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3 months without backsplash

November 29, 2018
I have a very long kitchen with peninsula and island. Cabinets are simply white back quartz is pure white. Island is quartz Calcutta. I can’t seem to pick a backsplash and I need it complete for Christmas. There is 54 sq feet of tile needed. I am worried about it being too busy as back wall is 23 ft long. Please help I was wanting all white. Here are pictures of kitchen

Comments (66)

  • PRO
    Kitchen Designs by Decor
    all white vs colour
  • imsuzz
    @Suzie. Can you send me a picture. I would love to see it!
  • laurahahe
    You seem like someone who likes white. I'd go with white otherwise. I think the tiles you picked are quite similar, any of the white ones will go. (no to sample 4 with beige in it). Pick the one you like and use white grout. a contrasting grout color will make it look busy.
  • Hill W
    What about doing a herringbone with a larger subway tile? Or an arabesque shaped? Your kitchen is beautiful....if it was my kitchen I would make the backsplash a focal point. Have you considered going totally in another direction and looking at cement tiles? Theres so many great patterns and colors
  • PRO
    Jeffrey R. Grenz, General Contractor

    More importantly, get your kitchen back into code compliance by completing the hood ventilation. Looks like some plugs are missing in the backsplash, possibly island also. Is the window below the top of the counter? Nice looking so far.

  • One Devoted Dame

    I would pull a color from one of these elements (in red boxes):

    The color you pick doesn't have to exactly match what you have... I actually like it better when wall colors (including backsplashes) are a few shades lighter or darker than my favorite decor pieces.

    You seriously can't go wrong with green or blue... Mother Nature's Neutrals. :-D

  • Hill W
    On a side note....I love your kitchen table!! Where is that from?
  • imsuzz
    Yes window is below counter in picture . It is updated now. Picture posted sent is older. Window was on back order for ever. Hood vent will go in and cover plates when backsplash is in.
  • Cyndy

    I would not do pure white...any of the lighter greys or even a soft color would be so much more pleasing to the eye. All white makes me think of a sterile operating room, not a kitchen.

  • Susie .
    I have the most boring of white backsplashes - subway tile. But I have always been a fan.
  • imsuzz
    @Hill W. kitchen table was a Kijiji find. (Like Craig’s list). He was making them and selling. I just love it.
  • Hill W
    Its a beautiful table! What kind of hardware will you be putting on the cabinets?
  • TJW

    What Susie said about not worrying about getting the back splash done by the holidays. Your kitchen is beautiful, and more than that, it's functional. The back splash goes last for a reason . . . so you can look at all the other elements and choose what you want that will go best in your space. We are (probably) going with something much like the last photo from Kitchen Designs By Decor. Dunes Wave, a glass subway with some movement, in a foggy, pale gray/green/teal. But if you love white, and that's your dream, I would not choose a color nor a pattern you don't love just to 'get 'er done' by the holidays. White kitchens are beautiful. Your kitchen is beautiful. Keep looking for a white with some texture, sparkle, a little something to add dimension and interest. You can do that with white, but don't rush it.

  • imsuzz
    Thank @suzie. It is beautiful and I love your island. Is that walnut? It is gorgeous !
  • imsuzz
    @leelee I love the first pic. Do you know what tile that is?
  • Nancy R z5 Chicagoland
    Looking back on it, I have made mistakes by rushing into decisions in an effort to get something finished. if you haven't come up with a comfortable solution, just wait until after the holidays. If you finish the trim and put the outlet covers back on and paint the backsplash wall some sort of washable white for now, then you can live with it for a while and sort it out in the cool light of January.
  • mimimomy

    Why not just a white paint? I had no backsplash for 12 years and didn't bother me, but you're not me.... :) If you do a backsplash, I'd do something traditional and always in style, ubiquitous white subway tile. You can add color in so many other ways. Dishware, a nice teakettle, a kitchen aid mixer, a flower arrangement, artwork. I think your kitchen looks fantastic!

