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Freaking out about my new backsplash

Posted by Cinjos (My Page) on
Sun, May 18, 14 at 15:12

It's way too busy with the granite! Can not bear to think of tearing it out. It was only grouted this morning, so it should lighten up a bit and then the lines won't be so noticeable.

What do you think?

This post was edited by Cinjos on Sun, May 18, 14 at 15:15


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

I really hate to say this, but I don't like them together at all. They are both very bold and fight with each other.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

They are both stunning. If you'd asked before the install, I would have said they are fighting for attention and voted for a quieter bs. But now it's a done deal, I too would be heartsick to think about pulling out the bs.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

They definitely compete, which is a shame because they are both so incredible. Sorry for your woes. :o( I am not really one for tearing out, but that might have been over my personal limits if it were mine.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Take it out and enjoy your beautiful counter. It will be easier to do shortly after install.

Active stone, quiet backsplash.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Your granite is beautiful. Unfortunately, I would take out the backsplash.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

You are making us focus on it with your photo. Do you have a further back picture? I'm just wondering if when looking at it from afar, or as a quick glance, the BS might read as not so much of looking like a puzzle and so fighting with your counter.

If not, I would keep the granite, because it is gorgeous and unfortunately do away with the BS.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

I don't love it but I don't hate it. If everything else is simple and you keep your counters clutter free it might be okay.

I've seen much busier combos get enthusiastic thumbs up in this forum.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

This is one of the unspoken problems of granite. You've got those beautiful movements screaming around your kitchen like a work of modern art, but what are you gonna put with it?

You tried complimentary when you should have tried contrast. See how nice the appliances look with the top? A solid surface single color splash, black, maybe gray, would do the trick. A couple box extensions and it would install right over those mismatched tile.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Why oh why didn't I ask you all first?? The sample board seemed quiet; it almost looked solid and I wanted something a little different from a subway tile. It cost major $$$ - can't replace it now!!

This post was edited by Cinjos on Sun, May 18, 14 at 17:09


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

"It cost major $$$ - can't replace it now!!"

The money is already gone. Doesn't matter now if it sits on your wall (constantly annoying and disappointing you) or resides quietly in the trash. You could just use a good scrubbable paint instead of tile rather than a redo, although the walls will need repair. That is not hard to do yourself if you are handy.

Everyone makes mistakes along the way when creating something. Why not give priority to getting it right and being able to fully enjoy your beautiful new kitchen rather than keeping something so major that you don't like and which spoils it for you.

I would, however, try to salvage the tile for another purpose or even someone else if you have no other place for it. Might even make a nice tabletop.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Beautiful granite. Beautiful splash. Together, a bit less so. If you don't want to tear it out (and I can understand that - it appears to be a rather expensive tile), are you open to more things out on your counter? If you look at your photo, where you have the small appliances, it gives your eye the "break" that it needs - you see the counter, then the appliances, and then the bit of splash.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

I like the combination. I think you will get used to it - you eye just hasn't adjusted to it yet! Many of the colors in the backsplash colors are in the granite. Standing back it reads as solid light gray. I would play with changing the color of the switchplate to make it even more monochromatic or maybe try to match one of the darker colors in the granite - see if that appeals to you.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

I think you have answered your own question. You can't do a replacement now, so take a deep breath and live with it for now.

Let's see what happens when it is completely dry.

Usually if you feel you "made a mistake" today you will feel the same way tomorrow. The backsplash is easy to change out. Ask me how I know? (Member of the "I ripped out my first backsplash club.")


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Your granite is gorgeous, as is the backsplash, but they are competing for the spotlight. But it's not the end of the world, believe me, I have seen much worse in very high end homes! I agree with Andrea, if you add a canister set, bowls or something else to break up the pattern, it will be more visually pleasing.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

snookum2 is right, the money's already gone. It hurts more now than it will after some time has passed.

I think both your counter AND backsplash are beautiful, just not together. It's a shame. You aren't the first or last person this has happened to. It seems funny to me that people are suggesting items on the counter will hide the backsplash because this is a board that takes "Nothing On The Counter" to extreme heights.

I would wait a bit before deciding. You either won't care anymore or you will want to get rid of it. By then, the money that's gone won't hurt so much.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

I think it's ok. The colors are there. I think you will get used to it more over time. The counters are especially gorgeous IMO.

Try not to feel bad, it will be ok :)


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

I actually like it, even though the picture looks busy, I bet it will blend in more than you think. Let the grout dry and live with it. I'll bet you will get over the initial OMG reaction. We've all been there. It is sometimes a panic after making so many decisions and expecting to be wrong about at least one of them. I wouldn't be in any great hurry to remove it. You nailed the colors, congrats! Let the panic subside. Let us know how you feel in a month. P.S. Margueritas help blend patterns--old decorator trick :P Where is spell check when you need one, hic!*?

