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Designing my Backsplash

Posted by shmeal (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 5, 12 at 13:18

They are painting this week, which means the cabinets go in next week which means we are "This Close!" to countertops and finishing.

I've been waffling about our backsplash and could use your opinions.

We are putting Hanstone Tiffany Grey on our perimeter counters and Cafe Creme granite on our island.
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Our fabricator has offered to include a matching 6" quartz backsplash. We are at the point in our budget where not paying anything extra is very welcome. However, I keep going back to the idea of adding a tile backsplash just behind the cooktop. This is partly to add just a little pizzaz to the kitchen and partly to help with the inevitable splashes and splatters that we make when cooking.

I've looked at Houzz, I've looked on here, I've done Google searches and haven't found anything similar to what I'm thinking about. I don't know if that means I'm crazy or innovative. ;)

The first option is my favorite (if I can just convince myself to bite the bullet and go for it). Stop the 6" quartz backsplash at the cooktop, add a nice tile all the way up to the hood, then continue the 6" backsplash the rest of the way around the kitchen.
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The second option is to install the 6" quartz backsplash everywhere and then add the tile above that. The advantage of doing it that way is I have lots of time to look for the right tile and could possibly even tile the whole back wall above the quartz backsplash. This is the option I have seen a lot online. (sorry the image only shows the tile above the cooktop and not extended along the whole wall).
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The third option is to just go for the simple straight, quartz backsplash and use a good scrubbable paint above the backsplash.
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I could also just wait and not install a backsplash at all, save my $$ and do a full tile backsplash down the road.

I don't know what I'm asking really...Maybe I just want reassurance that I could go with #1 and it would look okay, or maybe I need to hear emphatically that I need to step away from #1 because it is a crazy idea.

If it helps, I don't like super busy backsplashes. I like things simple and clean. I end up with enough clutter in my life that I don't want it on my backsplash. But I can be a messy cook and would like an easy clean surface behind the cooktop.

I haven't looked in person for tile, but I'm sure I could find something nice. In fact, I'd love any suggestions if you have them. Our little town has two very small tile shops and the two large big box stores.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Designing my Backsplash

Your first two options are good ones. Have you considered that, over time, the area above the range will be where airborne grease and discoloration will take place? If you use tile there, the grout joints may become maintenance headaches. If it were me I'd install a one-piece something, whether stainless steel, a matching color of corian, or something similar. Good luck! I


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RE: Designing my Backsplash

I'd skip the 6 inch piece. the perimeter counter is so neutral that it would be worthwhile to take an appropriate tile right down to the counter.[they usually offer 4 in anyway-never heard of a 6 in high piece running along like that]. Look through Florida Tile or DalTile on line-they have good imagery....I think a good tile that works with your choices would be pretty easy to find....you could get some samples sent.


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RE: Designing my Backsplash

Thanks for your responses.

virgilcarter-your point about keeping the grout joints clean is a good one. I had considered the grease buildup in that area and that's one of the reasons I started considering adding tile here. I've thought about having the quartz backsplash extend up to the hood but DH thinks that it looks too dark and too boring. Our kitchen is open to the main floor living so he wants something more interesting and "pretty" to look at than a slab of matching quartz.

herbflavor-I told the fabricator right off that I didn't want the 4-inch piece as I felt it was too small to be effective and a bit dated. My initial thought was to go with a full tile backsplash. They suggested the 6-inch piece as an option. When we realized it fits perfectly under the kitchen window on the adjoining wall we thought that was a really good simple option.

Thanks for the suggestions of where to browse online. I know where I'll be during my grandson's nap. :)


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RE: Designing my Backsplash

Hi Shmeal,

We have that same Cafe Creme Granite in our kitchen, and Love It! I know it's hard to keep spending money, when all the remodeling is so expensive, but I think in the long run you'll regret putting up a 4 or 6 inch backsplash. I think it would make your kitchen look less nice than it probably is (more like an apartment kitchen). Sorry if that sounds snobby. Also, you might not be able to easily pull it out if you decide to do a full backplash later.

You didn't say what your cabinets look like, but there are a lot of fairly inexpensive options in machine-made tile, that would enhance the visual appeal without costing a fortune. The backsplash is so close to eye level - it makes a big impact on the overall look of your kitchen. Some tiles can be installed with thin grout lines, so it doesn't have to be a big deal to maintain. Or you could do a sheet of stainless steel behind the stove for a "profession working kitchen" look.

If you're at the end of your budget, you could just leave the wall above the counter painted and add the backsplash later - plenty of people do that. Then you'd also have more time to decide what you want. Just my two cents...


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RE: Designing my Backsplash

Hi Shmeal,

We have that same Cafe Creme Granite in our kitchen, and Love It! I know it's hard to keep spending money, when all the remodeling is so expensive, but I think in the long run you'll regret putting up a 4 or 6 inch backsplash. I think it would make your kitchen look less nice than it probably is (more like an apartment kitchen). Sorry if that sounds snobby. Also, you might not be able to easily pull it out if you decide to do a full backplash later.

You didn't say what your cabinets look like, but there are a lot of fairly inexpensive options in machine-made tile, that would enhance the visual appeal without costing a fortune. The backsplash is so close to eye level - it makes a big impact on the overall look of your kitchen. Some tiles can be installed with thin grout lines, so it doesn't have to be a big deal to maintain. Or you could do a sheet of stainless steel behind the stove for a "profession working kitchen" look.

