Need help selecting a backsplash!
jleigh66
September 24, 2013 in Design Dilemma
My kitchen has alabaster cabinets, lighter granite with a lot of movement, warm toned wood floors, and is design-based on a traditional, farmhouse with a hint of French country look. I am torn on my backsplash. I am narrowed down to a porcelain charcoal colored patter or a standard glass 3x6 subway tile (color on left of board) in gray. Please help me decide between these two or give me any of your own suggestions!
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studio10001
The charcoal, with under cabinet lighting.
September 24, 2013 at 5:59pm     
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laurav507
Hard to tell from picture is the granite browns or grays? And what about the glaze on your cabinets? It reads brown. I would go with the glass subway if brown, dark gray if it's gray. Don't really care for the little mosaics. Too busy. Kitchen looks beautiful. Good luck!
September 24, 2013 at 6:07pm   
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PRO
Pure Home
To unify the traditional look, I would highly suggest subway tile. Also, less grout lines and much easier to clean.

Here's some visuals:

Traditional white subway tile:
Provence House

Contemporary look, glass subway tile:
Hyde Park Renovation

Personally, I think the traditional subway tile is timeless and such a classic clean look. Hope this helps!

Michelle C., IIDA
Purehome.com
September 24, 2013 at 6:09pm     
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0825sam
The charcoal and the little tile on the left (is that what you would get in subway size?) both look too grey for the granite on my monitor.
September 24, 2013 at 6:12pm     
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Kim Walton
gray glass is nice (just not in mosaic size but 3X6 as you say) and will look more contemporary b/c of the shine. Gray ceramic would balance the shine of the cabinets and countertop. It looks as if your backsplash area is already painted. I'd definitely invest in a $6 can of sample paint (BM or SW) the color of the tile and see how you like it. You may decide you like the gray or, after living with the gray for a few days that white subway as suggested above is the way to go
September 24, 2013 at 6:18pm     
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jleigh66
The granite is Alaskan White, (fortunately or unfortunately!) it has grays, browns, taupe, cream and white in it. My walls are a soft greige. Yes, the small tiles would actually be a 3x6 in a staggered pattern. Here's the kitchen on a larger scale, electric work not done (yet!) but glass pendants will be over the sink and peninsula, under cabinet lighting will also be installed. Thank you all for your thoughts, I really appreciate it!!!!
September 24, 2013 at 6:25pm   
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silkem
Painted Glass backsplash for stove and nothing for the rest. Just caulk everything so no water will drain down
September 24, 2013 at 6:48pm     
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madronatree
I think that first tile is my tile, except in a different color, in case it helps to see it on the wall: http://www.flickr.com/photos/seahills/4597454773/in/set-72157623084225560
September 24, 2013 at 7:05pm     
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jleigh66
That is beautiful madronatree!
September 24, 2013 at 7:15pm   
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Amy Cali
The charcoal looks great. I also think mother of pearl could be a nice option for you.
September 24, 2013 at 7:33pm   
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nicolesalvatore
I vote for subway tile- the pewter is nice. White backsplash will show every bit of dirt- you will go crazy cleaning.
September 24, 2013 at 7:37pm     
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Amy Cali
OK so that was weird.....I was just obsessing over this tile for your kitchen jleigh66. Pretty darn similar huh?
September 24, 2013 at 7:39pm   
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Amy Cali
Here's the link for you. They discuss the backsplash in the questions.

