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Backsplash design...would love your opinions

10 years ago

They are coming to template for our Corian countertops on Wednesday. I would like your opinion of taking the Corian up to the window sill (which doesn't exist yet) from the left edge of the window, which is also the left edge of the sink cabinet, all the way over to the refrigerator enclosure. The rest of the backsplash is going to be a rough faced stacked slate and it will go from the top of the 2" Corian backsplash up to the bottom of the upper cabinets.

It will be a one hole faucet and there will be about 2" of space from the back of the faucet to the wall, even less when the backsplash goes in. It will be easier to clean in that little space if I continue the Corian instead of having a small bit of the backsplash slate between the Corian backsplash and the windowsill. but I wonder how you think it would look. The window isn't trimmed out yet but the window trim will take up the whole space between the edge of the cabinet and the window on both sides.

I hope I explained that properly!! What do you think...Corian all the way up to the windowsill or 2" Corian and then approximately 3" of backsplash tile?

Comments (32)

  • 10 years ago

    You know, I think I get what you mean, but you'll be combining two materials in a tiny tiny tiny expanse of vertical surface. May I suggest you do the OB2B trick of photocopying your materials and taping them up to insure you like the look? Alternatively you could try to photoshop it.

    The corian "lip" is a look many love. I find it dated, and it makes the bs tile sitting above it look like an afterthought. I think the bs looks more intentional and planned if you simply chose one material for the whole space. Whatever you choose, I hope it comes out exactly as you wish. Good luck.

  • 10 years ago

    EAM44...I am not fond of the Corian "lip" either but it is a compromise. My husband wanted the 4" Corian backsplash and then paint. I want backsplash tile down to the counter. He usually doesn't care about design features too much but he seemed to really care about having the Corian we compromised with a 2" lip and backsplash tile above and we're both happy with the's just working out these little details. I forgot about the photocopying trick. I will do that this evening.

    The combining of 2 different materials in a small (approximately 5") vertical space is part of what was bothering me as well as the issue of ease of cleaning around the faucet.

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  • 10 years ago

    What color corian are you using? If you can post images of your materials perhaps someone can photoshop them for you. You can always take the solid surface all the way - to the window and to the bottom of your uppers.

    Gosh I love the way cabinets look before the drawer fronts go on. I wonder what that says about me?

  • 10 years ago

    Post pics of the slate & Corian. If your husband won't give, it might be better to do the 4" Corian splash & paint or do the Corian all the way up. The 2" lip of Corian versus Corian all the way up to the window with a different backsplash material on the other side of the sink both sound awkward. Do you have anyother place in the kitchen that will have backsplash.
    Pretty cabinets & that's an awesome sink.

  • 10 years ago

    This pic above is one side of the kitchen. The other side is a u-shape and will have the backsplash along the whole some places up to the top tier of the two tier bar and where we have uppers, all the way up to them. Here's a couple pics of the other side of the kitchen to give you an idea of how much backsplash there will be.
    This pic shows the end of one leg of the u-shape and how it relates to the other side of the room. Good lord look at all the construction mess!!! Please ignore the too small will be replaced.

    This pic shows the same leg of the u-shape in the above pic at the bottom and then the rest of the run and the other leg at the top of the pic.

    Here is the backsplash:

    Here is the Corian Witch Hazel:

  • 10 years ago

    Oh, ok. Have you looked at your bs tile next to the witch hazel? On screen it's not the most harmonious match, although perhaps in person it's somewhat better. The split face is going to be a little tough to clean so I'd keep it clear of your stove.

    Since you've asked for our opinions, here's mine. I'd ditch the tile, use solid surface for the entire bs as far up the wall as you like or can afford, so either 2" with only paint above, or all the way up to the uppers. Behind your stove I would opt for stainless steel.

    Let me see what I can do on photoshop.

  • 10 years ago

    I think you need to convince DH to allow the backsplash to go down to the countertop. The Witch Hazel (very pretty) has a pattern, looks to be lighter in color & is not going to disappear into the slate.
    You might end up ruining both the look of your backsplash & the look of the Witch Hazel.
    I posted a pic of another kitchen with wood cabinets, Witch Hazel & a backsplash. Envision either the 2" strip of Witch Hazel or your other proposal (to window & then to fridge).

