need help with kitchen floor tile and backsplash! Please Help!
emptynesterof2
April 24, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I am remodeling my kitchen and I have the cabinets and granite in and I have hit a wall not knowing what backsplash or floor tile to do. I need to tile the kitchen/dining room and the dining room is connected to the living room which I have dark wood floors that the kitchen tile will but up to. My cabinets are warm chestnut knotty alder and My granite is sienna beige and it has some gold tones plus brown veining and some black with grey quartz. Different times of the day it looks white and less gold. I'm going crazy please help. The pictures of the granite does not do it justice but it will give you an idea with what I am working with.
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karen paul interiors
When you say you've hit a wall, what have you looked at so far?
April 24, 2013 at 7:29PM   
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grandmalucy12
I am redoing a kitchen using knotty alder do you have a semi- gloss on your cabinets or satin?
April 24, 2013 at 7:38PM   
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libradesigneye
Look at the gold toned travertines - there are several different shades that would complement these countertops and the warmth of your chestnut cabinetry tone. It has the advantage of being dirt colored so it will hide things and it will bridge the color gap between the white tops and dark floors.
April 24, 2013 at 7:39PM     
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gregjswife
Libradesigneye is right. Gold toned travertine would look really good. Don't go too light on the backsplash. More of a mid tone golden color would be great. You could accent with the brown travertine accent tiles. If it was diagonal, that would look good.
April 24, 2013 at 8:04PM     
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gregjswife
For the floors I would go with a darker porcelain tile or continue the dark wood from your living room.
April 24, 2013 at 8:07PM     
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emptynesterof2
Thanks for everyones input! I am so torn with this granite cause I do not love it and am toiling with pulling it out. I feel like it has too much gold in it and to much movement. I feel like I need something more uniform and consistent in a countertop. (Maybe that is just me) I have thought about travertine but didn't know how it does in the high traffic kitchen. I do not have any white wood work all is stained. So I need to be careful on how dark I make the kitchen.
Any suggestions on what countertop would look good with my cabinets if I tore it out. I know this will be costly but just so unhappy with what we chose.
April 25, 2013 at 5:40AM   
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emptynesterof2
Karen- I have looked at so much tile from light to dark from tans to creams. seems like the golds are to gold . I have all dark stained wood and no white woodwork. This is an 80's home so I also have a sand stone fireplace that you can see from my kitchen /dining room . I am really thinking about pulling the granite out cause I am so unhappy with it but not sure what to choose that would look good with what I have going on. Here are some more pics. of what I'm working with. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated and also if I did pull the granite out what would look good with my cabinets. quartz, granite etc.. color !!
April 25, 2013 at 5:50AM   
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karen paul interiors
You will not be able to find anything that speaks to you because you are working with a counter top that you don't like. It's always a bummer when something goes in and your heart just sinks. No fun, at all. So I would bite the bullet and start over. This time however, you will need to select everything at the same time...the counter top, flooring, paint and whatever else needs doing. Take your time because to be hurried leaves you vulnerable to more mistakes.
April 25, 2013 at 7:44AM     
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gregjswife
I would not pull out the granite. It's beautiful! If you go with something plain for the flooring and backsplash, it will help. Because you have grain in the cabinets and veining in the granite, you have enough movement and pattern in the kitchen.

I have a bigger concern about your fireplace and woodwork. Painting the trim, crown molding, bookcases white and changing the mantle to classic styled white (instead of rustic) would help lighten and brighten the rooms. It would be a heck of a lot cheaper to do that then rip out brand new granite too!
April 25, 2013 at 7:52AM   
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Jeffrey Brooks Interior Design
Hi, I'd suggest you have a look at porcelain tile. You could select 8" - 10" squares in 3 colors. Two shades of a warm Gray (echoe the fireplace stone but lighter) and Beige. Create a checkered pattern using this color scheme so that the floor becomes a gingham sort of plaid. Now you've picked up the calming colors of your granite. Consider runnning this checked pattern on the diagonal to give the room motion and an unexpected boost. Use two of your floor tiles in a matt finish and one in a polished finish for an added wow if you like the idea.
Backsplash in honed or matt smaller squares (laid on the square, not diagonal here) in one of the floor colors (Gray will look great against the counter top).
Then add a band or scatter through with glass tiles. Play with the possibility of using a colored glass. Let's say you love Blues. Use Blue glass in the kitchen backsplash. Now use Blue for accents in your DR and Family Room. Blue side panels for the windows or Blue for seat covers. Use a print if you like which combines Blue, Gray and Beige and White. Consider painting the ceiling in a light natural Blue. Cover books in solid colored papers and add to the bookcases. Hang a piece of art above the mantle resting the bottom on the mantle piece as if it is leaning. Steer clear of darker muddy fabrics. Clear lighter and natural colors will bring life to your stone FP. Oh, one last thing; if you can do so, change out the DR chandalier to something more open looking like an iron or rust light fixture with candle arms and small white shades. Install a great looking LARGE mirror on the DR wall to reflect the natural light during the day and add some interest at night. Try to use a simple large mirror with an arched top to echo the bookcases.
Best, Jeff
April 25, 2013 at 8:15AM     
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Julie B


