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Another backsplash post!

Posted by msrose (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 6, 13 at 10:52

I don't have a complete remodel like most of you, but I'm obsessing over my backsplash just as much. I always hate posting pictures of my kitchen, because my camera makes my cabinets look worse than they really are. In person, they don't look bad. I have Taj Mahal countertops.

 photo backsplash5_zpsa6bec523.jpg

Here's the samples I have so far.

 photo backsplash4_zpsdccb0b07.jpg

I'm leaning towards the 3rd one, but just can't commit yet.

 photo ornamentaluniqueshapescreambeige_glasstileoasis_zps2372bce1.png

Like most of us on here, I adore Pipdog's backsplash and have been looking for something that would give me a similar look. I found one that I thought might do the trick. It's Sonoma Tilemakers Vihara Annika Silk:

 photo annicasilk_sonomatilemakers_zps63a1a386.png

 photo annicasilk_zpsc4c2d354.png

I finally found a place locally that had it and It didn't look the same in person as on the web. Here's a small sample they gave me. I told them I really needed to see a larger piece, so I asked them to order a sheet of it. That was 2 weeks ago and I'm still waiting for it.

 photo SonomaTilemakers_ViharaAnnicaSilk_zpse2115379.jpg

I did manage to find white onyx one place, but it didn't look like pipdog's to me. I forgot to take a picture, but it looked similar to the honey onyx except whiter.

Here's another look I love, but I haven't been able to find anything similar that looks good with Taj Mahal.

 photo honeycombbacksplash_zps6a942b32.jpg

Here's the flower tile. I didn't ask the price at the place I found them locally, but I found it online for $40 something, so I think it may be more than I want to spend.

 photo backsplash_flower_zps185601dc.jpg

 photo backsplash_flower2_zps66bfb16f.jpg

This post was edited by msrose on Sat, Apr 6, 13 at 17:18


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Another backsplash post!

I like the first one! It picks up all the colors!

Suzi


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RE: Another backsplash post!

That pic of the circles that you can't find looks similar to the effect I've got with mother of pearl. Saw something over at Builder Elements.


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RE: Another backsplash post!

mrose, I think you are on the right track color wise. My only concern with the flowers and the arabesque is how it will look on your window backsplash wall.
In other words, measure where they will have to be cut on that wall.
The small rectangles might be a better fit.


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They all look like they would work. I like the crema marfil flower better than the honey onyx. What is the herringbone tile behind the flower? I think what looks good in your kitchen will look good in mine so I look forward to seeing your final pick.

Also the flower tile is on eBay at about $28.00 sq. ft. Search floral crema marfil. They discount if you buy 10 pieces.


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I really like the first one and I have to say that I love your countertops. They are beautiful!


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Beautiful countertop -
I really liked the Vihara Silk but was too much movement and not quite a match for ours - hopefully, you will get the sample soon.
I am not thrilled with the flowers with your cabinets - I think it might be a bit too much with the flowers, dark cabs, and that awesome countertop.
I wouldn't rule out a basic subway or even a nice glass tile. Maybe Ann Sachs larger tiles to decrease the grout lines - I like the copacabana at least on the monitor with your countertop.
http://www.annsacks.com/onlinecatalog/program.jsp?cat=268004&coll=268304&prg=1418104
Here is a picture of it.
Ann Sachs Coacabana photo AS9970_color_gloss_copacabana_zps0b10982e.jpg
I also spotted in my PB - a Grazia tile - might be too much but they also have single color versions
 photo butter.jpg


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Well, darn. Some of my pictures disappeared for some reason.

Desertdance & rkb21 - By the first one, do you mean the glass arabesque or the first one where I'm showing all five choices?

corgimum - I forgot to mention that I would actually go with this one instead of the onxy. I'm not sure why I didn't take a picture of it with my granite.

 photo image2CAUZF66H_zpsc4f7dae3.jpg

Here's the herringbone that was behind the flower tile.

 photo backsplash_arabescatocarrara_zps303eec71.jpg

It had splashes of warm tones in it, but my house is full of warm colors (no gray), so I didn't know it if would work.


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Gorgeous counters!!! I'd keep the BS as simple as possible so it doesn't look too busy and compete with the Taj Mahal!


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a2gemini - You're right that I need to consider subway tiles also. They look so plain among all the other samples when you're out shopping, but it really does make a beautiful backsplash. If I went that route, I'm not sure if I want glass or porcelain. I saved this picture in my inspiration file and the color wouldn't work for me, but the color variation reminds me of the one you posted.

 photo 759838ecd79682d5c9605a23da9f4695_zpsf0090f17.jpg

Your link doesn't take me to the copacabana tile and I can't seem to find it on the website. Can you tell me how you got to it?

Does anyone like the glass arabesque?

