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Backsplash Tiling and Design

Where do I stop when tiling a backsplash when there are no cabinets above? The cabinets are on one wall and butt up to an adjacent wall. That wall continues to the sink and beyond. Currently there is a 6" backsplash that was done around the counter. The installer cut the trim on one side of the picture window and tiled over it on the other side. The upper cabinets do not turn a corner so there is blank wall next to the sink. This is a wet area. I really want this to look professional. This is partially a design question too. Drawing a mental picture: U shaped kitchen, on the left are upper cabinets, in front there are no cabinets and a huge window (70"w x 45" h), on the left are more upper cabinets.

A. Spruce
Re: Backsplash Tiling and Design

Uh, I've never seen a U with two left legs . . . :cool:

Backsplashes are typically two ways, either the height of one tile (4" or 6" ), or fully from counter to upper cabinets. You can do both, if you like, without it looking funny, meaning full height where you have cabinets, standard height where there are none.

MLB Construction
Re: Backsplash Tiling and Design

i'll just throw my 2 cents in here.

from the two corners the tiling should be as high as the bottom of the upper cabinets. assuming that you're going with something higher than 4"-6" high. i guess the main question is.......is the window centered on the sink? if it's not, you could bump the tile up higher in front of the sink, approximately the width of the sink base cabinet. perhaps with a different decorative mosaic tile. if the window is centered in front of the sink, which i assume it is, you could bump the tile up higher on both sides of the window and somewhat frame the window opening. i'm just trying to come up with an idea so you won't have a straight line of tile running the length of the wall at about 16"-18" across the entire wall. a picture would help alot.

Re: Backsplash Tiling and Design

Definitely - photo would help...
Here are my two cents...
I had same question 4 yrs ago - similar layout, asymmetrical furniture... I ended up putting glass tile ( slightly larger tiles than on the main back splash, but similar color) on the whole wall -up to the ceiling, although no one liked the idea here ... Couldn't be happier... This turned out not only to be practical solution- by the sink and everything, but also the feature wall and decor highlight of the space... Everybody comes in and - ah!!! - who designed it for you?...
Look, nobody can give you design advice here. They will give excellent technical/practical advice, the best there is (which I take advantage of quite often.. especially Spruce's ones... :D), but not design... It is deeply personal...
Look at a lot of decor magazine pictures, define your style, do not rush, see what you want... If you are afraid to be bold - play it safe...
Hope this helps...

Re: Backsplash Tiling and Design

You can run the tile as high as you wish, from one tile above the counter to all the way to the ceiling. There is one thing to be careful of if you run all the way to the ceiling or even close to it and that is if the ceiling, and the countertop are not perfectly parallel, you can end up with a triangular gap at the top of the tile to the ceiling.

Measure at one end of the wall from the counter to the ceiling and then again at the other. If they aren't within 1/16". then it will show. You can mask this difference by eyeballing the tile as you install it so that none of the grout lines are perfectly gapped or straight, then you can make small adjustments as you go up. It will give the tile a more "hand made" look. We are not talking a sloppy job here, just one that looks hand done.

Four general options really come to mind though, one tile above the counter height, up to the bottoms of the cabinets (I don't really like this one though), about eye level or slightly higher (my favorite) or all the way to the ceiling.

Re: Backsplash Tiling and Design

Oh, yah, forgot to mention - the job did a professional, not me...:o I just came up with the concept... It is a complex job. You have to trust Keith on this one...

Re: Backsplash Tiling and Design

I agree with all of the above.

Re: Backsplash Tiling and Design

Hmmm. Don't know where the photos went, as I did post 2 at the time.

The tile I have chosen is a 1" multi colored glass. It was incredibly inexpensive and really goes with the tile countertop. But, as I try to imagine how it will look, installing the tile at the same height as under the cabinets on the wall that meets the window just doesn't feel right.

Would anyone leave the tile off that wall, even though it's a wet area?

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