(click on the link to see more upclose pics)

How about something like this? I like the movement the herringbone backsplash creates. It will help incorporate your counter. (which I love, BTW) Right now you're seeing the countertop against that swath of white paint which does nothing for it. This backsplash also provides some texture and that "rustic" vibe you have going on elsewhere in your home.
Traditional Kitchen by Minneapolis Interior Designer Amber Ranzau
April 25, 2013 at 9:09AM     
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leelee
I would go with hardwoods to match the living room and have the rooms flow. Your name suggests that you're getting "getting up there" and you might need to consider how hard tile floors are on your legs, feet, back and body. Just kidding about the age remark...but not the hard floors. What has caused to rule out hardwoods?

Your cabinets are truly beautiful...have you looked at brown marble? Laurent Brown or St Croix Brown.
April 25, 2013 at 9:28AM   
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tcufrog
I put a cream travertine tile backsplash in our former home's kitchen and loved it. Our current house has the same tile put in as diamonds on the backsplash and the second level of the wraparound bar counter. The former owners had the house for 12 years and had three kids. We've had the house for 3 years and the countertop and backsplash still look great despite the hard wear from the kids and cooking.

I also think the counters are gorgeous but what matters is whether you like it.

Another option I think would be gorgeous are cream colored arabesque tile. If you search for "arabesque tile" in the product area of Houzz you'll see lots of options.
April 25, 2013 at 9:34AM   
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leelee
I'd keep the backsplash light since your cabinets are darker. Some ideas...
April 25, 2013 at 9:36AM   
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leelee
backsplash #2...it's only letting me do one at a time...
April 25, 2013 at 9:37AM     
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leelee
Or floor and backsplash in slate tiles which might be a good option for you. I wish you didn't hate your granite...I think it's really good.
April 25, 2013 at 9:39AM        Thanked by emptynesterof2
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0825sam
I am having a love affair with herringbone right now, so I love that suggestion. I know it's hard when you feel like you may have made a mistake with a major choice but at least in my experience, once it's complete it can all come together. It sounds like you do like your granite in certain lights, so maybe an expert can weigh in on whether under cabinet lighting (or something else) can help?
I'm not much help because I'm sure you must feel like, what if I put a costly backsplash and still hate it, but I don't know that you will get the true effect of the kitchen until it's all done.
April 25, 2013 at 9:45AM     
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libradesigneye
I once picked out a glass tile mosaic that I LOVED and when it went in until it was grouted I was terrified. Your stone is really gorgeous and will be great when all is together to complement it. I can see by the stone in your fireplace that a little gold will work for you but a lot of gold travertine brings in more gold than you want.

Given what you have - a cream backsplash so the pattern is your texture rather than additional color seems ideal - you just want to echo the cream of your stone top. For these elements and the floor, go and look at crema marfil stone - it is about the right creaminess and I know you can find one you love to match the countertop. Look (not at the sample tones, but at the photos on this website that flash across the top - that is crema marfil - so consistent that it is specified many places where ivory tones are desired) http://www.carraratiles.com/crema-marfil-marble-tiles-mosaics-collection.html Now, truth is, there are a range of tones from ivory to light gold but the variations are relatively small. Watch the sample rooms for what it is rather than looking at the samples of the mosaic profiles - they have been darkened so you can actually see the patterns.

It is a gorgeous stone and because it is so popular, there are porcelains designed to look like it if that is your budget / style. I love old stone and how it weathers and the variations, but some people want perfect consistency so if that is you long term, go porcelain for the floor. Engineered wood is another option mentioned above that would be easier on your feet.

