Need Help With Kitchen Backsplash!
bkdoshiAugust 9, 2012
Hi!

We just bought a new condo in SF and want to redo the backsplash (used to have big 12x12 tiles that matched the granite). It's a galley kitchen with cherry floors, white cabinets, stainless steel appliances with the exception of an antique white stove (that may or may not last that much longer).

The rest of the house is painted with a gray/neutral theme (bm thunder, revere pewter, hearthstone gray, etc.) We have yet to paint the kitchen (waiting until we pick the backsplash) but will probably use something in the gray family (with maybe an accent wall for color).

The granite is gray, black, and a pinkish/beige. We are having the hardest time figuring out what goes with it (we don't love it but don't want to change out the counters either).

We are thinking gray glass subway tile but need some serious design help. Any colors or links or pics would be MUCH appreciated.

The pics attached show the raw wall. We just removed the old backsplash, hence the need to figure this out soon!

Thanks! What a great site. We love it and can't wait to contribute pics when our place is done.
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bkdoshi
Another pic for reference
    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 3:58PM
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Emily Hurley
Fun project! Love the stove, btw. I found a few photos that seemed like fun backsplashes. I think you can even do a plain white one that might effectively elongate the cabinets down to the counter.

Kitchen

Amoroso Design

Miller Kitchen
    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 4:09PM
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bkdoshi
Thanks Emily. Great pics. Our issue is that since we don't love the existing granite, we thought going all white might take attention straight to the counter. What do you think?
Also, we really like mosaic pattern, but again the granite is so busy itself and (if we're being honest here it's pretty ugly :) ) that the mosaic and other patterned backsplashes looked like too much. I wish we just had a solid color countertop!
    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 4:20PM
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bkdoshi
Here are some pics of the kitchen "before". As you can tell, it gets some nice light during the day (although my pics are from at night so it looks dark)
    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 4:51PM
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betsyweisberg

bringing in blue or aqua in the tile will diffuse the pink in the granite and look stunning.
3 Likes    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 4:59PM
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black2932
Stainless steel backsplash could look good!
1 Like    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 7:03PM
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stkaylor
Oh.My.Gosh. I think you have my granite! (Bless your heart.) I've had the devil's time deciding on a backsplash myself but have settled on tumbled marble subways interspersed with 1"x2" black glass mosaic tiles. Just randomly scattered. But I have stained pine cabinets so I need to keep it light. (Yes--Bless MY heart!) I'll have to check back for your 'afters'! Good luck!
1 Like    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 7:33PM
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Kristi Dodson_Skinkis
This is a site that I like: http://designinabag.com
On the right side of the page are links: modern, classic and vintage.
If you click on them there there are tile combinations. It helped me to see things together.
    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 8:30PM
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PRO
Staged for Perfection
I love Betty Weisberg's idea!. To make it even more fabulous you can do glass tile which is so much more luminous,
    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 9:32PM
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MaryEllen Kowalewski Architect
I agree that you do not want to compete with the granite, but at the same time you do not want to install something so simple that all you see is the granite. I would look at installing a solid color three-dimensional tile as one option or as another option pick a color palette and install varying shades of this palette with the possibility of running the tile in the vertical direction rather than the horizontal direction. Here are a few images of of each example. I would choose either white or gray as my color palette.
4 Likes    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 12:42AM
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MaryEllen Kowalewski Architect
Here is the last image in gray. These tiles are all from Heath Ceramics.
    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 12:42AM
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Vikrant Sharma Homez
I'd suggest go for Corian by Dupont its a versatile product and can be post formed .
    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 3:09AM
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inkwitch
Love MaryEllen's tile, but it may be a bit busy with that countertop, which has a lot of motion. If you choose a pattern, as opposed to a solid color, it's going to compete with that granite (?). I like your idea of pale (?) gray glass subway tile. Avoid a "pink" tone to the gray if you don't want to accent that in the granite, but if you choose a "yellow" gray, it will also emphasize the pink. (Opposites in the color wheel accent each other.)

Buy tile samples before you commit and look at it a couple of days. It's worth it to get it right. Good luck!
    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 3:14AM
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alex511
There is a tile called Milky Way White. I cannot figure out how to attach pictures from Houzz, but you can do a search for photos for "Milky Way tile" and you will see photos of it. I considered putting this in my kitchen but went with something else. I ordered a sample, and it is gorgeous. It's not a solid color, but the variations are minimal, but enough to add interest, in my opinion.
    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 3:39AM
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bkdoshi
Wow thanks for all the great tips. We found this tile last night that we like. Looks lightish gray in person. We thought about putting a strip of a fun mosaic or darker gray to break it up, but might just keep it simple. What does the community feel about accent strips? (maybe some 1x1 tiles)

