What is Backsplash and Mosaic Tile? Perfect Information For You!

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
33 min read

Backsplash tile is functional, attractive, and durable, and it can easily boost home value and upgrade your style. Materials, shapes, patterns, and appearances all provide a wide range of possibilities.

There are a wide variety of backsplash tiles to choose from, as well as a variety of styles and installation methods.

What is Backsplash and Mosaic Tile?

This type of mosaic wall tile is most commonly used in kitchens and bathrooms, but can also be used in other areas. Backsplashes protect the wall behind sinks and stoves from splatter and stains by covering and shielding the area. In order to provide even more coverage and a more aesthetically pleasing finish, some homeowners are now installing entire mosaic tile walls all the way to the ceiling.

Any do-it-yourself renovator will tell you that a backsplash not only looks good, but it also provides protection. Installing some fashionable wall tile in this area can have a dramatic effect on a bathroom or kitchen’s appearance.

Backsplash and Mosaic Tile Buying Guide

With these tiles, installation is a breeze. Installation is a breeze because to the pre-assembled sheets they come in. We have much to love and much to learn, all in all. Until then, let’s get to it!

Types of Backsplash Tile

The name “tile” conjures up images of porcelain or ceramic tiles, but there are many more possibilities when it comes to backsplashes. Your space’s appearance and feel can be greatly influenced by the materials you use. Some are more traditional and functional, while others are more up-to-the-minute and fashionable.

Use this information to determine which sort of tile will best suit your needs.

Porcelain and Ceramic

There are many similarities between porcelain and ceramic tiles, the key difference being that porcelain is a distinct form of ceramic. Clay, mineral, and water solutions are the primary ingredients in both alternatives, which are then pressed into tile form and heated to a high temperature.

Porcelain, on the other hand, will be manufactured from a denser clay, making it less porous and more resistant to breakage. To remove any leftover moisture, the tiles are glazed and re-fired. This method renders the tiles impenetrably strong, impervious to stains, and completely waterproof.

To summarize, these are some of the most dependable tile selections available. Ceramic and porcelain mosaic tiles are now available in an infinite variety of forms, colors, and sizes. This implies that they can always stay up with the latest trends because they can look like anything.


Patterns in natural stone are widely sought after because of their unique beauty. There’s a genuine stone floor to fit your luxury home design needs, thanks to the wide range of hues and textures available.

Travertine, limestone, and marble are currently some of the most popular stone tile selections. To get actual stone, you’ll have to pay a little more than you would if you were just using imitations.

Keep in mind that real stone tile necessitates periodic upkeep in order to retain its natural beauty. Moisture can be absorbed by stone because it is porous. In order to avoid unattractive discoloration, sealants and cleaning agents must be used.


Waterproof and adaptable, glass tiles are a popular choice for mosaics and backsplashes. Patterned mosaics are created by gluing small pieces of glass to mesh backing sheets.

A wide range of color, gloss, texture and transparency possibilities are available in glass tiles. A variety of finishes are available, including transparent and opaque ones, glossy and frosted, smooth and textured, and everything in between.

As a result, the use of glass mosaics was considered to be a high-end item in the past. Glass backsplash tile is now more accessible than ever thanks to pre-assembled, quick-and-and-easy sheets. Installing a glass mosaic in your kitchen is one of the simplest methods to achieve a contemporary design.


Metal tiles have a resin core with a true metal surface, rather than being composed of actual metal as is more common.. Isn’t it great that this reduces the weight and costs of the tile? Cupro-nickel-tin-aluminum-stainless steel can all be used to make the metal covering.

Your kitchen or bathroom will seem elegant and futuristic with a metal backsplash. For a more glittery, glamorous look, metallic tile is ideal for usage in industrial or warehouse settings.

You can expect the tiles to last for a long time and look great because metal is such a robust material. They’re also easy to maintain.

Backsplash Tile Construction

There are a variety of materials that can be used to make backsplash tiles: porcelain, stone, glass, metal. Durable fiberglass or paper mesh backings hold the tiles together when they’re pre-assembled into pre-made pattern sheets. Mosaic sheets and mesh-mounted mosaics are two terms for this type of mosaic.

The mesh construction lets you achieve highly detailed mosaics without a lot of painstaking work. They’re easy to install and will hold together as you apply the tile to your backsplash. The sheets themselves are designed to fit together, so installation is kind of like putting a puzzle together.

Backsplash Tile Pros and Cons

What are the advantages of backsplash tile?

  • The mesh construction lets you achieve highly detailed mosaics without a lot of painstaking work. They’re easy to install and will hold together as you apply the tile to your backsplash. The sheets themselves are designed to fit together, so installation is kind of like putting a puzzle together.
  • Mosaics can be made with a mesh construction without a lot of tedious effort. As you put the tile to your backsplash, they’ll stay in place. It’s easy to put together because the sheets are pre-cut to fit together like a puzzle.
  • Hardwearing: Tile is a robust material that can withstand daily use in a kitchen or bathroom. Porcelain stands out for its strength and resistance to scratches.
  • For those who don’t want to put in the time and effort of grouting, there are a number of DIY choices available. That way, you save both time and money.