One more idea for you if you don't want to paint your wood cabinets and mantel at the fireplace. A painter can take a gel stain or custom polyshade coating to them to bring them to the warm chestnut tone of your new kitchen cabinets and make it all feel more unified and updated wood tone wise.
April 25, 2013 at 10:18AM     
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Love it good job. For flooring go travertine. 24". Back splash. Glass long not square tiles. Use a combo of colors from granite. Always carry a pic or a piece of granite with you to hold up. Most places let you ck out sample. Bring home and see. Always stay in same tones. It's the way to go.
April 25, 2013 at 10:34AM     
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Travertine comes in many shades. Stay in the med color. It's stone it's works well in high traffic. Plus why would you get rid of granite? It's beautiful. You want movement. Gives it interest.it would be a shame to take it out.
April 25, 2013 at 10:38AM     
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gregjswife
The gel stain is a great idea for the bookcases, too. I think that may be part of the problem, your new kitchen is different from the living room. You are getting some great ideas here. It may be worth it to call in a designer for an hour or two to show you different things that could work in the space. Perhaps having a few samples grouped together (i.e. this floor, this backsplash together) could help you make a choice. Sometimes it's hard to see the big picture when you're making each decision individually.
April 25, 2013 at 10:42AM   
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Tina Tyminski_Jones
I love the granite....so much so, in fact, that I wrote down the name of it to keep on file. If you think that's busy, I should take a picture of mine....you'll feel muccchhhh better.
April 25, 2013 at 10:42AM   
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gregjswife
The Woodlawn home that Julie B posted looks SO nice. That may be the way to go. The herringbone tile on the backsplash is a geometric pattern that reads as plain and simple from far away.
April 25, 2013 at 10:49AM   
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emptynesterof2
Thanks everyone for all the wonderful advise. I know the pics of my bookcase next to the fp do not look like they go with the kitchen but they are knotty alder with the same stain as the kitchen cabinets. And we had the crown moulding glazed to go with the bookcase. I have to admit I had hired someone to help me but it backfired on me and just cost me so much money for nothing. I am going to search for the right designer that could help me. This has gone on way to long.
April 29, 2013 at 3:08PM   
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emptynesterof2
Tina- I would love to see your granite and your kitchen.
April 29, 2013 at 3:10PM   
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ginale
I hope you don't tear out the granite until you have experimented with some neutral tile backsplash options. It does indeed have a lot of movement but you can tone it down. Really. :) Keep us posted. Good luck!
April 29, 2013 at 7:41PM   
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Ann
I think your granite is beautiful, by itself and with your cabinets. I'd say you're off to a perfect start in the kitchen. I'd choose a simple, light colored 18" porcelain tile for the floor and maybe the same one for the backsplash (if it also comes in a small size). There are so many tile choices - it should be easy to find one that compliments the granite nicely.
April 29, 2013 at 8:32PM   
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Ann
I don't think you could find more perfect granite for that kitchen!!!!! It's not busy at all!
April 29, 2013 at 8:38PM   
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Nancy Walton
If you think you've made a mistake after you've had a backsplash installed, it is MUCH cheaper to re-do the backsplash than to re-do the granite counter! Go to Home Depot or Lowe's and buy one sheet of all the mosaics they have there that you like and bring them home and try them against the cabinets and counter. Prop them up vertically, so you can get a really good idea of what they will actually look like on the wall and look at them over a few days or so. After you find that one that you really like better than all the rest (and you might just be surprised), take all the rest back and return them. They will take them back--just remember to hang on to your receipt...
April 29, 2013 at 8:55PM     
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Nancy Walton
And don't forget, the grout color you choose can change the look dramatically, too!
April 29, 2013 at 8:56PM   
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Ed
EmptyNester, have you considered a lighter wood floor, such as maple ?
April 29, 2013 at 9:07PM     
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sjkingston
If you can get the right color of the background ivory or almond in your granite, consider 4" tiles in a fine crackle glaze laid on the diagonal. Here's a pic that give you an idea of how that would coordinate with a granite. (Ignore the busy accent tiles they piled on and imagine it with with a simple 100% diagonal layout.Kraftmaid Jamestown Maple - Deaton

If you try a travertine with it, you'll be fighting the patten (no matter how subtle) and coloration of the travertine, as happens in this pic where the backsplash fights with the granite. Interior Makeovers by Annie OCallaghan
April 29, 2013 at 9:25PM   
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veniceflygirl
Your granite is beautiful! My parents redid their kitchen with similar countertops and they used a travertine backsplash and a light, white oak floor with cherry cabinets. It has a similar shape to your space. It's gorgeous! (Their countertop looks lighter in the pics, but in person they're very similar).
April 30, 2013 at 6:14AM     
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leelee
I think you're focusing and obsessing about your granite. Go with a light colored backsplash that picks up the light cream background. In the overall scheme, your granite doesn't scream gold. Stay away from gold tones in your marble floors. Pull out the browns and creams in the granite and downplay the gold.

