Choosing a backsplash with your granite or marble countertops
If you fell in love with a beautiful slab, pair it with a backsplash material that shows you at your best.
You have chosen the granite countertop for its beauty and durability. Still not sure what to use for the backsplash? We have amassed some popular choices made by various designers, owners, and builders.
Granite is complicated. There are so many different color and pattern options. Some are very busy with withered movements or tones, while others are subtle. Some are dark, some are light. Some have big natural spots (which some of us love for being “natural”), while others are wacky or splattered.
Each granite or marble slab is unique, so it is impossible to make broad generalities about what will work with each color of granite. But if you look at why and how these combinations are nice and important, you will get some good ideas for a material that matches the particular stone that you have fallen in love with.
1) The same granite or marble, up to the top:
The full high backsplash is quite common. Not only can you see the beauty of the stone vertically (and match the grain horizontally) to create a book combination, it also makes it easier to clean and maintain. Just a regular hit with soapy water does the magic. When considering a completely tall backsplash (as they call it), choose the part of the slab (while selecting) that you would like to highlight. It could be a particular section of colors or a dramatic mica or a fairly consistent movement. Think of it as an art painting on a kitchen wall.
2) The 4-inch “standard” backsplash on the same countertop:
This is generally called the “standard” since most manufacturers provide them with the countertop to hide the space between the countertop and the wall. This helps them complete the transition. If you prefer the white wall or just paint the wall with your color theme, this is the way to go. You can always add glass mosaics or subway mosaics later when you are ready.
3) Large rectangular tile:
Large subway tiles are all the rage now. 4×12, 4×16 boards even 6×12 or 6×24. They make the room seem bigger. Coordinate these subway tiles and mosaics in travertine, porcelain and ceramic or even glass to create the kitchen backsplash that’s minimal and warm.
4) Subway tiles:
The 3×6, 4×4 or 6×6 evergreen subway tiles come in travertine, slate, glass, porcelain and ceramic and take you back in time when they were first used in the New York subway system. You can choose a color of your granite or marble countertop or the color that is dominant to choose the tone of your subway tile.
5) Glass tile:
The glossy finish of glass tiles complements many granite and marble countertops. Consider a neutral shade that matches the main color field in the granite.
6) Interlocking Mosaic Tile:
It is a beautiful combination of glass and stone or glass and stainless steel mosaics. Not only are they newer and more modern, but they also help you create or bring the theme to another room. Combine it with the fireplace or the bar in your living room in the next room. The changes of tone in each of these handmade mosaics are calm and charming. It is easier to cut and install mesh-backed tiles. Interlocking tiles are locked in place for the next piece for a smooth grout line finish.
7) Brick mosaic tile:
This one may seem counterintuitive (no pun intended), but the 2×4 or 1×3 brick tile and other sizes are elegant tiles that go well with your color scheme. It might seem like it would be two busy patterns, but the backsplash’s material and color is a relaxing counterpoint (pun intended).
8) Metal inserts and listello accents:
The simple subway tile might have been too simple here, but the point in the eclectic mosaic pattern drawn from the range mosaic adds a playful touch. Use chair rails and pencil liners to complete the project in style. The use of metal inserts with a natural stone backsplash, such as travertine mosaics and marble tiles, gives it a look of richness. If you’re looking at a palette that has a vivid travertine pattern but feels like simple white or cream tile blocks, then you should consider livening things up in the range. Creating a frame inside the backsplash (behind the cooktop) using chair rails or pencil moldings achieves a pushing effect.
9) Tumbled marble tile:
Tumbled subway tiles come in marble, travertine, and slate mosaics. Ragged edges create that mid-century look on your backsplash. With wide grout lines, they have no competition. When choosing backsplash tiles, you will have a few places to choose the right shades. Look at the range of colors in your countertop pattern to find the right darker shades. Also look at the color of your cabinet. Tie cabinets to countertops with these tumbled subway tiles.
Now that you’ve seen some designers’ ideas, you can start playing with the colors, sizes, shapes, scales, materials, finishes, and patterns of your dashboard / countertop combination until you get it right. Remember to also pay attention to the colors and materials of the cabinets and walls.