This post was edited by voila on Sun, May 18, 14 at 19:48


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Skookum s2 said it right. Take it down. Paint the area and when the money is right get a do over. Everyone makes mistakes. Join the club. I'll start a thread, My big mistake and what did I do about it.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

You said the grout was not dry. Was the grout chosen to match the tile colour? If so, I would wait. Wet grout and dry grout can make a huge difference as to the overall effect..


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

I don't know. I bet from a distance and without the focus right on it -- as in the picture -- it would look different. I say live with it. It always takes time to get used to "new" and "different."


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Breathe.

Breathe some more.

It's there already.

Get back to us in six months if you still notice it. You probably won't. It doesn't look bad in the picture, just busy. If you're worried about what people will say about you behind your back, then maybe rip it out for your piece of mind, but only a TKO looking for OTK is going to have any sense that anything is amiss. Normal people will say WOW!

I think what you really need, more than support and sympathy, is the courage of your convictions. This isn't neon orange, or cartoon fruit with gnomes and watering cans, either of which is something that has to be used very very carefully, and not in your kitchen, to have a chance to work. The backsplash picks up the figure and movement in the counter. It echoes the color without being too matchy. In short, there are analytic reasons to say it works very well--which is, I'm sure, what you were thinking when you chose it.

So, straighten your shoulders and set your jaw and own your choice. Move into the kitchen fully and live. Throw parties and have tete-a-tetes. Cook a few hundred meals for the people you love. See if you still hate it then. Because while I totally got why you were freaking out when I first saw the picture, when I take a step back and include the coffeemaker and fill in the rest of the cabinets, and add life to the picture, I see an inspired choice, not a wrong one.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Well said, plllog.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

I agree with pillog- once the grout settles - give it some time before making a rash decision. Also a glass of wine helps.
Edited to fix predictive text :-)

This post was edited by a2gemini on Mon, May 19, 14 at 6:51


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

My dear friend, I feel your pain. Pull it out. Tonight. Removing it costs you nothing and may save on medical bills as this combo may induce seizures (I'm trying to make you laugh, not giving you a hard time). Pull it down, clean it up, paint the wall, then breath for a year or two.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Someone up thread said that if your counters are clear-ish, you may not notice. I'm thinking the opposite. With some things on your counter spaced out, you may not notice. You won't see it all in one swath. They are both gorgeous (I'm actually really curious about what the tile is, it's really pretty).

I'd live with it and see how you feel down the line. Since you can't re-tile now $ wise, might as well leave it and see how you feel. Since anything you do, including paint, would cost $ now, might as well leave it. If it bothers you down the line, you'll feel good getting to demo it.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

I'd live with it for awhile, too. Here's a question: can tile be painted? Maybe that would be an option instead of pulling it down. It's pretty nifty and maybe painted a solid color would take the curse off it. But, I'd live with it for awhile first.

And do take a pic from further back. It's like being a teenager and staring in the mirror close up at one pimple. Back up and let's see the whole picture.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Don't take it out for now. Live with it. Put out a black metal cookbook stand, open up your favourite cook book on it. Put out white jars for flour, sugar, salt. Give the eye a chance to transition between the counter and the BS.
You said, "...can't replace it now." Don't. You can always do that later if it bugs you still. But by then you might realise the money is better spent on other things.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

I Hate to say this, but it is really bad! I think if you had posted a pic of the sample board with the granite before you purchased it, the posters here would have said keep looking. I think it is safe to say that when a busy granite is chosen, go the safe route and use one color of subway tile. And I love your granite!! The backsplash would never make my favorites list no matter what you paired it with.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Thanks so much, everyone. Pllong, you made me cry! It's extremely disappointing, but I suppose it's not so bad if I am only upset with one decision out of the millions I have made on this renovation. I am just shocked by how differently it came out than I anticipated.

I am going to live with it for a bit and take all your suggestions to see if it gets better. If not, I will take it out. But not before I cook a hundred meals!

I'm attaching my before picture for a laugh. I lived with that kitchen for 17 years. Looking forward to finally posting my reveal soon.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Wow! What are those flower blobs around the door knobs?
Good Lord, girl, enjoy your beautiful new kitchen.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

I have to tell you I think you have an incredible eye for these two elements in your kitchen. They are both gorgeous.

So, you have 2 options. Pull it out and try to use it elsewhere. Now would be the time, NOW, before you can't get the thinset or grout out of this beautiful tile. (Grout can be removed by soaking tile in Haze.)

Or, you can let it dry and actually put the things you use on the counter. Something to break up your eye. I agree that contrast would have been better than compliment. I always choose the latter and frequently have to tap dance to make compliment contrast.