Why don't you get a new kitchen door? That would really up the look and tie in with the cabinets. Mouse over to see full door.
April 30, 2013 at 7:27AM     
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emptynesterof2
veniceflygirl- your mom's kitchen is beautiful. Are her countertops granite or quartz. They look like they have a consistent pattern to them.
Leelee - you are right I am obsessing about the granite so much and I think it is because I was not sure about it when picking it out my husband wanted the veining and striations and that is not me at all. I am more of a consistent, uniform balance person that it is not my taste at all.
So that is what I am dealing with. This is a hard lesson I learned and may end up being an expensive lesson if I can't pull it together.
As for the door, it goes out to my garage so we have to have a solid door with a lock on it.
Ed - I would love to put a lighter wood floor in the kitchen but it buts up to a dark wood floor that is why I am having to do tile , unfortunately.
I appreciate all your input, I think I am going to find a designer to come help me.
May 2, 2013 at 5:14AM   
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feeny
I absolutely love your granite and would use a travertine floor in similar tones to go with it. I know you say you don't love the veining in your granite, but that is exactly what I think makes it look so beautiful.
May 2, 2013 at 5:18AM     
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leelee
Since you already have a wood door going to the garage then I would definitely remove the metal storm door. It's not a look that goes with granite and marble. If you want to be able to leave the wood door open to get some air circulation then get a wood screen door and stain it the same as the solid wood door and the moldings. I think you'll be suprised how much difference it will make.
May 2, 2013 at 6:17AM   
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leelee
"If I can't pull it together. .." very interesting comment. Yes, ripping out that granite would sure teach your husband and expensive lesson. No designer is going to get rid of the resentment you feel.
May 2, 2013 at 6:31AM   
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Granite Transformations
I really like the cabinets and granite that you chose. My suggestion for tile flooring would be a neutral color, something similar to this gray/tan tile floor I'm attaching.

For the backsplash I think our Honey Subway tile would look great in your kitchen. It would really bring out the gold from your granite, providing your kitchen with a little more character. You can see a sample here- http://www.granitetransformations.com/southjersey/products/mosaic-tiles/colors/subway/

I hope this was helpful. Good luck with your decision!
May 2, 2013 at 6:53AM   
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Karin Madgwick
What about subway tiles in ivory for the splash back and large ivory porcelain tiles for the floor. This would dilute the effect of the bench top and lift the depth of the cabinets.
July 18, 2013 at 5:07AM   
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emptynesterof2
Thanks Karin for your input. I have thought about that , I guess I just didn't want it to look all so monotone. But that may be what I should do.
July 18, 2013 at 5:20AM   
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DS Tile And Marble
I'd go with a light beige limestone 4x4 tile with a darker row of glass boarder on your floor I would go with a poecelien imitation limestone
February 10, 2014 at 4:32PM   
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Lisa Zerhire
We just did ours and something like this would look good with yours as well. The middle border has some bling in it and half of the tiles are gold'ish, half are gray'ish.
August 24, 2014 at 9:30AM   
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Lisa Zerhire
It has not been grouted yet by the way.....
August 24, 2014 at 9:31AM   
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inabunker
I feel your pain. I have an open kitchen to the dining. I chose a different granite though. But I still will have to decide on a backsplash and am concerned about the same issues. I think you are worried that it will be too matchy, matchy and boring. I really like the one that Leelee attached a pic of (diamond pattern beige travetine). I think you would be happy with that. You sound like me....tend to over think? That's o.k., but don't let it drive you crazy. Maybe just step away from the project for a few days - visit some tile places and just have fun! : )
August 24, 2014 at 9:53AM   
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Nancy Walton
Emptynester, it has been awhile, what did you decide to do? Can we see?
August 24, 2014 at 4:53PM   
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sullycronin
I would go with the wood for the kitchen floor, it feels wonderful under your feet. Thought I love my new travertine kitchen floor, I do miss the comfortable feeling of wood I had before.
August 25, 2014 at 5:41PM   
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NORTH COUNTY TILE & STONE
We suggest keeping it light and bright with all the dark cabinetry you have. 3 x 6 Durango travertine for the backsplash with a small accent strip and 20 x 20 Durango on the floor laid diamond would look incredible. If your in the San Diego area check out our showroom North County Tile and Stone.

Best of Luck,
www.northcountytileandstone.com
last Saturday at 11:55AM   
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