Granite Backsplash | Granite Backsplashes

Deciding on a Granite Backsplash or a Tile Backsplash?

A 4-inch backsplash in a powder room

A 4-inch backsplash and sidesplash in a powder room

Tumbled Travertine Backsplash

This tumbled travertine backsplash looks good with these Santa Cecilia granite counters

Matching Granite Backsplash

This piece of remnant granite was just big enough for one sidesplash and a backsplash. Notice that although the counter edge is rounded (eyebrow edge) the backsplash is flat-polish.

Subway Tile Backsplash with Granite Counters

This creme marfil marble subway tile backsplash looks MUCH better with these Tropical Brown granite counters than a matching granite backsplash.

Glass Tile and Travertine Backsplash

This glass tile and tumbled travertine backsplash is a beautiful choice to compliment this Colonial Cream granite countertop. The homeowner installed this tile by himself and did a really nice job!

Tumbled Travertine and Creme Bordeaux Granite

Tumbled Travertine and Creme Bordeaux Granite look better together than running the busy granite all the way up to the underside of the top cabinets.

Granite Backsplash for a Bathroom Vanity

This 4-inch granite backsplash looks good with this Santa Cecilia granite counter. The kitchen in this house was done in the same granite and there were plenty of small strips left for backsplashes.

Bathroom Vanity Backsplash

This bathroom vanity is made with Emperador Dark Marble and has a matching backsplash. We made a LOT of little pieces in the same material for the bathroom and it gave it a very nice, super-custom feel.

Granite Backsplashes in a Master Bathroom

The granite in this bathroom is Black Pearl. The granite backsplashes give a very neat, clean look to this house that was updated before selling.

Vintage Austin Kitchen

This vintage Austin kitchen needs news counters with a flat-polish edge and a very simple and clean backsplash. We think it would look awesome with white cabinets, Black Pearl Granite and subway tile.

When you replace a countertop (or install one on new cabinets), you will need to decide if you want a tile backsplash or a granite backsplash (or marble, or quartz, whatever your new countertop is made from).

One way or the other, you will need a backsplash, to keep water from running down the wall between the back of your counter and the wall.

What Do Most People Do

From our experience, we can share this with you:

  • Most of our clients put in a new tile backsplash for kitchens in single-family houses. Even more so if it’s in a more expensive neighborhood. Some opt to keep the old tile backsplash, but that isn’t always straightforward, and doesn’t always look very good with the new countertops.
  • Condo kitchen are more likely to get a short (4-inch) granite backsplash than single-family homes. (Or marble or quartz to match the counters.)
  • We install a LOT of 4-inch granite backsplashes to match bathroom counters. Since many of our client’s granite bathroom countertops are fabricated from remnant granite from our shop off North Lamar in Austin, one big thing that helps to make the decision is whether or not the remnant is big enough for splashes. The smaller the counter, the easier it is to find a remnant that is big enough.
  • We think it looks way cool to put in a taller granite backsplash (5, 6 or 7 inches), but full-height granite backsplashes that go all the way up under the upper kitchen cabinets often look really busy.

How to Make the Decision about Granite Backsplashes

  • Per square foot for the material, granite is almost always more expensive than tile when used as backsplash material. BUT, less granite is used in a typical backsplash than when the area is tiled. This is because people usually put tile farther up the wall (in the kitchen or the bathroom) than they would put a granite backsplash.
  • When we quote a price for granite backsplashes, the price includes installation. This is almost never the case for price quotes for tile unless you are using a general contractor. If you’re comparing the two options, you will need add up the cost of the tile, the morter, the grout and the labor charges and compare that total to the cost of the granite backsplash. You will also need to buy more tile than the area covered, to account for the waste of cutting, and broken tiles. (The smaller the tile, the less extra you will usually need).
  •  If you are using very simple or neutral colors and materials in most of a bathroom, a tile backsplash is an opportunity to introduce a little pizazz without having to buy lots and lots of $30-per-sqaure-foot sheets of mosaic tile – sometimes just a few square feet will do the whole job. It’s also a good way to tie in the countertops to the same tile if it’s used decoratively in the shower.
  •  If your bathroom has a lot of other strong design elements, a granite backsplash that matches the countertop can help keep things looking cohesive.
  • If you hate cleaning grout, granite backsplashes don’t have any!
  •  Granite backsplashes are almost always less of a hassle for the homeowner because they are installed at the same time as the counter. That means no more time off work, or more time waiting for the tile guy to show up.

Our usual advice is this: Ask for a quote.

Sometimes the price makes the decision easy. If you’re on the fence, get quotes from us, and quotes for tile, and then decide where your comfort zone is for the combination of Price+Time+Coordination for the different options.