SHOP PRODUCTS
Houzz Logo Print
toxdocar

Backsplash ideas to coordinate with a not too busy granite

7 years ago
last modified: 7 years ago

So 8 years later and I am finally going to put in tile for the backsplash in my kitchen. I think (gasp-I don't remember) I have Santa Cecilia granite countertops (or something very similar). They are on the lighter side, with cream, light browns, and burnt red garnet bits. The countertops aren't too busy, however, they aren't solid in pattern either. The cabinets are dark Red Mahogany stained (blotchy-ugh). The kitchen is more contemporary in style.

I have always loved glass tiles and I think I want to go that route. 8 years ago there weren't as many options as today and I didn't find anything I really liked. I just figured I would find something eventually.

If I had a busy, swirly granite, I would easily say the backsplash needed to be a solid color. Or if I had a solid/consistent granite without much pattern, I would say I could get away with a mosaic tile. But what is the opinion for something in between??

Comments (52)

  • 7 years ago

    I will try to get a picture of some of the kitchen tonight. I am in the middle of house repairs so everything is a mess.

  • PRO
    7 years ago

    I think the small mosaics ARE too busy and this is a look that is going to be very dated very quickly. When it hits the Big Box stores, it's on its way out!

    What about painting your cabinets? That a solid glass tiles could make it look very nice.

  • Related Discussions

    Backsplash too busy? Opinions and suggestions

    Q

    Comments (3)
    Is that backsplash in the picture above the granite the same as the one you picked? Because that to me reads busy. I think the one in your bs picture also might be busy with the counters. Do you have other choices? I like the light gray glass in that sample board, do they have that? Good luck with the new house!
    ...See More

    Need help with our backsplash! Too busy?

    Q

    Comments (16)
    How did these two people impress you otherwise? I met two amazing-amazing!-designers in two different tile shops(both very upscale). It was like seeing magic. The space didn't even exist yet..I started describing it..in a very awkward way..and that lady, she just started drawing as I spoke..that was the first time when I actually saw my future bath..three-dimensional and all..and I and my DH, we kinda designed it, and talked it over with the GC, and there were blueprints, so I was supposed to know it, right? and she never heard of it even..yet she was able to show me the space that existed just in my head, and to show it better than I imagined it myself. That was incredible. I'll never ever forget it So if people who told you that..if they amazed and inspired you like this lady amazed me-then consider, of course otherwise..go with your guts:) because I've been to many many tile shops and met many people..and I remember only these two ladies. Ah, and the one I actually told you about-she also owned the shop..and couple others. 30 years in business, something like that. Maybe 40, I wouldn't be surprised. experience and knowledge of what you sell count. And I hope you did show them the kitchen..right? not only the stone? or tried to draw the plan, describe it otherwise?
    ...See More

    Backsplash too busy for kitchen?

    Q

    Comments (48)
    If you were a client asking advice I'd defer to the design rule of contrast & tension...With your choice of contrasting cabinets & a bold granite creating tension with the light wall colors & uppers, I'd wait until its all installed to pick a backsplash. Lighting changes EVERYTHING and depending on how good the slab install goes the flow of colors will affect your choice greatly. If I see correctly that you've also got wood beam ceilings that match the walnut lowers then I'd say you've already got a lot going on so my choice would be to bring in neutrality so your countertops are the stand out feature (in something like an elongated glass subway tile pulling the cream or light gray from the granite). Just keep in mind kitchens already look busy because of the appliances, countertop decor/etc, and difference in lighting because of upper cabinets and islands.
    ...See More

    Is this backsplash too busy for my countertops?

    Q

    Comments (46)
    Personally, I think subway tiles look like subways. But I digress. My GC did larger tiles on backsplash (was same surface as countertop), with a strip of tiny matching tiles 3/4 the way up the backsplash. tiny tiles were about 5 rows high. super pretty. IOWs, you might use the tiny tile as an accent on the backsplash. on the other hand my sister put in tiny tile 100% as backsplash. really beautiful.
    ...See More
  • 7 years ago

    The small mosaics are way too busy. The first pic looks terrible, and the other two with small mosaics are with close-to-solid countertops. No coincidence. If your countertop already has any movement to it, your backsplash should be close to neutral.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    You have to figure out what you like! The best way to do that is to keep on looking at images, so the good news is, you're on the right track. Keep Browsing.

