bright white tile

We just finished the kitchen.  I’m so pumped to share…but it took some quick thinking and a lot of hard work in a short amount of time, so I’ll at least take you through a few of the steps. The first being the back splash tile!

I knew we needed it; the small space our kitchen occupies had to give the house some much-needed character, and something that would make it look bigger.  I had been saving tile ideas for a while.  I’m slightly obsessed with the cement tile trend.

EliteTile Annata 9.5" x 9.5" Porcelain Field Tile in Classic

via Wayfair

via Home Depot

SomerTile 9.5x9.5-inch Art Grey Porcelain Floor and Wall Tile (Case of 16)

via Overstock

Have you seen these installed as back splash tile? It’s stunning.  Take a look at this one from Emily Henderson Design’s team here:

California Country_Kitchen_Emily Henderson_blue wood concrete tile open shelving causal_2

This, too…what a beauty!

Glass and Brass Shower Enclosure Filled with Marble Slabs

via decorpad

But my kitchen is tiny.  Itty bitty even.  A dramatic statement tile was not what it needed.  It needed white, and texture. So, that’s what I looked toward.  I considered a nice carrara marble, but that’s the floor of my upstairs bathroom so I did not want a repeat (I’ll show you the bathroom one day…if I ever style and clean it up all pretty-like).

Here’s the carrara option I decided not to go with:

$11.15SF Carrara Marble 1x3 Stacked Mosaic Tile

via builder depot…the stacked pattern is so sleek.

White tiles I did consider, very deeply!

The Bella Collection 3" x 8" Glass Subway Tile in Snow

Back-painted white glass tiles via Wayfair. The glass gives amazing depth to the back splash, and catches sunlight so well.

EliteTile Greenwich 1.88" x 3.75" Prism Ceramic Mosaic Tile in White

These little prism white tiles from Wayfair would give a great texture to a wall.  We did not have much wall space to tile, so these little ones would have easily repeated the pattern even in narrow wall areas.

My third-favorite?

1x6 Super White Tuxedo Mosaic Tile Design

So simple, but clean and modern. I felt like it said, “hello, welcome to the architect’s house!” I really loved it.  Find here.

SomerTile 3x6-inch Malda Beveled Subway Glossy White Ceramic Wall Tile (Case of 136)

Second favorite is the one above. The modern and clean look of a bevel edge tile, this one from Overstock, totally spoke to me.  I was almost sold on this one! (And, I really loved the dark grout…read on for why I do not have dark grout)

Funny enough, I had looked at so many amazing and super interesting tiles from projects and I finally looked at a simple one I always liked: a 3×10 brick size that had a hand-glazed finish from Mosaic Tile.  I picked an icy gray for my project, but  kept the other colors around my desk.  The white was so pretty and clean.  After a call to see about the availability (and a designer discount) they had me sold!  Behold, our back splash tile:

via Mosaic Tile in Alexandria.  You should totally go to their showroom, you’ll be so inspired!

You might be thinking, “that doesn’t look like anything special.” But it’s nice and big, we set it 1/3 bond so it stacks offset, and the light from the two windows in our kitchen catch the uneven finish of the glaze.  It’s awesome.  Here’s a close-up:


But, there was a little drama.  I actually really, really wanted dark grey grout. Remember this picture I had shared here?


Yeah, I basically wanted to recreate the look of this, but with slightly larger tiles.  I thought it would be bold, but awesome…something that would give our kitchen it’s own identity.  So, when I walked downstairs one Saturday while our tiler was finishing up, I glanced over to my kitchen, saw a sea of white on the walls where a distinct offset grid should have been appearing, and yelled, “Whoa, NO, uh oh!” Poor guy was totally startled.  I made Nick come down, talked it over.  Stared at it.  The tiler said he could scrape out the white grout and replace it with grey the next week. I stared a little more.  And then Nick said what I was thinking…it looks good.  The all white was really very pretty, crisp and clean, even only half-grouted.  So, I let him continue.  I wonder if I would have loved the grey grout more, but I do really love the white.  IMG_1421

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