Another backsplash question, is this tile too busy for this countertop

Kim H
June 28, 2018
I’ve seen lots of advice to just have one star in a kitchen redo but I found this tile and really love it. Is it too much? I can’t wait until the countertop is installed, my contractor is asking for the tile right now and this will go to someone else if I don’t snag right now. If this one doesn’t work I’ll be ordering a plain one that will take weeks to get. The cabinets are white shaker with a section of blue on a different wall

Comments (109)

  • chispa

    I think it works fine, but I also find it a bit dark, but you do have a lot of white and your floors look light too. Are the floors not stained yet?

  • djohnston73
    Looks really pretty.
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  • daisychain01

    I know we’re all focused on tile but your counters look amazing.

    Here are my thoughts on tile. It works with your counter b/c it reads almost as a solid so it’s not competing. Also, the counters darker veins tie in to the darkness of the tile.

    It is so unexpected but so perfectly right it makes me happy. No contrast would be fine and beautiful but this is just understated and elegant. I know I’d love it, but you’re the one that has to love it in real life. Does it make your heart sing now that you see it together?

    Having done all that gushing, I do think it would also look great as a feature just behind the range as chispa suggests.

  • niccidhg
    I also like the elongated hex tile you found. Given the choice of all white backsplash or either of these two ,I would take the opportunity to make your kitchen more special and unique. All white is fine and can be very fresh, but unless you use a darker grout , the cabinetry and backsplash will all blend together and white tile is being a bit overused now, I think. I think the subtly patterned tile will look even prettier once it is grouted with a lighter color . To be clear, I am not advocating for the pattern JUST because it is a pattern, but rather because it is so special , pretty and works so well with your other elements.
  • miss lindsey (still misses Sophie)

    If you don't end up going with the tile, will you send me the purchasing info for it because I will definitely buy it lol.

  • chispa

    KimH, I hope the tile is being held for you ... wouldn't want you to come back here in a few days crying how "the perfect one" got away from you while you hesitated! ;-)

  • Kim H
    Thanks everyone! I do have this tile on hold until tomorrow so it is waiting for me.
  • Laura Mac

    Kim I too love that it ties together with your blue cabs! Yes, it looks solid, but it's 'bluetiful'!!

  • Tems

    I think that tile will look dreary and heavy, create an overpowering dark line across the kitchen and drag everything down. I urge you not to use that tile Lol

  • cjohnston
    It's going to be stunning! I love love love Pratt and Larson. Navy and white is classic, but how you're combining them is so fresh and interesting. Can't wait to see it installed!
  • plf12652
    Sorry to say, it’s a no for me. While I like the tile itself, I think it will be a jarring dark stripe around an otherwise bright kitchen. I don’t think under cabinet lights will fix that. And I see some color variation from tile to tile in your mock-up so not sure it will look great when done.
  • niccidhg
    There is another thread on Houzz where the OP has quarter-sawn oak cabinetry , a black granite with a LOT of large patterned movement and “the weighing in “ has gone on for months as to all diff. colors for backsplash . Many, many - if not most - people , as well as pros, are on board with a black backsplash or a very dark copper. By comparison , your whole look will be very much lighter ( using the navy patterned backsplash ) . I really think once it were to be grouted that will make a big diff. in the contrasting “ strip “ some are seeing as a dark band . Just wanted to share because each piece of info. hopefully , builds toward reaching one’s decision.
  • chispa

    And a back splash isn't a life long choice! Kim could always change it out a few years down the road if she tires of the darker look, specially as she got a higher end tile for a bargain price.

  • cyc2001

    Your kitchen is turning out so pretty! So I’m going to dissent from the other posters here and say that while I love the texture and pattern of the blue tile, I think it’s too dark and up close it looks too busy against the movement in the counter. I think the picket style tile would look better. The white was too bland.

  • allie

    Having spent a bunch of weekends removing backsplash tile, repairing drywall, etc before having my backsplash redone, tile is a longer term choice than something easy to switch out like paint.