    In answer to your question, the "something in between" is usually something with a little more visual complexity than a single color subway tile, but less than a multicolor mosaic. Depending on how much complexity you like, you could choose tiles of the same color with glossy and matte finishes, or tiles of very similar color laid at random intervals. Smaller tiles give you increased complexity as well. There are lots of options.

    You like glass tile. If you have experience working with it that's great. If this would be your first foray into using glass, I would recommend sticking with glazed ceramic tile instead.

    What is your tile budget in $/SF?

  • 7 years ago

    Quick question, was the blotchy staining DIY or a factory finish? You don't have to live with it. You can work on it if you like.

  • 7 years ago

    I still like small glass mosaic tile, but I prefer it in a bathroom. I think white cabinets and subway tile is what's in style right now, so it will be a trend easy to spot once it's consider dated (if and when that happens... nobody knows lol).

    Your first sample picture doesn't look bad to me. In fact, when it comes to busy granite and busy backsplash, this is one of the few that works. Of course, I wouldn't pick it, but I don't think it looks bad at all.

    I love the last two sample pictures you have shown. You just need to find a color and finish (ex- glass, glossy, matte, etc) that coordinates well with your stone and cabinets.

  • 7 years ago

    Could you find a photo online so we know for sure what granite you have? Santa Cecilia seems pretty busy and very warm-toned.

    #1 is too busy, and I think the mosaic mix you show in #2 will be too, even with matching grout to blend the shapes into a solid.

    You might get away with a quieter mosaic like this, in creams instead of gray. The mosaic pieces are all the same size to minimize pattern, and the vertical orientation makes it interesting.


    White Beachy Kitchen · More Info

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    This is about what my granite looks like. A bit lighter (like the first BS example above), but very close. Mostly cream with warm undertones, with burnt red garnet, some black, a tiny bit of a gray-ish blotches.

    As far as the cabinets go, they are custom wood cabinets that were stained a red mahogany. The wood picked up the stain too well in some places and is a bit blotchy and overall darker than I wanted. I don't want to paint them though. So I went with a lighter granite versus a darker or black granite like I originally wanted. I have a lot of tall upper cabinets (to the 10' ceiling) and all drawers on the bottom cabinets (thanks to recommendations on gardenweb forever ago; love the drawers). I would like to add satin nickel/stainless european bar pulls to the cabinets (I have gone 8 years with no handles too!). I am thinking having varying sizes, with very long ones for the taller cabinets and longer drawers.

    The second BS picture with a solid color but varying sizes of tiles would still be considered too busy?

    I do really like the 3 x 12" glass tiles if I went the subway route.... Color is a big concern though.

  • 7 years ago

    With that granite definitely something solid/not busy. I prefer one sized tile, but if you like the different sizes I think you could get away with that in a single color.

  • 7 years ago

    I totally understand if you don't want to touch the cabinets. The "un-blotching" technique I've used involved using a darker stain on lighter areas. If you're fine with it, no need to play around.

    How much visual complexity you respond to is a personal choice. The first image you showed with the multicolor mini-brick would be too much for me, but someone loved that tile and used it, and posted the image, and you responded to it.

    Tell me your tile budget in $/SF, and once we get images of your space, we can start looking for tile for you.

  • 7 years ago

    The people who are doing the renovations (replacing flooring after leaky pipe) said I will need 40 sq. ft. of tile and 2 boxes of grout. I really don't want to go overboard, but I don't have to go to cheap either. I have no idea what a respectable glass tile should cost per/sq.ft. I would say less than $15 per sq.ft. would be nice. But I would love to find something even cheaper....

    My other concern is the special requirements for installing glass tile. Is it a special thinset? Doesn't a sealant need to be applied first, etc...