But oh, what lovely choices you made!
Take a breath. You're the one who will need to decide.
But I'll come take that tile off your hands. Yes. I will.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

I keep seeing the need for a red object on the counter, like a Kitchen Aid mixer, something for the eye to rest on that is not the same hue as what's bugging you. Very cool back splash! Enjoy cooking those 100 meals :-)


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Easier to pull and clean now than later. Both are beautiful selections but the combo clashes. That is why you are having such a strong reaction, not a simple disappointment.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

sometimes i keep my mouth shut simply because i don't want to upset anyone, but i have to tell you: it's not going to get any better after you "live" with it a while. at least it wouldn't for me. yes, the money is already gone, so forget about it. rip out the backsplash, paint it a light gray and live without a bs for a while. it's been two years since i've been in my new house and i still haven't selected one yet. i have to say, it really doesn't bother me NOT having one -so much so, that finding a bs at this point has been shoved to the back burner.

living without a bs = not a big deal.
living with a bs that fights tooth and nail with a counter = shoot me now.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Busy granite plus busy back splash give me the heebie jeebies but on my monitor your colors are so harmonious that the pattern issues don't really bother me.

As someone mentioned above, how does it look from the long view? Does it read more solid? Most people will be looking at your kitchen from the long perspective and won't have their faces under the counter.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Sleeping on it didn't help.It lightened up a lot, but the pattern is still there. Don't think I can wait to cook 100 meals - too disappointed to leave it. I've spent too much and done too much to settle. The biggest problem is that it is ruining my stunning granite that I have loved from minute one and never second-guessed. I even cried when they put it on my island because it is so pretty!

Looking into having it removed and salvage what I can to use in my bathroom. You'll be hearing from me soon to help me pick the replacement. No way I will do it on my own now!!!

Thanks for the sweet support and the tough love. You guys are awesome.

This post was edited by Cinjos on Mon, May 19, 14 at 9:36


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Would ripping out the tile ruin it? I am thinking maybe you could sell the tile on Craig's List so it wouldn't be a total loss.

I have to agree with Kateskouros that I don't think it's going to get better with time. And cluttering up your kitchen counter to hide it won't work either IMHO. I think now is the time to take action. Later you will have inertia about doing it, and it won't get done, but nevertheless every time you step in your kitchen you will not like the backsplash.

I too plan to live with my new kitchen a while before installing a backsplash. The backsplash is the hardest thing of all in a kitchen renovation. It really is,


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

This is just a thought if you decide to keep it. I think the problem is that there is no transition from the counters to the backslash--would it be possible to put a solid tile transition piece between the counter and the backsplash in a solid grey or even black? Something that would do what molding does on walls, act as a frame for the backsplash and break up the eye between the two patterns. Maybe even use it like wall molding--frame in sections of the beautiful backsplash so that the whole thing doesn't have to be ripped out.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Cinjos, I think you are making the right decision, and a brave one. Your granite is a star, spectacular. You might have figured out a way to overlook the backsplash, but it would have always bugged you. Since the money's spent and gone, no backsplash (for now) will be an improvement and won't cost anything extra.

You're right to not settle. Your kitchen will be beautiful.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

I agree that you've made the right decision, because it's right for you. You sound calm and clearheaded today. I think it's the right decision because it isn't the look you wanted. Objectively, it's not a bad look, just demanding.

Re "living with it", I agree with those who said that mistakes don't get better. What gets better is surprises. Being surprised by the intensity of pattern, for instance, goes away when you've lived with it. Your knowledge that you can't live with it long enough to make friends with it is about you getting what you wanted, rather than what you got, which is a fine reason to make the change.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

I've been there and I think you are making the right decision. Be prepared, though ... chances are you aren't going to be able to save that tile for re-use. I pulled my backsplash off the day after it was installed and threw it straight into the trash. Trying to remove the thinset (it gets plenty hard overnight!) was not something I wanted to even think about tackling. It was hard as a rock and the mesh stretched while removing the tile ... it was NOT salvageable. I'd hate to think about how much more difficult it would be if it had been grouted, too.

I was so appalled by my backsplash choice that I didn't want to suffer with it a second longer than necessary. It was a VERY costly mistake, but I wanted to put that mistake behind me and move on to other things quickly. The only thing worse that making the mistake would be living with it.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Your granite is abdolutely stunning and will be able to shine even more with a quieter backsplash. I think the backsplash you have might actually work even better in a bathroom.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Oh my, I truly feel for you. Your granite is lovely though, and deserves a nice quiet backsplash so it can be the star. You don't want too many things screaming "look at me". I can picture it now with a nice white subway tile. There is a color blog by Maria Killiam that is wonderful, and discusses things like this. Check it out. I've learned a lot from her, and white subway tile is going to be my backsplash choice in our kitchen reno. Good luck to you, and you have made the right choice.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Oh my, I truly feel for you. Your granite is lovely though, and deserves a nice quiet backsplash so it can be the star. You don't want too many things screaming "look at me". I can picture it now with a nice white subway tile. There is a color blog by Maria Killiam that is wonderful, and discusses things like this. Check it out. I've learned a lot from her, and white subway tile is going to be my backsplash choice in our kitchen reno. Good luck to you, and you have made the right choice.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

'Take it out and enjoy your beautiful counter'

I agree. the countertop is beautiful. the BS may be an expensive mistake, but it's not one you have to have staring back at you every day.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

That countertop is breathtaking! I'm sure I'm not the only GW'er who will gladly photoshop various tiles for you, until you find the right match. So sorry you're in this position but we're here to help you make it right. Looking forward to helping Cinderella (your beautiful countertop) find the right prince.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

What are your countertops? They are stunning.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Maybe put in a 'border' line of something where the two meet? It's just because they are right smack dab on top of each other that it's overwhelming. Can you put a grey or white trim of some sort along the edge?