September 24, 2013 at 7:41pm     
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PRO
ReMax - Lisa
We have very similar coloured cabinets and granite and went with larger cream coloured glass subway tiles 3X12"). I love them, and because they are larger, and the grout lines very small, they don't compete with the busy granite. Love the reflective property of the glass on a sunny day too! (light valance has been done since these pics so cords are hidden now)
September 24, 2013 at 7:42pm     
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Ann
I like the charcoal in picture 1 very much!
September 24, 2013 at 7:52pm     
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Barbie
I was going to say the charcoal until you posted the picture of the whole room. I now vote for the gray 3x6 subway tile.
September 24, 2013 at 7:57pm     
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calidesign
Subway tiles, to match your style. But in these pictures, they look too gray for your other finishes. I would use a warmer tone.
September 24, 2013 at 8:01pm     
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studio10001
Thanks, Amy Calli.
I disagree strongly with the notion that glass anything is somehow more traditional looking than the Maniscalco. To my mind, this is a choice between rich and understated vs. shiny and ubiquitous -and not a close race.
September 24, 2013 at 9:55pm     
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cathieg
You have a lovely granite top which looks fab with the Alabaster cabinets, but if you put a dark backsplash it will become the focus. Looking at the picture you took from afar the main thing that stands out is the wall colour, and there will be an even starker contrast if you put up a darker colour tile. Think about this very carefully.
September 25, 2013 at 12:42am     
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jleigh66
My fear is that the dark charcoal will weigh down the kitchen which already is on the smaller side. Could I pull off a white tile of some sort as suggested earlier on here or is that too trendy?
September 25, 2013 at 4:51am   
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PRO
Wellington Interiors
I would go with the traditional subway tile in a soft white that looks good with both cabinets and counter top. You will never get tired of it. Your pizzazz will come from your countertop accessories that can easily be changed out.
September 25, 2013 at 5:14am     
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studio10001
Amy showed a very good example of how the white mosaic version will look. Using a dark tone will balance the light-medium range you have established- and make your floors look richer,to boot. Either are good choices. ( This shows your colour, if not your tile)[houzz=
]
People will get and have got tired of the bloody subway tiles, or they wouldn't have gone out of style to begin with. While an easily sourced go-to, they are hardly the final statement in traditional kitchens.
September 25, 2013 at 7:36am     
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Ann
Those are some good pictures of both looks. I still like the charcoal, but either direction would work.
September 25, 2013 at 8:08am   
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Amy Cali
I agree with studio10001 & Ann :) either the charcoal or the ivory without the sheen of glass will be the cherry on top of your beautifully done kitchen. Here's a rhetorical question....If something traditional becomes overly trendy, is it still traditional? I do believe there is a place for glass subway tiles but I happen to believe it is not EVERY place LOL.
September 25, 2013 at 8:16am     
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PRO
Someone's in the Kitchen, Inc.
How about a medium mostly solid colored field tile that picks up a prominent deeper grain tone in the granite. Perhaps simple 6 x 6 satin finish. I don't think the granite will be an eye catcher from the distance of your whole room photo no matter what color the back splash is. But up close it is beautiful, and would be most striking, I think, paired with a deeper solid color back splash without even the visual texture of the sub-way design. Then have some fun with a simple deco placement over the range - maybe a stainless steel element to connect with your range?
September 25, 2013 at 8:33am     
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jleigh66
Would this backsplash work with my room?
September 25, 2013 at 5:46pm     
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lynsibee
Jleigh66 I actually really like the last photo you posted. I like a slightly warmer white for the backsplash and I think that is a good inspirational photo. I also vote the lighter grey of your original two you had picked out. Another thing, I really like the 3x6 size for your kitchen.
September 25, 2013 at 5:59pm     
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PRO
Creative Innovations & Designs Inc
I recommend the darker colors on the backsplash. Whites are tricky and can make one another look yellow if used incorrectly. Here is a kitchen that we recently built. All similar colors to what you posted.
September 25, 2013 at 6:42pm     
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Creative Innovations & Designs Inc
a few more pics with the tile. The granite is also similar to your choices.
September 25, 2013 at 6:48pm   
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jleigh66
Thank you Creative Innovations, those pictures really help me visualize the darker backsplash! I'm so nervous I am going to select something and despise it. White cabinetry is great because it lends itself to so many different styles, but SUPER hard to nail the right backsplash!
September 25, 2013 at 7:39pm   
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