It's tough being a tile guy sometimes ! We strive for perfection and get nailed by forces against our power. Our job often times depends on how the other trades involved do their jobs. Just came from a job where we put up a natural stone backsplash. We were aware that there would be backsplash lighting. We recommended that the electrician should install his lighting to the front of the cabinet at least 12" away from the backsplash because we follow national standards and expect the other trades to as well. The lighting makes a difference to the look of the tile and unfortunately it was installed tight to the back wall. This installation detail has negative consequences and I consistently see it in different homes... What is the standard response from electricians? Of course the kiss of death "This is how we've always done it!"
ANSI (American National standards Institute) has determined that all back splash lighting should be installed 12" from the back splash to the front of the cabinet... When back splash lighting is installed tight against the finished back splash you get an effect called "wall wash" which accentuates distortions in the tile surface.
Read the back splash lighting installation standard below:
The main problem is everything will look great to us while are setting the tile, and as soon as the backsplash lighting is turned on you see lips as well as the different thicknesses in the stone . The manufacturer making irregular tile and the electrician not following industry standards is a factor to our art. This happens and is a fixable event, but drives tile guys NUTS. The best practice is to have the backsplash lighting, or any lighting for that matter, installed before the tile goes up so we can see what the finished product will look like. Mounting your under cabinet lights to the front of the cabinet and not against the wall is best so you don't have weird shadows and it won't negatively impact the look of the tile.
Be sure to verify with your electrician where he/she will be installing back splash lighting and whether or not they will be following industry standards.
If they are not following ANSI standards (American National Standards) be sure to show them the very informative link above. These guidelines have been determined and set by people far smarter than us and with foresight beyond our ability. Respect the standard handbook practices to eliminate unwanted surprises!
Another often ignored detail that will effect the over all finish of your home remodel!