katie_halebyrne

Removing riser backsplash problems

Katie B.
last month



I have 6-inch granite in my kitchen. I’ve already asked for ideas for an update to my kitchen, and everyone agrees- remove riser, tile backsplash. I agree my kitchen as is looks builder-grade and unfinished. The reason we haven’t tiled the backsplash is because I’m nervous about potential problems- Like this one shown in the first photo. When we remove the riser, the granite window sill will stick out 3/4 inch. Do we remove the sill also, and/or use a thick piece of trim?


Are there really no options that will work without removing the granite from the walls?? Tile to the ceiling, wood planks, something that looks intentional...? HELP!

Comments (107)

  • Katie B.
    last month

    These are photos from when we bought the house. Not my decor. And we added window treatments and put in an undermount, single-basin sink. But this is as clean as you’re going to see it...so...


  • Katie B.
    last month

    And Jan, those kitchens appeal to me because they work with my existing kitchen. Get me a rustic wood hood, subway tile, and some industrial-ish pulls, and I’ll be happy. And I like the look of up-to-the ceiling cabinets- it looks finished.

    I love devol kitchens, but I don’t have that. You’re right, I’m veering off-course by mentioning devol. I always think of devol kitchens when I think of short risers that actually work.

    Where else could I put a microwave?




    thank you

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  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Jan, I advised her she could close the gap by doing something like this, or some of the others (depending on the amount of space)


    A carpenter can easily do this to match the existing cabinets

    or this if she wants it open (personally I like the first one because there's no dust and grime to deal with)


    and the after:


    the other option is to have the tops lengthen and then covered w/brand new doors that match the trim work on the lowers. If you have a standard door style, the carpenter could easily copy them. It would look something like this w/a simple crown attached. A custom vent hood could be made like this, and then you'd buy an insert to put inside of it. (I did this w/mine)


    or a modified thick crown:


    quite a few diff ways to close the gap. They could even make her top portion taller and have new doors made (although it may look out of whack w/the lower door size). Personally I think any of the 3 above work just fine if she's going to paint.

    As for the Microwave, (having been through the same thing last year) she doesn't have to get a drawer. any of the 'countertop' micros that double as 'built-in's' can also be used in an island. You just have to make sure you have proper depth and and inch or two clearance around the unit. I told her to look at the 'rough-in' dimensions before choosing. Most of the built in's for an island insert require a 23" depth or more. I got the GE Profile for $600 and love it. The drawer one would have worked, but they're almost 2K and are have way too many bells and whistles for what I needed.

    inserting some glass in the doors should only be about 150-200 for each one. (it's $50 if she or a friend can do it their self).

    As an estimate, I'd say having a carpenter build those cabinet top add-ons,Getting the top cabinets/island painted, maybe 3K or so.

    Adding the custom top molding/box portion to the cabinets, building a custom vent hood (with insert that you purchase which is about 1K for a 36"), prepping and priming all of the cabs/island and spraying with either a lacquer or a quality enamel at their shop, should come in around 6-8K.

    Removing the cabinets on the right side, removing the granite piece (do it both of these yourselves and save some money!) installing open shelves and tile/backsplash install, could be in the 2-3K range. Want to save money on shelves? Do it yourself. I've seen the prices on some of those HGTV shows and they got $800 bucks for two wood shelves! I spent $45 for 4 of my solid walnut shelves. So if you want to save some money, you'll have to do a few things yourself.

    when it comes to tile, there are many nice ones you can find if you know where to shop. But I wouldn't worry about that until all of the other things are completed.

    his kitchen is very similar to yours. notice the painted white island w/overhang, new pendants. that's all that was done here. (oh, and the linear backsplash. ignore that though)


    another one with glass white painted uppers, white island


    and, your same cabinets (w/dark add-ons on top) But I wanted you to look at the countertop and subway tile.