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

I know you stated you didn't want a white subway BS, but, in this application, it would take a backseat to your countertop and not compete for attention. There is a reason why white subway is so popular.

If it matters, a standard, white subway is an economical choice.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Take a deep breathe. This is not the end of the world. It is just a kitchen and just a counter and just a back splash. It is a reflection of you and things that you enjoy. Does everything have to be 100%? No. Nothing ever is.

My first thought is that the two are competing at the line where they meet. Can you add a liner or something along the bottom? Maybe take away some of it and leave some of it. Maybe make a border of the tile you already purchased and supplement it with something else. I don't think it has to be a total wash.

Only you can decide if it will drive you crazy enough to replace it and if you have the means to do it. If you can't or don't want to replace or change it then that is OK too. Really.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Thanks for the suggestions re: a strip along the bottom. I considered that, but I think it will make it busier. I'm going today to get samples of subway tiles. Thinking white! What are your thoughts on glass?

My granite, btw, is Bianco Antico. It was a particularly pretty block that came in - I had fallen in love with a quartzite but was warned against it for durability. This granite had all the movement I was looking for.

I'll be back with pictures...


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Ok, went to the tile store...
I'm looking at subway tile only - 3x6, right?
Narrowed it down to:
Arctic White
Warm White
White Glass

My cabinets are Cloud White. My walls are soft blue/grey (Mt. Rainier Gray). Floors are cinnamon stain maple.

Here are some pics...


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Warm White


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

White Glass


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Your kitchen is going to be stunning. Your counters are very beautiful. Although I wouldn't have chosen to combine a tile backsplash with that granite, I think the tile you chose does have a lot going for it because the colours and organic look are somewhat harmonious (but I agree they are fighting). I'm not sure if subway would be better. If I was trying to improve the situation I would install matte solid large format tile with small grout lines. I agree with those who write that the backsplash may look better from a distance, because you would not be seeing the top of the counter as much.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

I like the warm white!


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Warm white!

With that much going on in the granite, having a quiet backsplash id the best route. Yes, some people have patterns on both, but it's tricky to pull off.

The good news is that plain subway is inexpensive and easy to do. I did the backsplash shown here in 2 days (adhesive had to dry) for <$100 and a borrowed tile saw.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

The first one, arctic?, is the best match to your cabinets, if that's the painted surface behind it. The warm white is best with the granite. I like the depth of the glass, but glass is naturally green, and this doesn't appear to be color adjusted. I don't think you'll like it.

The arctic would give you a crisper look, and blends best with the paint and counter. The warm is yellow (or else the lighting is) and will bring out the yellowish tones in the granite.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

The colour behind is not the cabinets - it's just a piece of paper. The warm white is exactly the same colour as the cabinets. The Arctic white seems too white. Here's a different picture of the warm white and glass.


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Warm white!! You are on your way to a lovely kitchen, and your granite will be so very happy with it's new playmate.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Lazygardens - you did that yourself? Amazing!

ikeltz and others - thank you!

So, no one likes the glass, huh?


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

I love glass tile but I am not quite feeling it with your granite. I do kind of like the subtle green with your blue wall, though.

Can you get a few more samples of the glass and line them up to get a better feel for the look?

I think that having a plain tile will make your counters sooo much prettier (it IS pretty, but it is overwhelmed with the argumentative backsplash).


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Warm white, not the glass. I am glad you are changing the backsplash!


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

cinjos, my cabinets are also Cloud White so I know it well. It's a luscious creamy white, and I love it. I think it's the perfect warm, creamy white.

I'm not a big fan of glass tile. I think the Arctic White is too white for your cabinets. [I'm about to start a bathroom model where I will use Arctic White in the tub/shower area, but I have different colors in there.]

I have a creamy crackle 3x6 for my backsplash. Technically it's a different white than Cloud White, but they look very similar as vertical surfaces. But they look good together, by turns lighter and darker, a nice layered look. It will certainly leave center stage for your granite.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

no glass, it does not go.

see if you can find a 12x24" tile in white and lay it out carefully with straight bond. I wouldn't do 3x6 subway with that granite.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Cinjos:

I'm afraid you may be about to repeat your mistake. You nailed the color on your first attempt, but you overlooked the pattern. Now you're looking at single tiles and worrying about color.