    My feeling is that anything that is *kinda permanent* should be a neutral. It's worked for me, your mileage may vary!

    Anyhoo, try not to stress, Christmas is a time for peace and relaxation and enjoying your family :)

    Just my thoughts, and wishing you joy in whatever you decide!

  • PRO

    Alyse Edwards "Tongue in chic" in colorway "you don't snow me"

    Install a herringbone, grout in palest gray.or white. Will look fabulous . And done for the holiday. ....and the life of the kitchen. Easy peasy, a great hand cut look to a not hideously expensive tile.

  • Daniela Marino
    I think the gray or taupe in sample 2, or sage in sample 3, will work better!
  • PRO
    Imperial Flooring Inc.

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  • imsuzz
    My pendants are very similar Imperial flooring inc. I love the off set subway
  • PRO

    With the slightest contrast in grout, there will not be sensory deprivation......: ) She wanted "white" Some people can't get enough white. That is why god made fresh flowers and accessories, wall paint, and art.

  • imsuzz
    @Jan Moyer do you think herringbone would be too busy because back wall is so long 22feet? Or is subway better choice. I know some hate subway but I do think it is so classic
  • imsuzz
    I am not opposed to herringbone but it is so new to me. I will do it if you think it is better choice
  • mimimomy

    Imsuzz, what do you like? I like herringbone but in a smaller area... don't care for lots of it... but if you do I am confident it will look nice :)

    I think the best choice is the one that you like! Maybe take a look at a few pictures on Houzz and see which you feel the most comfortable with?

  • imsuzz
    Mimimomy I am not sure. I see herringbone pics and I love it but I love subway too. But with all the white lovers here posting I will stick to my plan.
    I am going to seek out the tile that Jan Moyer suggested though. It’s tough because I hear so many on Houzz that hate subway.
  • tartanmeup

    Don't do it because someone thinks it's a better choice. Do it because you LOVE it. It's your kitchen, your money, your time to spend in it. Don't rush your decision because of the holidays.

    FWIW, herringbone is a pretty classic pattern.

    Who cares if so many on Houzz hate subway?!?? Are they in your kitchen?! It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. This is YOUR kitchen. YOUR home. You're not inviting these Houzzers over for tea. Stop worrying about what strangers on the Internet will think of your choices. These decor forums are particular things. We see the same things over and over because they're "trends" or "of the moment". Doesn't mean everyone in your neighbourhood or family and friends is "over" the same elements. Do what you love. You're paying for it. You're living with it. And if you can't decide, it's because you need to clear your mind. Take a break from all the input and come back to it with fresh eyes.

  • PRO
    CAGE Design Build

    Love the kitchen so far. I suggest if you want white go for white! You can always then accent throughout the seasons with pops of color with items on countertop. Any of the tiles you posted above will work. The longer the tiles the more contemporary the look.

  • jhmarie

    I have subway tile and love it:) Sometimes, we try to make every element stand out, creating a clash of individually beautiful elements that do not harmonize. Subway tile - which comes in various sizes and can be installed various ways, can be the simple element which helps the kitchen harmonize. That is why it is used so often - it works well, especially with today's beautiful countertops. I would not switch my faucet to a hand pump because faucets are so "common".

    I totally agree with Jan. A herringbone will not be too busy with a light grout. Simple running bond - also great with a light grout - white or light gray.

    Otherwise, a pretty color - blue or green.

    If it looks too colorless down the road, you can always paint your walls - one of those pretty green grays.

  • suzyq53

    What a nice kitchen! If you want all white, maybe consider larger arabesque with a pearly finish for a dash of glam?

  • suzyq53

    A few pics.

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  • Monique Barrow

    All the comments given above lead you to the answer you've already given yourself: you wanted a white kitchen; option 4 is one you are unsure of, being it too busy for this long wall.

    So stick to white and take time to make a choice of the first three options you've put here. Have a merry Christmas, even without a backsplash.