What are the disadvantages of backsplash tile?

  • It’s not the most affordable wall covering available. Even while tile is more expensive than paint, it has several advantages over the latter, the most notable of which are its versatility, durability, and water resistance. Many different varieties of tile are also available at varying prices. No matter how limited your financial resources are, you should be able to locate a solution that meets your needs.
  • In the absence of easy DIY features, installing standard backsplash tile can be challenging, but it is not impossible!

Backsplash Tile Styles

It’s time to talk about the fun side of things now that you know how important tile is for a practical bathroom or kitchen.


  • The timeless and adaptable nature of stone makes it a popular choice for interior design. Instead of spending a lot of money on real stone, you can have the aesthetic you want without it costing a lot of money.
  • Adding a metallic look to your kitchen might give it an added dose of sexiness. Modern design can benefit greatly from this style.
  • Kitchens with an industrial or warehouse aesthetic will benefit greatly from the use of concrete-look tile. Oh my god, it’s sexy and edgy at the same time!
  • Use abstract forms and patterns to give your home an individual look with personality. The popularity of these intricately patterned tiles is on the rise.
  • Handmade encaustic tiles are the inspiration for the encaustic-look tile fad, which features vintage-inspired patterns with a vintage feel.


  • When it comes to tile forms, the hexagon is a perennial favorite that shows no signs of going out of vogue. It’s ideal for both a contemporary and a classic aesthetic.
  • Because of their versatility and ability to take on multiple patterns, square tiles have long been a mainstay of interior design.
  • Choose the picket tile if you want a more modern look than subway tile provides. It’s fashionable and geometric, making it ideal for contemporary settings.
  • Nothing rivals the arabesque for an attractive and intricate appearance. This curved, one-of-a-kind tile adds a lot of character to the backsplash.
  • In spite of its plain appearance, subway tiles have become a popular choice because they allow you to play around with patterns and colors.


  • An increasingly popular approach to incorporate subway tile into a design is through the herringbone pattern. It’s complex and versatile enough to be used in a variety of ways.
  • the herringbone pattern, the chevrons are angular variations on the herringbone. This is a very geometric and contemporary design..
  • Tiles with a conventional grid design are ideal for minimalist or modern backsplashes that emphasize clean lines. Grid patterns are ideal for many decorative tiles, such as encaustic-look tiles.

Peel and Stick Tile Backsplash

It’s a win-win situation when it comes to convenience and quality when you use peel-and-stick backsplash tiles.

Manufacturers have created stone-look backsplash tiles that already have an adhesive on them. Peel the backing off the tile and adhere it to the wall.

With the rise of ceiling-high backsplashes, this is very useful. Keeping up with the trend is easier if you want to extend your tile all the way up to the ceiling.

It is possible to cut a step out of the installation procedure using grout-free backsplash tile while still getting professional results. Like peel and stick tile, these grout-free items are composed of actual stone.

You also save money by doing it yourself rather than getting a professional to do it.

Tiles made of porcelain and ceramics are long-lasting and resistant to water.

Ceramic and porcelain mosaic tiles are now available in an infinite variety of forms, colors, and sizes. This implies that they can always stay up with the latest trends because they can look like anything.

Marble Tile Backsplash

Marble is both timeless and modern, making it an excellent choice for a kitchen backsplash. Marble is a one-of-a-kind material that guarantees that no other backsplash in the world will ever look exactly like yours.

Even if you’re on a tight budget, you can obtain the look of marble in your own kitchen. You may get a convincing impression for less money by using marble-like tiles (more on that later).

Limestone Tile Backsplash

Style options abound when using authentic limestone tile as a backsplash. If you want the stone’s inherent beauty to be the main attraction, you may want to keep the form and pattern basic.

Natural stone can also be found in less-than-natural designs, such as hexagons. With a combination of modern patterns and time-honored fabrics, this is the best of both worlds.

Travertine Tile Backsplash

Travertine is getting a much-needed makeover because to the rise in tile shapes that are more unique and creative.

Travertine’s beautiful, sought-after beauty can now be found in more modern forms, such as cubic tile and metallics. Think of it as a sophisticated canvas on which you may slap whichever trend you’re into at the moment.

Glass Tile Backsplash

Installing a glass mosaic backsplash is one of the simplest methods to get a modern kitchen. With its high gloss finish, translucency, and colorful accents, this backsplash is both eye-catching and playful.

Glass backsplash tile may be installed by anyone thanks to pre-assembled sheets that are simple to put together. To complete the appearance, pair it with some sleek chrome fittings and clean, simple decor.

