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Calacatta marble subway tile backsplash question please

13 years ago

Hello again again again and again! :)

How common is it to order marble tile from a local place that has a good-looking pallet, but then to have to have someone cut it to subway size if it only comes in 12" squares, as well as hone it for you if you want it honed (if you don't want to do this yourself, which I don't)? Is that too picky and most people wouldn't go through all that? My contractor doesn't prefer to cut it himself.

If you have time to kill (haha yeah right), please read on...

I've been given very specific suggestions by salespeople as well as members of this online community. Please correct me if I'm mistaken about anything.

1. I want a light-colored, subtle marble that has a little grey and a little tan in it but doesn't have too much movement - is more white with the occasional light streak of color than grey overall. I've been told the most appropriate type of marble - at least that's easier to come by - would be honed calacatta. I've also been told "statuary" however I can't find it so no biggie since calacatta might be good enough.

2. I've read online and been told that if I'm concerned about some of the tiles being too "busy" looking, I should order more than I need so that I can pick out the non-desired pieces, and that I should also order it locally so that I can look at several pieces from a particular pallet to insure that for the most part - within reason - that pallet has the look I'm into. Yes?

3. The way I plan to use the marble, is to have subway tile backsplash. Most of the pieces that can be bought are already cut into 3x6 sizes, however the only local companies that sell it this way either have ugly pallets in (VERY bright and busy looking pieces with lots of movement), or else are light and subtle but have corners which are broken looking (not nice clean edges) and they want you to accept that more "rustic" look (e.g. GBI). The only local company that has an attractive pallet of calacatta marble tile, only sells it in 12x12" tiles, and they're glossy (not honed). Since I prefer 2x6" sizes anyway, I could at least get the size I really wanted in the first place.

4. The company sells these tiles for $16.60 SF retail, and I can get the contractor price through my contractor though I don't know what that would be. I think at least a few bucks off that per SF. The company doesn't cut or hone tile for us but gives a big list of fabricators who can. While I admit I haven't called them yet, since it's a weekend, the tile company suspects they'd charge between $4-8.00/SF to hone it. They don't know how much it might cost to cut it. My backsplash area is a little less than 21.75 SF.

5. The company (a man who seems to be honest and know what's what) suggests - based on what he and I saw in the pallet - that I might need to order 30% more than I actually need, to get rid of all the crazy dark parts. That said, he also said I could buy less than 30% extra and have put on hold more from that pallet, in case I need more later. That makes a lot of sense, although I don't want to have to pay the fabricator person twice as I'm sure it would cost more than getting it all done at once. Hmmm.

Is all this crazy of me? I definitely don't want to end up with backsplash tiles that make me unhappy to look at, and I'm very impressed with the classy yet non-nousveau-rich/Donald-Trump look of others' carefully cherry-picked marble subway tiles. :) I'm afraid all this could end up costing in the neighborhood of $550-600.00/SF (who knows how off my calculations are).

Throwing out a curve ball here, but: if you were going for the period kitchen look, and were getting a stainless countertop w/ white Shaws farm sink in the middle and original old white-painted cupboards on either side of the sink, what backsplash would you choose for a 1913 house besides marble subway? I've also thought of simple white or ivory minibrick but that might be too modern looking...and might be too much white for all the white cupboards and white trim on the windows above the sink.

Thank you and sorry for writing a book. See link below to picture of my kitchen as it is now...

Here is a link that might be useful: Just an idea of the countertop/backsplash location...

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