Creating kitchens and baths for finicky customers since 1993

backsplash features inset metal tiles for accent and texture

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tumbled marble makes a magnificent backsplash tile choice

tumbled marble tile backsplash
Tumbled marble tiles, natural stone cut to 4" by 4" squares, pre-sealed for easy handling.

Henrietta NY: A kitchen customer recently updated her ugly old laminate counter tops to natural granite. She called us in to add the finishing touch -- a gorgeous tumbled marble backsplash. These little squares add a warm, distinctive look without any need for fancy borders or decorative inserts.

Tumbled marble is natural stone, cut to size and softened by abrasion. They are supplied pre-sealed for easier grouting and a longer-lasting luster. Every tile is distinct, though many are similar. Patterns emerge randomly, creating real eye-appeal effortlessly.

natural marble tile backsplashInstallation is a breeze, with careful layout preparation. We used the same tiles at the edges as for the rest of the field, simply choosing best-quality pieces for borders. Before beginning, we mixed all boxes randomly to ensure smooth blending. We used 3/16" spacing for sanded grout.

Marble tiles have to be cut with a diamond blade, typically water-cooled. These are fragile because of natural veins within the stone itself, so sometimes they just break. That's one of the reasons it's important to order a couple of extra square feet. We had THREE full tiles left over when we finished.

Our customer was thrilled with the finished product. She was concerned about blending granite and marble in the same space, and rightfully so. As you can see, each complements the other nicely. The two natural products provide a rich, yet earthy tone that doesn't overpower the room. This job took less than two full workdays, keeping the labor well under $1,000.

Reprints available on request.

For many homeowners, a tile backsplash makes a great DIY tile project. It's a small area, and one that doesn't disrupt your life the way a new floor might. Preparation for wall tiles is also less extensive than what's required for floors.

For more DIY tile information, please visit Jim's DIY Tile Zone hosted by