    This alone makes it lighter, brighter and gives it a custom look (oh, the vent hood was custom. micro is prob in the island) I also love these pendants w/this kitchen. and I love it even more w/the marble or marble-look quartz countertops.

    another one similar to yours. (or what you'd like) similar granite to yours too. kind of cool what they did w/the island


    BTW Katie,,,I found a bunch of photos to show you what your kitchen layout could look like with some of the changes we're discussing.

    I'm trying to find two-tone w/wood, and right side shelving, so you get an idea.


    use your imagination to combine the wood and the white, but you get the idea. (and most of these will have a lighter or white countertop, so keep that in mind)


    it's late right now so I'll come back tmrw when you're ready to show you all of the other pictures. I found some good ones I think you'll like ;)

    Katie B. thanked Beth H. :
  • Jennifer Hogan
    last month

    I have had to do a lot of renovations on much tighter budgets than you have. Your kitchen is nice, there is no reason to rip out cabinets and do a ton of work to refresh it.


    Removing the riser back splash and adding white subway tile will give you a big bang for the buck. Personally I would leave the granite window sill. It will be fine next to the subway tile. The only person in the world who will look at it and think anything at all is you, because you know it isn't exactly the way you wanted it.


    You can do something to raise the cabinets up to ceiling height, but it isn't necessary. The top shelves can't be accessed without a step stool or ladder anyway, so they aren't exceptionally functional.


    You can get your custom hood without bringing the cabinets to the ceiling.







    The microwave then needs a new home, but that can be on a shelf in the island or on a shelf somewhere else in the kitchen.


    Since you want to add some rustic touches and like the pipe handles you could go two ways depending on the layout of your kitchen

    Re-use the cabinet that was above your microwave and just add a shelf below to hold a new microwave - replacing a full set of uppers.

    Remove a set of uppers and replace with somewhat rustic shelving





    Beyond this I would paint the walls and the island lighter and brighter and I think you will go from a good functional kitchen to a great kitchen and could possibly have a good chunk of money left over for another great adventure. All depends on how much you spend on the hood and if you paint the island yourself or have it professionally painted.




    Katie B. thanked Jennifer Hogan
  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Yes , ( Beth ) here are a million ways to fill the gap. build out a box and simply make new doors/trim for the entire face. is one! I've done it too. the point was only ( with insomnia at three am ) that you can't just buy a cabinet, ( literally) and "add". .

    Millions of ways exist to change it up. It depends ........but you are either staining, or painting something. Upper, lower etc .

    Good grief, why have a single window? She was talking about losing uppers! Add two WINDOWS........and have a view at the sink enhanced!

    Point is? She started with removing a riser : ) and FEAR.

  • Katie B.
    last month

    Jan, you are a ball buster. My only fear now is what will happen to me if I don’t remove the riser. I’ll remove it! Our view out of the kitchen window leaves a lot to be desired, but it doesn’t bother me. What you don’t see in the photos is the wall of windows and a slider that connects immediately right of kitchen cabs I’m thinking of removing to add open shelves.

    We wouldn’t do any of this ourselves. Spending 15 instead of 10 to have someone else do it...👌


    As far as rustic goes, just one strip of wood on the bottom of the custom hood (In white) would do just fine. I really like the open cabinets above the existing cabinets. That’s becoming a must have for me.


    Beth, the one you posted with the busy backsplash and White Island that looks like mine shows me that only painting the island will not be enough to give me the look I want. That kitchen doesn’t look much better than what I have now. Good for me to see!

  • Katie B.
    last month



  • Katie B.
    last month

    I like all of these...none of them have all the elements I think I need. So I guess I am confused.



  • Jennifer Hogan
    last month

    Katie B, we can like a lot of things, but we don't always want them in our home.


    I love my sister's kitchen - Tudor home, mix of antiques and industrial finishes with a lot of wood and a busy floor and busy counter and a lot of patterns that somehow come together in a beautiful home. My home is Mid Century Modern, clean lines, light neutrals and bold colors, and very little pattern to anything. I can like Susie's kitchen, but not want it in my home.


    Take a deep breath. Start with what must stay (either you love it or can't afford to change it or don't want to change it for some reason). Then list all your wants to make what must stay into your absolute dream. Then prioritize and decide what is most important to incorporate into your vision. It may not be everything, but has to be enough to make you feel joy when you walk into the room.