This post was edited by msrose on Sat, Apr 6, 13 at 18:06


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Sorry Go to Ann Sachs website to see it. Not sure why the link failed. I am on my phone now so a bit harder to copy/paste links. I know it can be done. - just a pain


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I agree on keeping it simple. Something plain, not small and busy, maybe a liner tile.

Very beautiful stone!


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I like the first one, too.. the small subway looking tiles. Also like that herringbone a lot.


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I like arabesque in general, but that one has a green tint to it on my monitor - very subtle, and I actually didn't see it the first time I opened your post, but I just caught it.

I think ANYONE with lovely, awesome quartzite (swoon) should pick a backsplash where the counter is the star. I do love pip's kitchen, though, so I get that sparkle love...but I kind of think that's why I like the first one on the left in that original post as well (or a plain one like a2gemini posted).


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Here's a close-up of the one on the left that some of you like.

 photo backsplash7_zpsa1e91608.jpg

I think the color of the arabesque may look a little off in my pictures, but it may have a slight greenish tent. Most of my house is decorated in green, so I actually wouldn't mind something with green in it if it looks okay. The color says cream/beige.

Are there certain marbles that are known for having more warm tones in it? I still love the hexagons.

You guys have me thinking maybe I should stick to something like a subway. Do you prefer glass tiles or porcelain with my kitchen or does the material not matter? Is it just more important that it's one solid color?


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I liked the first one (far left) in your first picture. I think your counters are so beautiful that I would pick something simple...either a subway tile or a 2x4 tile.


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Love the last mosaic. Great variations in colors. Sorry my BS has not been installed yet. :-(


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motherof3sons - Do you have a date yet on your backsplash? I know you said some time in April.


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I have a picture in my inspiration file that is similar to the hexagon marble you pictured above. I think it is a crema marfil penny round and it was used by Sarah Richardson in Sarah's House 2. You can call Caledonia Tile in Indianapolis to get samples, and they ship anywhere for a reasonable cost. I'm only a couple hours away from Indianapolis and it was less expensive for me to have it shipped than to drive there.

By the way, the color looks off on the arabesque tile to me as well. I think you want something warmer.

I love your countertop and I agree with some of the others that I wouldn't get too busy with the backsplash. Good luck!


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The tile guy has not called. I want this done - soon! It seems everyone is dropping off the face of the earth. The person that is helping with fabrics disappeared, too. We were to have samples mid-February. This was to be done by May so our focus could be on landscaping. It certainly is depressing some days to come into a house that is not decorated!


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mpagmom - The one you posted does look like it has a warmer tone. I prefer hexagon over penny round, but if the color is right, it may work.

I think I'm going to go back to all the places I've already been and look at subway tiles. Even if I did go with the arabesque, I think I would need a coordinating subway and bullnose, which I'm not sure I will find. I had a sample of the flower tile the day my tile guy came and he said if I go with a mosaic, he thought it would look to busy to have that inside the windows. He thinks I should find a bigger tile that coordinates to put there. As much as I love the smaller tiles/mosaics, it might be easier to go with subway, because of the window issue.

motherof3sons - I can't believe it's taking this long. Crazy! I didn't even ask my tile guy what his schedule is like, but hopefully he won't be as busy as yours.


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Here is a link to some hexagon tiles that are crema marfil. Look on the lower right side of the page for more options. I ordered some crema marfil samples last week (no hexagons though) so we may be on the same track.

Here is a link that might be useful: Crema marfil hexagon tile


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Thanks, corgimum. I'll check them out right now.

If I go with glass subway, I'm not sure if I should go for the lighter color or the darker streaks in the granite. I found Daltile Reflections in Cream Soda. Is this the right direction?


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This is what's so confusing about some of the stones. The one you linked to is crema marfil and it looks alot darker than one of the others that is crema marfil.

Did you get your samples yet? I'd love to see pictures, because if I remember correctly, your countertop had similar colors except maybe a little gray mixed in.

This says

Here is a link that might be useful: Crema Marfil hex


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I like the lighter colors since you have dark cabinets. If you decide to go with a porcelain subway the biscuit or almond Daltile might work. I'm not sure about that much glass in your kitchen due to the traditional feel of it.


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I wondered if my kitchen is too traditional for glass tiles. I remembered that I have a picture of glass next to my granite. I may have a problem with the glass though. I need a bullnose and I haven't seen any glass tiles that have a matching bullnose.

 photo backsplash_glass_zpsca46a681.jpg


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There are some really nice Heath tiles out there as well - I ogled them but didn't quite find a color match and was embarrassed to ask for more samples....


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I think we may have cross posted last night b/c now that I see the far left one up close, I'm not sure that I would go in that direction. I really like the idea of a subway tile maybe in a lighter color. I think the countertop is so beautiful, I would make that the focus.

I'm dreading when it's time to chose my backsplash. It's a tough decision!

Keep us posted!


