Help with selecting a tile for kitchen backsplash

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CanadianViking
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Help with selecting a tile for kitchen backsplash

Postby CanadianViking » Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:29 pm

Hello everyone! its been awhile since I've posted, I've been reading the forums but just busy with home renovations (inside and out) and haven't really had a chance to post much.

Anyway I am hoping to get some feedback on a tile selection for my kitchen backsplash. I've updated the kitchen since moving into the house (refinished doors, replaced hardware, new countertop and appliances) and the only thing that I have left to do is the backsplash. I was going to leave it, tried to like it, but have never been happy with it.

Here is some background. I don't have many good photos of how the kitchen looked when we purchased the house but this is probably the best. The previous owners had done a poor renovation in the 80s, painting the cabinet doors, installing cheesy hardware and a really poor microwave installation:



I removed the doors and had them stripped and refinished, replaced the hinges with "hidden hinges", replaced the hardware with stainless (Ikea), installed a new countertop, flooring, lighting, microwave, dishwasher, fridge and oven (kept the original Gurney oven as long as I could but it eventually died and I couldn't find any parts). We have lived with the kitchen like this for a year and really love the look but as mentioned above, have just never been happy with the backsplash. This is a photo of how the kitchen currently looks:





So we've spent several days visiting tile shops and talking to designers and have probably fifteen different samples in the house. We've narrowed it down to 4 different tiles that we like (although I really like the idea of using a 2" stainless tile w/white grout, I haven't been able to able to sell that to my wife!). We would really like to hear from the community some comments on the tiles that we've selected:





So what are your thoughts on these tiles? if you don't think these look good, then what would you suggest? On of my concerns is going with too dark of a tile - as you can see its a small kitchen with dark counters and flooring.

We've really been struggling with this so thank-you in advance for the feedback.

Thomas

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scowsa
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Postby scowsa » Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:35 am

My wife and I looked at these and our immediate reaction was why are you folks going with more brown tones given the amount of cabinetry you have. Also, with most of these selections we share your concerns of going with too dark of a tile.

So if we had to pick one of these it would be the lighter glass mosaic.

As to other choices, one that would avoid the darkness concern and make the space appear larger as it would have no grout lines is back painted glass.

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We live in an area with a lot of modern homes being built and marketed and we have been seeing this more and more. Google "back painted glass" and you will see lots of ideas and sources.

Also, there are large glass tile formats out there now, such as from Porcelanosa -- one my favorite tile companies.
scowsa

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Postby dani » Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:44 pm

Not really diggin' any of them. They are all kind of dark, the same as the counters and the floor. I actually like the white tiles, but not the tile shape. I'm a sucker for "stacked" subway tile. I also do like the idea of the painted back glass. Most MCM homes don't have much for a back splash, usually just the back splash that's integrated with the counter. so I would steer toward something plain as you can get IMO.

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Postby WiscoUsonIan » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:50 am

Well where can i start?

First, I'm very appalled that the previous owners painted those beautiful mahogany cabinets, Great job bringing them back! I've go the same in my home.

Next I'm particularly interested in this thread because of a few things. I'll be going through this same process very soon and our kitchens area somewhat the same! The main matching points are: the matching cabinets to mine, the dark counters (I'm getting soapstone but same color family), and I'll be looking for backsplash tiles also.

I'm in agreement with everyone else, I'm not a fan of any of the choices but I'm not sure what else to offer. I think that the long very narrow stacked options are over-played recently and will be a thing of the past soon. something thicker may be ok? Not to mention will look a little off in your kitchen being it's not very wide, at least from what I can tell. Maybe run them vertical? I also agree to stay away from dark and brown, I was thinking a possibly teal color for mine but I've got lots of red and brown so the teal would pop in my home. I do like some of the options at . Their Dwell collection have some cool retro styles that have a modern feel too. A few that have caught my eye as options for my kitchen and you might like also:

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Hope others offer advice also, I'd like to hear it!
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Postby Dan O. » Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:36 pm


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CanadianViking
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Postby CanadianViking » Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:15 pm


egads
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Postby egads » Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:30 pm


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Postby CanadianViking » Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:31 am


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Postby CanadianViking » Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:36 am


WiscoUsonIan
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Postby WiscoUsonIan » Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:29 am

Please keep us posted and post new photos on your new choices. I'd like to see your choice and the final look!

As for handles.. Here are what my cabinets have. They were wood blocks to match the cabinets. These were the ones just built to match the others so the striping is not as nice but still very close to the original ...I cant find a decent photo of the old ones right now.
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Your handles are not that bad, But they just looks a little too sleek for the cabinets, not that thats really all that bad. I can think of 1000's of worse handles(like the old ones you removed), thats for sure.
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Postby srk1941 » Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:25 am

I'm agreeing with as simple as possible, and much lighter - that sheet of reverse-painted glass seems to me the nicest, maybe in a blue or green that is very light, and VERY greyed down. A very light pearl grey (but on the warm side) would be my first choice, with the countertop and floor you've already got. But the smaller and busier the material is won't be successful in the end, I think.
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Postby jakabedy » Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:10 am

We didn't have gorgeous original cabinets to work with, but our IKEA Nexus yellow-brown are in the same tone family as your mahogany. I stressed over backsplash, as well. Our house is a more casual, organic MCM, so I didn't want anything too severe or stark. I liked the idea of a mosaic, but agree that the 1" x 1" has gotten a bit commonplace -- especially when it "sparkles". I found a 1" x 1/2" silk (matte) finish glass mosiac called Sumi-e at Lunada Bay. It's in a vertical, stacked pattern, so I think it looks different than the big box mosaic and am hoping it won't become dated as quickly. It does have a lot of variation, but all within a range that (at least to my eye) remains soothing.

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Postby dani » Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:42 am

Loving this tread, as my kitchen will be next years project.

Ian, LOVE how your kitchen turned out and with the soapstone counter it will really tie everything together!

I am almost liking some of the "shapes" rather than squares for your kitchen. It would kind of offset how square everything else is.

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here's our kitchen

Postby cougarider » Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:12 pm

Still hoping to reface cabinets with a flat front. Cabinets were not our doing but are new.
Here are pics of our new backsplash.

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CanadianViking
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Postby CanadianViking » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:10 am

thanks for the feedback. We selected a much lighter tile, I started the replacement this weekend. The demo and installation is done, just letting the tile adhesive drive and will grout Monday or Tuesday night. I'll post some photos when complete.

Cheers,

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Postby CanadianViking » Mon Nov 15, 2010 6:51 pm

Here's an update. Finished the backsplash this weekend, demo and installation was pretty uneventful, though nothing like installing tile to show how out of square everything is. Here are some photos of the finished product:





Funny thing, I went to three of the highest end tile shops in Calgary (you saw the samples that we had picked up earlier), but just couldn't find anything that we liked (especially after the suggestions here), I actually found these at Home Depot of all places. I picked up a sample and went back to the three shops to see if they had anything similar. One shop could get in a very similar tile (but with a nice texture) but it was a 16 week delivery. Another shop actually said "those are imported from Europe, I wish I carried that line as it would sell well" - you should have seen the look on his face when I told him that I just picked it up at Home Depot! The color doesn't show great in these photos, the color is "ice" and its got a gray/blue tone that contrasts nicely with the white sandless grout.

Thank you to everyone who posted here, your feedback really helped to move away from the dark earth tone colors we were originally looking at.

Cheers,

Thomas

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Postby WiscoUsonIan » Thu Nov 18, 2010 5:40 am

Looks good! that's definitely better than more brown.

nice job!
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Postby dani » Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:23 pm

LIKE it :)


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