also, we didn't realize there are a hundred grout colors now. we might go quartz white for more of a dramatic effect or gray to match the color scheme.
2 Likes    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 7:31AM
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the_misfit
I like the tile you found! I am late to the party, but I was going to suggest this: http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202101834/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=merola+lantern&storeId=10051. Has a bit of visual interest but it's just one color. I can't tell from the pictures whether it coordinates well with the "pink" in your granite, but if so, it might help to anchor the pink tones to the more familiar terra cotta color.
    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 7:55AM
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mfheryford
My suggestion would be to replace the granite counter right by the stove with something else. Why work with a counter top you do not like and then try and get tile to go with that? Even tiling that small area will be expensive, so you may want to split the difference and find something for the counter top that you love and match tile to something beautiful. I think given how interesting your stove is you can make this a focal point of the kitchen and it doesn't have to match everything else. It can also be an inspiration down the road if you are considering getting rid of the granite elsewhere. I am a big believer in only living with what you love. You could sell the granite piece on Craig's list to try and recoup some of the cost of replacing it. Just a thought. And for such a small space, you can go to a "bone yard" or the remnants area of a granite store and ask to see the left over pieces from other jobs. You could get something great for not much money and just do this one small area and make it a true focal point of your kitchen. Good luck!
2 Likes    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 9:01AM
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PRO
StoneMar Natural Stone Company LLC
I am not the hugest fan of accent strips, especially in such a small area as the backsplash. I think you will get more effect by using just the grey tile with a contrasting lighter grout.
    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 9:08AM
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nasafemme
You might try a simple subway tile the same color as your cabinets so there's continuity in your vertical surface. Accent with color to pick up your granite or vary the shape to add some visual interest. I prefer a clean and non-busy look, but I get that a lot of people would find it boring.
2 Likes    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 9:12AM
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ct design studio
If you go with the glass bricks I would say keep it simple and no liner or decos. I also think you'd do well with a light gray stone, it would have some variation but wouldn't be busy and would be a softer transition between the white cabinets and dark granite (like the cabinets in white :) You could do a larger scale pattern but keep it all in one material. To give you an idea of color I like the shadow color here: http://jeffreycourt.com/chpt11_natural_stone_field_tiles.asp
    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 10:41AM
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Linda Hahn
I would not try and match and go with a true subway white tile - either semi or a true gloss finish and I would keep the grout either a true white as well or a soft grey . . . the backsplash would then blend with the cupboards and lessen the need to matchy match as they say!
    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 6:16AM
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dogless
Try a white subway tile with delorean grey grout
    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 6:42PM
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PRO
Mint Design
I suggest stainless . You have a very busy countertop and anything else will compete. White will look unfinished. Stainless is timeless and will go with appliances as well as not compete.
2 Likes    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 11:43PM
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Irisheyes Home Improvement
Why don't you go out of the tile box and have a mural done on all walls. It takes focus off granite ands creates an atmosphere like no tile or paint can do. Your kitchen will look twice a big.
    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 5:31AM
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Maggie
Mfheryford has the idea I agree with most. I suggest that you go ahead and get the solid surface countertop that you want rather than stick with a granite that you do not. If you did get a simple quartz countertop (best for cooking is quartz) you could do the wall/backsplash area in that as well at the same time and then leave the color and spunk to added accents, which you can change out whenever you tire of them. Otherwise, in that small space, go with something simple. Have you thought about the arabesque tiles that houzz did a piece on lately? White tile with white grout. Anyone else getting tired of subway and glass?
    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 1:39PM
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see_
I would have suggested a gray glass tile too. The one you picked is great. My advice is to avoid 'accents', including other color tiles or grout lines. This is a very popular look now but may look dated soon. The simpler, the less likely to feel passe' down the road.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 4:20PM
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gharris8
I agree with Mfheryford the most. I don't believe in living with anything I don't love. I would replace the countertop with something I love and find a coordinating tile for the backsplash.
1 Like    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 3:07PM
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PRO
Custom Home Planning Center
tin type tiles: http://www.americantinceilings.com/pattern/ as a wall covering
    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 3:22PM
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Elise
Are you keeping the stove? It's a classic, maybe consider white subway subway tile with glass tile accents.
    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 5:22PM
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Susan Jablon Mosaics
If you're unsure about replacing your countertop, you can contact one of our designers and provide them with images of what you currently have and what you are considering replacing with. They will then discuss options with you and help you come up with a custom design to match your countertops and kitchen. www.SusanJablon.com
    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 6:52AM
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PRO
Natalie Blake
You might consider handmade, ceramic art tile by Natalie Blake Studios. It's unique and a great way to add art to your kitchen. www.unaluntile.com
    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 12:07PM
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PRO
Dragonfly Tile & Stone Works, Inc.
You are getting a good deal of advice. I would agree with Mfheryford and I would also agree that certain types of accents, particularly "strips" have been popular but are waning in that regard. I think it would date it. Have fun!
    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 1:14PM
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gharris8
What did you decide to do? I am very curious.
    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 5:03PM
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Elise
Stainless sheet or tiles on the backsplash would be very retro-modern with your stove! Great idea!
    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 6:35PM
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Thomas
interesting thread! I actually have the same dilemma and this really helps. The stove is awesome and just fits perfectly. I heard also the trend tends to be to take the granite up the wall to be your back splash as well.
    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 6:56PM
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