    Btw, I love your kitchen! It's beautiful

  • kariyava

    I like the glass tile leelee posted in a herringbone pattern -- still gives you the all white look, but with added interest (the pattern) and dimension (the glass). I would get samples of glass tile to see which one looks best in your space. At least on my monitor, all of the white tiles you posted as options are too cool next to your cabinets, so I would say no to all of them.

  • PRO
    Glo European Windows & Doors

    If you have wanted a white kitchen, then I would stick with your vision and go with a white tile. However, it's too difficult for me to tell tile color tones from the photos.

    I think your instincts about the herringbone being too much is right on. Have you considered doing a straight stack tile for subtle modern interest? Something similar to this, but without the black grout...

  • PRO


    When you post here, you will get as MANY opinions as you never ever desired! If you want subway, in white, and classic? I think FINE. I would be inclined to update the size as I posted, 2.5 x 10 inch, on a 33% off set. I would do a pale pale warm gray grout. And I would not give one HOOT. what others thought I should have, if I love white, clean, fresh, and love my result. : ) End of story.

    PS....... the back wall is 20 odd feet long. So WHAT? It's mostly 18 inches HIGH!! For heavens sake.....don't obsess on that : ) Hardly the same thing as a ten foot by ten foot WALL. lol

  • mimimomy

    Hee hee! So right, a million opinions. The only one that matters is the homeowners'. I like the 1/3 offset. That adds style without lots of complexity. I also like the herringbone... but I currently am in a zen mode and prefer to add color and pattern through artwork, etc.

    Do what you think you will love longterm. It will all be good!

  • leelee

    If you can look past the bathroom and see this tile in your kitchen. Very subtle.

  • leelee

    Yes, that is glass tile 2 x 8 size. Sorry, I don't know who makes it.

  • Susie .
    @imsuzz, thanks. It is walnut. Good luck. Make sure you post an update when you’re finished. Before OR after Christmas :)
  • njay
    Your kitchen desperately needs color. The backsplash doesn't need to be bold, but it needs to be something other than white or gray. How about a soft sage green or soft blue? Why not select a few soft colored tiles and let the community weigh in.
  • Hill W
    The herringbone that leelee posted is beautiful. Would look great in your kitchen. I love the 2x8
  • TJW

    I agree with the 'always other places than the back splash to add color'. I like your white kitchen. .

  • Hill W
    @imsuzz. I just looked through your idea book of kitchens. You are most definitely drawn to white kitchens and backsplashes. I saw tons of subway in most kitchens you like. The larger herringbone of 2x8’s looks better in my opinion. To me it looks less busy and I think would give you the look you are after. Can’t wait to see what you decide!!
  • jbtanyderi
    Put tile above the cooktop, and paint everything else.
  • imsuzz
    Thank you ALL for your input. I will be picking white as this is what I see in this space. I will accessorize with colour. It may or maynot be complete for my Christmas dinner. You are right that I should not rush. I will post pictures when complete. Merry Christmas to everyone if you don’t hear back from me.
    Feeling the HOUZZ love!! Thank you again
  • PRO
    Eden Mosaic Tile

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    A couple of examples where our backsplashes have been used in larger areas - more are available on our install link below:

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    We are a premium online supplier of metal mosaic tiles for backsplash and other wall applications. If you are looking for ideas, feel free to browse our customer installations for metal backsplash ideas:


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    Good luck with your backsplash design!

  • Alice Constantin
    Hexagon tile. It’s in the vain of subway tile but a diff shape, I love herringbone but it can be too busy. And if you get white, use black grout, it will pop. And your fixtures and cabinets handles should match.
  • sarasvati1
    I put a white kitchen with a pale green subway tile backsplash in my idea book, but I can’t figure out how to share it in this comment. The green color is kind of variegated. It adds some color, but not loud or distracting.
  • Alice Constantin
    When you click the comment icon, the bottom above the keyboard should show a photo icon

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