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kathryn_weiss17

Which Zellige tile should I use?

2 months ago

Hoping for some help choosing between these two Zellige backspash tiles.... My cabinets are SW Windsor Greige and the granite is "Cold Spring". My current backsplash is basic builder grade beige, with a lovely harlequin inset over the cook top. (And I can't wait for it to be gone!)


I am planning to use Zellige tile from Riad. This forum has been so helpful in understanding more about using the tile as well as who to order it from! I just received samples of the "snow" and the "natural. The snow reads a little grey to me, but it looks ok next to the granite. But I'm leaning more towards the natural, it's very close to the color of the cabinets...but I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing!





Which would you pick and would you go with a matching grout or a slight contrast? My floors are travertine, so between them and the countertops, I don't think I want too much contrast. I prefer to highlight the variations in the color of the tiles as a whole.


And finally, subway style layout or horizontal stack?

Comments (36)

  • PRO
    2 months ago

    I would choose a dark tile in a color from the counter maybe even glass tile with matching grout . I think close but not matching is always bad BTW

    Kathryn Weiss thanked Patricia Colwell Consulting
  • 2 months ago

    I would choose the Natural one closest to the cabinet color, let the countertop be the star.

    Kathryn Weiss thanked Lyn Nielson
  • 2 months ago

    Either one will have a lot of color variations so this is one instance where ”close” is probably fine. Visually, the natural will extend the cabinet color, the snow white will extend the stone color. Either way, it’s going to look much better than the old bs. Have you given much thought to grout spaces? Larger spaces will make the high degree of variability in size and thickness of the tiles a little less noticeable, but of course you’re going with the zellige because you like the variability. Make sure your installer has set this type of tile before, blends the boxes, and uses wedge spacers. And please show us the ”after” if you can. Good luck!

    Kathryn Weiss thanked eam44
  • 2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    the natural is nice...But the cabinets and counter would take a little more boldness . the brown in the counter is a very cool brown....

    Have you thought of a deeper color..as someone suggested....could be stunning..use a muddy brown grout and venture into different hardware when you get to it....


    Projectos Midnight Blue Ceramic Floor and Wall Tile · More Info


    Kathryn Weiss thanked herbflavor
  • 2 months ago

    Isn’t that going to be a nightmare to clean behind the stove? The ones I’ve seen have uneven edges so you don’t have a flat surface, even after grouting. Those little ledges are going to collect grease and dirt.

    Kathryn Weiss thanked bsgibbs
  • 2 months ago

    So everything I've read about Zellige tiles behind the range top insists that cleaning is not an issue. Even the people that installed it without grout say that (?!!) I need to be wary of resale because this is probably not my forever-home, so I do plan to use grout, with the thinnest line possible.

  • 2 months ago

    If you are resale conscious, zellige may be the wrong choice. At least half of your buyers will think the look is the result of a bad DIY installation. You could instead use a handmade subway tile with variability in color and even size, but much less than the tile you are considering.

  • 2 months ago

    eam44 has a very good point. As much as I like the Zellige tile, it probably has less universal appeal for resale. More rectified subway tile might be a better option. I.would also consider not tiling the side walls.

    Kathryn Weiss thanked flopsycat1
  • 2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    @ eam44 thank you, that's a valid point. Although my sister, who is a realtor, just installed it in her newly renovated kitchen and it looks good. She did the Riad snow white with white grout and it looks great.

    Do you have a brand name for the handmade subway tile? The ones I've seen so far don't offer much color variation.

  • 2 months ago

    @ flopsycat1 , yes! the side panels are definitely being eliminated!


  • 2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I’m a fan of Fireclay Tile (link replaced), in part because their web site is so helpful, but any handmade tile would be great. You can search for maximum variability in their original ceramic tile (the search above) that will show you which glazes fire up with the most color variability. You can also search for beautiful shapes. But this tile is expensive. As in expensive.



    They also have some beautifully crazed tiles. Theres a lot to enjoy there. Their neutrals are incredibly rich, and for some reason the color Tusk looks to me like it might work well for you. Samples are inexpensive.



    Kathryn Weiss thanked eam44
  • 2 months ago

    My favorite handmade tile is Complete Tile - handmade in upstate NY. I used them when I redid my kitchen. Take a look at what they offer.



    Kathryn Weiss thanked houssaon
  • 2 months ago


    Your current splash matches neither your stone nor your cabinets so by matching one or the other you are at least headed in the right direction. In my mind Zelle feels busy as do your counters and your cabinets. For this reason, I'd find another kind of tile, But you seem to like it, so use whichever you feel matches your cabinets best.


    Your cabinets have a lot of look and detail and if you are wanting to tone them down for future buyers, have them kind of melt in to the look of the backsplash. This will make your counters stand out and everyone seems to want to put their own new counter into whatever home they are moving in to anyway.


    Kathryn Weiss thanked Kendrah
  • 2 months ago

    @ Kendrah Thank you! I have to say I am now leaning away from Zellige! I appreciate your thoughts on the color direction. The style of this house is definitely not my personal style, so it is challenging to change things without messing up the overall look.


  • PRO
    2 months ago

    Equipe tile called Artisan in white is my back up choice to zellige, I got samples of the zellige and while I love it, I do not think my boyfriend will appreciate the irregularities like I do. Which is how most other people would see it.

