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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Travertine Subway Tile Backsplash

I'm a big fan of subway tile. I'm not sure why, but it's just cool. The backsplash I was working on today was using travertine subway tiles (approx. 3" x 6") mixed with a stone mosaic.

The mosaic tiles come in 12" x 12" sheets with 10 rows on it. I cut it into rows of two to add some visual interest and break up the subway tile a little. This is less expensive than doing the entire backsplash with mosaic, and has a custom feel to it.

The entire backsplash is around 24 linear feet. It's long, but mostly only around 11 inches high except under the windows where there's only 3" of tile. The largest tiled area is behind the range.
For this I turned the mosaic tile up and around to frame the larger area a little bit. It was tricky to do the subway tile around this and make the grout lines match as much as possible.

Whenever you're mixing types of tile you should consider the dimensions and how they'll match up. For example, it's often nice to mix 12" floor tiles with smaller 6" tiles to come up with a pattern. You just have to think about the grout lines and make sure that they'll really line up right.

What's Underneath?
When I started the walls were covered with 3/4" boards that were previously covered with linoleum. This was strong enough, but the surface wasn't very smooth. I covered the boards with a layer of thinset and then 1/4" Hardibacker cementboard to have a flat solid surface to cover with the travertine tiles.


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