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I have a mini brick & I love it! At first I thought it would be way too busy, but it grew on me after awhile and with the right color grout it just blends into tho background (what I wanted!).


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Here is a pic from further away. It looks much better in person.


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Teacher tile: love your backsplash!


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teachertile - Very nice! It reminds me of Pipdog's which is what I was looking for originally. The colors aren't that strong from a distance (at least in pictures), but you see them up close.

I managed to find a hexagon in crema marilf and carrera. The carrera was a cooler tone than my granite and the crema marfil was warmer.

Crema marfil
 photo backsplash_flooranddecorcremamarfil_zps11dad924.jpg

Crema marfil grouted
 photo backsplash_flooranddecorcremamarfil2_zps7c61c36f.jpg

Carerra White
 photo backsplash_flooranddecorcarrerawhite_zps0ca02092.jpg

Carrera white grouted
 photo backsplash_flooranddecorcarrerawhite2_zps4c1f2e00.jpg

This post was edited by msrose on Sun, Apr 7, 13 at 18:19


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I really like the hexagon crema marfil! I think it would give the same general look as mine. To me the white looks too white & bluish, at least on my computer. The crema marfil looks much warmer. With the right grout color it would look great!!


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You have a beautiful swirling pattern on your stone counter top. It's very calm and soothing. Why do you want to add a small busy pattern to your backsplash? Maybe you could do something special over the range?

The backsplashes are the stars in the inspiration photos. In the picture in the above post, the counter reads as a solid. The colors in it don't have much contrast. Can you show how much backsplash area there is in your kitchen.

Now, I will contradict myself and show a very patterned backsplash that I think looks great with its strong stone counter. This is from the hardware thread here, a GW member's kitchen.


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snookums - I guess I 'm worried about having a blah backsplash. I was hoping to find something with just a touch of color, so it would give me a little interest, but still be soft and soothing. I don't really have a lot of backsplash. Just curious, what would you use? Porcelain subway? Something else?

 photo backsplash1_zpsf94ff2d6.jpg

 photo fullkitchen_zpscd6e37d5.jpg


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I went back to the tile stores today with the goal of finding something more simple instead of the mosaics I've been looking at. This glass tile is the only thing I could find that was the right color. It comes in the mini bricks and subway. What do you think? Can I use glass in my traditional kitchen? I do still have two tile samples coming in the mail, so I'll wait until I see them to make my final decision.

Mini bricks
 photo backsplash_glassbricks_zps0ff39781.jpg

subway
 photo backsplash_glasssubway_zpsc8959d92.jpg


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I would do the subway. Yes, the color does look really nice with your counter.


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If you love it, go for it!


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I love the mini-bricks, but I'm biased. :) I think you are on the right track with all of your selections and I can't wait to see what you choose! Your counters are so gorgeous!


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Loving the mini-brick onyx like pips. We know it looks beautiful with her granite and it surely would with yours too. A show stopper! Also love Sonoma tile vihara, I love it in puka iridescent. Your granite is gorgeous and quiet so you can "go for it" in your backsplash! That's my 2 cents worth........enjoy the process; you're on the right tract. The only thing that matters is what you love!


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Are you going to install the tiles higher than they are now on the right side to match the left? I just noticed they are different heights in your old BS picture.


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ellendi - OMG! Would you believe I never noticed that and I've lived here for three years. I'll have to think about that now :)

Speaking of pipdog's backsplash, I acutally found an onyx today. It didn't say it was white onxy, but I know it wasn't honey. The tile lady thought it had too much gold in it for my granite.

Pipdog - Did your onyx look anything like this before it was grouted? Your looks different to me and has more of a shine.

 photo backsplash_whiteonyx_zps1f5bb8dd.jpg


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Not to answer for Pip but I think hers has an iridescence to it.


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aktillery - That would explain the shine. I don't think I've seen an iridescent onxy anywhere I've looked.

So, does anyone like the onxy or is it too busy for my granite? The glass tile is a great match, but it looked darker last night than it did during the day, so now I'm unsure. I managed to find one picture of it online and I'm just not sure what I think.


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Have you looked at mother of pearl tiles? They have some irridescense to them. They are a front runner for me along with the crema marfil. This place will send you five samples for $5.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tile


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corgimum - I have looked at mother of pearl, but it usually looks too white next to my granite. You need to post your front runners some time. I'd love to see!

I got a different white onxy in the mail today, but I can't get photobucket to work right now, so I'll have to post it later.


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I will post a photo of the MOP that I am considering. It has beige tones in it and is not a stark white like some I have seen. It is this one:

Here is a link that might be useful: Mop tile


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Okay, here are my top three contenders:
MOP (frog tape holding it up)
2 x 4 Beveled Crema Marfil
1 x 3 Herringbone Crema Marfil

I also like the floral tile with the white thassos flower and the crema marfil background. But, I mocked it up and the flowers(ebay version) are about 3" wide which are too big and command too much attention for me.

