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In search of the perfect tile

by - Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Step 1: Find the cabinetry. Step 2: Everything else. Now that we have figured out the style and look of the kitchen cabinets, we're on to more fun stuff -- picking out the floor, backsplash, and countertop.

I'm drawn to
white kitchens and prefer a classic casual yet warm look. Something like this would do me just fine:

White subway tile backsplash, carrera marble counters, white ceramic sink - so timeless. But HandyMan has other ideas. He'd prefer something with a bit more pattern and colour, maybe bring in the brown tones from the other rooms in the house. Here's some of what we've found so far to suit both our tastes.
The backsplash:

Our first love was this hexagon tile in a calcutta marble. So beautiful! The shape is something you'd see more typically used on a vintage bathroom floor, so we thought using as a backsplash would be a new spin on an old classic and very unexpected. Unfortunately, the more we looked at it, the more we realized what a pain in the butt it would be to cut all the tiles and have them sit straight and flush with the countertops.
The mini subway tiles were great too, but the travertine ones were a bit textured and would be difficult to clean. The scale of these was also a bit small for the space.
Now the mini brick tiles in marble -- awesome!! We found these "Venus Marble Mosaic Tiles in Milky Way" from Olympia Tile. The showroom sample had a bit more pink and yellow than the sample we took home, so I'm hoping with a whole backsplash of these we'll get a bit more variation and interest. The shape is pretty unique too, 1 x 2, and I haven't seen this used much. I think its more interesting than the popular white subway tiles but still gives the same classic kind of feel. What do you think??

More to come!

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  1. Love the marble against the white cabinets. We were going to do the same mini subway tiles if we weren't able to use the salvaged tile we had.

    If you want to go a little bit more modern you can install them vertically instead of horizontally.

  2. Since some of the tiles you selected have a hue of gray, why not look at subtle white and gray mosaic glass tiles? That with a bright white grout will also make the backsplash pop, but would change the look away from from a more traditional kitchen into something more modern.

    Mosaic tile has gradients you can purchase, which go from a black/gray to white: The black may be too much for you, but you can do custom gradients with grays and whites over at, and can input the height of your backsplash to the gradient will fit your space. Also, mosaic tiles supplies sells other designs that may fit your style like this one: Also, this goes against your all white rule, but I think it could look hot, but it is definitely adding a bit of boldness, The last two designs are about $8 a sq ft, so definitely could save you some money too.

    Be forewarned that a lot of 'mosaic tiles supplies' stuff is paper faced, which is kind of a pain to install as some of the adhesive stays on the tile and has to be painstakingly scraped off with a razor, and if you don't do a good job, has to be rescraped after grouting since the ground sticks to the adhesive.

  3. Love the idea of installing the mini subway tiles vertically instead of horizontally mrs.L! Will have to try that out.

  4. Corey - that hakatai site is awesome! I'll have to show it to HandyMan and see what he thinks of glass mosaics. A good option we haven't considered. Thanks for the link!

  5. beautiful options! we are waiting for our white subway tile to come in to do our backsplash. best of luck to you!

  6. Anonymous9:51 AM

    Our entire website is total focused on these types of products. We are partnered with to target the Interior design market with only the best in Carrara Marble, Suwaby Tiles and Mosaics along with matching trims and accessories. Please take a look - with Amazon we are able to sell Carrara 3x6" Subway Tiles for $7.00SF and Hexagon Carrara Mosaics for $10.75SF.


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