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Beige travertine-look or matte white kitchen backsplash tiles?

Michelle
October 8, 2019

I'm choosing a tile backsplash for my kitchen and am between one of two choices:


1. Beige travertine-look ceramic square mosaic tile

2. Matte white porcelain square mosaic tile


Tile Backsplashes · More Info


Tile Backsplashes · More Info

Here's how they look in my kitchen in artificial light. Natural light was pretty dim at this hour:


Tile Backsplashes · More Info


Tile Backsplashes · More Info


Tile Backsplashes · More Info


Tile Backsplashes · More Info


Tile Backsplashes · More Info


I took a lot more photos of the white since it appears more off-white, like my cabinets, and I wanted to really capture the color. I already knew I liked the shade of beige of the other tiles. You may notice that the white tiles, while matte, have a bit of a texture and even a sparkle in flash photography. Whichever I choose, I'm pretty sure I'd want a beige grout, nothing too dark.


Here's a picture of my kitchen (apparently on an overcast day) so you can see the wall and floor colors. The pale yellow wall causes a lot of beiges to pull grey.



Comments (37)

  • Sheeisback GW

    Since it looks like you have similar tile on the floor I’d stay away from the beige backsplash. Plus, I think it’s busier and granite has movement by itself. I’d let that be the star. I’m having a hard time telling with the photos but I‘d make sure the undertones work With whatever you choose. I’d pick whatever ‘white’ (assuming off-white) that works with the counter and cabinets. You’ll notice if a color is too blue white or stark or too cream and that’s when things end up looking wrong. Be careful with whatever grout color you choose too because that will also have an undertone. I’d test a few before committing.

    I’d personally maybe pick a different shape and larger size tile for a splash since the ones shown are the same shape as the floor and smaller and more will also make it busier. That’s a personal preference though. Just something to think about. I actually think it’s more visually important to get the right shade of white.

    Not affiliated but Maria Killam has a lot of good color and finish advice on her site.

  • felizlady

    I would try to exactly match the white of the granite for the tile backsplash, and be aware of any undertones. Definitely no beige for the backsplash.

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  • PRO
    Home Art Tile Kitchen & Bath

    I would go with matte white porcelain square mosaic tile. Beige travertine has some movement, though not a lot, but granite already has lots of movement, so I would let the countertop take the center stage. Also, your floor tiles also have movement. Plus, if you decide to change anything, white backsplash will give you more freedom to mix and match.



  • PRO
    Aqua Kitchen and Bath Design Center

    Have you tried finding the tone that would match exactly one of the tones in your granite? Beige travertine looks too earthy and doesn't look good with granite or wall color, while white is a better option. However, I believe an exact match with a tone in the granite would look best.

  • PRO
    Skippack Tile & Stone

    Please don't select those for you backsplash! They are basic shower floor mosaics; there's a world of subway tiles you can check against your counters. Instead of beige tones, look for more cream ones.

  • jbtanyderi

    Go with the white. “Close but no cigar” = constant frustration.

  • PRO
    Deli @ M&M Carpet & Tile

    I would suggest a subway white tile maybe in a 3x6 or 2x4. The 2x2 shower floor mesh sheets will just make your backsplash look dated and your newly remodeling so why not change it up to a more modern size and color choice. Maybe even a glass mosaic sheet I an subway look of one of the calmer colors in your granite would look best.

  • K R

    Agreed white but also agree not those little squares! Pick a classic subway tile.

  • Maria M.

    Neither. Your floor is already a grid of squares and you have a lot of right angles in your cabinets. Go with something with more interesting for the backsplash. Curvy shape, or maybe a 45-degree angled small subway tile in one of the colors from the countertop.

  • RedRyder

    Longer tiles in white will make it look updated. The size you’re choosing is very, very “old bathroom” style. There are more options for laying out the tiles with standard subway tile - or longer - and just the installation will update your look. Not liking your current choices.

  • luckyblueeye

    No for both! You have some many squares and rectangles everywhere (doors and flooring), don't add a billion little squares to it.

  • stillpitpat

    Are you committed to that wall color?

  • okibujp

    A similar kitchen. Back splash is more interesting with larger tiles placed diagonally.


  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    No to either one and before going any further change your lighting to LED bulbs in 4000K Those little square tiles are IMO for shower floors nothing else. Get some nice subway in a matter finish if you like in a white or cream from the counter

  • Michelle

    I painted the wall just a few months ago so it'll be staying that color for a while. I also have recessed LED lights. Well, at least now that I have a much better idea of what color to get, selecting a shape will be easier.

    I see a bunch of mosaic tiles with a ton of 1x1" squares, often in glass. I wouldn't use that for a kitchen backsplash, but are those outdated too?

  • kariyava

    Between those two, I would choose the white for sure (the faux travertine has a pinky hue) but I would look for a larger and more interesting shape if I were you.

  • PRO
    Skippack Tile & Stone

    It's not the size on the mosaics that's the issue; mosaics in glass and stone are beautiful and can complete the space. But, those really are shower floor mosaics and don't have enough "life" to them to look good. There's too many options available to settle for them.

  • PRO
    Filipe Custom Woodwork

    I would change the lighting and use a simple 3x6 tile instead of the mosaic.