  • 10 years ago

    Could you get the Corian lip down to 1"? I am planning on doing this in my bathrooms, because I want the solid coved corner at the transition between horizontal counter and vertical wall, not a caulk joint.

    I did this in my old kitchen with soapstone. A short 1-1-1/4" backsplash piece of soapstone with backsplash material above. It was hardly noticeable. The difference between 1" and 2" is a lot.

  • 10 years ago

    Here's a quick effort. To my eye the witch hazel alone is the way to go, or you could consider other more harmonious tile, but these two together, meh. Good luck

  • 10 years ago

    EAM...that Photoshop looks horrible...not the quality of your Photoshop skills but the materials you had to work with. It's not really a true representation of how the backsplash material looks though. There is a ton of variation in each tile...none of them look the same and they are a lot lighter in real life but even taking that into account, I'm not liking the look of the Corian lip underneath it.

    In my kitchen the 2 materials look great together but I'm only seeing the
    Corian on the horizontal surface of the counter with the slate sitting directly on it. I will try to take another pic in the space.

    We are doing stainless behind the range so no worries there. I also feel confident DH would agree to 1" lip instead of 2".

    I'm gonna go take a couple pics and be back in a few. I really appreciate the honest replies. I'm loving my choices so far and don't want to screw it up now!

  • 10 years ago

    Here is a pic of the slate sitting right on top of the witch hazel.

    And another from a different angle.

    The pattern in the Corian is subtle and I love the look of the backsplash sitting directly on it. I love the smoothness of the Corian against the roughness of the slate. I'm just not sure now about it sitting on top of a lip or if it will look right behind the sink.

  • 10 years ago

    The slate & the Witch Hazel look great together. Great choices!
    Who's installing your backsplash? I'd want to see a real mockup of the 1" lip & the slate.
    Is there any kind of moisture barrier or is caulk usually enough? Maybe there is a caulk product that provides more protection from moisture? I know I splash water behind my sink. I just have regular caulk (not grout).

  • 10 years ago

    Dcward89, I knew you were concerned about water behind the sink. Wouldn't the 1" lip be enough? Most (pretty much all) people on this forum just bring their backsplash down to the countertop & caulk. You're concern is that there isn't much space between the back of the sink & the wall? I was hoping someone who knows more about caulking might have some advice for you.
    If you can't bring the tile to the countertop, I'd do the 1" lip & not the other alternative. Although, to be honest, I'd bring the slate to the countertop & wipe up splashes.

  • 10 years ago

    Ditch the slate. It's the wrong color, wrong texture, and not really suitable for akitchen backsplash. Put it somewhere else since you love it. Just not your kitchen. Live without a backsplash entirely for a while, or do full height set on backsplas entirely of the Corian. Coving a 1'' section makes very little sense from an economic point for the dubious benefitsit provides over a bit of a tube of $6 caulk. $40-$50 a foot would be better spent elsewhere in the kitchen. Like that full height backsplash.

  • 10 years ago

    DC, I did a full height backsplash of my countertop material behind my sink and no lip anywhere else. I took about a year to find tiles I loved for the rest of the space.
    So I think full height witch hazel behind the sink is fine.
    I do have some concerns though, I am concerned 1) about your window trim and 2)general business.
    For the window trim, I understand what you are saying about it going left and right to the cabinets, but what about beneath the trim on the left side of the sink, will that be witch hazel or tile? Think that transition through very carefully.
    RE the business- I got concerned when you mentioned the stainless behind the range, it is not stainless that is concerning me per se, but the use of 3 backsplash materials. Corian behind sink, tile left of sink, stainless behind range with tile flanking.... it seems a bit much. How about full height Corian in the clean up section, then the range wall/corner with tile(no corian lip) and stainless? That seems like it would flow better to me.