Almost anything may be replicated in tile’s appearance, whether it’s fabric, marble, or even brick. Find out what everyone is talking about with the hottest new styles.

Wood-look Backsplash

Plank-style wood-look tiles aren’t likely to be used for backsplashes. With modern designs like pickets, you may even notice a slight wood-like pattern.

It’s still prevalent, particularly in bathrooms and kitchens designed in the farmhouse or cottage style.

Stone-look Backsplash

Authentic stone mosaic tiles are popular because of their beautiful natural patterns and color variations. The opulent look and feel of stone may be achieved in any setting. However, if you’re concerned about maintenance, actual stone may not be the best option.

Matches Made in Heaven: Perfect Countertop and Backsplash Pairings

Stone-like porcelain tiles are now easier to maintain thanks to updated production technologies.

Pebble-Look Backsplash

Rather than relying on straight lines and uniform shapes, pebble backsplashes showcase nature’s raw, rustic beauty. A kitchen with a rustic, farmhouse, or cottagecore aesthetic would benefit greatly from this more earthy style.

Marble-look Backsplash

Currently, marble-inspired designs can be found all over the place. It can be powerful or subdued, and it works equally well in contemporary and traditional settings.

Tile that resembles marble is easier to clean and maintain than the genuine thing. Sealing and cleaning authentic marble must be done with care. With marble-look tile, you don’t have to worry about that.

Brick-look Backsplash

a brick-like appearance You may use it with virtually any design scheme. Whitewashed, bright and new, or even a little aged and worn down, it’s all up to you.

A wide variety of color and treatment options are available for you to choose from when it comes to brick-like tiles.

Metallic-look Backsplash

Geometric patterns, industrial and warehouse themes, and even glittery, glamorous aesthetics all work well with metallic-looking tile. Gold, stainless steel, or cast iron are all excellent choices for your kitchen decor.

For the ultimate harmony, use metal-look tiles as an accent in a neutral backsplash.

Fabric-look Backsplash

Your favorite textile patterns and styles can now be applied to your backsplash with fabric-look tile. It gives a surface that is normally all about glitz and glamor a warm and inviting feel. If you’re going for a shabby-chic or farmhouse look, this is a good alternative for you.

Encaustic-look Backsplash

This type of tile is known for its strong designs and vibrant colors. Graphic styles ranging from geometrics to flowers to old-world and Victorian can be expected. Farmhouse kitchens are a favorite place to employ these stunning patterns, but they can be used elsewhere.

Concrete-look Backsplash

Minimalist, contemporary, and elegant concrete-look tile is available. Modern geometric designs, such as triangles, are the latest trend in concrete-look tile. This serves as a neutral canvas on which to spruce up the space with colorful accents and furnishings.

Whether or whether the backsplash will fit in with the rest of the room’s decor is a question that has to be answered. The following advice will help you make an informed decision.


Whether it’s carpet, paint, or tile, gray has taken over as the most popular neutral color. It’s the perfect canvas for your kitchen’s bright accent colors.

“Greige” tile, which combines grays with warm colors like beiges and browns, is becoming more popular.

With a variety of patterns, textures, and shapes to choose from, gray tiles may make your kitchen backsplash the star of the show.


In nature, green is both calming and invigorating, making it the perfect hue for the backsplash.

Vintage, antique-looking tiles in darker shades of jade green are particularly popular right now because they give any room a unique feel.


The use of light, breezy neutrals and whites will help you achieve this goal. From beachy and bohemian to Scandinavian minimalist, light-colored tiles may be found in any kitchen.

Design tile shapes have become more popular, and homeowners are taking advantage of this trend by incorporating pattern into their tile designs. For a subdued color scheme, creative shapes like arabesques and hexagons give enough flair.


When it comes to design, blue is almost like a neutral because of how flexible it is. Dark blue or perhaps gray-blue will provide drama without being overbearing in a contemporary kitchen.

A powdered or pastel blue backsplash tile can complete the aesthetic of a rustic kitchen on Pinterest.


For a more calming atmosphere in the kitchen, use a backsplash with a more subdued color. Additionally, a neutral backsplash provides an opportunity for you to express yourself in other sections of the kitchen.

Do you want a floor covered in extremely ornamental tile or bright, bold cabinets? Neutral tile can be used to counterbalance all of the personality in the room.

In terms of current mosaic tile trends, the most popular is the use of unique shapes and patterns.

Subway Tile

It’s hard to go wrong with subway tiles. Additionally, you can choose from a wide range of colors beyond the standard white, as well as use them in more contemporary layouts, such as herringbone patterns.

Square Tile

A square tile is a great option if you’re looking to focus more on patterns and less on the shape. It’s possible to create a complex backsplash by just laying square tiles in a grid, especially when pre-assembled patterns and motifs are available.