Before you begin, I strongly suggest you dab some hot melt glue on the backs of several tile and temporarily adhere them to the wall. Step back and take a look.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

linelle - so glad you have the cloud white cabs - it makes a big difference in choosing the tile!

trebuchet - totally agree! I'm so nervous now! I am getting a bunch of the warm white today and will put them up - good suggestion about the hot glue.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

cinjos, I chose my backsplash after everything else was done. I went from being surrounded by golden oak to white cabs and dark gray counters and the initial starkness was a jolt. One night I set a bottle of Bushmills down on the counter and the warmth of the golden elixir called out, "me, you want me!" So I thought, yes, that should be the color of my backsplash. I found something similar and posted it here. The GW brain trust immediately said, um no. Pout. I went with a simple crackle, similar in tone to my cabs and have never been sorry. The posters here didn't steer me wrong. I like simple and quiet. Thanks to my penchant for having stuff on my counters, I have all the busy I need *and* it's removable.


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Agree with the other ... nix the glass. The warm white looks like your best choice of the three, though it looks yellow compared to the cabinets in your last picture (could be monitor issues or the pics not giving a clear indication of the color). Personally, I'd want a bit of contrast between my cabinets and backsplash ... maybe a lightly contrasting grout in a tone from your granite?


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

I love your granite as I stated before in another post, but am not crazy about your backsplash. I also have a busy granite. I would fall in love with beautiful patterned tiles at the tile shop, but when I would bring home the sample boards, I came to the conclusion that only a simple tile was going to look right with my granite. I have never regretted my decision to stay monotone. I love that I can switch out accessories and everything looks nice. Here is a picture. I am going to try to post a few of my bathroom pictures for you later as I think my bathroom granite is similar to your kitchen granite. In my bathrooms I used a white subway from Florida Tile from the retro collection.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

cinjos, the more I look at your picture, the more I like the combo of counter and backsplash together, it's different.

I know the general consensus was to rip it out, but I'm wondering now if you are seeing it differently as time goes by, the Subway tile is so safe.


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I really like detroit's suggestion:

"see if you can find a 12x24" tile in white and lay it out carefully with straight bond. I wouldn't do 3x6 subway with that granite."

Great idea Trebuchet. Grout lines and edges ARE patterns.


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*UPDATE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Ok, so I got some warm white tiles and taped them up - take a look. I like it! Can't believe this is what I always wanted, and then went with the other because it was so special, and in the end, here I am. Well, they don't call them classics for nothing!

mitchdesj - I am sure that this needs to change. I still drool over the tile itself, but don't like the combo at all, and hate what it's doing to my granite!

feisty, trebuchet, and detroit - I really do like the 3x6subway tile look - since the colour is almost identical to the cabs, I think it needs a bit of pattern to break it up.

Sure hope I get the thumbs up!


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I'm still wondering about painting it with an enamel. I mean, if you are going to tear it out okay, paint won't hurt that but honestly.. the last pic you showed... I kinda like the tile and would love to see it in say, a warm white.

Is this a crazy idea or something, people? Mightn't it be worth a shot?


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

I do like the warm white subway tile a lot! I am not a fan of the current backsplash with your granite, so I vote for the new subway tile for sure.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

Cinjos, an enthusiastic thumbs up to the subways!


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

I also really like the subways!


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Thumbs up! I really like it.


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RE: Freaking out about my new backsplash

The part about the backsplash I love is how it reinforces the pretty grey tone in your granite.

Did you look at any subways that pick up that grey tone?

I think that would be much prettier than another shade of white. Your cabinets already provide a lot of white.

I'm glad it seems you're looking more strongly at subway vs just paint or a low height backsplash. To me, a backsplash means "this person really thought through the kitchen."

But I am repulsed by Low height 4" backsplashes - they remind me of ankle socks.


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smaller tiles DO mean more pattern - and more grout lines. and more GROUT to clean. and they can look busy also.

it's also more work I'd think to put up more little tiles.

do try a light grey (very light) tile visual test too


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I like your last picture a lot. The floors and granite and accessories add enough color.. Now time to ask the experts about what color grout. Me, I'd go matching, but I'm a novice.


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I like how the lack of grout in the picture matches the dark sections of the top. I'd say that's your grout color, but I stick to mostly technical, not esthetic questions, on this board.


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Cinjos - This is just my opinion, but I absolutley LOVE the cream/white subway tile. It looks stunning with your cabinets and granite. It makes the granite the star!

Don't feel bad about your current back splash. I to, almost made the same mistake. Thanks to the good people on garden web, I ended up going with a simple subway backsplash, only with longer white/cream subway tiles. I have no regrets.

Enjoy your beautiful kitchen!

Here's a picture of the longer subway tile.


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Hmmm, I feel like the standard 3x6 looks a little "generic" now that I've seen something else in your kitchen. For good or bad the backsplash you already have has a personality, and the 3x6 comes off as the default choice. Could you at least try a different size of plain white tile?


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I agree with palimpsest about the generic look of the standard subway tiles. I think the subways will make your kitchen look like every other white kitchen that has ever been posted here. Which isn't a bad thing, but I'm not sure it was what you were going for when you made your original choices.