This post was edited by corgimum on Sat, Apr 13, 13 at 19:03


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Wow! The MOP looks even prettier in your picture than it does on the website. I may just have to order a sample. Is it thinner than normal tiles? I noticed most are and I wondered if it's hard to work with.The other two look good also, so I don't know which one I would pick. I love how they blend in perfectly with your paint color. I'm pretty sure I went to HD to get a sample card of your paint, but for the life of me, I can't remember what I did with it. I think I've got too many things going at once.

Here's the other white onyx I got today. There's one darker tile in the group that pulls in the color of my granite. If it has enough of that color, I think it could work. I'm worried about it having more of the white though.

 photo backsplash_whiteonyx3_zps9ac6dbd1.jpg

...and to compare, here's this one again.
 photo backsplash_whiteonyx_zps1f5bb8dd.jpg


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The MOP is very thin. I am planning to do the installation so the difficulty is a consideration. It will be easy to cut the tile, though. Yes the crema is an unbelievable match to the paint.

The white onyx is very pretty. I like that the tile is larger than my MOP. Who makes it and where did you get it? I may have to get a sample of that. I think it looks great with your countertop!


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corgimum: wow! beautiful choices!!!

msrose: i really like the white onyx!


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The last two I posted are different white onxy. Which one do you both like the best? The first one is a polished onyx with less color variation (ordered from Mosaic Tile Direct). The 2nd one looks like it's probably a tumbled onyx with more color variation (got locally from Interceramic). I also order a hexagon onyx, but it was out of stock.

corgimum - I'm looking through my paint samples. Is Merino Wool your color?

pipdog - Do either of these look similar to yours?


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Polished onyx is my favorite. Yes, Merino Wool is my wall color.


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Polished onyx is my favorite so far.
Maybe post a picture with your cabinet in it as well to see how all of the elements come together.

I think I already said this, but I LOVE your counters!


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I've been wanting to respond to this thread but hadn't found a moment.

Here's my take having had the same counters in our old kitchen (how I love that stone!!). It is a stunning but quiet stone despite its movement. I think it can take a strong backsplash without competing. I honestly think a subway tile would be a mistake and you'll end up with a 'blah' overall look.

Only you know what your taste is (based on your samples it's VERY similar to mine) but I know it's really easy to be swayed by all the comments about 'busy' backsplashes and not wanting to fall into that trap. On the other hand you have quiet elements to your kitchen and if you don't want to end up with a blah overall look I think it could use some punching up.

I love the Vihara one you posted at the beginning and the glass tiles at the end are nice too. We went very bold with our backsplash in the house that had the Taj Mahal and from your selections here I don't think it's what you're looking for, but my point is don't be swayed and scared away from what you like and know will work in your space.

We heard all the same comments when we were picking our current backsplash - we wanted something with some color and pattern and everyone said we should go quiet and I just knew I would find it blah and boring. We just finished installation and it may not be for everyone, but the colors work perfectly and we love it. In fact I could have gone with stronger colors happily.

Good luck! You'll love that Taj Mahal - we found it bullet proof and just so beautiful!


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Thank you so much, Hobo! You just summed up all my thoughts and feelings. I originally thought my granite was calm enough to do a backsplash with some interest, but then I got confused and didn't know which way to go. I absolutely love ceramic subway tiles in the right kitchen, but just not mine. I may still end up with glass subways, but I think ceramic would be blah in my kitchen. I think deep down I would still like to find something that gives me a similar look to pipdog's. It has color and interest, but it's very soft. Would you believe I still haven't gotten the Vihara sample I ordered on 3/22. They called on 4/5 to let me know they may have possibly mixed my order up with someone elses, so to let them know if the wrong order showed up at my house. Well, I haven't gotten anything at all, not even the wrong order. I sent them an email on Friday, so I'm waiting to hear what the deal is.

So, if anything can direct me to a pipdog look alike, please let me know!

Pipdog - I hope you come back to this thread again. Do you have any pictures of your white onxy from when you were looking at samples (before it was installed or grouted)?


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Your cabinets have very strong movement in the door style and in the grain. 12" floor tile with lots of grout lines has lots of movement.

I think everyone's dancing around the elephant in the room. It's not working because your cabinets have a humble, utilitarian feel to them, as does the floor, so all the fancy, intricate BS tiles are too elegant for your space.

I remember your photo from months ago and could never figure out why the stain looks so uneven. A photo in different light may help as you said the stain looks different in real life. But I think you should first correct the color. I would consider gel staining them in a more contemporary dark color and hope it takes some of the strong grain pattern out. Try some beefier pulls. Replace the flooring and paint if at all possible. Both look very pink/peachy. You can't ignore the main elements in the room.


