Kitchen – tiling the wall…

The wall – a lot easier than the floor…

I already knew that I was going to tile from counter to ceiling on both big walls – none of that short, barely there backsplash around here (actually, I have never even had a short and barely there backsplash – in the last kitchen we had no backsplash).  I knew that I wanted the wall tile to make a bold and artistic statement – see how we arrived at our  kitchen color palate here.  I also wanted to make sure I didn’t use a trendy product or color – I want to love my kitchen forever.

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I ended up with handmade field tile and 3 custom relief tiles made by a local artist.

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The only direction I provided was that I was hoping for  “Dr. Seuss like pods”.  I think she did a beautiful job – the pictures don’t do these works of art justice – the attention to detail is crazy amazing.

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An additional detail that isn’t completely obvious in the pictures is that I used a mixture of glossy and matte finished tile.  The purple tiles are a matte finish – the green/grey tile and yellow/green tiles are glossy.  I feel like this design detail provides dimension, texture and added interest to a large, flat wall.

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Disadvantages of handmade tile:

The tile is not perfectly square – this quality nearly drove Tad crazy initially – but we quickly discovered that this became an advantage – we now appreciate the “character” of the less than perfect installation due to the handmade quality of the tile.

It is expensive – definitely more expensive than machine made tile. In my mind, the added expense of something that is handmade is worth it – it is unique, different, and supports an artist or craftsman.

The colors vary – though I actually don’t see this as a disadvantage. The variation in color is what makes it personal and unique.

Advantages of handmade tile:

You don’t see it in your neighbor’s kitchen – there really is something to be said for doing things a bit more creatively than the average.

You support an artist or craftsman – I can’t say this enough.

It isn’t trendy – so the design is more personal and lasts longer.

Advice about wall tile:

Think about how the tiles will end up. Again, the “start in the center and work your way out” theory didn’t really work for my wall installation.  We have a window on one wall and we were installing three 12X12 decorative relief tiles on that same wall. I didn’t want to end up with really small pieces around the window, around the decorative relief tiles, or around the outlets. I tried different patterns (1/3 offset and fourth offset) – but in the end, half offset/brick pattern, worked best. I obsessed over the layout of the wall tile for days but it paid off – the layout was perfect!

Bullnose/finish tile for edges – I have an outside corner on one of the walls that I tiled. I failed to order bullnose for my project… or maybe, it wasn’t available – not really sure. The point of this is to remind you to think about how the edges are going to be finished… Mine turned out beautifully with wood trim.

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Tad would like you to notice that the tile around the outlets is notched – he became quite the tile cutting expert…