    Above all, remind yourself that this is your home, and the important thing is not what finishes we have, but how much love is shared within the walls of the home. I have known some very happy people who lived in homes that were old and outdated and too small and and and, but they loved their homes because the home held wonderful memories.

    Katie B. thanked Jennifer Hogan
  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Bingo!!! My point echoed by Jennifer!

    Get a designer In there. Get her contractor. Be honest about the budget.

    Then listen , and pray he/ she does not "yes " you to death. Get someone UN afraid to say NO. Because a kitchen, just like any other room is about editing. It is not about a dab of this, that, and every element you see on the Internet. It's a total feel. Not a left hand side of the menu , one of EACH please.

    Get help in there to help you refine your goal. :)

    Katie B. thanked JAN MOYER
  • leela4
    last month

    Years ago people here used The Sweeby Test to help narrow down choices or to help one form a vision of their kitchen-whether a new build, a full gut remodel, or a refresh. With the myriad choices available it is perhaps helpful to have a "vision" of what you are striving for.

    HTH

    Katie B. thanked leela4
  • Katie B.
    last month

    Thank you so much everyone. I came to the Same conclusion with work I want to do to the outside of the house- I need a local designer’s input. This process has been very helpful though, and has answered a lot of questions I’ve had about what is possible and what could look good. I’ll definitely check out that sweeby test too.



    I’ll never design a kitchen, or house for that matter, from scratch. Never. Too many choices.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Know thyself : ) that is WHY there are pro's. Get trees from a forest, chaff from wheat. Or wander...........lost.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month
    last modified: last month

    jan, I wondered why you were up so late! lol. and yes, I just mentioned to her that she could have those boxes built, not put in actual cabinets atop the others.

    Katie, yes. determine what look you want. that's why I posted similar layout kitchens to yours so you see.

    this one, for instance, is basically the same layout as yours with the island turned




    similar, but w/an added peninsula and no uppers on that one wall



    i know these are diff colors, but it will still give you an idea of how it would look





    want to enlarge the window? this is basically your layout w/a larger window and no uppers on that wall


    Katie B. thanked Beth H. :
  • Katie B.
    last month

    Thank you Beth... I just emailed you.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Katie, I forgot to add in my email. you said you're sure your island is deep enough. Well, that's what I though about mine and it's much larger than yours.

    See the open shelf? I was going to put the micro in there.


    Turns out it wasn't deep enough. I would have had to cut the cabinet on the other side to make another two inches for it.

    I keep stressing that you HAVE to look at the rough-in dimensions for whatever microwave you choose.You can't just find a microwave that's 19" deep and say, "oh, that will work". it won't. They all list the rough-in schematics under specifications.

    The ones you need to look at will be countertop microwaves WITH a in-cabinet option. you have to make sure it has that option. Otherwise the only 'built-in' ones you'll find are the slide drawers that cost about 2K. Mkay?

    So find the microwave first. Then see if your island can be modified to fit. Then go from there.

    Katie B. thanked Beth H. :
  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    last month
    last modified: last month

    You really want one designed to be UNDER the counter. ( All counter top/ over the range models, all of them, hinge LEFT and the door swings open ) With under counter, the controls ( at the TOP ) and door opening will be more functional. and a lot more convenient on a daily basis. Most of us use them more than we think we do. You can get kitchen Aid .......... rough in shown below it. 1499.00 Home Depot.

    Meaning you need a min rough opening 24 deep, 22 1/8 wide, 14 13/16 minimum height and a platform that can supporrt 100 lbs min.

    Basically you need a 24 inch cabinet, both ways , depth and width.