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All pretty choices, but I'm also getting the feeling that many are too modern or fancy (for lack of a better word) for your cabs. It would be easier to visualize with all the elements in the shot. Can you line up the choices and take another pic at the same distance as the one with your dog so we can see them with the cabs, counter tops and floor?
Thanks.


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Just stating for the record that I do not think the Vihara or the glass look too fancy for your space. I think they would bring everything up a notch without looking out of place.

I also don't really consider wood grain to be something I take much into account when choosing other elements - unless it was a Zebra wood or something really crazy.

I think the suggestion of lining up your favorite samples so we can see them with cabs and the floor is a good idea - as is oldbat's suggestion of making the copies and sticking them up to see how it looks.


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I also like the arabesques with the slight green tint - pulls out the green of the counters which I think works well with your cabinet color.

Ok so I know it's nothing like what you've been looking at and you may hate it, but while our last kitchen was a completely different style, I still think this splash could work well with your colors. Yes I know there's a lot going on, but it works perfectly with the Taj Mahal and everyone always singled it out for compliments in person.
My husband's aunt also used the same splash in her much more traditional kitchen and it looks good there too.

Sorry this is going to post sideways because I'm on my phone, but hopefully you can get the idea. Just a suggestion.


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May_flowers - I'm truly not trying to be ugly, but your comments are exactly why I was hesitant to post my kitchen again. I think sometimes people on this forum are so used to seeing complete remodels they forget about all the people out there that could never afford a remodel. I don't consider my cabinets an elephant. I consider it an older (yes outdated) kitchen that I'm trying to add a few updated touches to. My kitchen is about 13 years old and I live in Texas where I still see alot of oak cabinets. Would I prefer a brand new kitchen with white shaker cabinets? Absolutely! Can I or will I ever be able to afford that? Probably not. I was a stay-at-home mom in a bad marriage until just 3 1/2 years ago. I managed to go back to school in my 40's, get a great job, and buy a house nicer than I ever thought I would be able to. One day when the cabinets start to look worn, I'll probably pay someone to restain or paint them, but right now they don't bother me. I can honestly say I don't know a single person (people on this forum excluded) that has done a complete remodel and no one I know will walk in and think twice about my cabinets. You want to see bad? Here's the kitchen I had when I was married :) Check out the white laminate countertops (Ugh!). This is my first time to ever have granite.

 photo IMG_2458.jpg

The flooring will eventually be replaced, but I'm doing things one at a time. I don't know yet what I will replace it with.

I tried taking a picture further away, but you can't really see the tiles, so here's a couple that are further than what I posted above.

 photo fullkitchen4_zps183d9c90.jpg

 photo fullkitchen3_zps801f4872.jpg

Hobo - The tile in your old kitchen is more modern than what I'm going for, but I definitly don't think it was too busy for the granite. Looks great to me! Of course, I like your new tile better, but I don't have time to wait for a slow boat from Spain :)

I found a place in Dallas I'm going to try and go to as soon as I have a chance. Maybe I'll find the perfect one there.


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I'm sorry your feelings were hurt - I honestly think the intention was to help, but I didnt like the phrasing either.

I think I may be changing my vote. I am LOVING the greenish (they are greenish right?) arabesques. They just look so beautiful with the Taj Mahal - which by the way isn't 'just' granite - it's something really special!! : )

I acually really like the glass too, but I just love the arabesques. Are they horribly expensive, or not too bad?

I also have to add that I think I have samples of all three of corgimoms options. That Mother of Pearl tile is to die for! We couldn't find a place for it - but I feel like just putting it somewhere on a random wall just because I love it so much! : )


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Don't be discouraged or insulted by comments here. You are going in the right direction. The backsplash is the hardest to get right. I had to do mine twice!
My vote is still for a ceramic tile that pulls out one of the beige tones from the counter.
Congratulations on how far you have come with your kitchen and your personal life:)


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I can totally understand not having the AMAZING reno that some people do & expect on here. I am a mother, wife, full time teacher, and home owner. I can appreciate the small things and making your space your own. (I was exited to get my new microwave over my stove when everyone here frowns on that!!) So do what you can and love it, don't feel bad about it.

With that being said, I love the mini brick ;)


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My vote is still the polished onyx. The 3rd from the left. I think your space will be great!


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Let me clarify, the onyx mini brick!!


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After seeing them from far away, my votes are for the polished onyx or arabesques. I voted against the arabesques originally but seeing them again at that distance makes me like them with that counter.

(oh, and I did a complete remodel but am still jealous of your counters. :) They ROCK.)


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Thank you everyone!

The arabesques are $23.65. I have't actually figured up the total cost, but I'm hoping that's doable since I don't have much backsplash. It's funny, because the last time my mother was here, she made a comment that the color of the arabesques looked off. She was here today and said the color looked better this time. She even mentioned that one of them looked a different color than the other, which I now notice in the picture I posted. I guess the light really affects the glass tiles.