  • stillpitpat

    If you're keeping the wall color, I would stick with a warm white that appears in your counter, and I wouldn't go beyond that into anything more colorful. When it's all put together, I'm not sure how well that yellow will play with the floor and counter, so I personally would not add in another beige/taupe.

  • calidesign

    Use plain white or light tan subway tiles, either matte or gloss. The fake travertine tiles and the modern square grid pattern tiles do not work with your countertop.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    Michelle,,no, and no. please. no 1x1 or 2x2 squares. horribly dated and they belong on a shower floor. and no travertine either. just do a simple subway tile in a 3x6, 2x8, 3x12 size 3x6,

    simple white subway ceramic tile




    these two are in a herringbone pattern. the one above is a 3x12 size tile, below is a 3x6 size tile


    is your granite River white? hard to tell


    Or, pick a color in your granite and do it in a glass or ceramic.




    if you want something a little more contemporary, do a ONE color in a glass random, linear bar mosaic.


    DiscountGlassTileStore has tons of glass tile selections. get some samples.



    (May I also suggest some different knobs? maybe a brushed nickel? they would look so much better. you can get them at Home Depot in the contractors pack for less than $20, if you're on a budget) Any of these knobs would look better than the shiny gold ones)



    i noticed you said you just painted. is that a yellow on the walls?? your floor tile looks like a pink/beige. any way you could match it better?

  • calidesign

    The yellow walls don't work with the floor in any way, so don't base your back splash on the paint. When you're ready to re-paint, look for a neutral or warm white, or light beige/taupe which will work with all your other finishes. It's an inexpensive fix for a big return.

  • Chessie

    I don't like either of your choices shown in the OP. For one thing, those small squares are definitely NOT a good choice. And NO MOSAICS. Listen to Beth above. She knows what she's talking about.

  • Michelle

    I just got the polished brass knobs and handles installed. I thought they'd offer a nice contrast against the stainless steel sink and appliances. I did also purchase an entire set of the same handles in brushed nickel. Since they were such a good price, I think I'll just keep them in case I ever want to switch them out.

    I may get some 3x6" subway tiles, maybe in a beveled cut to add some interest. I had no idea the small squares were considered dated or something more for a shower floor. In fact, I've never seen tiles for a shower floor in general.

  • Michelle

    How about something like this? Beveled tiles are interesting, but inverted beveled tiles take it a step further. I'd use a lighter color grout, though.



    https://www.msisurfaces.com/domino/almond-glossy-3x6-inverted-beveled/


    They also have them in beveled in case I wanted to alternate them and really get crazy.

  • Tricia Byrne

    Is that Santa Cecilia granite? If so, I'd suggest looking at glass subway tile in a color that picks up on the flecks of color in the granite somehow-- smoke gray, dusty green? Not beige/tan. Take your granite sample to a tile/stone supplier and ask for help. And if someone at a shop actually suggested those sheets of tiny tile as a backsplash option, don't ever go back there.

  • Michelle

    My granite is from MSI and while I need to verify the name, it's not Santa Cecilia. Don't worry, no one suggested those 2x2" square tiles to me, I just chose them myself since I figured they were not too big and not too small, plus I just like squares. I actually hate asking for assistance at stores and prefer to shop at places where I'm left alone to browse in peace. I only ever really have questions about technical stuff like electrical work.

  • A Foster

    I love yellow kitchen walls n white cabinets :). But the floor tile pinkness really clashes. The 2 tiles u chose r dated. The subway tiles are considered timeless . I’m a introvert and hate dealing with sales people so I get u not wanting to ask irl This place is awesome for advice. Go shop for some of their suggestions bring home samples and repost pictures they r great about guiding u to right color products. Good luck

  • Michelle

    Hmm, the floor tiles really don't look pink irl. They were actually some of the least grey-looking beige tiles that I sampled. I think my camera lighting is just horrible!


    I've gotten a few samples, mostly square mosaic tiles but also some mosaic subway tiles and single subway tiles. I hope to make a decision by this weekend! I'm so tired of this!

  • Michelle

    OK, I decided to order the MSI almond inverted beveled subway tile. It is almost the exact same color as the Jeffrey Court Royal Cream tiles at the Home Depot (not available at my local store but at another in my area I went to this weekend). I didn't find the MSI tiles in any stores in my area so I had ordered a sample from the Home Depot website for free in-store pickup, but then ended up placing my order on Wayfair since the exact same tiles were still cheaper there. I bought about +15% for waste material. I even had a 10% off code.


    In other news with my house, my brick exterior stairs are now done and just need the columns. My deck should be done by tomorrow, and my countertops are being delivered and installed on Monday. Now I just need to get the basement started...

  • Chessie

    I think the almond color is a mistake with the white cabs and that granite.

  • Rhonda

    Love your countertop

  • Michelle

    Chessie, although the camera is not picking it up, the tiles I ordered are actually the same color as the cabinets.

  • calidesign

    I think that new tile above will work well with the cabinets and countertop. Did you also order matching pencil edges? You need a plan for the edges.

  • felizlady

    I always suggest backsplash tile which matches one of the colors in the counter material. Larger tile looks better than little tiles for the backsplash.

  • Chessie

    I did not do pencil tile edges. We cut the tile to make a straight edge, and sanded them smooth. Finished with grout. It looks quite nice.

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