  • 10 years ago

    I'm with hollysprings & localeater. The slate is very nice, but it doesn't fit with the witch hazel. Kick the lip - 1", 2", any inch - to the curb! Install the corian - which is really nice - & live with it for awhile, then make a decision on the BS later. There are quite a few posters here that go w/out BS for a long time before pulling the trigger. I can't wait to see the reveal. It looks great already. Good luck.

  • 10 years ago

    localeater...I was thinking the same thing about all the different backsplash surfaces and wondered how it would look if I do full height Corian backsplash across that whole section of the kitchen shown in the first pic I posted above. Then stainless behind the range and Corian/no lip and the slate tile sitting directly on the Corian on the 2 L-shaped sections.

    Soooo....too busy? I really thought I was settled about all this and now I'm just not sure. Gotta decide by tomorrow.

  • 10 years ago

    I didn't want to say anything since you seemed 100% sure, but I don't think the bs goes with the Witch Hazel for all the reasons Holly stated. I just don't see a color or texture relationship. I don't think a warm tile will work with the counter.

    BTW, I have natural cherry with a light colored countertop (quartz), and I think it looks great together. Cherry has been paired with black or green granite so much, and I wanted a little more contemporary feel. No backsplash yet. It's only been two years.

  • 10 years ago

    I thought I was 100% sure about the Corian and the slate together but I am the first to admit that I do not always have the best eye for color/texture combinations and usually rely heavily on my husband for help with picking out paint colors, finishes, etc.

    I am feeling a little unsettled about it now after hearing all of your opinions of the combination so I think I am going to take the advice of the experts on this board and go ahead with the Corian but wait on the backsplash for a bit. I don't want to find myself in the position of another poster who hates her backsplash after having it installed on her absolutely gorgeous counters. My DH would flip his lid if I spend all the money on the backsplash and then want to rip it out.

  • 10 years ago

    From a purely economic standpoint, sure caulk is cheaper but caulk doesn't look identical to the day it was installed ten years or more later. A cove transfers the change of plain and the change of materials out of the lowest back corner.

  • 10 years ago

    Like the slate with the cabinets. Not love. Don't like the slate with counters. At all. You need something to bridge the white and the warm. The slate doesn't have enough white in it. Maybe a white quartzite with very few honey tones in it, but it too might be too busy and fight with the counters. I'd definitely try the photocopy the Corian and put it up to see how it would look. Minimizing the number of materials in the kitchen helps to keep it better able to stand the test of time and to keep the serene vibe that the cherry and Witchazel have going. I might think about doing the whole backsplash in sheet stainless on the range run, and do the whole backsplash in Corian on the sink run.

    Edited to clarify comments.

    This post was edited by live_wire_oak on Tue, May 20, 14 at 12:34

  • 10 years ago

    I think it's a good idea to wait until the Witch Hazel is in & your doors are installed. The backspash can make or break your kitchen. Post pictures after it's all installed.

  • 10 years ago

    DC- I think some better pictures of the whole space would help us help you. :)
    I am not sure if LWO was saying she doesnt think the Witch Hazel Corian works with the cabinets- ? I like the Witch Hazel in general- I may use in my own master bath, and I think it works with your cabinets, sandalwood is a bit warmer if you wanted to look at it.
    Personally, I wouldnt go with the stacked slate tiles. Not thrilled with color, texture and even the rustic vibe seems contrary to me- perhaps, for me, it fights the modern vibe that the stainless apron front sink is bringing?
    I, technically, have three elements because behind my range is a different tile inset, glass not ceramic and different shape. It is all very low contrast though so it is very calm which was my goal. I was encourage in my own backsplash quest threads to use stainless behind the range and for my space, my goal it would have been to harsh and cold of a direction.

    From GW Photos

    Go to a big box store today and pick up one of those 30" square cheap stainless backplashes and tape it to the wall where it will be and see how it feels, or just use a big sheet of aluminum foil.

  • 10 years ago

    The reason I suggested 1", ending just above a coved corner essentially, was to create the most durable corner and to avoid a caulk joint on the horizontal--but at the same time avoiding an obvious change in materials at a point midway up the wall.

