8 Jun 2012

Tile Dilemma

I need some help. I am waffling back and forth, back and forth, and I can't stop. One morning I wake up and say straight set, and the next morning it's offset.

What the heck am I talking about?

Tile, of course.

We have decided on the tile for the back splash.  It's 4" X 16" grey ceramic tile.  Pretty basic, but I wanted something that wouldn't be too busy and would tie together the soon to be white cabinets with the dark grey counter top. 

Here's the problem....I can't decide if I want to lay them straight

or offset.

Please ignore the messy cabinets.  We are still waiting for the paint to cure before we can hang the doors back up.

Straight set is more modern and would be something different from regular offset tile, but would it be too modern that a potential buyer of our house would be turned off?  Is the tile we bought too big to go straight set?

If we go straight set, the plan would be to have one full tile centred above the stove and then work our way out from there.  Like so....

I am slightly obsessed with things being symmetrical, so I can't have off centre grout lines above the stove - I am pretty sure it would drive me to drink....which I guess is convenient since the liquor cabinet is right above the stove!

But just to keep things fair, here's a mock up of the offset layout.

What do you think? Preferences? Seriously, I need some help. Lay it on me. Or do you have any other ideas? Don't be scared to comment below.

Here are a few pictures I found to give you a better idea of the dilemma that consumes me.


  1. A part of me says offset, but then I saw the sleek modern appearance of the straight and loved it.

  2. Hi Kelly,

    I'm partial to the offset look, we did it with subway tile. But if you're in a trendy location and are looking to sell the house maybe straight is the way to go. I love symmetry as well and you probably can't go wrong either way. Love the tile color and size :)

    1. Thanks Jeff. I had no problem making a decision on the actual tile. Too bad all of the other decisions are so tough!

  3. Have you considered both? In my kitchen I have a line of straight set, a ribbon of fancy tile, and diagonal tiles on top. You might do a line of straight set along the counter, use a thin black tile, then do offset above. If I can get a picture to post I'll share. My look is different than what you might be after, but I think it could work.

  4. or, rather than black, you might pick up a silver or a glass tile with a mercury-glass kind of look

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I have thought about adding a patterned or special tile, but I think it will be too busy with everything else we have going on in the kitchen. I wish I could afford all mercury glass type tile - that would look awesome!


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