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Please help with backsplash

Posted by tilelady1234 (My Page) on
Fri, May 16, 14 at 15:12

I would appreciate any help with choosing a backsplash for my kitchen update. The granite is Shalimar gold and would like something to finish the room which will pop but not conflict with the top. Thanks for any help.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Please help with backsplash

Second post..


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RE: Please help with backsplash

Beautiful countertops. With all the movement in the countertops, I'd go with a solid color backsplash - probably subways tiles (but I'm on a huge subway tile kick).


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Thank you.. the countertop is about the only part of the kitchen I like. The cabinets were old but my friend (a fabulous custom cabinet maker) added his own to match so we changed the layout etc. I have been working on this for more years than I would like to admit. I have been to every tile place in the metropolitan area and then some. On every site imaginable and at this point I think I am known to all stores, as the nutty woman who cannot make a decision... very true!!! I have been told to use subway tiles but am unsure of what type and what color. The kitchen is pretty small and all seems to fight the counter top or look dull and old fashioned, i.e. tumbled marble. I saw pretty cream 3x6 ceramic but again the whitish seemed to really stand out way too much with all of my momo honey tones. Please help in recommendations, I am literally losing my mind and just want it done with. Thank you all!!


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Maybe something from the fireclay tiles? Caraway?

Here is a link that might be useful: Fireclay tile colors


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How about encore crackle tile in a warm color?

Here is a link that might be useful: Encore Crackle tile


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thank you both..beautiful tiles I will take a look at both.. would you go cream colored or dark?


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I would go with the lightest color that works with your countertop and cabinets. But that's just my preference. I'm sure other things could work as well. Fireclay will send you five free samples by the way.


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My kitchen has been "done" since 2008. I still do not have a backsplash. So there are several of us in this boat. I just couldn't seem to find the right fit. I think I might start my own post for recommendations for my backsplash. It really is tough. Good luck with yours.


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Pick a white / cream that matches the white color streaks in your cabinet. Make it a solid or crackle in that color, in whatever geometry you like... (square, subway, etc...)

I really like your display shelf.


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TileLady I am on a similar quest for bs for our just completed Typhoon Bordeaux countertops. I see similarities to your colors/finishes. Here is a collage of the relatively small area I want to cover. Keeping some of my original green paint is desirable because it all ties in well with our open concept living space using that color. Top of bs to end just below electrical receptacles. Got some samples at AZ Tile today.
Thinking of using 2 rows of cream glossy subway tile (the top row has a beveled edge) with 2 narrow rows of a tiger eye shimmer glass in between the 2 subway rows for a little pop without competing with the movement in the granite. Total combined height just under 9". Opinions?


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Here are the subway and tiger eye samples near a snapshot of the granite but admittedly not great representations. It really looks so much better and far less busy in person. I am going to get more samples and make up a board.


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I really like my Encore Cameo--cream, no yellow hint, just a smidgen of color pooling.


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thank you all so much!!!! great ideas from all. I love that look that you are thinking of phonelady but unfortunately all I talk to regarding my countertop tell me that it is competing with my granite. I think yours looks beautiful. I believe I have totally lost my eye for these things and had to smile when I heard others are in the same boat. I have no idea what I am searching for but truly feel it is the most frustrating situation. I suppose I tend to overdue things and a few days ago I decided to go with this travertine pillowed tile that my two daughters helped me pick in two minutes on mothers day... they were hyperventilating that they were even there with me "AGAIN". My middle daughter (24) said I know you are going to change this. Of course when I got home I started getting that "out of love or like" feeling immediately. Yesterday I came up with the idea to put a sculpture type "mural" three dimensional faces or something over the stove and sent an email asking my two daughters what they thought... two immediate NOs came back in email. These were some of my literally hundreds of latest choices.. I will only post the latest... I think my problem is that I want something over the top or something that will make me smile everytime I enter the kitchen and as most say be happy with your countertops and end it with something plain. My husband wanted to do the countertop backsplash.. nice and easy...I never liked that but I am beginning to wonder if I should have just done that. Please HELP end this horrible obsession of mine.


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my daughters choice

it looks dead and old fashion, comments?


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I suppose I am nuts but this is an ann sacks Lucian metallic that looks like an antique mirror that is lightly smoked with goldish/pewter veins.. I loved it. they are 3 x 6 and was just going to do an off set brick look for the entire backsplash, no extra addons. I thought it lightened all of the "warm to HOT' boring tones in the kitchen and even gave it a more modern lighter feel. Well, the rep at AS totally disliked it!! That burst my bubble and now I am back to square one. When I showed others, my three daughters glass subways they said it reminded them of bathrooms.. as I am sure people thought about my "mirror metallic look". I sincerely at this point just want it over with and have an appointment with a tile shop locally to confirm my travertine and insertos today and am ready to once again cancel. I think a bulletin will be sent out to all tile shops to stay away from me!!! Please help me finish this. Thank you. I also love your post bookworm but I wish I would have gone with that look from the start.. a very clean, crisp look with beautiful "simple yet gorgeous" marble or quartz.


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Why can't you still go a route similar to bookworm's?


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I suppose I can but is a shiny finish with my cabinets and almost tuscany look, out of lack of a better term, the correct look? I almost feel that the shiny subway (which I think of as a very contemporary to possibly straight forward traditional competes with my heavy or warm toned look. Do you not agree? And again what color. I posted my off white crackle by ann sacks which I think is very harsh or just does not work at all.