    My personal favorite is either a full backsplash or no obvious backsplash. I don't mind a short (~4") backsplash in the same material as the countertops, with "wall" above it. My least favorite is a short backsplash with a full backsplash of some other material above it (it looks like you changed your mind imo).

    For me $1000 for 20 linear feet of a solid corner rather than 20 linear feet of a caulk joint would be well worth the money over the life of the kitchen.

  • 10 years ago

    if you are going to take the corian to the fridge, then use it on that whole wall... if you put a another material from the left of the sink to the wall, it will look "uh, what happened there??"

    i love what u are trying to do with the slate and corian, but i just don't see it as being a good match...I LOVE the slate though and understand your longing to use it somewhere, i would want to too!!

    find another BS to go with the corian and please take everyone's advice and don't do the 1 or 2" lip, its just dated looking and really doesn't add anything to overall look of the counters/kitchen..and i may be wrong here but i think they will still put a bead of caulk in the joint so u will still have can always use the corian for all you BS and the SS behind the stove....i would only use 2 elements for BS, 3 is just too much...

    good luck :)

  • 10 years ago

    Have you seen grlwprls kitchen? She used Witch Hazel and has a 4'' splash and another section without. Both look great IMHO and I love the tile. Your cabinets are gorgeous!

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

  • 10 years ago

    I think one of the things that ends up missing in a lot of discussions about backsplashes, is that they are supposed to be easier to clean and more durable than a painted wall, and a painted wall is fairly easy to clean and pretty durable.

    I think the argument that a backsplash is needed because you are going to splash things on it gets a little weaker when the backsplash is stone or mosaic that is primarily ornamental and would be susceptible to stain and water absorption without sealing it.

    My gym recently updated the showers with stone tile and mosaic. They removed tile showers that were probably 60 years old. The stone requires a lot more maintenance, isn't as bullet proof as glazed tile, and, since they are used heavily, you can tell when they need to be resealed: they smell bad, like a combination of mold and mildew, and they feel slimy. I don't take showers there anymore.

    Not that this is going to happen to a residential kitchen backsplash---but my point is that a good paint would probably be just as good a backsplash from a functional standpoint as cleft stone. This sort of backsplash veers into the Ornamental category.

    As for the 1" backsplash not Adding anything to the look. I agree, but it doesn't subtract much from the look either: it's there primarily for function.

  • 10 years ago

    So I thought I would come back and update ya'll. I got home from work and my DH and I got in the kitchen and mocked up every possible combination of Corian, the backsplash slate and the stainless. To make a long story short, we ditched the slate. It just causes to many problems. Even if I could live with all the different surfaces on the backsplash, we were running into issues where the different surfaces come together. The transition from slate to Corian or slate to stainless just doesn't look good. I love it on it's own but if it doesn't play well with all the other elements in the kitchen, it had to go.

    So tomorrow they will template for the Corian and I will start a leisurely search for new backsplash tile. Thank you all so much for your feedback. Even if I didn't like it at the time, you gave me good advice and that is priceless!!!

  • 10 years ago

    You are welcome.

    Giving up something you love because it just isn't right is the brave choice, and you will be rewarded with a beautiful space. Good luck finishing up!

  • 10 years ago

    Oh, more thing - just don't pick marble tile. Nothing makes (really beautiful) faux marble look faux-er than placing it next to real marble. Resist the urge if it hits you.

  • 9 years ago

    DC - What edge did you use on your countertops? It appears soft and very attractive. I'm about to install solid surface as well, and I wanted to consider a shorter backsplash until I can do something above it, possibly a year out. Could you live with the 2" you installed for that long? If not, I'll go to a 3".

    I too have a raised bar only it is above my sink. Why is that not favored on this forum? Mine is in a pass through 42" high and 6' wide. It goes up to the ceiling. If it weren't a pass through, I would lower it to counter height. I am also going to run the countertop surface up to the bar for that 75" length, so the solid surface backsplash will be about 6" in that area only. Thanks for any input.