    A. 6" (15.2 cm) minimum 16" (40.6 cm) maximum

    B. Suggested electrical receptacle location

    C. Anti-Tip block

    D. 3" (7.6 cm)

    E. 31/2" (8.9 cm)

    F. 4.5" (11.4 cm)

    G. 221/8" (61.4 cm) opening

    H. 1413/16" (37.6 cm) to bottom of Anti-Tip block

    I. Allow 7/8" (2.2 cm) overlap

    J. 24" (61.0 cm) minimum depth

    K. Allow 9/16" (5.6 mm)

    L. Platform must support 100 lb (45.4 kg)

    M. 159/16" (39.5 cm) opening N. Allow 3/4" (1.9 cm) overlap O. 135/64" (3.9 cm)

    O

    Drawer face

    Cabinet face

    G

    Top view

    file:///Users/Apple_Owner/Downloads/a6b756e1-5014-493f-8c07-2a9a92d476fe.pdf


    Katie B. thanked JAN MOYER
  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Were this my kitchen?

    I'd build a flush to door soffit, add a bead of trim, add crown and store NOTHING above those cabinets, no baskets....no crap. I'd paint them white, and include all added above. I'd change all the hardware, add the STAINLESS hood, get the Micro down under.........somewhere. Add pendant at the island, paint,...... maybe some under cab lighting if you don't have that, Maybe a great articulating wall pendant over the sink Tile the splash to the counter and get on with my life. : ) Because the change will be huge . Want glass doors? Left and right of sink, and remember you have to be a neatnik, or they look like hell.

    WHY?

    Because I'd want some trim in that house. ...............i would want some window casings etc. I'd want to lose the paint color to something softer......etc. I'd want some bucks for other places and my bet is you will too.




  • Katie B.
    last month

    Thank you so much. We will surely have someone help us with all components of this project, but the guidance here has been much appreciated.


    I’ve thought of a million different ways to improve the kitchen and leave the granite backsplash. But I’m convinced now- it needs to go. If we end up needing new counters (from damage or a large gap against the wall), oh well, but at least I can be prepared for that possibility.


    I’ve also seen pictures with the window sill jutting out, and It looks fine.



    Beth, your kitchen WAS nice before your renovation, but it does look amazing now.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I can't believe you're still obsessing on the backsplash riser. I honestly can not. : ) Really. It's a mole hill, not a mountain. Believe it.

  • Katie B.
    last month

    hahaha. It’s true. I was just bringing closure to the thread.

  • partim
    last month

    There is no way to ever bring closure to a thread. It will be resurrected years from now by someone who only read your first post LOL.

  • Katie B.
    last month

    Isn‘t that the truth. Especially on the riser issue.

  • lindahambleton
    last month

    Partim, I am always getting sucked into 4 or 5 year old post s. I try to check the date now.

  • Katie B.
    last month

    Beth, I emailed you again. Jan, aren’t you glad I don’t have your email? 😂😂😂😂😂

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    last month

    Yes!!! Yes!!! Lol yessssss!

  • Katie B.
    last month

    Jan, houzz JUST now notified me of your post about what you would do. It’s all great...even the advice about having to be neat to have glass doors. That’s why I go back and forth about that. Our house is a constant back and forth between neat and cluttered...it’s a daily battle with my highly creative child.


    can you post a photo of what you imagine for the soffit?


    funny thing- when we bought this house I thought I wanted to trim out the whole house- crown, windows, etc etc.. After 10 years I‘ve realized it‘s too overdone, fancy, sophisticated, formal... for my taste. I’m none of those things. Know thyself, like you say.

  • Katie B.
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Of all of the photos I’ve seen, this is the most me, and a look I think I could pull off in this house.



    and I LOVE the island in this one



  • Katie B.
    last month

    And one more thing. Maybe the paint issue is actually lighting. Any recommendations on light bulbs? The downstairs is darker with the dark kitchen, dark sea grass shades, dark wood furniture..., and the paint appears kind of dingy, olive, especially in photos. It’s really not though. The upstairs is much lighter and the same color is nice up there.


    this is upstairs




  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    last month

    There are allllll types of trim. :)

    Katie B. thanked JAN MOYER
  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month

    me, personally, I have to have trim on the door casing and the windows. (unless the window is perfectly finished w/drywall and paint and the perfect blind is used.