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POLL part of my posting.. is this smoking antique mirror type til

Did you see the white subway tile I had posted and what are your feelings as well as that ann sacks lucian metallic that I had originally loved. I must finish the backsplash this weekend.. my husband has had it with my indecisive behavior.


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RE: last decision that I am not comfortable with

sorry for all of the posts. this was the display that I last decided on but obviously my cabinets are very different as well as my busy counter. I think my daughters agreed to this just to finalize the kitchen. Any thoughts on this?


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walker Zanger had SO many shades of white to beige, and they come matte or shiny. They didn't have the same amount of crackle, so could be perfect for you. Don't go by the colors I posted, cuz I think I took a dozen samples home.

There were also some nice Pratt tiles. I'll see if I can find any pictures.


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There are 2 squares that are Pratt Larson in this picture.


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Tilelady, I love bookworm's eye. I think a matte or glossy finish subway tile in a creamy color that best complements your granite would be a winner. If you think that might look too bathroom-y or boring, accent with a row or 2 of the very thin glass ones. After observing in the morning light, think I am scrapping the tiger eye accents I had in mind and going with this plan myself. Personal opinion only.........the diagonal tiles, little inserts can take on a life of their own and detract from the star of the kitchen which is your beautiful granite. Chin up! The analysis paralysis will hopefully be over soon. You are among friends here :)


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You are all so sweet!!!! I happened to really like your look pianolady!! But I certainly understand the change of mind. I do love those walter zanger and stone and pewter accents too but your encore tile is just beautiful bookworm!!! Again, I think your sleek look of your countertop and the overall beauty of your kitchen just lends itself to the encore tile. I suppose I feel that my kitchen is dull and just want something soooo dramatic which certainly does not work with my counters. Did you have a hood area that you did and did you change the pattern or mix a different tile? I was only able to get one of your pictures. Thanks so much for all of your input..


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I'll add my 2 cents that, admittedly, reflects my taste because I love to get a variety of responses when I'm trying to process through a decision.

You described your kitchen as dull and want to add drama with BS tile. I see that you have a lot gong on in your granite and that the cabinets also have detail. In spite of the similar colors, I think going with a busy or dramatic backsplash pattern will only detract from all. I vote for a single color in a muted shade pulled from your counters, such as the examples bookworm posted (not the glass, the others near the middle) above.


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RE: Please help with backsplash followup plus

ARe you kidding amck, I appreciate your advice. I am just confused as to which tile from bookworm you are speaking of. Are you speaking of her subway tiles that she used, above picture of her gorgeous backsplash from Encore in cameo? When you say a single color what would you suggest, in the cream/ivory family? Keep your comments coming!!! so much appreciated...


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Just got home from movies & wanted to check in. In my example of W Zanger, I didn't mean the glass tile. I meant the 3 ceramic. I posted that picture because it showed how subtle the differences were between the colors. I lucked out in store, as the manager was there. We went thru a dozen before narrowing down. (Then I went with Encore, but my kitchen could use the extra pop.)

I've got no hood. In fact (she says with embarrassment), I have an OTR microwave. The KD said it would cost thousands to install a hood and outside vent, and I would definitely be overdoing it for my area. IN MY LAST KITCHEN REDO, I had a shelf put in, on which a small MW sat.


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Your cabinets are light. I would pick something darker. We just built a new house and one thing I can say for sure, when you find the right tile, you WILL know.
Our countertops look like they've been acid splashed with a little gold; we liked tile that had movement, not pattern-- but of course a bit of sparkle. If you copy what you see in all the magazines, your kitchen will date quickly. Dare to step away from the crowd for a more timeless look.
We went with the bigger tiles, something like 18x12, and LOVE them. I'm not real keen on tons of grout lines. We also went to a place (Houston, TX) called Tile and Decor. The EXACT tiles we got there were almost twice as much at Lowe's. Ask a few people who build houses for a living where the best place to look is; usually they know about a place like Tile and Decor. Who knows? Maybe there is one near you!
Most important, don't commit to a look that you're not in love with. Paint backsplash if necessary to give yourself the time you need to decide.


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I echo what most of the others are saying about choosing a neutral muted shade. I have one of the Encore Crackle tiles & they don't come across as "shiny subway." They have depth & interest, without appearing busy. This is a tile you can fall in love with. I love Bookworm's Cameo although it may not be the exact shade to go with your kitchen. Encore has 53 crackle colors & some beautiful neutrals in Matte & Gloss.
Also look at Fireclay, Pratt & Larson, Sonoma & Heath.

This post was edited by romy718 on Sun, May 18, 14 at 12:11


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Another neutral option shared by May_flowers. This might be Sonoma.


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tilelady, I feel your PAIN!! haha! In the same situation myself - we keep visiting the tile shop, changing our mind on not only tile but the CT as well ! So We ( I think!! ) ;) are going with the typhoon bordeaux which I fell in love with!!! so we are in a similar situation there! We plan to use a tumbled travertine BS in the retangular tile shape. We are installing vintage black cabinets but I still think this is a nice option for you. Again, personal taste! You def want to keep it simple and don't take away form those beautiful CTs!! :) They IMHO should be the star of the kitchen! :) Good luck with your choice!! Your daughters sound like my sister and I with our mom hah! We helped her with her kitchen recently and she had to get our opinions on EVERYTHING! hah ;) it did end up beautiful but in the end like my mom... YOU have to love it! :)