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I really wish you would live with your current backsplash for a while.
You are giving up a wonderful backsplash for an average one. I would never make the change without a fight first.

Three suggestions:
Decorate the counter. As others have said, this will establish a demarcation line between countertop and tile.

I think much of the problem is the grout color, not just the tile. Is it possible to change the grout color to a very light grey or off-white? Presently your tile reads as white spots in a medium grey grid. I'd love to see it as grey and off-white spots in an off-white to light grey grid. I think it would look FAR less busy!

Install some under cab lights. Lighting that backsplash may do wonders.

This post was edited by Bellsmom on Thu, May 22, 14 at 12:26


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Another vote for the subway tile. It looks great!!


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I think the problem is the grout color, not the tile

To me it looks like wearing stripes and plaid together (you know what I mean).


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I don't think anyone is saying the backsplash in and of itself isn't beautiful and unique. But if you had items of apparel that looked like the backsplash and counter, would you wear them together? A shirt and a skirt/pants?

If all our houses were open to being viewed at the same time you could say that subway tile is generic or overdone or something. I really don't care what anyone's kitchen looks like (or if it's identical to mine) as long as I like MY kitchen. I will never step foot inside your real kitchen, although with many of you I wish I could just to meet you and have a laugh.

If 3x6 is too uninspired to consider, what about another shape altogether? Squares set on the diagonal? Horrors? Arabesques? Too much like someone else's kitchen on GW that your friends and family will never know about.

I swore I was done with subways after putting them in my kitchen and getting them out of my system. Next week I'll be putting them in my shower/tub surround. Sometimes they just work.


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Sorry, this is long, but I want you to hit the pause button.

You have people whose opinions I generally trust going both ways here. If nothing else, that tells you it isn't really as bad as you think, but it is different. Don't worry -- I have never seen anything here that would get a universal nod, only some that don't ask and don't get differing opinions. I have three cabinet finishes in my kitchen and probably the majority said don't do it. I did it and I love it. If we all followed convention, where would we have color and personality -- where would art come from? Do you think anyone would have told Andy Warhol he should stake his career on painting a soup can? And yet, look what he's best known for.

I'm guessing you don't want to show the further back views because you will give away your reveal, but add me to the list of those who would want to see the kitchen as a whole and with everything in place before making a final judgement. I think, in most kitchens, the best backsplashes are a backdrop that tends to fade and not call too much attention. What you have is almost like a muted version of the granite, a shadow or reflection of the idea, but like a rippled pond, the reflection in not a clear duplicate. That's the artistry in your idea, but it might need context or tweaking. Warhol painted a number of soup can variations but is only known for one.

If the colors were all off, I'd say it has to go, but the colors are good and that's often the hardest part. Bellsmom and maybe another suggested a lighter grout -- and that might be a great idea. How did you like the tile before it was grouted? Your initial post said the grout was still wet and might lighten which also makes me think your vision for the splash might have been seeing it lighter. That isn't an easy fix with that tile, but it is less expensive, especially since it is something you could DIY for the cost of a bag of grout and a sponge. If you can't see your inspriration and are certain you can't live with it, at least before you rip out tile, take a section and scratch out a little of the grout, then go over it with s lighter one and test the idea.

Right now, you and everyone viewing this thread are looking at a relative close up and focusing on the similar but different qualities of your tile and granite. IF they aren't working in person, this is more of a near miss than fighting clowns. I'd really rather be standing with you in the kitchen and seeing whether you have an impressionist watercolor that will provide a tranquil backdrop to the granite when all is settled, whether it is a great idea that just went too dark on the grout, or whether it is really not going to work. You might be doing a knee jerk and giving up something that could be exceptional. You really have to look at the big picture to make those decisions. If it was something you loved, I think you owe it to yourself and that idea to give it some more time, thought and maybe a couple of experiments.

I would not try to paint the tile. If you wanted to explore that idea, you would have to carefully mask everything because you will need a special primer or the paint would not adhere. Also look into whether the dried paint would pass flammability standards behind your burners. The one upside -- your grout would be well sealed, as long as the paint didn't peel.

As far as the subway, I like the glass with your wall color, but don't think it would be right for everything else in your kitchen, The warm white is your best color, but I would not go dark with the grout. I would go creamy and minimize the grout line pattern. I would also play with those samples and try different patterns, possibly some cleaner lines -- maybe stacking them or running them vertically instead of horizontally.

Don't rush. I have an issue with my kitchen (I can live with but) I can never correct because my installer hurried through. On the other hand, I have a feature made out of what could have been a HUGE problem because we took a little time to figure out how to turn it around. Take the time to consider the possibilities and get the BEST fix, not just A fix -- if you even need a fix.


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There's nothing wrong with subway tile at all. It's just that the backsplash is going from one white extreme to the other. I am wondering if your search for something different resulting in something you are going to remove has made you go to the other extreme of picking something so safe and so inoffensive that nobody could question it as a choice.

