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chloe_s_mom

Backsplash for a busy granite: help me decide please

chloe_s_mom
15 years ago

I'm so excited to be at this point! My granite was installed yesterday (thread below) and I've been pondering backsplashes for a little while (wasn't wedded to a tile, but am now thinking that it makes sense).

Originally, I was taken by a highly impractical, but lovely, wavy tile. When I put the sample tile against my actual counter, it no longer looks as good. And the little pieces of honed marble remind me of baby Vivian's freeze dried fruit snacks.

To recap, I have a small kitchen with very dark cabinets. Given that it is small, I think that I can get away with dark everything, including a backsplash, bec the kitchen is open onto the family room as well as the eat in nook.

I seem to be heading towards a more modern style, and keep bringing home sample tiles that are in the same colour range.

I was taken by a matte, dark (matches the curtains in my family room) long porcelain tile, which I think might look good in a subway pattern (or stacked?) with hits of a small square glass tile. The porcelain tile comes in a greyish chocolate as well as a beige. Two different glass tiles appeal to me - the multi-colour, multi-material one as well as the muted beige one.

Please help! I would love suggestions, ideas for patterns as well as 'go back to the drawing board' suggestions.

Part of my kitchen with granite;

The other side of the range:

Behind the sink/butcher block:

This is the long dark tile that I'm currently taken with - maybe I can play with the number of squares? Two rows only?:

Here is the dark tile, wider format, next to the beige glass tiles:

The matte tiles also come in a beige. Sitting on a very dark glass tile.

I like the two tone wavy sample, but not the colour of the marble bits. Also, the wavy tile is not a true subway pattern and the marble bits form a checker board pattern

Comments (47)

  • lululemon
    15 years ago

    I love your granite. I prefer the darker glass tiles with it but I'm not sure how that would look with your cabinets. I also like the wavy tile but it definately competes with the granite so I don't think it's right either. Of the samples you have I like the ivory longer tiles and the beige glass subway tiles the best.

    Good luck.

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  • chloe_s_mom
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    FRan - by classic subway in ivory, you don't mean any of my samples so far, do you? Or are you talking about the glass beige subway tile?

    Lulu - re the darker glass tiles do you mean the square or the rectangular?

    Here are some more photos:

    My kitchen


    Dark matte, wider tiles:

    Wider matte beige tiles (I'll be taking the spice racks down)

  • try_hard
    15 years ago

    Chloe S Mom:

    Your granite sort of reminds me of mine. I chose a simple/plain backsplash (just a tumbled travartine) because my granite was quite busy. Here are some pictures - maybe this will help you reach a decision about your own kitchen. Good luck!

    This is one of my slabs:

    And this is my kitchen:

    I've lived in this house for a year now. I'm staring at my backsplash as I type this and I don't regret the choice I made but I do think that if I were to rip it out and start over, I would at least do some sort of decorative tile feature over the cooktop, such as putting some of the tiles on an angle or using a different pattern there. Or put the tiles on an angle and include some 1"x1" black/brown accent tiles at various places within the backsplash. We briefly considered the little glass tiles for the whole backspash but felt it might be too much when combined with the granite.

    try_hard

  • debsan
    15 years ago

    Your kitchen is beautiful. I think I'd keep it simple, but having said that I like the things you're considering. I think the wavy tile could be over-the-top, but I think the others would be nice. I agree with the opinions above. My personal preference would be for the lighter colored large subway tiles, but I think all your choices would work well!

  • granite-girl
    15 years ago

    Very confused now, but I like the lighter tiles. The beigie glass rectangle one in your last picture, first post. Make sense? maybe add the wavy glass for an accent. I'd take it all the way up & all the way up behind stove, too. Such a small space, it'll make a big impact. I think someone on here has a picture of that, and it looks really cool. Looks like same kind of glass tiles too. love the granite- what color is it?

    Here is a link that might be useful: granite countertops

  • crazyhouse6
    15 years ago

    Beautiful kitchen. Love your granite and dark cabinets.

    All beautiful tile options, but in your kitchen, I prefer the wider matte beige tiles (last one). I like the contrast between the dark cabs and granite and the lighter, simple beige. It let's your granite shine.

    tryhard - love your granite too

  • chloe_s_mom
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    I chose a Crema Bordeaux - I'm so happy with it! It has a bit of everything in it - peach, light grey (green?), burgundy, black, smokey quartz, etc

    My brain has trouble processing vertical subway style (is it called bamboo cane?), but I'm open to all sorts of ideas.

