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Backsplash help please

Posted by myboys1 (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 7, 13 at 14:56

I need help deciding on my backsplash for my newly renovated kitchen. The house is a 1960s ranch style and my style is fairly contemporary. Clean lines, straight edges, minimalist. The cabinets are a simple shaker style in medium cherry brown with a light gray quartz countertop and SS appliances.

The countertop has a few flecks of pattern to it, but it's basically just a solid gray with no movement or veins like in granite. There is a lot of light in the kitchen with it open to the family room as well as an entire wall of windows on one side of it.

I want a contemporary look, but nothing too trendy. I don't want something that will be outdated in a few years. I have already tried to make choices that will allow this kitchen to not look out of date for many years, with fairly simple and neutral choices. I have a stack stone fireplace in a neighboring room, and this kitchen looks out to the backyard where I have a stone retaining wall and a lot of natural foliage.

So... I would love to get backsplash ideas from you. I have considered glass, natural stone and ceramic tiles. I want something that will go with the style and colors of the cabinets and counters as well something that will stand the test of time. I have a few samples of some glass mosaics as well as some natural stone, but I can't figure out how to upload more than one photo. So maybe I will post them in a separate post?

All suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Backsplash help please

In a 60s house, I think you could do
1) the same material as the countertop

2) a full height piece of the same material on the cooktop wall only and a short splash of the countertop material on the window wall.

3) a short splash of countertop material all around with a piece of stainless behind the cooktop.

4) no backsplash and stainless behind the cooktop

5) Starphire glass backpainted in the wall color all around.

6) Square Stainless tile

7) Square ceramic tile in a color very similar to the countertop, no accent or feature.

These are all options that would work well with what's going on already , with the period of the house, and since they don't reflect the most common current trends, would not indicate 2010s.


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RE: Backsplash help please

Pal's list is pretty comprehensive. I would add that you could use modular glass tile or stacked stone that speaks to your fireplace. It's OK to liven things up a bit. Neutrals are classics for a reason, but you've got that territory well covered. You can branch out a little in shape or color if you'd like to, and still be true to your vision. It's looking great so far.






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RE: Backsplash help please

Just grabbed the first 2 tile that EAM44 posted. I like the second one... kind of a little pearly thing with some grey touches in it would be kind of classy. The first one with the color is nice, too though. Hmmm..

click the images for a larger view. I will never get this image thing.... :/

 photo contemporarykitchen_zps4ac2a88c.jpg

 photo 2contemporarykitchen_zps5e31648c.jpg


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RE: Backsplash help please

Hi Deedles - nice job! I picked the first tile because it combines grey from the counters, brown (cabinets) and cream (floor tiles) in a swirly palette.

I think all of them are beautiful and timeless, although the third one has kind of a groovy vibe (not sure whether "groovy" was '60s or '70s slang) and I worry the first may be identifiably modern...


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RE: Backsplash help please

My boys -Nice looking kitchen so far!
I really wanted starfire glass but was so expensive as sheets of glass. There was a company or two that sold tiles of it.
I ended up with using square tiles at the base with an accent border and then rotating the tiles above the border for a diamond look. Our cabs are similar in color.
I am on iPhone and have to run to train a class but if you search for a2gemini final kitchen reveal you can see what I did. Good luck in getting out of the ABB club!

PS what is your cooktop?

Deedles- great job on photoshop. I still have to install mine. Can you do a vertical run with the tiles?


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RE: Backsplash help please

Here is the second one in a vertical orientation. Kind nifty! I like how it echoes the narrow drawer pulls and the vertical elements in the doors


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RE: Backsplash help please

Thanks for the suggestions and the images (I would love to know how make new pics with my choices -I can't even figure out how to attach more than one picture!) Running the countertop material up the wall is out of my budget at $70 a sq ft. There is a lot of SS throughout the space, so I don't want to add more as a backsplash. Narrowing it down to natural stone vs glass and mosaic vs larger pieces.