If you're at the end of your budget, you could just leave the wall above the counter painted and add the backsplash later - plenty of people do that. Then you'd also have more time to decide what you want. Just my two cents...


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RE: Designing my Backsplash

You didn't say how big your island is, but perhaps from your slab of cafe creme granite you could also get a piece for your stove backsplash(from counter to hood). That would look lovely and not be too dark to address your husband's concern. You could skip the 6" backsplash, still protect the stove wall, and do nothing anywhere else for a while.


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RE: Designing my Backsplash

Unfortunately, I don't see the image on line, but on the back of the Sep issue of Connecticut magazine is a wood mode ad that I noticed has an unusual backsplash.

They have off white cabs with very dark granite. They ran one row of 6x12 tile the long way around the backsplash which they topped with a fancy chair rail wood trim. Painted above that. Over the cooktop (which is boxed in, down to the counter top) they did the same on the sides of the boxes, but ran the tile all the way up the back.

Perhaps you can go to a library or a magazine store and find CT magazine or a similar publication that may have run the ad. The walls are painted almost kelly green and the room is lit with lantern style fixtures.


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RE: Designing my Backsplash

I like option 1. I too prefer the simple lines without grout lines on my backsplash. I would be tempted to look at the option of taking the backsplash material all the way up behind the stove only (although tile could create a nice focal point there).

The 6" backsplash is really easy to get off if you decide to tile at a later time. You wreck the drywall doing it but it is very easy to replace that piece of drywall if necessary and then tile right over the mess you created!


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RE: Designing my Backsplash

Thanks for all your comments.
abbeys is there any possible way you can post a picture of your kitchen with the Cafe Creme granite?
localeater, that is a very interesting idea. I am going to mull that over for a while. Our island is 6x5-1/2', we are also cutting the powder room sink out of our slab, but I'm sure we would have enough left for a 3'x30" section above the cooktop.
AnnieD - I can imagine that look and the simpleness of it appeals to me. If we do end up going with option #1 I will look into framing it out with a chair rail. That will be cheaper than having our cabinet maker build a couple of corbels for the wall (this is what DH wants to do if we add a tile inset between the quartz splash).
hags00, I'd actually considered this as an idea, but as it turns out DH is not a fan of putting the quartz on the wall at all. He has never liked the idea of using it in the area above the cooktop which is why I didn't include it as an option and I just found out he doesn't even really like the idea of using it as a 6" splash. He finally admitted last night that he doesn't want to use the quartz on the wall at all, so color me surprised. He's never mentioned that before in all our conversations but since he cooks as much as I do he needs to be happy too.

He said he would be okay with it as the 6" splash, IF that's what I really want, but he'd rather install a full tile backsplash. Whey did he wait till now to say that?

Paint is going much slower than I expected so that gives me a week more to breathe and to consider what the important areas of focus are for me and what the ultimate look is that I really want.

In the process of trying to figure out what was really important to me, I realized one of the reasons I really like the 6" splash is that it fits perfectly between the kitchen sink and the window. This has always been an area of concern for me and I didn't want to leave it open to splashing water while we looked for and installed the tile, so that was a big reason why I kept hanging on to the 6" matching splash. Then I found this image on BHG. I REALLY like how this looks.

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This is my new inspiration picture for the backsplash. It's a perfect compromise between what I want and what DH likes. The layout is similar to ours except the window wall is the short one in our kitchen.

This conversation has helped me realize that I've narrowed my decision down to two options. #1, use the 6" matching quartz splash, with either a matching piece of granite from the island, or tile inset above the cooktop, or #2, use the inspiration pic and start the hunt for tile.

DH loves #2 and I'm strongly leaning that way.


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RE: Designing my Backsplash

Not the same pic, but the same kitchen as I mentioned above....looks like the "rail" is a tile rail.


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RE: Designing my Backsplash

What is it in your new inspiration picture that you found? Is it the countertop going up to the window sill, only behind the sink and under the window? If yes, that is what I am thinking of doing and there are several other pictures in this thread.

Here is a link that might be useful: backsplash behind sink


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this forum rocks!

Thanks for finding that picture AnnieD. That is a lovely kitchen. It will be nice to show this to DH as he is a very visual decision maker.

localeater, yes, Sorry I didn't clarify better. What I like in the last image I posted is the countertop material going up to the window sill, just behind the sink. Thanks so much for the link to your thread. It was very helpful to read through and look at the included images. I have not been paying attention to the forum much this summer (partly we were too busy traveling and building and partly because I had to step away from the forum as I needed to focus on the whole house and not just the kitchen). Your granite is so beautiful! I hope you have been able to find a slab.


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RE: Designing my Backsplash

In my opinion, unless you love the look of a 6" backsplash that matches your counter, just go without until you find a tile that appeals to you. If you just love it, then do whichever design you'll like most in the long run. Personally, I like the 4-6" matching backsplash in bathrooms, but not as much in kitchens. I also don't mind having just the 4" but nothing above it ever and no over the range detail. But, that's just my personal opinion. We may have completely different styles/preferences.


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RE: Designing my Backsplash

Hi Shmeal,

I just saw your post requesting pics of our granite. I've never posted photos before, but I'll give it a try. Also, we had the same issue with the window going close to the counter-top behind the sink. We used a row of our backsplash tile under the sink ledge. (This is a good place to make sure the tile people are talking to the GC and coordinating the finished look). I'll try to post a photo of our's so you can see it.


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RE: Designing my Backsplash

Hi Shmeal,

Here is a photo. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. Hope it helps!

Here is a link that might be useful: CafeCremeGranitecounter


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