  • 7 years ago

    So here is a quick pic of some of kitchen. The floor is being replaced. Drawers out to repair behind cabinet, but you can get an idea. There are two other areas but they are even in worse shape!

  • 7 years ago

    Hmm, not sure if pictures loaded...

  • 7 years ago

  • 7 years ago

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    You might check the "Finished Kitchens Blog". Unfortunately, the "Backsplash Slideshow" doesn't work, but you could use the "Find A Kitchen" function to look for Kitchens with the same or similar counters or to look at different backsplashes and see what counters people had for them.

    Finished Kitchens Blog: http://finishedkitchens.blogspot.com/

    .

  • 7 years ago

    Your granite looks like the Giallo Ornamentale Light I have on my dark cherry vanity. You will find a lot of photos with travertine paired with it because it's a granite that's been around awhile when travertine was popular. You don't want that or any warm-toned backsplash because of the cool tones of the gray floor. Try some white tiles in the larger subway format.

  • 7 years ago

    The floor is just concrete slab. The wood floor is being replaced. Two pieces of the new floor is there :)


    That name of granite doesn't sound familiar. I think it might be Santa Cecilia...

  • 7 years ago

    Would you consider a sheet glass backsplash? They are very modern, easy to maintain, no grout. It would not be a DIY though. Not sure of the pricing in your area.

  • 7 years ago

    I see orange tones in the floor which is bringing out a maroon tone in the cabinets.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Maybe it's just my monitor but is the wall painted a pale green color? I think that color looks great...maybe that color in a glass subway???

  • 7 years ago

    I think the mosaics would be too busy also. And I would do a light backsplash, with the dark cabinets and dark floors a lighter color would brighten things up.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    The wall color is a green hued neutral, but it's coming across greener in this photo. My kitchen and living room (2 story) is extremely open and the walls are painted this color. I do plan on repainting the kitchen and living room walls a darker color in the next year or so. I don't know what yet.

    The wood floors are replacing my existing timborana wood floors. This is the only brand in existence anymore, they don't make mine for import ( original timborana). These floors do have more warmth to them. I hope they change color a little bit over the next couple months. They are coming off more orange in the photo than they really are.

    I do have a rock wall in a living room right next to the kitchen. One reason why I'm thinking a light greige color in the tiles might the way to go. However the warmth in the granite concerns me with potentially clashing the undertones. If I did go with a greige color tile, what paint colors would go great with that? I know it darker grey/greige would, but I have a darker gray sectional sofa plus the gray in the rock plus I plan on maybe painting my master bedroom and very very dark grey (SW peppercorn). So I don't want grey/greige everywhere

  • 7 years ago

    WOW! Your kitchen is gorgeous!! What about a glass tile in the soft green color that is similar to your wall color? Otherwise you can go with a "safe" light color tile... I wouldn't go too dark since your cabinets are dark.

    ToxDocAR thanked User
  • 7 years ago

    Thank you mrsshayne. Still lots to do.

    I love the light blue/sea green glass subways that are out there. But they really wouldn't go with the granite or my house as a whole (so maybe I will put them in my future beach house lol).

    This would probably be too dark, but maybe something along this line? Assuming it wouldn't clash with the granite tones. Maybe a shade lighter.

    <div><a href='https://www.houzz.com/products/serene-3x12-glass-tile-prvw-vr~4148948' target='_blank'><img src='http://st.hzcdn.com/simgs/6b91e2dd01a8229e_8-3410/modern-tile.jpg' alt=''Serene' 3x12 Glass Tile' border=0 width='500' height='334' nopin='nopin' /></a></div><div style='color:#444;'><small><a style="text-decoration:none;color:#444;" href="https://www.houzz.com/products/modern-tile-prbr1-br~t_1053~s_2105"; target="_blank">modern tile</a></small></div>

  • 7 years ago

    Well, that didn't embed.

    This (a shade lighter perhaps) with the granite below. If you look closely in the granite, there are bits of color similar to this.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    This is Fireclay Tile in Gardenia shown here in a 2" X 8" tile in a stacked pattern, no offset. It's from their Foundations line that in many sizes, including 2" X 6" is $15/SF and it is handmade tile. It isn't glass, but it is very contemporary, warm, and a beautiful neutral.