Like I said, If I hadn't seen something else, I would have thought "fine, subway tile", but since you Did go for something different, I think you still have the opportunity to go for something at least a *little different. A larger, or longer format like beaches showed would be at least a little different, for example.


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I just want to say, as opposed to some other opinions, and IMO only, the current combo IS that bad. It overshadows a beautiful granite for one thing. Even if the colors are "right" it just isn't right for that space.

I get what others are saying about you had an instinct for something different and you should go with that. Still, your granite is fairly busy so, if it were mine, I wouldn't want to do anything too busy even in the pattern of solid cream tiles. Arabesque, for example, wouldn't work for me (and that IS a matter of personal taste).

Whatever size and shape of tile you get, I would use matching grout. Let the patterning be that subtle, just from the shapes of the tile. JMO.


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I agree with raee here. And seeing that the OP has already decided that she doesn't like the backsplash and has moved on to choosing something else, maybe we should move on with her and help her with choosing something else instead of asking her to rethink her decision.

IMO, there is something to be said for "safe and inoffensive," especially when it comes to pairing a backsplash with a busy granite. Why risk following one expensive mistake with another?


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Jellytoast, you have so much common sense!


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Oh I feel for you, what a dilemma! First off, they are both gorgeous on their own. I would like to see something solid white like subway with that countertop and reverse if the backsplash was kept. I'd pick whichever is less expensive (backsplash I'm sure) and replace it. I feel bad for you, it's horrible when that happens. Good luck


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Jellytoast, that is exactly why I would slow down and make a knee jerk reaction. Not one of us here has seen this up really close or the kitchen as a whole. As Pal said, there is nothing wrong with subway, but quickly throwing up white subways in an offset pattern is about as plain and safe as you can get in current modes. It can be classic or it can be milk toast. The OP obviously wanted something more unique. I'd take the time to let things settle, consider the options fully. I think the splash probably does need at least a tweak like lighter grout, which is a very inexpensive option, but it may not require the expense of ripping everything out. Putting in subways in a standard pattern can be very moderately priced, but it is still money I would consider wasted if the OP finds it less objectionable but just as disappointing.


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I think the white subway tile would be good. Maybe consider a grey grout. That is what we did.

This post was edited by amh615 on Thu, May 22, 14 at 14:14


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Can I just say, you guys are amazing? Thank you all for your incredible perspectives and the time you have taken to share them with me. It makes me regret my biggest mistake even more - not checking in with you first before doing the first backsplash!

I have to tell you, that I wouldn't have written in if I wasn't horrified by the combination of my beautiful backsplash with my beautiful counter. I would have waited for the ooh's and ahh's of the reveal!! So, the truth is, I knew it had to go. I needed your support and guidance to do it! :)

That being said, I am in love with the simple subway tile! Love the colour, love the pattern, love the classic-ness. I lived with hideous for 17 years. I will live with this kitchen until I die! My look so far has been elegant and simple, with a splash of pretty. (I have 3 sons, so I go girly when I can!)

The new tile is going up on Saturday, with a white grout to minimize pattern. I feel good about it!


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Or should I do light grey grout? My husband likes white, but I like the grey.


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Gray is going to make the grout lines stick out & give you a busier look. I think VERY light gray would look ok, but you don't want the same mistake again with a busy look. I would go with white or VERY light gray.


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Agree with teachertile. I love grey grout with white subways but would stick to a VERY light grey or go with grout that matches the tile. I lean towards matching in your particular case. If you do a google search with "white subway tiles grey grout gardenweb" as the search terms, you will find lots of examples of subways with grey grout.

Good luck! Looking forward to your "after" pics.


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Yay for Cinjos!!!


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I would go white but not stark white.

I love subways. Had them in cobalt blue as a wainscot treatment done by the PO nearly 30 years ago and loved them. Love the white I have now for BS. If you love them, you probably always will and it's a good thing.


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I also wanted to say that having my kitchen look like every other kitchen on here would be a huge compliment! Sort of like telling me that I look like everyone else, and everyone else looks like Julia Roberts. I'll take it!

:)


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We did it! Beautiful and simple. Loved it from minute one. So very happy - thank you all!!!


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I hope you found a way to salvage that unique tile to use somewhere else.
Can't wait to see pictures of the new BS
Congrats!


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Pictures please!


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If the backsplash is stone you might be able to darken it by adding several coats of ebony Briwax as shown. Minwax also makes a white wash you might be able to use to lighten it. Both looks will tone the stone down so it doesn't compete so much with your gorgeous countertop.


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Blondelle - that is so cool! I didn't know you could do that. We did go ahead and put up the subway tile, so it's too late to try your suggestion. Thanks so much for taking the time to make those pictures to help me see some other options.


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Pics Please!!!!


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I don't think I would do gray grout unless it was so pale you couldn't even tell it was gray.. don't need another design "accent" in the mix. (IMO)… I love your new choice. It's a classic and the granite is the star! Your cabinet style is very compatible with subway. I like the simplicity of what you're up to now.