    Kathryn Weiss thanked KristinaM
  • PRO
    2 months ago

    I also think changing the hardware on those cabinets would help maybe to something lighter like champange bronze or brushed gold, then change the faucet to match. beige/off white cabinets are in right now!

  • 2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Equipe Artisan white = Bedrosian Cloe White (Equipe manufactures them for Bedrosian and a few other retailers). It’s been a VERY popular tile (I used it in a recent bathroom renovation). It is a v4 (= high variation) - the color lots do vary a little bit. It tends to lean gray - so I’m not sure that it would work with your cabinets. The cream color has a lot of variation = too much next to your granite (plus, I think the shades wouldn’t work)

    Equipe also has some other tiles - with less variation - that might work. They look handmade (uneven edges) and come in various sizes/colors/matte or gloss. One of the styles is a mix of matte + gloss tiles - it is also sold by Ivy Hill - Amagansett.

    It’s has a white (also called Gin on some sites) and a cream. Many people describe the white as a softer white (vs stark w gray undertones). The cream looks like it has a fair amount of variation in some stock photos - but in customer review photos (not retouched) - it looks like it has less variation:



    White/Gin (Ivy Hill’s photo)


    The online photos don’t show a strong pink shade as it has above.


    Cream (again, Ivy Hill’s photo):


    Customer photos:



    This one is also cream (comes in two sizes):









    This one is white/gin :





    I can’t remember the Equipe name for this tile - but you can easily find it on their website.


    Also - if you pirchase the tiles from HD (maybe Lowe’s - an’t remember if Lowe’s stocks them), you can order entire boxes in order to get a better feel for the tiles - and if you don’t like them, you can return them at the store w no shipping costs (no restocking fee either).


    The above is just a suggestion for something that looks similar to the zellige tiles that you like.. As far as whether you should use a different color - I’ll leave that up to the pros!

    Kathryn Weiss thanked dani_m08
  • PRO
    2 months ago

    Careful with some of those tiles, definitely get a sample, I can tell they have a pearl finish, unless your into that kind of thing!

  • 2 months ago

    I would look for a white subway tile that blends with the countertop. Countertop is the boss and cabinets will then shine as a lovely accent color.

  • PRO
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I think a contrasting color for the backsplash, or you'll drown in a sea of beige, especially with travertine floors. Try brown as someone suggested, to work with the darker color in the backsplash.

    And lay them in a running bond pattern (what you called "subway"). Stacked is more contemporary and your style looks to be more traditional.

    Kathryn Weiss thanked Diana Bier Interiors, LLC
  • last month

    https://pin.it/2YqgxOVYm


    I like going for something a bit whiter to break up the griege a bit. These tiles have a nice sheen but not a ton of variation.

  • last month

    @ Diana Bier Interiors, LLC Thank you for the suggestion! I have decided Zellige is not a good fit for me and am looking at other options now. Thank you for weighing in on the layout question!


  • last month

    @ youXHome interiors Thank you for your suggestion. I am leaning more towards something lighter colored. The white in the granite seems gray-ish, but I have not liked any of the the true white tiles up against it. So I've been searching for a warm, but not creamy white to sample...if such a thing exists.


  • last month

    @ eam44 thank you for suggesting Fire Clay, their tiles are beautiful! I have a video consultation scheduled next week!

  • last month

    Oh wonderful! I have boatloads of their sample tiles that I’ve ordered over the years. I’m dying to know how your consultation went. Were they awesome? Did they suggest colors and shapes? Have you made any decisions? I’m excited for you. Tile is the best part!!

  • 26 days ago

    Make sure you post photos when it’s finished!

  • PRO
    26 days ago

    Jealous! Couldn’t get them in Canada for a few months so I went with equipe artisan tile (same as cloe tile) can’t wait to see how yours turns out.

  • 23 days ago
    last modified: 23 days ago

    Kitchen backsplash - after with grout

    The tile reads kind of grey and peachy in this photo. IRL, it goes really well with the cabinets.

  • 23 days ago
    last modified: 23 days ago

    After - fireplace surround (slate ledger stone)



  • 23 days ago

    After - bar backsplash before grout



  • 23 days ago

    Thanks for updating us! I hope you love it. Enjoy your new tile in the best of health 😊

  • 23 days ago

    @ KristinaM now that the tile has been installed, I am thinking about your suggestion to change the cabinet hardware...The hardware is consistent throughout the entire home. Do you think I could get away with changing them only in the kitchen area?

  • 23 days ago

    Yes, you can change up only your kitchen hardware. I think your current hardware is pretty heavy looking. What are you thinking of doing instead?

  • 22 days ago

    Maybe more of a platinum finish to go with all the appliances? The living room is an extension of the kitchen, so I think I'd need to change them all.


  • PRO
    21 days ago
    last modified: 21 days ago

    I actually dont mind the finish/colour of them, do you know what brand/finish that is? You could then just switch out the pulls to something else within their brand but to ones that are more modern.

    Plus I would keep the knobs, they would look good with a more modern pull, if you can source different pulls in that finish and then you wouldn't have to worry about switching the knobs in living room.

  • 16 days ago
    last modified: 16 days ago

    I have the original spec sheet from the first owners of our home. It looks like the cabinet hardware is from the Lille Collection. The spec sheet says the finish is "shiny nickel with dull lacquer" which is no longer available.

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