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You are all too kind and make me smile. I honestly believe I must make a decision now. I have lost track of time but this has been going on for close to five years. I cant even paint since my walls were prepped for tile and not paint and my husband has NO desire to prepare the walls for paint. I am embarrassed to say that I have canceled my last appointment for yesterday because I was still not ready to commit. I do love all of the subway tiles but the matte or gloss is the question.. my counter is very shiney and the cabinets are very dull. Also the sample that I have of my top is not truly indicative of the tops. It looks so different while at the store than at home too. I can't tell all the amount of trips that I have lugged samples that I thought looked great in the store(due to their superior lighting) and looked terrible in my home. I am ready to bite the bullet and pay at home designer to just choose the right finish, color, size etc. I love all of your choices but again notice that most of the kitchens, like may flowers, romy, bookworm are more on the sleek contemporary clean side so those subways really finish the look off amazingly well. My kitchen took on a very different look whether it was due to the floors being too dark and flat stone. which by the way is great to hide dirt, although thats about it, the counters being so close to the coloration in the cabinets.. I just cannot figure it out but I am not loving the overall look.. I suppose that is why I was looking to fall madly in love with a backsplash, even though I am fully aware that the counter should be the star and the backsplash just a continuationn of the wall to blend in.. I just cannot stop my obsessing although I know I must. Thanks again for all the samples, the kitchens are just beautiful!!


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I say go with the matte not the glossy- if your CT is already glossy and you don't want a modern or contemp look, def the matte will look best :) good luck!!


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HI all.. I am back again after spending days and I mean days on the computer trying to finally choose a tile. I had great advice from many on crackle tiles but still do not know what color to pull out.. .a creampy beige, taupe, or a deep charcoal or bronze. The finish on the cabinets are very dull.. almost washed honey with a little white on the edges and the counter again is extremely busy with pinky peach, rust, silver, charcoal and golds the floor is in between a terra cotta and a goldy red with veining. I dont know if all can be seen in pictures. I love the crackles but am worried that there is too much variation in encores. silvers and even creams. I also loved someones choice of that antique crackle but again thought too much variation and white on beige.. HELP.. I love romys kitchen but know it is totally different than mine. some said not to use gloss but I somehow love it.. would it be too much with the shine of my countertops which as wild as they are I absolutely love them in person. They are not overwhelming which some might think. Again this is a pretty outdated look since it has been years and I mean years that we started this and did resuse and add to old cabinets. Knobs are not chosen either, two choices are up ,original and more of a stainless which are both being taken off. I would like something to "modernize the kitchen" yet not be in complete conflict wiith everything else. I was going to go with stone, travertine, polished marble and realized in this kitchen it was beyond boring. Please help me finish this insanity... and help with exact tile finish and color choices. Someone recommended an antique matte bronze but it seemed to (obviously) make the kitchen very dark. I also was wondering what to do around the hood for whatever reason I always think I need MORE even though as the old saying goes "less is more" ... always looking for a cooridinating listello or mosaic around the hood, or inserts etc. Please help.. My husband is off a day next week and would LOVE to get this over with and get all of the samples and boards out of the kitchen!!! thank you all!!


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someone also suggested a pale gold or pinkish crackle tile the ones that look like salt, any opinions.. as much as I love the pink in my counter tops I do not think I can live with pink backsplash the gold looks very close to my cabinets which I am trying to stay away from but the creams seem way too stark... I know I am rambling and rambling. I just want to see the end of this and maybe even smile when I walk into the kitchen..


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To chime in: I'd go with a neutral tile, like the matte ones bookworm suggested. If you feel like a wow item, and I sure can understand that, go with dramatic wall paint, accessories, rug, light fixtures.


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thanks nosoccermom.. so you are then speaking about a plain ceramic tile in a cream color? I just find that so boring. I also saw someone post pictures of her sisters kitchen that had tumbled marble on the diagonal which I was going to order and thankfully didn't. They had a similar ct to mine and it was so drab. She ended up changing it to a white subway 3 or 4x6 and used a taupe/brown grout. I do not feel that white is my answer but I was hoping for something with a little and very little pop..


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I am so in synch with your dilemma. I thought I had a great solution and then decided not. The latest possible thing is a crackle subway tile (of which crackle doesn't really show in the pic). And it is no where near as pinky in person. My husband is saying the subway choice is boring and prefers a more "classy" tumbled stone look which really puts me off. His little sample may be ok but I am convinced that it will really fight with the movement in the granite. If boring equals just taking a backseat to the granite (star if the kitchen), give me boring! He doesn't hate the subway, so if thats what I decide on, I just need to get to the point that it was his idea all along. Your kitchen look us a lot like mine and I think the subway tile would look great in your kitchen. Not boring. Suggestion: Go with the creamy color that complements your granite and doesn't fight with the wood cabinets


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Yours looks GREAT!!!!! Which tile is that and the color looks absolutely perfect. We are in the same situation. I saw a few posts on here with the tumbled stone that they changed to subway. The stone looked terrible!!! I am so glad I didnt purchase that tile. I am going around and around and still love your tiger eye 'sticks' as an accent. I just saw a kitchen that I love on another site that I would love to achieve.. it is extremely close to what I 'believe' i have wanted. It did lead me back to the 'multi colored sticks' as I call them from sonoma.. a choice of mine from probably at least 18 months ago that I tossed, as being too much. I will try to post the url.. I just love it. Again, your cream looks perfect. My problem is I do not have any cream or white in my granite and that is throwing me off. I know it doesn't have to be exact but all of the creams and whites seem to come out of nowhere and look odd. See what you think if I can post..