I have attached a photo with 4 choices I am considering. Again, would love opinions. Light vs dark? Busy vs plain? Larger tiles vs small? Rectangles vs square?

Thanks again. All opinions are appreciated!

P.s. cooktop is Kenmore from sears


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RE: Backsplash help please

second from the right seems a perfect marriage of the grey counter and the brown cabinets. At least it does behind the plastic bag, lol. Second choice is the one on the far left. Not sure about the squares though.

Hey, if you have a minute, go to my post about my BS choices and see what you think of that. I'm looking for opinions...


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RE: Backsplash help please

I think these are all too trendy, if that's a big concern, and a bit rustic and busy to reference the period of the house. A couple of them work okay, but they seem to go against your wish list.


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RE: Backsplash help please

I like how the one on the far right brightens up your kitchen with some light colors. The others are a bit somber and serious. Not sure that's the exact mosaic I'd use though. Can you take a close-up of that one?


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RE: Backsplash help please

Thanks again to everyone. The feedback is very helpful. I have attached a photo of another option that is lighter. Hard to tell on all of them with the plastic on. Anyone prefer this lighter choice?

And yes, I am not wanting to be "trendy" as I mentioned but also don't want it to be too dull or drab.

Deedles -I can't find your backsplash post...


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RE: Backsplash help please

What is your floor? Maybe try to tie in the floor colors as well?


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RE: Backsplash help please

My boys - I think you can be creative with your backsplash since your counter is neutral -
You also indicated you wanted to be more contemporary - If you have a chance - check out Badgergal's kitchen - she only did the backspash behind her cooktop but the vertical orientation plus color is spectacular.


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RE: Backsplash help please

Complete Tile Collection NYC Astor Blue Limestone:
 photo CompleteTilecollection_zps438c0902.jpg

Daltile (comes in large format or mosaic)

Fabrique Linen Blanc
 photo DaltileFabriqueBlancLinen_zpsf951fb52.jpg

Kimora Silk Morning Dove
 photo DaltileKimoraSilkMorningDove_zps8b848cd6.jpg


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RE: Backsplash help please

I want a contemporary look, but nothing too trendy.

All of your choices are too trendy. You can avoid it, without being dull. Pal had several good suggestions my favorite is full splash on range wall (but not counter material) and short counter material on left wall. I'm not sure what the rest of your kitchen looks like, but by not treating them the same, you would be stepping out of trendy.

What is the flooring? Pictures of the rest of the room would be nice too. Or a link to previous thread.


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RE: Backsplash help please

Again, thank you for your opinions. You're all probably right with my choices being too trendy, which I am trying to avoid. I have budget constrictions which makes my choices more limited. I was also thinking that natural stone would be somewhat more timeless then ceramic tiles but I may be way off with thinking that. I am okay with a little rustic or earth tones. What about light grey glass subway tiles? seems a little boring to me, but its what I see in lots of photos of contemporary kitchens. I don't know what matches this era of house. A 1960s ranch house is really plain and square and has no character ;)

The floor is wood in a red oak (fairly light colored). Here's a picture of the other side of the kitchen. My kitchen is very small so there's not much to show. The tambour door shown in the picture is aluminum in color (not white as it appears in this picture) and the floors aren't in yet.


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RE: Backsplash help please

I think it has a sophisticated start and I don't think it would dull or boring at all to pick something equally subdued.

Natural stone as a kitchen backsplash actually speaks pretty specifically of the last decade. If you look at pictures of the modern kitchen back to it's beginning I think you would be hard pressed to find one that had stone as a backsplash.

Back of a stone fireplace exposed in the kitchen? Chimney with a barbecue or oven built into it like they used to? Sure... but natural stone as a backsplash is a pure 2000s phenomenon.

I am not saying that it shouldn't be used, just that it really speaks to a very specific time.

I think you would end up having a really good looking kitchen that was less time specific if you chose something that was used repeatedly during the 20th, early 21st century as a material.


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RE: Backsplash help please

I like your kitchen as far as you've gotten it. Agreed that the bs will take it in a definite direction.