I agree that the first one was a boo boo. We all make them, you're on the right track now, cruise control all the way! Enjoy your new kitchen!!


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Cinjos, I am so happy for you that you solved the problem as your gorgeous granite should be the star! I can't wait for your kitchen reveal.


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Happy to try and help! The subway tile would be my first choice, and that would look the best. There was no guarantee what i suggested would come out like the photo so what you did was the right choice. The additional cost will soon be forgotten as you enjoy your gorgeous new kitchen.


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Cinjos, can you post a new pic? Congrats on the new splash.


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Here we go..a slightly different spot. We went with "bone" for the grout. It's a greige and picks up the counter colours well. I think I might have preferred a teeny bit more contrast, but really happy with the result.


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It looks fantastic cinjos! You did a great job. Nice that you're so happy now. Time to enjoy it!


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It is perfect-truly! It looks great with your beautiful countertops.


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Great improvement. Well done!


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What a great resolution! Love the collective wisdom of GW!


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Cinjos, it looks utterly fantastic. I like your grout color. Like you, at first I wished I'd gone with a slightly darker grout color, but not anymore. You done good!!!


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Absolutely beautiful. The perfect choice with your granite !


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Beautiful! Perfect! I agree that the original BS had to go. Your countertops are the star and focal point! The white subway is perfect, and I especially love the color of grout you chose. It wouldn't have occurred to me to use that color grout, but it's true that it picks up color from the counter and ties it all in. The tile is interesting, a subtle pattern, adds interest, is so pretty, but doesn't compete with your gorgeous countertop.

Congratulations on your gorgeous new kitchen!


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I LOVE it. So happy for you : )) Whew, I bet that felt good!


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Looks great! I was worrying a little because of how quickly you were making decisions but this is spot on.


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THAT GROUT IS PERFECT! A darker grout color and you would again have a pattern fighting with the pattern and movement in the granite. This works much better. Enjoy your gorgeous new kitchen!


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The new tile looks great!

I have to say that I find the previous version strangely compelling. It has a animal quality --snake skin and fur pelt. Or an artistic interpretation of that by Klimt.


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thanks, again, everyone! onedogedie - you're right about the snake skin... that's just what I didn't like about it!


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And that is exactly why plain ol subway tiles are so popular. Beautiful!


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Wow, you guys are fast! It looks wonderful. I do like that other tile in a different setting, though, but this really lets the counter top shine.


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YES!!!


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The new backsplash is perfect! It is classy especially with the Bone Grout and makes your gorgeous granite counter the star! Thanks for sharing.


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Wait am I missing something that looks like a completely different kitchen.


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Cinjos that is absolutely lovely!! I love the subway tile and now your granite is the star! What a difference. I know you struggled with the options, but you did it!! Enjoy your gorgeous kitchen.


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Yes, agree, totally different kitchen! Beautiful amd professional looking. Timeless, classic, elegant. Excellent choice!


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Awesome! It looks beautiful. Brings tears to my eyes, lol. Am so glad you took the plunge and can now appreciate all you put into it!!


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Sweet! Enjoy that beautiful kitchen with your new backsplash!


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The subway tiles are perfect! I am so happy for you and the great new bs. Congratulations!


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I love it!!! I am happy that you chose the subway. Your granite is stunning and the white subway lets it be the star.

Enjoy!


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Looks great! What brand and color are the subways? I thought I read Daltile somewhere but didn't see the color mentioned. Thank you!


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Gorgeous. So glad you are happy and will feel peaceful each time you enter your beautiful kitchen.


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So lovely now! I am happy for you!


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BlackChamois - The tiles are Olympia tiles - Colour and Dimension Collection - Warm White (bright)

Can't wait to show you all more pics when it's done.

Here is a link that might be useful: Olympia Tile Colour Dimension Collection


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Cinjos - I just came across this on Houzz. I thought you might have been the start of a new trend but they beat you to it!


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Onedogedie - Woa. That looks like my original backsplash's long lost cousin! Not a fan, but hopefully the owner is happy!


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Yay, Cinjos, it looks beautiful! You can breathe now! :D


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I love the slightly different coloration of your tile and grout. What company makes the bone grout that you used? I have creamy white subway tiles (Emser: classica white) and Astoria granite and bone grout is a contender. I am looking at Fusion Pro whose colors are the same as Polyblend, Prism, and CEG.


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The new tile looks amazing! I was going to say that maybe once you got all your stuff in your kitchen then the busy back splash wouldn't be that "busy" anymore. Heck I have so much stuff on my counters, you wouldn't even see the back splash! HAHA! But, now that you changed it, it really does look wonderful! You have to be careful not to have too many different things going on in one room.


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I agree it's to busy. I would notice it because I keep my counter tops clear of every thing except a special red canister set, a matching plate in a stand and a turn table with a tea set on it.


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millifori - I'm sorry - I don't know the grout details. I chose the grout from a sheet of samples that the contractor showed me. Very happy with the choice.


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