Thursday, April 11, 2013

Backsplash Blues

The remaining task on my "Three of Three" list for the kitchen at our little old house is "install backsplash." For the past two years our backsplash was merely painted, in part because we allocated the funds for that project to more important areas such as plumbing, electric and more. Another reason was I was completely 'shopped out' and just couldn't make up my mind what I wanted (or whether what I thought what I wanted was really what I wanted to live with for the next umpteen years).

So far, the painted backsplash hasn't worked out too bad. We picked a quality paint that can be scrubbed down and if all else fails, paint touch ups are easy-peasy and done in moments. No wonder the whole backsplash project got pushed even further to the bottom of the to-do list.

There is something really nice and pretty and finished about a 'real' backsplash though, and I caught myself browsing tile sections both online and at the store lately, so it got moved up on the list.

Penny tile is darling and one of my favorites. Since I didn't get to use it in the master bathroom, I've been oogling it for a kitchen backsplash.
Ohh, fancy! Marble is just sooo pretty and classy and would add a nice bit of bling to our more country chic kitchen. I like the nod to our beekeeping adventure in the hexagonal shape of the tiles, too, but wouldn't complain too much if they came in little squares or pennies either.

Beadboard (or even beadboard wallpaper) would fit rather nicely with the overall look of our country kitchen. It's probably the most economical choice so far.

And there is, of course, the classic subway tile that will most likely never go out of style.

The problem with all those choices?

They are too thick!

No kidding. How can they be too thick? I mean, they are standard size tiles. Everybody uses them. What could possibly be too thick about them?
That's where I come back with the old adage "It's not you, it's me."
You see, a prior owner drywalled over the existing plaster (and lathe) walls, probably because they didn't want to deal with repairing plaster walls throughout the house. Plaster repairs can be a real pain and it's hard to find real professionals who know what they are doing. So, drywall went over those walls which added insulation to the house but in turn removed quite a chunk of the reveal of the trim. My kitchen window, for example, only sticks out from the wall by mere millimeters.

That really puts a crimp into your style, I'm telling you. The average tile is twice the thickness of the reveal I have available without making my window recede into the wall, and that's not accounting for the thickness of the thinset that needs to go behind the tile. Oy!

More googling and surfing the 'net, however, revealed that there are options even for tricky situations like ours.

I discovered this lovely lovely 'Mother of Pearl' penny tile that is just! It adds just such a beautiful sparkle to a wall, and comes in all shapes to boot, everything from mini bricks to hexagons to squares.

I think it would go nicely with our butcher block countertops and white cabinets. The price is a bit higher than what I'd like to pay though but, oh well, it is what it is (about $16.50/sqft) but it is very very thin which would be perfect for our awkward situation.

We also discovered that some of the glass mosaic tile at the blue and orange box come in thinner styles which would also work for our particular set up (*cue sigh of relief*).

In the end, we're still on the fence with which option to go. We are thinking along the lines of simple, white or clear, possibly glass for ease of maintenance and timeless appeal.



  1. That mother of pearl tile is beautiful! So shiny.

    1. It's fabulicious :) I'm not sure it isn't too spiffy for our kitchen but, boy, it sure is pretty!

  2. I like that last one, so elegant.

    1. It's really gorgeous. There are a few pictures on the 'net that show it installed and it's stunning!

  3. Beautiful Mother of Pearl. That would be great for your kitchen!!!!


    1. I don't know if it wouldn't be too blingy so I'll run it by the husband first to see how he feels about it. I love the natural color variations in the creamier white and the sheen is beautiful :)