Here are some vintage 60s images and as usual, clicking on the image will enlarge it:

vertical skinny tile:
 photo 5456486396_fd0693b678_o_zps75751703.jpg

rectangular stone around the stove:
 photo 4276777135_34bc35d601_zps6f839545.jpg

kinda groovy but giant square/rectangle wall panel... maybe could be carried to your backsplash with the right color tiles?

 photo orange_and_yellow_60s_kitchen2_zpsbf2a2e00.jpg

a new retro look with square white tile and grey grout to match your counter? Can't say the squares alone grab me in your kitchen r/t all the rectangular elements there already.. handles, door frames and the neat tambour door. But maybe something like this in a rectangular tile with the grey grout if you want a subdued look?

 photo Retro1_zps6dcdc036.jpg

You know, ranch homes are all about low, long rectangles. Just some food for thought. Thanks for weighing in on my thread, too!

This post was edited by deedles on Fri, Aug 9, 13 at 13:13


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RE: Backsplash help please

Okay, I couldn't resist. This totally repetitious and I'm sure the colors are wrong but could you see something along these lines in a larger format tile in the colors that you like? Could be glass or have some glass?


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RE: Backsplash help please

Your choices so far are very clean and contemporary, so I wouldn't try to address the age of the house by throwing retro or vintage tiles at it. I prefer ceramic or glass--not stone. And a little something to brighten it up, like white tile, as someone mentioned above.....ahem.


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RE: Backsplash help please

What about a diamond or arabesque pattern in pale green/amber/blue mosaic?


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RE: Backsplash help please

I agree that the small glass mosaic tiles are too trendy. Friends of mine did a back-painted glass backsplash. It looks great, and they find it extremely practical. It was also a lot less expensive than I expected (about 1K for a huge kitchen). The problem may be to find someone who can do it relatively inexpensively in your area.

or really large glass tiles
/traditional-kitchen.jpg' border=0 width='320' height='214' />


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RE: Backsplash help please

Your kitchen choices are beautiful! I have cherry shaker cabs with Caesarstone Blizzard on the perimeter cabinets and Caesarstone Pebble (which is a similar shade of gray to your quartz). I chose Vihara glass mosaic tile in Puka Silk. It is contemporary, but I picked the small square format over the subway/rectangular format which gives it a different feel. Just thought I would throw it out there with the other great suggestions you have been getting!

Here is a photo of the tile with the gray quartz.


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RE: Backsplash help please

MarinaGal - You're the only other person I've seen with Vihara. Did you use sanded or unsanded grout? They scratched mine when they installed it and I'm not sure if it was the grout or if they were just careless.


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RE: Backsplash help please

I love that Vihara - I wanted it but too much with my cabinets but might work MyBoys kitchen. I needed a warmer color scheme.


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RE: Backsplash help please

Msrose, I know this is a really foolish question, but they did put your tiles up with the paper facing towards you and then removed the paper? I have heard of installers doing crazier things than that.


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RE: Backsplash help please

annalyn- Yes, that's how they did it. I figured they either scratched it when they were trying to get the paper off or when they were grouting it. I saw where someone mentioned the other day that unsanded grout should be used on glass tile, so I'm wondering if that's what scratched it.


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RE: Backsplash help please

Glass tile is almost always face mounted on paper in my experience. The paper is meant to be removed.

If you put the paper in the mastic, the mastic is stuck to the paper, not the tile, and it eventually loosens. Plus you are looking at the back of the tile install this way.


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RE: Backsplash help please

Oops...we have strayed.
Myboys1, your kitchen is absolutely gorgeous! I could see a simple glass subway tile, accenting the clean, crisp lines you already have in place.


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RE: Backsplash help please

Palimpsest, I was wondering if msrose's tile could have been put in backwards. You are absolutely correct! Hopefully her installers used non-sanded grout. I don't understand where the scratches would come from.


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Annalyn - They used sanded grout and that's why I'm thinking that may be where my scratches came from.