    I also duct taped the smokey glass subway tile and it looks very dramatic, very dark, and very finger-printy thanks to yours truly....

    Try-hard - awesome granite

  • ella_socal
    15 years ago

    I'd keep it simple, as well, considering the busy granite and smallness of the space. I also would keep it a lighter color -- your cabs are dark and neither your floor nor your counters are light. I really like the contrast of dark cabs with a lighter backsplash, as it sets off the cabinets nicely. And I like the glass subway tiles on the right in your last picture better than the matte -- the matte ones have a cool undertone that doesn't go with your granite imo.

  • nutbunch
    15 years ago

    For what it's worth, I absolutely love the beige small tile sheet. It's nice a lite to offset the darker cabinets. Yet uniform to not detract from that magnificent granite, and the smallness of the tiles would give visual interest looking into the kitchen back wall.

    Whatever you do, don't add a bunch of items, differentiles /glass combos. Your granite is so nice it should be the show stopper that it is.

  • ni_2006
    15 years ago

    I love the wider matte beige tiles you posted.

    Have you seen Daki's kitchen? She/he is using a nice beige tile that might work for your kitchen. (See the link for details.)

    I LOVE your granite, by the way!

    Here is a link that might be useful: Daki's kitchen

  • southernstitcher
    15 years ago

    Love love love your granite, and I agree with the others that it should be the show stopper in the kitchen. Go with the simpler lighter tiles, weather that is the subway beige or the beige glass. I'd keep it simple.

  • remodelfla
    15 years ago

    Like everyone else has said... your kitchen and granite are spectacular. I love how the matte darker tan tile with the little glass tiles look in your very first pic... it's a perfect match. However, I do agree that with your dark rich cabs, it may end up a little too dark. My issue with the beigey cream ones (whether glass, stone, or ceramic) is with the peachy colors in your stone. There is alot of peach and unless that's a color you want to highlight, I think it may make the tile read very peach. I'd personally lean toward a very light gray glass tile. Subway style, maybe 3x6, 4x8... along those lines. Simple, elegant, and a balance to all the warm colors in your kitchen. You could do the slab like Daki did (isn't her kitchen gorgeous too!) behind the stove for some drama. Though creative backsplashes are one of my favorite things to work with; I think for your particular kitchen I wouldn't introduce two different materials then the granite.

  • 59 Dodge
    15 years ago

    That Granite is Gorgeous. Had it been me, I would have done the backsplash with the same granite. I have Arandis Gold which is a busy granite too. As the kitchen is open to the family room, and the granite is lit by under couter lighting, I can sit comfortably in the family room and enjoy the granite, instead of getting up and standing over the granite or cooking or washing dishes or----Whatever "Honey Do" wife gives me (LOL).

    Gary

  • fran1523
    15 years ago

    I like the wider matte tiles in beige as well. (Missed them before.) IMHO, a beigey or ivory color would be preferable to dark and I would not add any ornaments or decorative tiles to it. Let the granite shine.

  • chloe_s_mom
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    I'm with Gary on a granite backsplash - I'd cover the whole darn kitchen in it if I could, but even the granite person thought that a full backsplash would be too much. Then again, she didn't see some of my dark tile choices either.

    I love Daki's kitchen - what I especially like is the dark wood flanking the granite. How on earth would I do that? I have thermafoil cabinets, not stained wood.

    Okay, no one (except me) likes the darker tiles - boo hoo! I'll do a mock up with the beige matte one after a trip to the store (went to a couple of stores already today).

  • remodelfla
    15 years ago

    You could get a color match stain and test stain a piece of wood to see if it would match?

    I think I like this raw linen color. They come in all sorts of sizes and I think might bring in some texture without detracting from the granite. It's a different line of thought and I'm not sure it would work.

    Oh.. it's from Interstyle Ceramic

  • daki
    15 years ago

    We have the lighter colored long tiles with Delicatus - also a busy granite. Here is what our long tiles look like in a lighter color (Neutra Tortora). I need to look through the pictures in the post again, but at first glance I liked your first picture:

    From kitchen remodel

    It's really difficult to get pictures that show both the true color and overall appearance.

    From kitchen remodel

  • pupwhipped
    15 years ago

    I'm no decorator!!! Just wanted to get that out there. You do have dark cabinets, dark granite, and dark flooring. At the very least get cardboard or something and paint it a similar color to the dark tiles you are considering. Then tape it all over your backsplash area to get a feel if you really would like a dark color there. Right now you have a light area there with the paint. It will look very, very different with a totally dark color.