    It does read dark and dramatic in pictures, but maybe it doesn't in person. I liked the idea of having a focal point of them behind the stove. But, with the cabinet and countertop choices, I wouldn't do white for the main area. Maybe a gray with navy grout and then your navy tiles could have gray grout.

  • cpartist

    I just got back from vacation so am seeing this for the first time.

    I think it's the perfect tile for your backsplash. As you mentioned, it helps tie in the blue from the other cabinets and creates a subtle visual interest. I actually think you need that blue color and subtle texture there. Otherwise the blue cabinet will stick out like a sore thumb as an odd accent. This really ties it all together. This is refreshing without being too much. Go for it.

  • Karen Eagle

    I suggest you do a sample board with grout, before you decide.

  • Kim H
    I appreciate everyone’s help here but I’ve let the blue tile go. It’s beautiful but very bossy and demanded a lot of attention. The kitchen was dark before and I took out a window so I’ve been concerned about it being dark again. I couldn’t pass up the dark blue cabinets so I’ve been trying to balance out the darkness they bring in. There are so many beautiful elements for kitchens and I keep having to rein in my impulse to use every sparkly thing out there. The blue cabinets make more sense in context of the whole house. They bridge the blue art, rugs and curtain in the living/dining room. I’ll use my blue Fiestaware to bring that color over to the white area. It was a nice fling with the gorgeous tile but not meant for a long term relationship :)
  • mayflowers

    There are so many beautiful elements for kitchens and I keep having to rein in my impulse to use every sparkly thing out there.

    You've learned an important thing about design then. Good for you. I've seen this problem a lot in my seven years on Gardenweb Kitchens forum, and now that we are part of Houzz where there is even more of a tendency to jump on a trend, it's gotten worse because there is a much larger cheering squad from Houzz who also love sparkly things.

    Good luck on your search for the perfect tile.

  • miss lindsey (still misses Sophie)

    @Kim H I hope you'll still post an update of your finished room :)

  • PRO
    Lion Windows and Doors

    I love that backsplash! Would love to see photos of the finished product.

  • Cheryl Hannebauer

    Kim - let us know what you end up using & post a few photos.. love my bling, but also agree about trends, will you/I love it in a year?? that is what I am finding with our build myself :)

  • Laura Mac

    What about a pretty ice glass? Blues/grays/whites....

    And I didn't realize Versace made tiles! Who knew? I love this simple white with texture. Would be really cute as a splash, and lay out like how you have it behind your blue cabinets (vertical)...

  • Jan
    Does the tile come in reverse?
  • mayflowers

    What I didn't like about the P&L tile was its pattern with the pattern of your counter. I'm not against mixing patterns but those two together weren't working for me.

  • Kim H
    Ohh Laura Mac those white tiles are really pretty! ( squirrel!). We’ve had a little bit of progress in the past couple of days - the painters came and the plumber. We have running water in the kitchen again! Hopefully we can get electricity by the end of the week.
  • Cheryl Hannebauer

    @Kim - coming along nicely ....

  • lynnjordan843

    I love the blue tile and I think it pulls everything into place. The countertops look great too!! I am getting ready to pick a tile to put in my kitchen because for some reason, they didn't put anything but the granite backsplash and I want to add something to it. I really love the tile you have and I think you are happy with it too. Sometimes we have to just "go for it" and find out if we are happy with it. If I felt so strongly about a design as you seem to, I would go ahead and get it. I also purchased some items that were special ordered for someone else and they changed their mind. I got it, saved a lot of money and love the finished look.

  • sprtphntc7a

    well, than it wasn't the one for you.... glad u realized now before it was bought and installed.. found this one.... thought it tied your colors in nicely if u decide to go for a pattern... at

    another one

  • leelee

    Lighter with some blue.

  • Sibylle
    I like the tile w/the white cabinets, not the dark and would not use that counter top. You have too many focal points and all elements are beautiful on their own just not together. I would go very plain white quartz and a different tile, poss a reverse white/blue or plain white for the blue cabinets.
  • niccidhg
    Sibylle, the beautiful countertops have been installed already , if you read back in the thread just a little .
  • Laura Mac

    @leelee, those encaustic are so cute too.... So many great blues to choose from...