Here is a link that might be useful: english country tudor


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The tile shown is Hampton in bone. We have shifted interest to a 2x8 tile vs 3x6 because we want to stay below the electrical receptacles and keep some paint. Possibly 3 rows topped with a very simple liner .7" tall - also in the bone. At Monterey Tile yesterday, the salesman pointed out that if we go too high (9") it halves the distance between the counter top and bottom of cabinets and just looks like we ran out of tile and not enough paint shows. Pictures from my iPhone so definitely not the best quality. In fact, your listed granite pic really does show with a creamy background although of course you would know better looking right at it. I think hubby and I have abandoned the tiger eye. Which is a shame because we both agreed on that. However can't get over the fear it will actually busy it up too much and look scrunched under the receptacles. But back to YOU as I did not I tend to hijack your post. I was able to open your link. By "sticks" do you mean the different color rail on the top of the subway tile? If so, I think that looks very nice and not too busy. And again I like the idea of the paint complementing. In your pictures, is that a finished paint color over the window over the sink?


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I can not tell a lie.........I still haven't completely thrown in the towel on making this work somehow!


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Personally, I'd go with "boring" aka calm and timeless, so a cream, not a more gold or yellow tile. Your counters are already very dramatic IMO. I'd go with a favorite wall color, maybe window treatment, rug, accessories. I probably would also change the hardware to something more dramatic (black or copper?)
However, if you want something more colorful, is there any green in your counters? Maybe a green matte tile?
Here are a bunch of kitchens with similar counter tops and cabinets.

Alternatively, you could just skip the BS for now and go with paint (like the green that's there now) or even metal tiles.


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thanks so much. We did try tin tiles.. they were extremely heavy looking but I did love that. The green I think you mean in my pictures is just the water resistent sheet rock color. That isn't paint but I have thought about painting to just stop this, but my husband said the prep work involved to do paint is far worse than putting tile up. He just wants me to put anything up regardless of what it is.
Thanks for the suggestions. by the way I had to take a double take on your first picture I thought it was my kitchen same colorations... I cant really tell what they did. I dont even care anymore about boring, it was just that the stone (travertine) really dulled the entire kitchen and stood out far more than a glossy or busy mosaic even would


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OK, so paint is out.
What about stainless steel sheets or less heavy looking metal tiles? Or some stainless behind the range and simple tile everywhere else?


I think the travertine may look dated, but you could use a similarly colored matte or slightly shiny tile.

Or a slightly greenish tile (like bookworm suggested) if there's some green in your granite.

Here is a link that might be useful: SS steel backsplash


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Ooohhhh. That last picture posted by nosoceermom with the SS behind the hood. Combined with the subway tile.........what do you think TileLady? IMHO I think that could really work in your space.


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I do like that. It is very interesting. I had been interested in that ann sacks glass but no one liked that. It seemed to be a softer look for my kitchen but everyone shot it down. Did you see that picture I posted? I do love a metallic look but hadn't seen a tile like the one pictured above.. could be interesting. Did you also get to see my picture of that english country tudor kitchen. I still love that and phonelady I laughed out loud when you said you cannot tell a lie and still thinking about it. I absolutely love that look with the tiger eye... I hear my daughters saying "toooooo much tooooo much". I must admit I did see a post from someone hating her backsplash after she spent a fortune on it. I felt horrible for her and it reminded me so much of me and what I am looking for. The backsplash was beautiful and her countertop was magnificent but together they were way too much. My heart sank for her. She is now thinking about taking it out and that is what I want to avoid. it is so much easier to see what other people are doing wrong yet so darn hard for me to make up my own mind, once and for all. I really feel that if I dont choose something and quickly I will live like this for the rest of my time. Please do look at that english tudor look and I will look into the ss backsplashes. I really do like those too and see that even with a busy granite they were using two very different looks which work very nicely.


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I know my cabinets are darker and the floor is totally different than what I have (and not necessarily my taste) but I love the overall look of this kitchen. I love how they used the subway tiles with that bronze medallion. Although not exactly what I could use because the tile color would not be right for my kitchen cabinets, I just love that look for what I am now working with. If I had my wishes and I didn't start this a million years ago with old cabinets I would have done a look like many here have.. the beautiful sleek white cabinets with the white/grey quartz or whatever material they have and much more modern look than what I have. Unfortunately I have to work with what I now have and want to really finish it and totally love it. Again, as busy as my granite is and maybe too girly for most I must say I enter my kitchen every morning with a smile on my face. It took an excessive amount of time to choose that as well, and it is totally opposite of what most are doing now.. but I really am enjoying it. I just want to enjoy the backsplash as much, since whether or not the counters are supposed to be the stars.. the backsplash is smack in front of of our faces. I truly believe my counter doesn't look as busy as most think and really want something that will pop and make me smile! I know I sound dumb but I am a realy homebody and spend a lot of time here and want to really like what I feel is one of the most important and most difficult items. Thanks for listening to me, again...


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A few days ago you mentioned your kitchen was dull and you needed something over the top in there. I so disagree. Look at your gorgeous stove and chimney style range hood. And the display cabinets and the gorgeous granite! In my mind they are not over the top as in too much, but definitely something to make me smile every time I walked into that room. Now you just need to find a complimentary subtle tile that will enhance and show off all of those gorgeous features. I didn't like that white subway tile you posted much earlier. Too cold for your room. Something neutral and slightly warm with matching grout to not compete with the granite. There have been lots of good suggestions. You just need to bring home tons of samples and try them all in daylight and at night. Those existing kitchen features are your show pieces in my opinion.


