorgeous vent hood I am way too in love with. I am planning to do a creamy crackle subway tile that I found at Traditions in Tile (Georgia) for $6.50 psf. It's simple but the way it catches the light is so lovely. you should look at the post that boxerpups put up today on the question about "60 inches is all I have". There was the most beautiful blue subway tile I have ever seen. I wonder what a soft cocoa brown would look like in glass subway in your kitchen? p.s. what is your granite called? very nice.
good luck, Donna

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 10:38PM
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itsnotrocketscience

I think the beaded liner would look very nice. Something to tie in color, texture and spirit of your light fixtures, gorgeous curved doorway framing and the dark glaze of the cabinets could be wonderful in your back splash. A punch of accent color if done correctly could be magic. Crap, I probably just gave you more to think about without any tangible ideas. Sorry!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 10:39PM
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dianalo

I really like the beaded tile and think you could play around a little with relief and shapes and keep the color monotone for the best effect. You know the GW saying about not everything being "the star", well an offshoot would be not everything having a colored pattern...

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 10:47PM
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clergychick

adh673,

Beeeeautiful kitchen. Some similarities to mine, but a higher-end look, I think. Like ellendi I have the Grazi Rixi crackle tiles. I even have a beaded liner. The subways were about $12/foot I think (color is Crema). The decos are what drive up the cost (color is Dore).

Backsplash and Niche close-ups:

I do think either the billabong crackle or the beveled arabesque would look fabulous in your space -- very, VERY elegant and glamorous.

--Amy

    Bookmark   December 17, 2010 at 12:38AM
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remodelfla

The moment I saw the top fo the very first photo I immediately though of the arabesque tile. It's so perfect with that window fabric and mimis the shape of your arches.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2010 at 1:17AM
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kitchendetective

I think the arabesque is a bit too obvious with the stencil in the adjoining room. The swirly feature crackle ceramic is my favorite among those you've shown. Just a thought, a feature area of 2" pillowed onyx or marble mosaic in a warm gold or brown would be really pretty with the other tones in your kitchen.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2010 at 8:46AM
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brickton

Is there a field tile (subway) that matches the arabesque? Could you do the arabesque behind the stove and with liner going vertically and then the field tile for the rest? I think full arabesque (heh, I'm pretty sure I've heard my wife talk about that for her dance classes) would be a bit much, but maybe just a strip up would work.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2010 at 9:03AM
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flwrs_n_co

First, your kitchen is beautiful! Either the crackle subways or the arabesque would be lovely. If you went with the crackle (love, love, love Grazia Rixi!), you could do a herringbone pattern over the stove boxed in with the pretty beaded trim. If you do the lovely arabesque, it will echo the pattern on the wallpaper in the adjoining room (great wallpaper) and tie the two rooms together.

I don't think you can make a wrong decision here, either will look great!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2010 at 12:17PM
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adh673

Donna, thanks- the dining room is actually a dimensional stencil. A whole other story! I looked up that thread and boxerpup has some really nice options, I thought the silvery one was nice too. I wasnt able to respond to the thread to see where she found those, GW had me logged out.

Clergychick, I have seen your lovely kitchen many times as I also have shiloh cabinets and not many people do so I studied yours a lot! Your backsplash turned out great. I wish I would see someone with crackled glass backsplashes- I see them in the store but never in a finished kitchen. I like the monotone look but I do wonder what the shimmer would look like in a traditional kitchen.

Kitchendetective, I agree, funny I found a picture of someones kitchen last night with onyx tile and a pillowed box, which I really liked, I've never seen onyx and its probably too sleek for my whole backsplash but maybe is an option for the box.

Brickton, no, arabesque is only that tile in white or creme. Very pretty and mirrors my arches and my stencil but my only concern with it is it it TOO "pretty" with all my curves and detail already, does it make it overly feminine I guess.

Thanks everyone. Went to another tile store today but I liked my original choices better. I did the math and realized I dont have that much space so $20/ft is not a deal killer.

Oh but I also saw this amazing mother of pearl tile. Its probably 100/foot and will dissolve in a year but its so pretty!

Here is a link that might be useful: mother of pearl. tile

    Bookmark   December 17, 2010 at 7:29PM
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boxerpups

I love all your choices for backsplash. Which one to choose?
I would only ask; what is the theme of your space?
Are you looking toward understated elegance?
glamourous sparkles?
Classic simplicity with subways?
Bold color? (You said you like color)

I love the crackle the best but truly all of your ideas
look wonderful.

