Seriously though, we gave a lot of thought about our backsplash. We almost gave up the whole idea of putting one and almost decided to just paint it white and just be content with the 1-2 inch granite extension from the counter top. Though this option concerned me a lot since water and oil splatter can damage the paint easily.
We also thought about using materials like stainless steel sheets all around but I thought it was too industrial for our style if used too much. We decided it will just be used against stove and the range hood since it cleans easily and needs minimal maintenance. We also considered faux red brick finish but it did not blend well with our counter and cabinet colors. It might end up being too dark in the kitchen.
So were were back to tile, I scoured the internet for options as I knew I did not want regular 20 x 30 tiles since we used a lot of those in the bathrooms.
Was initially swaying towards mosaic tiles
Considered using glass like this one...
Considered penny tile since I loved the DIY that they did at Young House Love. However, one that really stuck to me was subway tile backsplash.
Lo and behold, there are no subway tiles in the all of home depot-land! So we ended up checking these out:
Right color, nice shiny accents but no stock. Sadness. Let's move on...
Penny tile!!!! The only color available. Sadly it's more on the beigy side. Not meant to be. And hubby did not like the idea that it reminds him of crocodile or snake skin. So another "x".
I know I wanted to veer away from the local tile scene but I really liked this one! It's 20 x 30 nexus white by Mariwasa. If I only saw this during our bathroom tile hunt this would've been one of our picks. I realized it also went well with our kitchen since the design color was in silver and light gold (so it goes with black or brown very neutral). The pattern was a bit round and soft so in contrasts with the edginess of the cabinets and granite but not too girly and not too loud that it would clash with other appliances in the kitchen. Definitely a contender.
This was the closest I could find that would closely resemble subway tile. However, it is one 30 x 30 tile with smaller "tiles" as the design. The pattern was really nice and with dark grout no one would know that these were not individual tiles. However, the color of the tile was leaning towards ivory and I did not want that yellow undertone. So I had to let it go.
Enter Teka Jet Gris Wall Tile. This one was surprisingly found by hubby mounted against the wall (wall tile duh) while I was the busy one looking at everything that was laid out in stacks on the floor. So yehey for hubby!
What we really loved about it was that it combined all the elements that we wanted in our options (ok except for the shiny glass part). It did not look like a bath tile, it had texture, it was gray (some pieces had a bit of brown in them so it would still look good with brown - very neutral), it had a great pattern but won't make our head ache, the individual "tiles" were laid out horizontally (like subway tiles) and it was cheaper than mosaic. Hubby also liked that even if the individual pieces were layered and textured, the actual tile feels smooth to touch. It's not too rough like rock tile and since it's smooth it's also easier to clean.
So here's how it looks like at our kitchen...
From a far you hardly notice the end one tile to the next, it is like each small piece was laid down one at a time. It also went well with the white cabinets on top, black granite and the dark brown cabinets below. As hubby said, it's like art work for the kitchen wall! We love it!