Myboys - Sorry about hijacking your thread. At least you've learned to ask for unsanded grout in you go with glass tiles :)


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RE: Backsplash help please

Again, thanks for all of the new photos and suggestions.

Deedles: your 60s pictures have the exact "push button" cooktop that I removed from my kitchen. Great pics! Although I can't see myself going retro like those ;)

Nosoccermom: those are the styles I like! It helps to see those pictures. I am wondering if "classic glass" in the clear, greenish coke bottle color would work with my medium brown color cabinets. I think that glass looks great with the espresso and white color but not sure about with my color. Anyone know how to photoshop that with my kitchen? Will it go with medium brown and light gray?

Marina gal: thanks for your photo and suggestion too. It's great see what others have done (especially with the same countertop)!


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RE: Backsplash help please

you mean this color green? I did subway... not sure what size/shape that you wanted. What about with grey grout?


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RE: Backsplash help please

Thanks for the photoshop Deedles! That's the general idea that I was thinking of, but the color is much less green. It is basically clear with just a slight hint of almost a minty green. I am trying to find translucent glass tiles that are light grey in color or with a very slight tint of a grey-blue. So far, no luck in finding tiles like that. I'll keep looking and thinking...


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RE: Backsplash help please

We are remodeling a 1960's ranch style home. The backsplash will go in very soon. We went with a 2x8 crackle subway tile for the backsplash and it will also have 1x4 glass tiles in it. When it is done I will post you a picture.


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RE: Backsplash help please

There are clearly a ton of options for your kitchen! It sounds like you are leaning towards glass at this point. I'm in the process of renovating a 1960's contemporary home, and I think I've gone though all of the iterations in this thread! I was initially planning to do a basic glass subway tile in a gray/green color. I found some good options at The Tile Shop--I don't have the samples anymore, but if memory calls I liked Winter. Also thought Water was pretty, but too blue for what I wanted. They look terrible on my PC monitor--it's amazing the difference a monitor makes!

http://www.tileshop.com/shop/index.aspx?cx=006213354531596860626:rnssskijiiw&q=tile&restrictBy=producttype(text)=Subway Tile,material(text)=Glass&PageSize=28

I stopped looking for backsplash for a while and chose the paint color for the kitchen (it's an Ellen Kennon color called putty). Once that was up I realized that I needed more contrast with the backsplash because the wall color was really the color I was looking for in a glass tile. So, I started looking at mosaics again.

I ended up with this Walker Zanger mosaic

http://walkerzanger.com/collections/products.php?view=mat&mat=Stone Mosaic&coll=Waterfall

I haven't installed it yet, but I like that it has just a little bit of the warm tones to tie into the cabinets from the pieces that are stone, and some shiny parts from the onyx. At least that's what my sample has. When I get back out the house in a couple of weeks I'll see if I really like it!

I do love the painted glass backsplash concept--you can get exactly the color you want. I just couldn't manage that from a distance (this is a second home).

In your mind's eye are you seeing pattern or more of a solid?

Honestly, I would go with what you love and not worry about being too trendy. All of our new lovely kitchens will be dated in 10-15 years. I'm looking at my current kitchen that was built in the late 90s with solid maple cabinets, granite counters, and travertine backsplash that must surely scream it's age. But I still like it!

Good luck--let us know what you decide!


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RE: Backsplash help please

Link below to images backpainted glass backsplash.





Here is a link that might be useful: backpainted glass backsplash


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RE: Backsplash help please

It's so beautiful and so simple right now, I really don't think any of the busier or high contrast options would do it justice. There are lots of neutral porcelains to choose from that would provide a nice backdrop for the beautiful cabinets. And they are not too expensive. If you wanted to add a little visual texture, Pal has shown some good starting places.

Looks like you have made beautiful and harmonious decisions so far. Take your time. It's going to be great!


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RE: Backsplash help please

My kitchen is similar. I chose something like this...

Here is a link that might be useful: glass tile


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