  • Olga & Adam B
    @leslee love that encaustic blue and white tile. where is that from?
  • J Kay
    It’s gorgeous but I do feel it’s too much together.
  • Kim H
    Leelee I have looked at that Walker Zanger tile a lot! It’s sooo pretty but way out of my price range. I’ve decided to go with the picket tiles and now need to find the right color. Not much progress lately while we wait for some parts but I did get electricity and working appliances!
  • colbran

    @niccidhg, I think I know whose post you were referring to higher up in the thread with the quartersawn oak cabinets and busy black granite! LOL!! And OP, niccidhg is right. The "weighing in" has gone on for months, and I'm STILL undecided. Matter of fact, I may not pull the trigger on the backsplash for awhile. I'm stuck and I'm determined not to buy something just to get it over with. I've worked too hard to get the look I'm going for and I'm not going to settle just because I'm exhausted. That said....I LOVED your tile alone when I saw it up close. I wasn't as much in favor of it when you stepped back, and I think it was because I lost the pattern. The tile is a show stopper, no doubt, but I like what @leelee posted up above. The lighter blue plays off your countertops and cabinets perfectly by the looks of it on my screen. You're in the same boat as me when it comes to I'm learning from all the help I'm getting on my post, not everything has to be a "show-stopper". Something has to give, or when you walk into my room, your eyes don't know where to stop. It's like sensory overload. Good luck!

    EDIT: @Kim H, we must have posted at the same time! Pickets will look awesome. Glad you narrowed it down!

  • leelee

    Walker Zanger

  • kim k

    Beautiful kitchen! What kind of sink is that? I love the blue cabinetry by the way!!

  • PRO
    Home Art Tile Kitchen & Bath

    All the tiles you are thinking about are great but I just love the first choice, the one you talked about at the beginning of the thread. That pattern-rich tile is beautiful and would look great with light gray or white countertop. Just make sure the countertop doesn't have a lot of movement.

  • daisychain01

    kim, what did u end up doing?

  • Kim H
    Thanks for checking back in! I ended up using the picket in a super light blue/gray matte color. It’s hard to get a picture of the color range that you can see in person. I’m loving the new kitchen and am now trying to get the right accessories in place
  • justwantapool

    It’s beautiful and I love that rug!

    what kind of woven shades did you use? I’m looking right now and trying to decide if I should get them lined or not.

  • Kim H
    Thanks! I needed a colorful rug to keep the kitchen from looking like a black and white photo :).

    I got the shade at blinds galore. They sent several samples. I decided not to get it lined because my old kitchen was so dark and I was avoiding anything that would make the new one dark. I might have gone a little overboard with lights in there. That window faces west and get direct sun as it sets. The blind helps filter the light but still lets it in. We will see if I change my mind this summer as I’m cooking dinner in there.
  • justwantapool


    Interesting to see the Whitewash in your samples. I was reading kjoy’s old thread about her woven shades and the whitewash is what she went with.

    I like that bottom sample Palm. I’m thinking maybe I need to go a little darker than I was planning, to blend with my wood floors more. But keep in the medium shade variation of my floors.

  • Kim H
    The white wash is really pretty and I almost went with it. I went with a color that matched my floors too. The darker one has thicker flat reeds that gave it more of a checkerboard pattern when the sun came through. It looked nice in pics but I didn’t want to add that pattern to the window. I followed along with your dilemma, your place is looking great! Love your curtain material
  • justwantapool

    Oh that is a great point about the light pattern. thanks for the tip!

    I didn’t know you could check out sample books from home Dept or Lowe’s until reading kjoy’s thread. Im going to try and go by there this week to see what I can get.

    I may may buy some off the shelf too just to take home and see what it looks like.

    Thanks for for the compliment! It’s slow moving but eventually I’ll get it together haha

  • Jj J


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