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To add to my previous comment, you could use the same tile (whatever you choose) and do a feature over the stove with it. We have Titanium granite (black with enough movement that it is the showpiece in our kitchen). We used a neutral tumbled marble tile and kept it very simple. But at the stove and sink we turned them diagonally and framed them with matching chair rail tile to have a diamond feature that didn't look too busy but added a nice feature to the backsplash. Just a thought.


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Please take a look at the Encore crackle tiles. They sparkle in a subtle way that would make you smile.
The tile in your inspriration pic looks like a crackle. See the subtle color variation? Adds so much depth & interest. You can't see it in any of the posted photos.


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I agree to look at the Encore tiles or something similar. See Killam's advice on backsplash.

Here is a link that might be useful: BS before/after


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I got a sample of a cream crackle with taupe veining..what do you think?


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although this is an extreme closeup and it looks like a countertop it is the above tile to show the crackle. I am going to a store today who has encore and will look again. thanks for all of the lovely comments please do continue to advise if you have the time. I will also look at stainless could be interesting too Is the veining too busy.. right now when one tile is up you can barely see it but I am afraid that when they are all together it will look like a road map. Color again is NOT in my granite but it seems to have some pinkish taupe hues. Opinions please?


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Tilelady, the Encore has a completely different "crackle" look than the one you posted above. There many different colors, some with minimal color variation. I love the look of the tile in your most recent inspiration kitchen. Something like that in a color that blends with your backsplash would be lovely.
The glosses & the mattes have several neutrals also. Don't limit yourself to just creams.
If you like the look of those but can't find the perfect color, look at Sonoma or some of the other manufacturers of hand glazed ceramic tile. Some of them have less color pooling & variation.
I'm linking to a recent thread started by Kompy that references other glazed ceramic tile manufacturers.
FYI, that kitchen picture I posted isn't mine but I do love that creamy tile.
Don't give up, your perfect tile is out there.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cost of Glazed Ceramic Tile


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The tile you posted has this rounded angled edge. Wonder what that looks like when it's on the wall.


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Thanks so much for your link. It has a ton of information and it is much appreciated. I have an appointment set up for thursday with a store who carries encore, next thursday, that is how booked this woman is. The only thing that concerns me with encore is the cost. I really did not want to spend $30 per squre foot. I will definitely check it out though. Today I walked into Lowes of all places and saw a board from a company I never heard of, bedrosians out of California .. once again, a completely different direction. It was a line of glass called manhattan that was very subtle and obviously did not have shading but looked pretty bc it had sometype of what they called metallic ground. I know it sounds bad but I thought it looked interesting. I will try to post a picture but the ones I saw the pictures do not do it justice. They have different sizes but again I saw a little board and you had to special order. I have contacted the company for samples and the rep seemed really accommodating. Hopefully I will be able to receive them soon. They had about 15 colors and about four potential choices for me. Has anyone heard of this company and if so did you like their things. Did anyone use the manhattan glass collection. Thanks again. I too love that kitchen with the subway and the bronze? medallion. I was supposed to hear from the design group but as of yet haven't.


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I think you have to be careful that these glass mosaics don't look too busy. Below some from that collection, including two that are quite subtle, originally posted here on GW

Here is a link that might be useful: Bedrosian Manhattan BS


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thanks for the link nosoccermom. I would only do the solid manhattan glass. It looked really pretty but I would have to see samples. Even in the picture I found they did use some matte with gloss..they said mainly gloss which I would not do. I saw the gloss and I would only go with that.


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latest samples.. pink tones cream ceramic unknown company with possible small hints (inserts of ivory mother of pearl) or something else?? Opinions please


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Bedrosians or manhattan tile glass tile with subtle metallic ground.. weird colors for me.. any thoughts.. just by itself in 2 x 8, other sizes avaiable by itself all over?? color??


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glass or ceramic closer??


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shown with darker floor tile that has greyish veins therefore their silk (taupy grey darker color) could possibly work. Sorry for all of my posts but I really want to choose something and finalize in the next couple of weeks. Have samples coming of glass colors and still have appointment with a store who carries encore.. thanks by the way the ceramic subway is $8.00 a square foot.. granted it doesn't compare to encore but certainly not in price either .. 22 to 30 a square.. mother of pearl $15 per sqaure and glass $16 per square a far cry from encore, fireclay or the likes.. is this a case of you get what you pay for, visually?


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TileLady - did you make a final decision?


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Omigosh, if I learned one lesson from this, it's this: Pick the countertop and backsplash at the *same time*! Personally, I don't like backsplashes, but if I do one in my reno, it will be very plain. A few years ago, I did a small update and simply chose paintable textured wallpaper. Easy to do and easy to change. It has stood up amazingly well and looks great.


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My favorite is the cream crackle with taupe veining. Can't wait to see what you picked!


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finally started the hunt again. I found encore when going to look at crackle subway, rhapsedy which is a ceramic matt finish with antique look.. what do you think?


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picture 2 for some reason I can only post one picture at a time..is that the case?