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Msrose, just to clarify I don't think yur cabs are the elephant in the room and I hope you didn't take that my post was implying the same. I just think glass and sparkly ("fancy") are too modern for the traditional style. The countertops are fantastic and the star for sure so they should be the star.

I suggested stepping back for another pic so we can see all the elements, but now I'm confused by what BS choices I'm looking at! They get kind of lost against the wall where the BS was removed! Picky picky.:>)

Of those I like the 3rd from the left the best, but you're right, close up it does look whiter which still coordinates well with the counters, but would some other shading help to pull in the floor and cabs?
Would like to see a larger brick pattern in that material and I liked the bricks Corgi and Teachertile posted.

I'm not wild about the 2 to the left for your space. I like subway, but that one looks like glass; is it? The other looks too dainty. Those are what I mean by looking too modern or fancy. 4th from the left looks too gray. Love the arabesque shape, and it looks like it coordinates well with the countertop color, but not sure about with the other elements. It looks like it's partially in shadow. What color is it? This is tough!

Do you still have the onyx that was on the black board? That had more variation in color and I'm curious to see that one in the line up.


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island - They're calling the arabesque cream/beige.

Unfortunately, I don't have the one on the black board? I went back to get a sample of it Saturday and they were out of it, so they gave me the square version, which is the one you said looks too gray. Even though it's supposed to be the same stone, the colors are definitely different. If I decide that may be "the one", I'll go back and see if they'll let me bring home the floor sample at closing time and take it back first thing the next morning. What worries me if I ordered it in the brick is that it could end up being the same color as the squares. I even mentioned that to the tile guy and he assured me it would have the color variation like the sample. If it is all supposed to be the same stone, why would one have the color variation and not the other?


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It's finally here!!! My Vihara sample from Sonoma Tilemakers. I know this is going to be too busy for some of you, but I think this is what I had in mind. The only thing I'm wondering about is the paper on the back. I usually see tiles with mesh on the back and it's on securely. It's like the paper is slightly sticky and some of the tiles around the edge were already coming off and wouldn't stick back on. I'm wondering if it will be more difficult for my tile guy to install.

 photo sonoma2_zpsf4df774b.jpg

 photo sonoma_zpsf446acaf.jpg


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Coloring looks right on and really pretty!


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I like that tile! I think the paper is on the front. Your tile guy will have to be careful not to put the thinset on too thick so that it doesn't ooze through the front where the grout is supposed to be. If you don't mind, how much does that run per square foot?


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LOVE the TAJ, it is amazing...!! Wanted it for my kitchen reno but it wasn't in my budget... LOVE the Vihara, great job I think you are done!


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The Vihara rocks! I really think it might be perfect. It has a little more contrast/color variation than the others which I think will be great in your kitchen. It seems to have the floor color too? I wish I could rip out my. entire. kitchen too! But I'm going to have to settle for fixing the backsplash and repainting the cabs.


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Oh! I had no I idea I was looking at the wrong side.

So, could your average tile guy get it right or will this be a tricky install? I don't want to end up with a bunch of crooked little tiles?

What about grout? Would you go with a lighter, contrasting color like these or a color similar to the tiles?

 photo annicasilk_sonomatilemakers_zps63a1a386.png

 photo annicasilk_zpsc4c2d354.png
corgimum - I'll have to see if my mother remembers exactly what they said, but I'm thinking it's in the low $20's.

I do think this may be the one. If only they'd mailed me the sample alot earlier, it would have prevented me ordering so many other samples :)

This post was edited by msrose on Thu, Apr 18, 13 at 17:35


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RE: Another backsplash post!

I really like this one! It sounds like it feels like the one to you as well...Can't wait to see the final pictures!


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Our mosaic had that same paper and I didn't hear too much cursing from our tile guy (lol)

I don't think it's an uncommon installation (although I could certainly be wrong). And for what it's worth-when you posted that Vihara it was obvious that it was the right one.

Good luck and PLEASE show us the finished product!


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Wahoo - that's IT!!!
So excited to see it installed. : )


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I REALLY Love this one! I think you should go with a groute that is similar color to the tile so it blends into the background, but it's such a pretty tile so you will still notice how great it is. We used Laticrete and are very happy with it. We found that the grout dried very much the same as the plastic stick samples. Grout can be a whole other pain in the ass decision!! Haha


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leela4 - I'm so glad to hear that!

teachertile - I'm so glad you mentioned the type of grout. I had forgotten I had questions about the type. I've heard people mention epoxy grout. Is that what Laticrete is? If it's better, why wouldn't all installers automatically choose it?


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We chose Laticrete epoxy grout because it is more resistant to staining, is easy to clean & already sealed. Installers don't like it because its more difficult to install. It dries quickly. Our tile guy wasn't thrilled with our choice, but he did an amazing job with it! It is more expensive, and some say its unnecessary in a kitchen backsplash, but we didn't want to take chances with a highly used kitchen.