  • daki
    15 years ago

    I just noticed that you've already seen my tiles :). That's what I get for not reading all the posts too closely.
    I've looked back through your pictures a second time, I still LOVE that chocolate color with the granite, but then when I another look at the picture you took from a distance, it seems rather dark and might get lost with your cabinets. The little mosaic squares might brighten it up a bit (if you don' overdo it). We cheated a little with our tile choice - the KD picked it out for us and suggested it. I loved the selection (DH took a little convincing but liked it after it was installed) :)

  • yosarajo
    15 years ago

    I really like the beige glass subway tiles. I think it those wavy tiles would look good in between as a border of sorts.BTW where did you get those wavy tiles at? Your cabinets are dark, and your countertops are so rich looking, I would opt for the beige for a cooling effect.

  • chloe_s_mom
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Daki - do you mean the dark glass tile or the matte chocolate tiles?

    Okay, I tried my hand at a mock up of the light matte tiles, and the chocolate matte tiles, with small hits of the glass. DH really doesn't like the beige, says why bother, when you can just paint instead. I've discovered that in the evening, I love the super dark glass subway tile, as it matches the cabinets and acts as a mirror.

    Bec of seaming, would a full granite backsplash leave a lot to be desired?

    Another alternative, DH suggested that we simply get some melamine in the same colour and do as Daki did, framing some of that awesome, picture like, granite....

    I considered mirror today, but realized that it would probably reflect the mess of hidden wires for the under cabinet lighting? Also, a mirror behind the stove might look odd - I put up a couple of small mirrors only to discover that all it showed was a headless torso cooking at the stove.

    Remodelfla, I'll check out their info - thanks!

    Yosarajo, DZN concepts makes the tile. Minimal info on the web. Groutless, I am told!

  • 59 Dodge
    15 years ago

    In case some of you are wondering what a granite backsplash looks like, this is mine, along with "The Boss"

    Gary

  • chloe_s_mom
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Ummm, I don't see anything Gary?

  • colleenkay
    15 years ago

    I think with a really busy granite you should go with a simple backsplash. With your dark cabinets I believe that a cream or ivory (whichever is closest to the light color in your granite) in a subway tile would look really nice. OR if you really want glass the honey colored subway would look good. If you do a cream or ivory subway tile you could maybe use a 1x1 dark brown glass or whatever the darkest color you notice the most in your granite is, in some sort of accent above your cooktop. There are so many cool tiles out there, but you need to do what will look the best with your awesome granite. Look in the latest kitchen magazines, they really help to get an idea. If you want a dark backsplash, a good way to see what it will look like is to get colored paper and tape it on there. A package of construction paper or some scrapbooking paper is a lot cheaper to tape up there then to put expensive tile up and realize you dont like it. I would do that whole area. Try it with light paper too. It could help with your decision.
    Good Luck and I would love to know what you pick.

    Colleen

  • 59 Dodge
    15 years ago

    oh oh, I better reads up and find out how to post pictures.
    I dragged and dropped one in here, (not a huge MB one) but it didn't work.
    Sorry bout that!!!

    Gary

  • sailormann
    15 years ago

    I think a grayish glass tile would look best. Personally I would look for glass (or similarly refractive) subway tiles in a gray that is a half-tone lighter than the general colour of your granite...beautiful stone BTW

    :)

  • chloe_s_mom
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    I think that the beige in the granite is actually a peach....hmmmm....

    Gary, no worries, took me a while to figure it out. I've had success uploading to photobucket (others use flickr etc), then pasting the info that starts with

  • remodelfla
    15 years ago

    I was doing a google for another thread on virginia mist granite and came across marble.com website. They have a 14 page kitchen gallery that has amazing real kitchen pictures. I came across one with a granite very similar to yours. The cabs are much lighter but they did a full granite backsplash. It can help give you an idea what it might look like on yours.

    Go through their site... it's awesome. Can't believe I never saw it before!

    Here is a link that might be useful: cool granite website

  • PRO
    puertasdesign
    15 years ago

    from out in left field...

    I love the way your butcher block looks so much. I wonder how it would look as a backsplash.