    I find it's best just to do something simple w/mitered corners

    this is mainly what I use around the doors and windows.




    casing comes in all styles w/all types of routing decor. up to you what you like






    for my bathroom and bedroom area I did hand stained red oak for my window and all of the door casing. this was a simple join since there was no 45 in the corners. you could easily to this w/simple MDF trim in the white too.



    BTW, came across this picture for a backsplash. I think it also works w/your bathroom tile. It has the handmade look (because it is!) and that rustic feel and color you like. It's a CleTile, Zelliege in the 3" hex.


  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    last month
    last modified: last month

    No trim requires absolute perfection. Otherwise? It's the sign of skimpy.....build. Corner beads get beat up, loo worn, and. crisp trim , especially in white, sets off paint colors, ans brightens windows as well.

    Katie B. thanked JAN MOYER
  • Katie B.
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Thanks girls. I really don’t love the look of window trim, and the corners are holding up well so far. I like my paint too. 😬😬

    If we do decide to do trim, I would do it when we paint. And painting will be a big ordeal. Every wall surface is the beige color. I’d rather get a bifold patio door before trim or paint.

    I have 25k to refresh the outside-front (accent painting, landscaping, lighting, a pergola I want) and the kitchen. Don’t distract me! 😘😘

    Beth, personally, I love that hex tile. Swoon. 100% guarantee my husband will say it’s too mermaid. 🥳

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month
    last modified: last month

    too mermaid?? tell him that would be the scallop or fishtail shape.



    i actually love the scallop this one is more of a fishtail, and the upper one more scallop


    Hex is no way near beach or mermaid-ish!


    you could always do the same type of tile in the 4x4 stacked




  • Katie B.
    last month

    The stacked is beautiful

  • Katie B.
    last month

    Do you still think that would go with the pulls I want?

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    last month

    I'm out : )

    Katie B. thanked JAN MOYER
  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Katie. don't put the cart before the horse. yes they would go.

    you keep bouncing all over the place which is why I think Jan left! first it's the riser, then cabs, then tile, then the window, then the patio cover,,,,, I mean, settle in on one thing and do it!

    figure out your cab situation first and worry about the design elements after. everything hinges on the cabinets anyway.

  • Katie B.
    last month

    Why do you say that?. She brought up trim and paint. I keep saying I like my paint. Trim wasn’t even something I asked about. I think I’m pretty solid- I want a combo of white and espresso cabinets. They’ll be the same style as they are now. And subway tile. With a rustic hood or rustic detailing on the island. I love the tiles you showed just now, but I didn’t ask for more options of tile. I did ask about lightbulbs because I think lighting is why she hates my paint so much, and she didn’t answer me about that.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I don't know about the paint. I know a few people mentioned it but it didn't really bother me.

    You sent me an email asking about tile if you thought that I thought your backsplash should tie into it. that's the only reason I posted that tile. I thought it worked well w/what you have. as for the others, I only posted those because the hex and the mermaid aren't the same and thought you could show him. and then I posted the 4x4 because I figured maybe he'd like those better!

    I don't know why she asked about the window trim or the paint. Do you know what temp bulbs you have now? could it be throwing off the color? usually 3500-4000K is pretty neutral.

    I think you should call out a few companies and see what kind of pricing they can give you for painting and the modifications for the vent hood and micro. (and the upper portion if you decide to do anything w/that)

    personally I would do one of the options I suggested rather than a soffit, but that's me

  • Katie B.
    last month

    Thanks Beth. I only mentioned the outside because I have a budget for these two main projects...I’m not looking to trim out or paint the inside of the house. I might consider painting the kitchen if there was a way to do it with how connected everything is (I don’t see a way). Didn‘t you tell me you were reroofing, and painting, and redoing your kitchen all that once? Nothing is done in a vacuum, but I am sorry if it seems l’m flipping back and forth.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month

    I think it seemed like that on here. and yes, I did all of those at once, just because it happened to line up that way. I wouldn't recommend it.