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Msrose- Can't believe the grayish square tiles in the line up are the same as the little onyx bricks on the black board that you're holding in your hand upstream! Agree, they look completely different in color and the amount of color variation. Scary if they they are, cuz who knows what you'd end up getting.

Would still love to see them in the line up, but holy smokes that Vihara is GORGEOUS and goes so well with your quartzite!

And did I read that right, what we see is the BACK of the tile? Does the other side look exactly the same? So pretty.

Do you have a link to that tile? Is it actually shell, onyx or ? Wondering how fragile it is. Does it come in more than one color and if so what color is that?


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island - It's actually glass, but it the closest thing I've found to Pipdog's onxy tiles. It may not look like hers up close, but I think it will give me a similar look. Each color comes in iridescent or silk. My sample is silk and looks kind of like a frosted glass.

I looked at one of the tiles that fell off and I think it looks the same on the other side. There's no way to know for sure unless I take them all off and then I would end up with a bunch of loose tiles. I don't understand why they use the paper instead of the mesh that holds them together.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sonoma Tilemakers Vihara Annica Silk


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Found an explanation for the paper on their website. I have a question about the second paragraph. Since the tiles are only attached by paper and you shouldn't get the paper wet, they're saying to cut the tiles individually. Wouldn't that be a tedious job to cut all those little tiles individually?

PAPER FACING
Please note that Vihara glass tiles are “PAPER FACED” for the ease of installation and for overall appearance.
Paper facing is used on Vihara glass because they are transparent or translucent, where mesh backing will
not work. Please be certain to mount Vihara glass tiles with the paper facing out, to be removed after
the mosaic has been seated into the thin-set.

CUTTING
• Vihara can be cut with the use of a high quality wet saw with a diamond blade designed for
cutting glass. Pieces should be cut individually to avoid saturating paper facing. To prevent rough
edges, glass tiles must be cut in an extremely slow manner.

This post was edited by msrose on Thu, Apr 18, 13 at 22:46


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This will be easy to install, but it will bevery difficult to keep the thinset from getting in the grout lines if you have to wait to peel the paper off.


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The Vihara tile is beautiful with your counter! I think the colors look better in your kitchen than any of your other tile samples. Is your Vihara sample the 1/2" x 1 1/4" size? If so, did you consider the 1" x 4" tile? It seems less busy, if you were worried about that.


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If they're held together only by paper and fall off easily with the sample is it difficult to keep the individual tiles straight during install?


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teachertile - I talked to my tile guy a little while ago and he said the same thing. You have to let the thinset dry enough that you can pull the paper off without pulling the tiles off, but if you let it dry too long, the paper will be stuck in it. It really started to worry me. I sent him the pictures I took about 2 hrs ago and I haven't heard back yet.

juliet11 - It's funny, because in person the bigger tiles looked a little busier even though you would think it would be the opposite. I like the smaller tiles better, but I'm thinking it might be easier to work with if I use the bigger tiles.

Another issue is these tiles are skinnier than most, so I'm worried about it not completely covering the gab between my countop and wall. Could they fill that in with grout?


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The very bottom edge where tile meets the counter should be filled with caulk. If you fill it wit grout it will crack. If its not a huge gap the caulk should be able to fill it. You can get caulking to match your grout.


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Thanks, teachertile.

If I go with the vihara, I need to figure out what to do with the inside of my windows. My tile guy thinks it would be too busy to carry the small tile inside the windows and suggested a bigger tile. The lady at Interceramic disagreed and said she would keep it the same. Neither one was looking at this particular tile, just talking about small tiles in general. I can't copy the pictures, so I've linked to sonoma's website where it shows viraha next to some solid colored tiles. Would you use a solid tile inside the window or continue with the small tiles?
 photo backsplashwindow_zpsea6f2612.jpg

Here is a link that might be useful: sonoma tiles


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One more question! My tile guy originally suggested using bullnose for the window, but this tile doesn't have a matching bullnose. I've been looking at shower niches to get some ideas. The lady an Interceramic mentioned this Schlueter trim piece for the corners. I would get a matching color instead of the silver.

 photo schluterquadec_zpsf32ead9f.jpg

Do you think this is the cut edge of the tile we see here? If so, why does it look better than my old tile? Is the difference that this one is white and mine was reddish and uneven? I wonder if the cut glass edges would look even better and I would be okay with just it? This also gives me an idea of what a busy pattern looks like inside the windows.

 photo showerniche_zps51f8c8de.jpg

Here's an example of a solid tile on the inside, although mine would just be on the sides, so it wouldn't be as noticeable as this.

 photo showerniche2_zpsb3c55b0f.jpg


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I think the stainless edging would work great. I probably wouldn't tile inside of the window just because of the grout and moisture. I think I would just paint that the same color as your kitchen. That's a hard call.