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these were possible options with rhapsedy


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antiquity tile mixed with encore


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possibly mixing chicklets with antiquitys floral


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any thoughts


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Is the color Vintage too close to my cabinet color? I had the "experts" here (my family) who all said to stop the insanity and do the vintage rhapsedy by itself. The store rep who is really good said to do this tile in subway tiles and then possibly mix with glass.. as shown, which no one here liked as trim with one or two rows. I was thinking of doing it as the board is over my range and around my hood and then possibly substituting the other company brownish flower where encores same color flower is, as shown in the brown flower board but in the less green chicklets, Husband said wayyyy too much, and then doing the basic encore everywhere else with a few trims. I just want to end this. By the way this is by far an inexpensive choice. Encore tiles are pretty expensive to me. We are talking about $30 square foot for ceramic and those antiquity flowers are either 28 per 4x4 or 49 per 6 x 6 .. Gd knows how much all of those trim pieces are, we didn't even get to that point. Sorry for all of the confusing messages but just want to get your basic thoughts.. I might feel that the color of the tile, although I do like it is way too matchy matchy to everything and will have a very dull look. The glass tiles from bedrosians that I showed everyone was met with a huge NOOOOOO. So I am back to the beginning again. HELP.. thank you. Oh, and all here like the basic 4x4 or 6 x 6 as shown on board vs the subway tile.. is this very outdated? When we moved into my home the past owner had a horrible fake brick wall that I think damaged all of us. I am very resistant to go with a subway brick look based on what we lived with for years.. it was like a panel of hideous fake bricks.. maybe linoleum on the walls, if you can believe. Thanks for all of your time and any advice once again would be appreciated. I also showed the cream colored tiles in gloss and all seemed to feel the cream colors were way too harsh for my warm to hot golds..


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It's so pink and makes the cabinets look orange. Too ornate for your cabinet style. I could see it paired with darker stained cabinets with corbels and ornate moldings--that Old World look.

You're all over the place with tile--Old World, contemporary, traditional.The cabinets are basically a casual country style, and you don't seem to want to accept their identity, based on the tile you're selecting. I think that you selected granite that has a lot of pattern and rich color and now you have to live with a plainer tile. I personally would stain the cabinets darker rather than to continue to struggle with this. It may be the easiest way to dress up your kitchen, which seems to be your vision. It looks like your island may have more ornate trim than the perimeter cabs?


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@phonelady and tilelady too (sorry for the slight highjack), you both might be inspired by A2gemini's backsplash. IMO she did a great job of incorporating a little bit of something "extra" along with a simple tile to coordinate with a busy counter.

Here is a link that might be useful: A2 Gemini's reveal post


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What about Encore subways - Beach, Cameo, Moonlight & Grain all may look nice. I think they are all lighter than and will not blend with your cabinets. Your beautiful granite has alot going on and a simple (but elegant !)subway like Encore could pull it all together nicely.


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Thanks chiefy. I appreciate your link and do not worry about hijacking my post. As mayflower pointed out I could use all the help I can get to get me back on track (if I ever even was). You are right may, I am all over the place since every store I go to the representatives there will look at my granite sample, cabinet door, floor sample and pictures I have posted here of my overall kitchen and make their own suggestions. All have an obvious different opinion. I do not guide them into any look I merely tell them the truth, I am having a horrible time trying to choose a backsplash.. here are my main components and please help! These are the suggestions that the last person came up with. I have to say I did like it without all of the heavy trims etc but some of the tiles I liked. It is a complete nightmare and I have come to the realization that I might need to just paint and call it a day. Unfortunately as I said earlier the prep for paint will be difficult too but so be it. Thanks for your comments but again please realize that these are choices that were made by the "so called experts".


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Chiefy76, thanks for thinking of me too. We want to keep it simple but with a little interest. Pretty sure we are going with the Adex bone crackle bevel 2x4 that I spoke about earlier in the posts. The sample board with a simple liner is shown in the picture upside down against one part of our Typhoon Bordeaux. With TB, it varies greatly but that creamy undertone is consistent throughout the kitchen. TileLady......I think you are looking for something with a little more pizzazz. I say that because everything you gravitate to seems to have a secondary accent piece. That A2 Gemini that Chiefy76 shared might be a good look for you? What do YOU think? I agree with the other posters that your latest consideration might be fighting with your cabinet finish.


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Boy, can I relate! We also have TB. It took me over 2 years to finalize the BS. DH kept saying, "we don't need a BS". HA! I love our neutral beveled cream subway!
I almost went with a stacked glass/travertine mosaic. So happy I didn't.
Here's the mosaic that we didn't use.


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Here's what we went with! LOVE it!
The kitchen finally feels "finished".


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One more picture.
Good luck!


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About the "so called experts".........I am sure each one believes wholeheartedly in their choice. It just goes to show you how much personal opinion and individual taste are involved. You are the one who has to live with it so don't beat yourself up too much! Your kitchen looks great so far, so don't get down on yourself. Some of this decorating stuff comes more easily to some than others........and apparently you and I are among the others! :)


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Sandesurf.......thanks so much for posting. It looks great and really makes me feel even more comfortable with the direction I am going. I can't wait until the day both TileLady and I can post our (hopefully) success stories.


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In that first photo, they look truly awful with your cabs. I don't know how anyone could recommend that.

You said you've been looking for a BS for five years. Maybe it is time to paint or stain the cabinets. I think they are the bugaboo. They're really nice cabinets too--the yellow/orange color is just too hard to work with. You also say you don't want boring, which might be why you're getting suggestions based on color only and not the style of the cabinets. That is what is being ignored.

A cream color will probably be the least likely to clash, but that can make the cabs look more orange or yellow or pink. The only other color I thought could bridge between the counter and cabs was brown, like a shiny subway tile, but that too might make the cabs look orange. I would pick up some brown samples to be sure. It wouldn't be boring.


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Sandesurf......what kind of tiles are those?


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what tile is yours sandesurf, it looks really pretty and phonelady what color is yours? That looks very pretty too. I haven't heard of adex I will google now. Thanks and continue enjoying your kitchen sandesurf.. very nice!


