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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Breezy Point, NY
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    Default Kitchen tile backsplash: how not to show your age

    My husband and I have started the reno of our 30 year old beach cottage kitchen that has been stubbornly stuck all its 80s glory--adobe tiles wall to wall and even the countertops--teamed with pale oak everything including the the cabinet handles, can track lights, the works! What I really want to avoid is installing a look that will date itself in the foreseeable future.

    It's one thing if you have the resources to have "your people" take care of it and a whole other thing for folks like us who really love our home and like to do things ourselves. We've been working on the house for 2 years now doing different things, and yes, we are still happily married much to the surprise of every other couple I know, but we're constantly learning about how the house works and loving it!

    Since I never, ever want to deal with removing tile (and of course, drywall behind it), I'm thinking glass subway tiles. Now, even though subway tiles have been around for 100 years or so, I don't want to install something that will scream 1995 in a couple of years, I'm wondering if there's a way to install tiles so that they could be removed more easily down the road just in case.

    If there's an easier way, please stop me now, but I'm thinking that fitting another piece of drywall or another, thinner substrate, adhered to the wall with silicon glue and screwed into the studs top and bottom edge. Then tile the area and finish with molding or a plate ledge to cover the increased depth of the wall. Caulk everything and theoretically, we have a lovely, hip new backsplash that will really stand the test of time.

    Opinions please?
    Thanks as always,
    Rosie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    6,481

    Default Re: Kitchen tile backsplash: how not to show your age

    The key to longevity is to choose classic color, textures, and materials that never go out of style, and to use them appropriately. For instance, use white or off white tile for countertops instead of say avocado or pink that was so popular in the 60's and 70's and looked dated even when they were new and in vogue.

    I think you're going to have a similar problem with glass tile. It may look fine when it's first done, but will be dated in a relatively short period of time. I also would not recommend trying to do any "temporary" type of tile installation. As much as you might not look forward to the remodeling process, you'll find that trying to gerry-rig something removable will be more hassle than it's worth. Keeping it sealed would also be a problem.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Breezy Point, NY
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    Default Re: Kitchen tile backsplash: how not to show your age

    Excellent points about choosing classic colors, of course!

    The only thing I'd like to do is avoid the "contractors-look" of going so neutral that it becomes too bland. I thought I'd do white subway tiles at first, but was afraid it could be a little bit too clinical. I even looked into bead board porcelain tiles, but I'm trying to break my addiction to bead board!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Kitchen tile backsplash: how not to show your age

    You can avoid the "contractor's" look by using decorative border tiles along backsplashes. You can use them in the countertop as well, but you have to be more careful, IHMO. What I would suggest you do is visit a few tile showrooms, such as Dal Tile, and see what they have to offer and look at some of their displays. You may be able to do some ****** research as well.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Breezy Point, NY
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    22

    Default Re: Kitchen tile backsplash: how not to show your age

    I've done my homework for months and and am pretty sure of the tile style I have in mind already. Actually, it's a lot like the green glass tile the used in the recent TOH Rhode Island house. The issue for me is whether or not I can apply the tile in such a way that won't end up damaging the drywall if and when we decide to change it in future. I know that they use "floating tile" on floors especially in baths by adhering an orange dimpled plastic material, then proceeding as normal with the tile installation. Just wondering if I could do something similar on my backsplash.
    Thanks for your comments!
    Rosie

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,481

    Default Re: Kitchen tile backsplash: how not to show your age

    I personally wouldn't worry about it. If you ever do want to change it later, you simply pop off the perimeter tiles, then cut the drywall and pull it out with the tile. Replace the drywall, and when you install the new tile/top/splash the border tiles will extend back out over the drywall seam, alleviating a whole lot of repair and hassles.

    As to whether you can install an isolation barrier or something else to make the tile easier to remove, I can't help with that.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

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