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My vote is to match the trim to your tile and put a matching solid tile inside the window.
If you are still on the fence, can you buy extra tiles and tape them to the side to see how you would like it.
Also, smart move to look at niches. I would not have thought of that.


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I've been following your post and am excited to see your backsplash up! Have you put it up yet? How difficult was it? Most importantly; do you love it??

Your counters are gorgeous and your bs choices are all ones I've been considering since I love Pipdogs so much. Please share your pictures. Also, did you go with Annica color? I'm looking at the Puka iridescent tile as a possibility if I don't go with the mother of pearl. I'm so confused.....I can't decide!


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I just read this thread - having not been following posts as frequently due to remodeling fatigue. I am just about through installing Vihara Puka Silk 1" glass mosaic tiles for my kitchen backsplash - being grouted today. I LOVE it. I will post pictures when it's done. I almost went with the iridescent but for my kitchen it would have been too reflective. You will love your Vihara tile!! It did take a long time to install, but my installer did not have any problems with it. It's just very precise - make sure your installer is patient. In terms of your window, we didn't have that issue, but if you'd like I can take photos of what this tile looks like wrapped around a rectangular column in our butler's pantry. Very exciting - I think this is a great choice for your kitchen.


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I vote no for metal trim. It might get dented too.


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Just a small update. I called my tile guy last Friday to tell him about the tile. I wanted to make sure he was comfortable with the job since it was different with the paper instead of the mesh. I also asked if he needed to charge more for the job. At first he acted okay with it and told me he didn't need to charge more and then he realized the paper was on the front of the tile and not the back. I offered to send him some pictures so he could see the exact tile. He's an older man that's been in the business since 1969, so it seems like he would have seen this setup before. Anyway, I didn't hear from him all week, so I called yesterday (Friday) and left a message. I told him I was planning to order the tile today, but wanted to make sure he was okay with it before I did so. So far, no return call, so I'm not sure whether to go ahead and order it and hope I can find someone else or wait to see if I get a phone call.


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Why would be think the paper would go on the back? That is a little concerning.
Maybe you can find someone else to install it? You have to use it - it's just perfect for your counters.


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I would try to find someone else that is comfortable with the install. This project is too expensive and delicate to chance it. Too many people on here have ended up with bad installs that have resulted in a terrible backsplash. Plus you should not have to sacrifice what you want.


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Well, I think it's going to work out. I went to the place that sells the tile and they also install. I'm waiting to get a quote, and I'm sure it will be more expensive since they're kind of a speciality shop, but hopefully it won't be too outrageous. I just couldn't imagine trying to find something else I like as much as this one.

corgimum - The price is $24.


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Post pics when it's done. I can't wait to see it! Have you thought about grout color? That's yet another important decision to making the tle pop.


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teachertile - I was originally thinking of a darker grout, but in the end, I decided to go with a warm white. The original picture I saw of Vihara had white grout and the sample in the store was grouted in a warm white and looked good next to my granite. I think it will lighten the look of the backsplash, whereas the darker grout may have darkened the overall look. Crossing my fingers I made the right choice!


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Im a fan of going with a similar color/shade as the tile. If you go dark it would just draw attention to the grout instead of the tile. A warm white will look great!


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I just read all the posts and saw you chose the tile I felt was the right one for your kitchen. The Vihara sample from Sonoma Tilemakers is perfect for your kitchen and goes so well with your gorgeous counters! I think you are going to be in love! I also would have chosen the warm white grout! I can't wait to see pictures!


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I hope you do the Vihara--it looks AWESOME! Can't wait to see photos of your amazingly pretty kitchen. The Taj Mahal is really really beautiful and a fabulous choice!!!


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I really feel the backsplash is going to make everything work in your kitchen. I absolutely love it with your counters. I was at a neighbor's house tonight and their darker oak cabinets like yours but in their family room to house the TV that matches the coffee table and nightstand looked so nice as the wood went so well with everything else in the room. This is what I feel will happen to your kitchen when the backsplash that ties in the gorgeous counters ties in everything as it does nicely also with your cabinets. I can't wait to see pictures!


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Anyone have issues with the glass mosaic?

This post was edited by yolo56 on Thu, Aug 15, 13 at 20:48


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did you end up using mint or cameo encore- both would be beautiful with TM quartzite


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msrose, I'm sorry I missed your questions about my backsplash. I wasn't around for a few months so I wasn't checking GW regularly. We used white grout and the onyx definitely had a shine/iridescence to it. I just saw the photo of what you ended up choosing and it looks amazing! I hope you're enjoying your new space.


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Thanks, pipdog!


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msrose, I want to see the finished picture !! Surely it's done since it's been almost a year (not like me who picked out the backsplash about 6 years ago, but it's not done yet, haha : )


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