  • kitchendetective
    15 years ago

    I'd use a slab of your granite behind the cooktop, from counter to upper cabinet, as wide as the cooktop or a bit wider. Then I'd use the wavy, cream or mid-value deeper, glass for the rest, also from counter to uppers. (Disclaimer: I'm not one who believes there should be only one WOW! factor in a room and my own kitchen would not be a GW favorite, had I known about GW when I designed it. Also, I would love ceramic tile in your backsplash, but I rarely see GW suggestions for it.)

  • chloe_s_mom
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Remodelfla - awesome site - thanks! I do like that look. And thanks Rob, I went digging in my garage for a left over piece of butcher block, and found some scrap stair nosing from my hardwood (very dark - see a theme? - oak). I'm now thinking of a couple of new options:

    1. as Kitchendetective suggests, a fabulous slab behind the cooktop, and à la Daki, dark oak flanking it, and running as a 4 inch moulding for the rest of the counter?

    2. granite everywhere (including up the fridge - just kidding - hate my stainless though...)

    3. granite 4 inch backsplash, then full slab behind the stove. I would perhaps use a dark oak cap to the 4 inch granite, and up the sides of the cooktop slab, for balance.

    Here are some amateurish photos, using my stair nosing. I still think that the dark forces the eye down to the countertop, which would make me happy.

    Of course, I've made a right mess of my drywall, taping the tiles up. Oh well.

    I was thinking that the side wood would be in line with the cabinets, but I didn't want to cut the stair nosing for this mock up.

  • mahatmacat1
    15 years ago

    Of all the pics so far, one of them strikes me as pretty close to perfect wrt variation of tone and texture in the context of the cabinets and countertop: I'd say use the lighter toned long horizontals with the glass accents (top pic at 20:40).

    I don't usually like field tiles with accents (they seem to add up to less than their individual parts), but that combination literally made me do a double take. I also second the idea of a solid piece of the same granite behind the cooktop. I got a piece of stainless for behind the range, and I'm *all* in favor of no grout behind cooktops (not popular here, but I sure do love it when it comes time for cleaning). Besides, that granite deserves to be seen head-on :)

  • 59 Dodge
    15 years ago

    ok Still cant figure out how to add a picture here, but click the link below it will take you to pictures of my kitchen and also family room.
    The URL directs you to the gallery section of this web-site.
    Just click "Next" to see the next picture

    Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen with granite backsplash

  • chloe_s_mom
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Gary - success! Awesome pics, awesome granite (what kind is it? a juparana?). And what a fabulous fireplace surround - a marble?

    Flyleft, thanks for weighing in - you've helped me over on the decorating forum too! (retro chandelier etc).

    Okay, I'm still leaning towards a big piece of granite behind the cooktop. I went to Home Depot to try to find oak to flank the granite piece (like in Daki's kitchen) and came home discouraged. The piece that would go behind the cooktop would be 3 cm thick - thicker than most bits of wood, and we'd have to get creative etc.

    And if I tile, without a wood border, the tile would be much thiner butting up against the granite piece.

    I must admit that I feel a bit discouraged. In person, the granite is not a grey as the photo - lots of peach, and the more golden beiges go nicely with it. it is also hard to visualize this tiles without grout, as grout can change everything.

    I did notice that in the marble.com kitchen gallery, I was most drawn to kitchens where the backsplash matched the upper cabinets, so that the countertop popped. Of course, most of those kitchens had white or cream cabinets.

    DH feels overwhelmed with choices, and I think that he'd like to simply move on to the next major decision.

    I'm going to go and try the garage again, in search of scrap butcherblock.

    I wonder if I should play up on the red in the stone - though I do have a shiny red kettle on the counter.

  • sara_ct
    15 years ago

    A neighbor of mine had a wicked busy granite countertop- 2 shades of grey, white, black & pink- plus dark cherry cabinets above. She went with backpainted glass, not tiles, in a muted sandy-pinky-beige, custom color. She said it weren't too expensive for a pretty large area, including tempering a panel behind the stove & cutouts. She only has 3 or 4 seam lines in a clear silicone. It calms the granite & brightens the cherry.

  • chloe_s_mom
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    No luck in the garage. Too crammed full.

    Sara, funny that you should mention the backpainted glass - I had been just searching on it, along with 'peach glass'!