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Adex Hampton Sand, TileLady. Locally Monterrey Tile let us sign out the sample board. We originally brought home bone but it really looked too white in our kitchen/lighting. The colors on the website don't really do it justice. They have some interesting designed accent pieces. Maybe adding in some accent pieces in the same color as the tile will give you that pop you are looking for without introducing another color/texture. I emailed Adex corporate and they responded quite promptly with names of distributors in my area. BTW, I always liked that creamy crackle tile you were considering at one point.


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Sandesurf's tile is too cool for your counter. It's almost a gray undertone instead of a cream. In other posts with tiles with a cool undertone, you've commented that it looks dead. You have a lot more gold in your granite than she does, and her cabs are a good neutral brown.


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I appreciate your advice may but we have tried dark tiles, browns or even metallic bronzes and they are very dark for the kitchen. As you can tell in the pictures it is very dark to begin with. There is no way my husband will agree to stain the cabinets under any circumstances. The time and money involved are not something that I could be open to. I have made a lot of errors in this kitchen update ie, the floor was way too dark and I didnt even end up liking it. The only good thing is that dirt blends in and it never really looks dirty... a major plus, especially since I have a yorkie who leaves little dirt marks... The granite is about the only thing I still love and the cabinets were the cabinets and we had a friend match up a few to add to a different layout. This backsplash is what is bothering me the most and nothing and I mean nothing seems to work too well. The stones in various ivorys are very dull and the glasses we had samples for look way too contemporary. And yes, the woman at the store which happens to be a very reputable store with designers that I thought were quite talented saw the cabinet color and everything else and still recommended this. I felt that the colors were a little off and at certain times of the day made the cabinets look very gold/yellow, but that they are. My brother in law who is extremely talented in design thought that they looked great, so again, like others say you never know what accounts for taste. I happened to love the stone like finish and the "antique" look of the brownish color bleeding into the tile. I also then thought that working with the brownish flowers would pull it all together, although my husband said if anything just leave the board the way it is and even cut back on some of the trims. One thing I can say for sure is that I am by no means redoing the cabinets in any form and that I will in the next week order SOMETHING, regardless of it not being 100% perfect because I truly believe there are far more important things I should be spending my time on,., this has become a major obsession and certainly not a healthy one. Yes it has been a long time, but certainly not all due to lack of making a choice, unfortunately we have had a lot of personal things that "thankfully" tore me away from this project i.e my moms terminal illness and then losing her in April. I will speak with this latest salesperson/designer and see what she can now come up with. Thanks all. By the way May, just out of curiousity are you a designer? You seem to have a lot of experience in color etc. Thanks again


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I agree with May that the styles are all over the place and that at leat on my monitor, too, the first tile looks very pinkish.
What happened to the crackle or veined subway tiles? Or the lighter one from the English Tudor? Or what about revisiting the metallic tiles? I just saw them at Costco and thought they looked really neat, or partially SS behind the range and a creamy tile elsewhere?
Another option would be to go with an interesting tile shape.
Elongated hex tiles

Or Arabesque, although that's not really in agreement with your more rustic/streamlined kitchen








I so understand that you want to be done with this and that there are more important things in life than one's backsplash. On the other hand, the backsplash is one of the most permanent things in a kitchen, so, quite frankly, with your gorgeous granite, I'd go with a simpler backsplash and go bling with other features that are more easily changed out, such as hardware or light fixtures.
And, actually, I do like your cabinets. Perhaps look into some really neat hardware.


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Nix the brown. I just noticed your floor tile is brown, and now I remember when you first posted thinking you had too much brown. I'd go back to boring cream.

You say creams are too stark, but you showed a white tile. So are you only looking at cooler off-whites? Have you looked at a company like Sonoma Tileworks which has many shades of cream?


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I would certainly use a cream color. I have been looking at homes that are no more than 10 years old and I can't believe the dark colors people use. Black appliances, black sofas, dark draperies. Also the busy styles, multi colors every where. Your counter top looks great but you need to try and visualize what more patterns/multi colors will do to the room. Bring lots of different tile sample home, some stores have notebook type samples. Keep it simple. When I bought my new home I wanted soft colors in the open living area continuing on through the rest of the home and lots of lights. I don't even have draperies, just Bali blinds, top down bottoms up. My realtor said "your home is 9 years old and it still look fresh and new.


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I did like the mirror you posted earlier. is that still an option?
YOu need to go with what you like; not with what anyone here or other "experts".
we are looking at a monitor, we're not in the room.


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Tilelady, I feel for you. It seems everyone is recommending a neutral & you haven't had much luck finding a cream, neutral tile you are excited about. I can only post one pic at a time but I'm going a post a few pics.
Ignore the mosaic - too fussy. What I like about this pic is the bottom row of glossy tiles for a little pizazz & then matte tiles above. I know your family doesn't like subways, so do one row of glossy 4x4's & then rotate the matte 4x4's. You could pull one of the darker colors of your granite for a narrow strip of tile between the matte & glossy tiles. You could also do tone on tone colors to add interest with the glossy tile being slightly darker than the matte tile.

This post was edited by romy718 on Tue, Jun 10, 14 at 1:26


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Here's an example of a darker tile in a 4x4" on the bottom row & then the 4x4's in a lighter neutral & rotated in the upper rows. You wouldn't need to do the accent pieces or the mosaic. Personally, I'd do a less ornate strip of tile.

This post was edited by romy718 on Tue, Jun 10, 14 at 1:17


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tilelady, I do hope you have a sense of humor. I'm wondering if you are a Gemini or a Libra. You are possibly worse than my Libra daughter choosing from a Chinese menu!