  • 7 years ago

    You really must order samples and see the tile in your space in your light. That taupe-y glass looks ok with your stone, but my guess is it wouldn't look as good with your cabinets. Only one way to know for sure....

  • 7 years ago

    ToxDocAR - your sample is very pretty and your granite looks like it has small specks that match the tile.

    But as eam44 says, it is wise to get a sample because lighting and real life may be much different in person. I like eam's sample too.

    Do you have a local tile shop? Maybe pick up a couple samples and see how they look in your space.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Oh yeas, I will definitely have a sample in hand before I choose!!! The one I put and the eam44 just seem so boring though. No life or style?? I don't want to go crazy, but I would like a little ooomph... I think this granite is going to be hard to work with. Beige, grey, greige, creams are hard for me to get excited about. BUT, I don't want to put something in that I could easily get tired of with the color or that would give me difficulty in painting the walls. My kitchen and living room are completely open and take up most of the downstairs. I have to be mindful of the color choice as it would impact most of my downstairs.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Yeah....I don't find them boring, but I had a feeling you would. You can alleviate the boredom by choosing an interesting layout, a contrasting grout, or mixing in some garnet colored tiles at random. Glass tile mosaics in your price range are not plentiful, but I can keep looking, as should you. These below are from Glass Tile Oasis and are a little over budget. I find them too busy, but were you to find the background tiles and intersperse pieces of the embellished mosaic, you might have a look that works for you.

  • 7 years ago

    I had actually thought about putting in red/garnet accent pieces years ago.

  • 7 years ago

    Go look at the tilebar.com website I think you will find something you like.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Kind of like this allure, has a distinctive shape with some color but not overwhelming with the granite. It comes in different colors

    Allure picture


    Allure darker

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Turns out that I think my counters in the kitchen are Giallo Ornamental, you were right mayflowers. My bathroom seems to be the Santa Cecilia.

    So, I had a chance to go to the tile shop that the construction crew often work with (ProSource). Many, many mosaics etc to choose from, but not as many larger tiles, especially in 3"x12". And nothing made me scream "I must have you now."

    I did bring home a few samples though.

    This one sample board, Elements (maybe Bliss? brand-it doesn't say), has the 3x12" tiles that I was interested in. I am thinking the 'Earth' may be too matchy and the 'Sand', although lighter than I could ever imagine wanting, would give me the flexibility to paint the walls darker, without worrying about clashing or over matching. I would probably pair the Sand tile with a very thin grout of Oyster Gray or some other greige a few shades darker. I like the color of the darker 3x6" samples there (other brands), but that is the realm of what I was considering to paint the walls (a darker greige).


    These are on large sample boards so I am unable to put them under the
    cabs. I do have undercabinet lighting (I want change to LEDs, might have to do that now with the tile install).

    Here is part of my kitchen, try to look around the mess and construction. I have posted another thread about adding long euro-style bar pulls.

    Thoughts?

  • 7 years ago

    Rudely bumping. I need help, must decide asap....

  • 7 years ago

    I didn't see this yesterday. I suspect GW sometimes has a glitch where posts don't move to the top.

    I like Earth. Sand looks too stark white. You have so little area to tile that I wouldn't hesitate to match the paint to the tile. You have strong color in your cabinets so I think you should limit the color palette instead of introducing a pure white or another color like gray. I like the single taupe tile on the right and see some of that color in my GOL. Do you like that color with your cabinets?

  • 7 years ago

    I cannot tell from this monitor which of those three colors would look best but I think you are on the right track. Pick the one that seems to match yours best.

  • 7 years ago

    The sand isn't white ( I could never do white) but it is very light. I was thinking about going a few shades darker on grout (not dark) to help them stand out a bit, because white grout would be too light ??? Something like Oyster Gray?? Don't know if that will be too dark. I want the grout lines as thin as possible.