  • charlikin
    15 years ago

    Hmmmm...the granite is gorgeous. But I think it would be too much to use it for the backsplash too. As for a dark-colored tile - well, at least for my taste, it would all be too dark. Your cabinets are beautiful, the granite is stunning and has such lovely lighter tones in it. I would try to pick up those tones in a glass or marble tile. I love the long subway-ish tiles (like the 2x8). Marble or glass both have such beautiful tonal variation, even in a beige or gray, there would be plenty of subtle variation to keep it interesting, yet not compete with the granite.

    I know you're drawn to the dark tile, but I think the overall effect would be too dark *and* it would compete with the granite. I think you want something that blends with and enhances the granite.

    HTH. I know how hard these decisions are. (Heck, I still can't pick a paint color.)

  • buddyrose
    15 years ago

    hi. yes I have crema bordeaux granite. my kitchen has bisque glazed maple cabinets. And I haven't done a back splash yet myself. My kitchen is a small galley that faces north so I don't want to put up a dark tile. But I just bought a small cottage and now am throwing my time and money into renovating it. I'm posting another photo here just to show you the granite. I made sure the vein running down this counter wasn't cut out. The fabricator said most people wouldn't want it. It's why I bought this slab. LOL

  • 59 Dodge
    15 years ago

    Yes The granite is a juparana. It is called "Arandis Gold".
    The surround around the fireplace is Onyx.It is a stone that light actually passes thru so I have it backlit with Xenon lamps.It is actually tiles but without grout, our old kitchen was tile with the grout so at this time in my life I am "Grouted Out". We have had the granite with the granite backsplash for 3 years now, and never get tired of looking at it, In fact I can truthfully say, "We have never seen a kitchen with a backsplash that we like better---but of course that is just our tastes--U havta do what works for You. Some body commented that it could make the
    kitchen too busy or something similar, we just have never feelt that way, sooooo nice to have it backlit, sit in family room and enjoy it.

  • skimchi
    15 years ago

    OK, Chloe_S_Mom and try_hard, Please let me know the name of your granite selections are! I am weeks into a total house remodel and my contractor will put me on a hit list if I don't find/buy granite this week! Please help!

  • chloe_s_mom
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Sorry, skimchi, for taking so taking so long to answer - it is a Crema Bordeaux.

    Just thought that I would thank everyone for taking the time to help me in my decision - much, much appreciated!

    I went to the granite store today and ordered a piece to go behind the stove - picked a piece that has a big splotch of the peachy coloured bit as well as the burgundy waves. I've ordered a custom bevel to match that of my cab doors, on three sides (top near the fan and then the two sides).....and to be able to accomodate the CHOCOLATE coloured matte tiles nicely. Sigh, yes, we went with chocolate. DH really really didn't like the cream, so I tried out the skinner 2 x 12 chocolate tiles behind the sink - interspersed with 2 x 2 of the little glass tiles.....and we love it!!! So I tried to be higher end, changed up the pattern, and gave it a go on the shortest of the L shaped backsplash walls....with a bit less success.

    The colour of the tile reminds me of hot chocolate. Maybe I'll tire of it by summer, and given the skills of the person who applied the tile (me), we'll be able to simply pop off the tiles and try something else :)

    I'll post photos in a couple of weeks, once the granite is in and the tiles are on!

    Again, thanks to everyone for sharing their opinions - it helped us truly explore our likes and dislikes!

  • winkwink
    15 years ago

    I realize I'm late to the game and that you've already made your choice. I love your kitchen and especially your wall accessories. A question: were the little glass tiles Bali Beige from AKDO by any chance?

    I look forward to seeing the finished product!

  • chloe_s_mom
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Do you mean the lovely 1 by 1 beige glass tiles? If yes, I didn't notice their name (aweful, I know), but spotted them at Home Depot! That particular colour also came in the 2 by 4 glass subway tile. Next time I'm at HD, I'll see if I can find their name

  • boxerpups
    15 years ago

    Hi Chloesmom,
    I love your granite. What a lovely treasure you
    found. I can't wait to see the final pictures.
    Boxerpups

  • 59 Dodge
    15 years ago

    You gonna luv it behind the stove, so gorgeous to look at whilst ya burning dinner (LOL), and soooo easy to clean.

    Gary

  • chloe_s_mom
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Boxerpups - you're too kind!

    Gary, don't jinx me - I'm cooking on a gas range for the first time - burning is in my future!

    Okay, so when I came home yesterday, my first thought was, gee, the kitchen is dark.....and that's with one wall tiled only.....Actually, the whole house is dark and looks better in the evening, when all the lights are on. So I'm thinking that I've made the wrong colour choice for the tiles. Crumb!