Here are a few ideas for the focal point over the range.
~boxer

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 2:54PM
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adh673

Boxerpup that is a great collection of photos. I like the sheen of the tiles in 1 and 2. I wish you had a bigger picture (rest of kitchen) of the small mosaic in #3...
I also like the mini brick with the monotone insert later on.

So I went backwards a little bit today. Husband started to rebel on subway as being old fashioned despite being trendy, so he seems to not be in love, and was looking at smaller bricks a bit. Then I went back to see the subway tile in the white glazed and was a little disappointed because they seem handmade and have a lot of brown showing through the edges, like the clay of the tile. And some of the other deco pieces have a lot of clay tones coming through and I was not cool with that, I like the opaque ivory. We did also see this which is sort of interesting but maybe too much. It kind of matches the granite in real life.

I also saw this online (link) which they say is a white travertine but I dont know, doesnt look like stone to me.

Not a good shopping day..

Here is a link that might be useful: white travertine

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 5:15PM
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adh673

And Id say my look goal is more understated/comfortable elegance- which to me, is pretty but warm/inviting and not overly formal. A mix of rustic and opulence. Like throwing totally impractical (due to kids) velvet cushions on my couch (but not a full velvet couch) b/c I like their sheen and softness.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 5:18PM
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kitchendetective

If this onyx is available in a soft brown or in Ann Sacks' island cream, it would be a pretty feature area, properly framed, behind the range. Boxer's #3 is pretty cool, too. As is your last photo.

(from Ann Sacks.)
    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 8:40PM
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nancyinmich

I am all for the Arabesque.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 10:09PM
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remodelfla

That looks like Calcutta marble to me... love the look.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 10:16PM
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marcydc

I am all for the Arabesque too. I think it ties in with that dining room. Timeless too I think since it is so unique!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 10:38PM
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kitchenkrazed09

Love your granite. What color is it? I like the color of the off-white crackle tile the best with it (shown in your second photo of backsplash samples).

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 10:42PM
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honorbiltkit

adh --

At the risk of sounding like a fussbudget, I am concerned that the pic you showed of your slab seems to have more brownish tones in it than the pieces are using to choose backsplash stone or tile.

If you can get your DH to give you some time, you might want to wait until your granite is installed, see how it looks in situ with both the natural and the installed lighting, and then see how your candidate backsplash tiles work in the same real world.

Your kitchen is so wonderful that you are hereby prohibited by the viewing public from making any decision prematurely.

Cheers. honorbilt

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 11:24AM
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beekeeperswife

you know what I think. ;-)

    Bookmark   December 20, 2010 at 10:25AM
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adh673

honor- you are right, I think the samples seem gray and since the granite comes in tomorrow and we still haven't decided on tile, I guess we have officially given up on a Wednesday install! Or at least I have!

Beekeeperswife- lol, well right now yours is in at the top of the list (in ivory), but I think we are going to order some more samples too. If I hadnt done a damask pattern in the other room I think I could pull the trigger but it might appear that I have a damask obsession (I do, a little) but so far its the only one we both tentatively agree on!

I wish I would have ordered some samples earlier. Word to the wise, dont procrastinate like me! I also found that a lot of the handmade ones take like 8 weeks to get in so that rules out a lot due to my waiting so late. Oh well. At least I finally ordered hardware today. All my masking tape hardware is falling off and I cant get my doors open so I was forced to decide!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2010 at 2:11PM
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adh673

I always forget something-
kitchenkraze, the granite is Western Sage Brush, mined in Africa and milled, or whatever, in Italy. I had never seen it before but I guess I will be seeing it more in the future. My fabricator said that the granite yard just started carrying it the month before and every slab had been bought by my fabricators clients within the month. I think they said it was the 10th kitchen they did it in two weeks or something. ;-)

Also, if anyone knows of subway tile in the creamy crackle of the deco one I posted but in subway shape, let me know. I still would like to get a sample even though I was not thrilled with the subway version of this particular tile- too much clay showing through. Maybe in a smaller brick like the one boxerpup posted.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2010 at 2:16PM
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johnorange

I haven't seen a suggestion here that wouldn't work...but here is what I will be using and thought it would look good for you too. You can find it on Lowes website.
2" x 4" 12" Travertine/ Mosaic Tumbled Chiaro Brick Sheet
Item #: 260587 : Model #: LW513

It is a subway tile pattern but the color is earthy and it has pits that will fill in with whatever color you use for grout.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2010 at 3:09PM
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