    The problem with the darker taupe/greige ones (the single samples) is that I don't know exactly the color I am painting, but I am thinking something similar to those. If I chose those tiles, I would have to come close to matching them so they don't clash (like a shade darker or lighter). I'm not sure if I want to limit myself like that.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Earth and sand are both fine. I love 3" X 12" tiles, but you will probably like the mosaic better. Mosaic=visual complexity that you love. You could also use a mahogany colored grout, like Polyblend's Quarry Red Clay.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I like the look of 3x12" or 4x12" tiles, brick laid. Surprising that there aren't as many choices I thought there would be. This is a terrifying situation! I am out of money and can't just rip it out if I make a mistake.

    There is a tile from a different manufacturer, Voguebay, that is called Rawsilk. It comes in 3x6 or 6x12". It looks nice. The color is between the sand and the earth. I don't know on cost, but I know it is much, much more than the Elements tiles. A herringbone pattern in the 3x6 would be too traditional in this kitchen, right. I think so....

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    It does read more traditional, and requires more tile, but you could use other bonds with different offsets. I really like a 1/3 offset and stacked tiles in more contemporary spaces.

    How much are you spending on this tile? Have you checked Floor&Decor? Their rectangular glass tiles seem to be 3" x 6" or 9" but there are other sizes as well. They usually have a great price.

    if budget is an issue, keep in mind the cost of the diamond blade isn't trivial, but you absolutely cannot install glass tile without one.

  • 7 years ago

    That was the next thing I was wondering about eam44. How I should stagger them. Assuming I will end up with 3x12".. I like the regular 1/2 brick staggered, but I think the 1/3 is nice too. I am not sure if I want to do the stacked. I think my house could use a little traditional element. IDK.



  • 7 years ago

    The 1/2 offset is fine but I prefer the 1/3 with tiles in dimensions that are multiples of three. Blame it on 15 years of mathematics education, but I think it's a more cohesive look, a little less predictable and more flowing. If you want 1/2 offset, go for it.

  • 7 years ago

    Hmm, that's an interesting argument!

    My only issue with with the 1/3 is my eye seems to follow the tiles up, like a staircase. This happens much less for the longer 3x1w though. I like both the 1/2 and 1/3. Ugh

    Also starting to think about going the Sand with Bleached wood grout. I'm starting to lose it. Never paid so much attention before on a single element!

  • 7 years ago

    Well then stop thinking about it. When the OCD kicks in, it's time to take a break....or make a sample board. That's right, you get to take an actual board (or two), lay tile on it in each layout, and grout it (no mortar, of course, and unsanded grout) to figure out which layout/grout combo you like best. It will be fine.

  • 7 years ago

    My brother did the stacked layout in a greige-y glass tile in a 2x8 size (approx) and it looks awesome with a similar granite and nicely contemporary. I think you are on the right track with pattern being the feature of the tile instead of color variation.

  • 7 years ago

    I think I am convinced to put the tiles in with the 1/3 staggered. I might pull the trigger with the Sand, 3x12"!

  • 7 years ago

    Y'all, I am crazy. I have stared at the light colored tile for over a month. I just can't make myself love it.

    I have decided to go a different route-DARK. Funny, I decided on this in one day so maybe it is meant to be. I am going to put in this 4x12 glass tile, American Olean, in Mink.

    Any suggestions on grout? Would Oyster Gray work, or should it be lighter to help bring out the depth and color of the glass tile? Such as Bleached Wood? I don't want the grout to be prominent, but I understand that grout can effect the way glass tile looks. I would have thin grout lines.



  • 7 years ago

    ToxDocAR - that's not your kitchen above, right? (At first I thought it was).

    Make a sample board of the new tile, which btw I don't read as dark at all. It's very easy! Take a scrap piece of wood (or even heavy cardboard). With double-sided sticky tape, apply your tiles. Then, mix and apply grout.

    Sponge clean, let dry a couple of days. Take pictures in place. Then, chip tiles off (I tap gently with a hammer and flat screwdriver) and repeat, with a different grout. You'll know, then, whether you like it or not. Or, if tiles are inexpensive enough, make multiple sample boards so you can compare in place. You can definitely reuse the tile.