    I know you asked me about the pergola thing, but I really have no knowledge on that. Did you say the HOA was going to be OK w/it? what about if you did something w/the patio? can you do whatever you want w/the cement patio? you could tile or even do a stencil w/porch paint. could you do a patio cover over that portion or just the garage door area?

    since the kitchen would prob cost more, I'd get an estimate on that first and see where it leaves you.

    I do like the idea of what you want to do. and yes the bottom handles can use the one hole. I suggest you order one of those handles and see if you can make them work and how they look.

    I 'd also look at microwaves and vent hood inserts (if you want a custom vent hood). otherwise, buy one all inclusive

    Katie B. thanked Beth H. :
  • Katie B.
    last month

    Hoa is cool with a visor pergola over the window. I could tile the patio in Spanish tile, but nothing cool like a pattern. Now this chat is really a topic flip flop so I don’t want to confuse anyone. I really just wanted to know if you knew where I could buy the metal pergola, since you seem to know this business so well.


    thank you

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month

    lol, well, I don't know the metal business or pergola very well. your guess would be as good as mine. Does anyone else in your community have any decorative item like that? perhaps start w/them. or, a metal fabricator. or awning shop.

  • Katie B.
    last month

    lol. No. I’m the only one around here with ideas beyond Home Depot. Thanks...I meet with a landscape designer this week...I’ll ask him.

  • Katie B.
    last month

    I’m thankful for the tile tangent. This tile is incredible, Beth. Rustic, coastal I’ve been looking at cle tile...



  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month
    last modified: last month

    i love their tile. I have at least 15 of their samples. the zelliege and the earthenware. they were having a sale but have sold out on almost all of them.

    they do have 38 sq ft of the robins egg. it's a good price because they're usually double that amount


    The iron and the dragon bay.




    https://www.cletile.com/collections/cle-kiln

  • Katie B.
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I just ordered samples of the Zellige in weathered white (3free samples for signing up for their emails). I need to see it against my granite.

    liked the small batch earthenware too. Robins egg is too speckled for me, but wow, gorgeous.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Go back. Where did this start? You wanted the riser gone.You wanted white subway. Pick one. I like Alyse Edwards " Tongue in Chic in 2 x 10 color "you don't snow me" . Has a lovely hand cut look.

    Cabinets to the ceiling. Look at the picture below. Nothing but nothing is cheaper/faster than a few studs and drywall. When you do the "soffit", add a bead of trim, add crown, paint uppers and soffit and trim all in same satin white. You get this look. If you want glass doors? Put them left and right of sink. Look at the picture...........You don't need baskets, or anything else up there. You need it filled in and trimmed. Look directly behind those lights in the photo below. Nothing more than a flush soffit.



    The HOOD. No matter where the micro goes, it has to go somewhere.. Get one with a drawer, for all the reasons I said earlier. Locations of controls and no door swing issue. Kitchen Aid or Sharp. A cabinet has to be re worked to accommodate ANY. For that you need the specs to any potential purchase, of any micro wave.

    Pick a hood. It's either built "cabinet" with an insert......or you get a stainless hood. Either option is a huge improvement / major upgrade over the current situation atop the cook top.

    You want " White and espresso " The easiest way to get it is just what I said. Paint all the uppers as I just typed ............do all of that before you worry on a pergola.

    Design is like pulling a thread on a sweater. Pick a feel you want and follow the "thread" to the feel.

    PS Hardware. Any hardware you like goes with white subway tile. Which is where you began. ............right?

    One more..........." rustic detail on the island" How and where and what? Unless you are going to remove it, build a new island.......what and where and in what way? For that, don't reinvent a wheel. But be prepared to enlarge a bit, and get a new TOP that's the issue. I go back to "why" . Decide it you want it white, or to remain espresso.

    At some point you have to get past a lone big toe in the pool water, and jump or dive.

  • Katie B.
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Thank you, Jan!


    I Know you’re frustrated with me, but isn't it better that I sort things out here first than to flip flop when I get a quote, or, worse, when the work gets done?


    The drywall soffit is what I was leaning toward as well. Thank you.

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