Forgive me for being blunt: That fancy Encore tile is **horrible** for your kitchen. Your kitchen is - to me - just lovely; the cabinets are gorgeous as is the granite and I like your floor, too. You have a theme going with warm gold tones. Nix the pink.

You have shown two options that I think are simple and would go beautifully with your kitchen: the "crackle tile with taupe veins" and the antiquity tile - the plain one, not the flowery one.

I will admit to being a minimalist; I don't like kitsch and I hate living with something I can't change. Choose simple and use decorative pieces - that you *can* change - to personalize your kitchen.

Oh, and one more thing: Hug your husband; the man is a saint.


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A pic of 4x4's in the Encore Vintage that you posted. It doesn't look as pink as it does in your pics. Does it look pink in your kitchen? Do you love it? If you don't love it, keep looking.
I agree with Tomato, your kitchen is lovely. Very warm & inviting. I don't think you need the ornate tiles . You can always put accent plates, vases, etc on your countertops. They are much easier to remove than installed tile.

This post was edited by romy718 on Tue, Jun 10, 14 at 9:49


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Thanks for the compliments! :)
Our tile is a marble, crema marfil, 2x4 beveled subway tile. I got it through Oracle Tile, in CA, but if you google it, it's everywhere.
Maybe the color looks wrong in the picture, but there's nothing "cool" about it. It's a definite cream, with no grey undertones that I can see.
I had looked at crema marfil before, and dismissed it, as the samples I had just didn't look right with the TB. Glad I tried this one!


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one more :)


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thank you so much for the advice. In fact my youngest daughter just came home from australia and has been reading the responses with me and said how nice it was that so many responded. I am a cancer, tomato a true homebody and maybe that is why I am having such difficulty in choosing the backsplash. I do not have a sense of humor left when it comes to this backsplash because it has been going on for so long. I appreciate your comment about my husband and his sainthood but must say maybe one of his biggest plus's is that he doesn't give a hoot about what I choose or how long it takes.. he just wants me to be happy. Quite honestly tomato, this should be our biggest problem in life and then I would be one happy lady, for sure!! I often wonder what I will do without this ongoing project.. therefore maybe this is one of my reasons for all of the delay! I truly have NOT found the tile that I envision, whatever that is, hopefully I will find it soon.... Today is another tile hunting day with my youngest daughter so maybe she will come up with something from her fresh new eyes. Returning the encore tile but I will still keep it in the back of my mind. i am sure the rep at the tile store will be very happy to hear that many people on garden web thought her choice was horrible. Tomato.. I am laughing as I type this so I do believe I have a sense of humor although I must admit I have read some posts on the overall site that were cringeworthy.... I will never forget the recent post where the woman already installed a very expensive mosaic and decided she didn't like how it looked with her beauitful countertop. I felt her pain and many posters were beyond rude in telling her how awful it looked. I understand we come here for advice and opinions from others (which I really do appreciate) but I also feel there is no need to go over the top in telling people how terrible something looks, especially after it was already installed. She did change it and it looks fabulous but what a waste of good money that experience was. So thanks in advance for trying to prevent me from a total rip out and hopefully we will find a cream that works with my kitchen.


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by the way I love so many of the pictures that all of you posted and I happen to really love the encore pictures you posted too. The tile really doesnt come off too pink in my kitchen but it is definitely less gold than my cabinets. In fact at one point I thought it was too close in color and didn't offer enough of a contrast. May, I do have a very dark floor and I did feel that the brown bs would be too dark. I also did have a whitish tile sent from a manufacturer rep based off of pictures I sent him and it is clearly way too stark. The cream with the veining was a pretty tile (at least I thought so but no one else in person liked it.. it too seemed to be very white. I am going to breath, clear my mind and just drag my pieces back to the latest store and see what the sales people say next. I will not even give any options and just ask what they see as the bs choice and then go from there. Thanks for your patience and understanding and please know that regardless of how frustrated I appear to be and as harsh as my words come through I really do appreciate all of the time that all of you have given me, here!!!!! I wanted to show you who we are.. the proscratinator and the saint who will be married 34 years in november!! I know GD bless him...


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And these are my true blessings that thankfully came out totally perfect without any interference from me!!! I couldn't have picked them better than how they turned out!! Thanks again and all enjoy your day.


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I enjoyed seeing the face behind the angst, TileLady. Hang in there. We'll both get this backsplash thing wrapped up eventually. I just sent for a sample of the tile used in sandesurf's kitchen. Good luck!


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You remind me of me, I start looking and there are so many choices and I end up bringing home all sorts of stuff and it just gets more confusing!! I learned the hard way after ripping out a backsplash that while many tiles look pretty on the sample boards and are truly works of art, they don't necessarily go with the style of the kitchen and a whole room of it is overwhelming. Keep it simple if you have busy granite. Only one star in the room at a time is the way it has to be and your granite is the star!!! With so many gorgeous things out there that makes it not as fun to pick out but wow in the end it is definitely the right thing to do. I have to keep reminding myself of this. Your kitchen looks smashing so far! Your family and you are beautiful! Good luck and all in good time : )


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Ha, I'm so great with advising other people, but for my own house, I have decision paralysis...
So it's still stuck in the 90's.


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You all make me smile!! Thanks for all the kind words. I figured it would be nice to show the nutty woman behind the crazy posts. As I have gotten older I find it far harder to make decisions... shouldnt it be the other way??? I am thinking of taking my youngest daughter, this time, with me and hopefully we will buy something, anything!! Today is my oldest daughter Cory's, third anniversary, which are the really important things to spend my time on. Everyone have a great day!!


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