For a minimalist kitchen, square tiles are also a great option.

Hexagon Tile

In recent years, hexagons have become one of the most popular tile forms, and they have shown to be quite adaptable. You can choose from a variety of finishes, colors, and materials to create your own unique look.

Hexagon tiles can also be used to create a retro impression. As a mosaic border around subway tiles, for example, the beehive tile effect works nicely.

Picket Tile

Modern and contemporary kitchens benefit greatly from the picket tile. Mixing and combining finishes and colors is a terrific idea for this piece.

In the eyes of some designers, the picket tile is a more imaginative substitute for subway tiles. Picket backsplashes are a good option if you want the look of lengthier tiles.

Arabesque Tile

The arabesque is a show-stopper when it comes to exquisite tile shapes. As long as you don’t go for an all-white appearance or mix it up with accent colors and other contrasts, your kitchen will look more interesting.

Use a contrasting grout color to draw attention to the shape for a striking appearance. Arabesque mosaics can cover the entire backsplash if you choose, or you can tone it down by framing a part above the sink or stovetop.

Linear Tile

For high-contrast backsplashes, linear mosaic tile is a popular choice. Glass, stone, and even metal are being combined in eye-catching designs by designers employing this approach.

Another common trend is to arrange the tile in abstract images, such as waterfall linear tile backsplashes and bamboo tile backsplashes. You may give your backsplash the abstract appearance of bamboo or water by using the proper color choices.

Fan Tile

The fan mosaic tile is one of the most popular styles in bathroom tile right now.

Make it a subtle white, or go all out with vibrant colors and an eye-popping grout to truly make the appearance stand out. If you’re looking to breathe fresh life into your kitchen, this is just the thing.

Leaf Tile

Leaf-patterned mosaic tiles, like arabesques, are all about delicate, curving shapes. Don’t be fooled into thinking this tile pattern is only appropriate for rustic, nature-filled kitchens; it may also be used in more contemporary settings. Leaf mosaic tiles are more likely to be found in a contemporary kitchen.

Designs and Patterns for Backsplash Tiles

It’s still possible to get creative with the placement of your tiles, even whether they’re square or rectangular in shape.

Herringbone Tile

When it comes to backsplashes and beyond, the herringbone pattern is one of the most popular options. It’s common to see herringbone patterns paired with subway tile, but it also works well with larger tiles and mosaics.

It’s understated yet striking, especially if you use a grout color that contrasts with the cabinetry.

Chevron Tile

The chevron and herringbone both have an arrow- or v-shaped pattern. A tidy effect can be achieved by cutting the chevron at an angle rather than straight across.

The chevron pattern’s crisp, straight lines and acute angles make it both fashionable and classic at the same time. Striking contrasts in color are easily achieved.

Grid Tile

Grid tile’s simplicity and minimalism allow you to place less emphasis on the pattern and more emphasis on the tile’s aesthetics as a whole.

You can use square or rectangular tiles, and you can orient them either horizontally or vertically in a grid. This is a terrific feature. It is more typical to use a horizontal grid, however stacking rectangular tiles vertically can make the space appear larger.

How to Install Backsplash Tile

Tile can be installed in a variety of ways, and some methods are more time-consuming than others. Determine which type of tile will work best for you by learning about three different methods of installing a backsplash.

Peel and Stick Installation

  1. It is important that the center of the tile sheet line up with the center mark you make on the wall when installing the tile. Remove the first mosaic sheet’s backing partially and press it into position. Remove the remainder of the backing and press it firmly against the wall once you’ve confirmed it’s positioned properly.
  2. Maintaining the 1/8′′ gap between the tile and the counter, cabinets, or other surfaces, apply more tiles.
  3. Before applying the tiles to the wall, check to see that they are all straight. If you remove the tile too soon after it has been firmly pressed to the wall, you risk damaging it.
  4. Apply caulk to the edges of the tiles once they are all installed.
  5. Apply a sealant recommended by the manufacturer to protect the tile against water damage.

Standard Installation

  1. As directed by the manufacturer, prepare the mortar. To apply the mortar, use the flat side of a notched trowel and then the notched side to comb it into a small area. Put it in little parts at a time so that it doesn’t dry up before you apply the tile.
  2. Make sure the tiles or mosaic sheets are firmly pressed into the mortar before laying them on the wall. Insert spacers if you’re working with single tiles to ensure that everything is level.
  3. Ensure that the surface is clean and level, and that no mortar is drying on the face of the tiles after each tile has been installed.
  4. Wait for the mortar to dry as instructed on the container. –> It could take up to 72 hours for this to complete.
  5. Make sure there are no tile spacers left. The manufacturer’s directions should be followed when mixing the tile mortar. Use a rubber grout float to apply it to the joints between the tiles. Work diagonally to avoid dragging out the grout as you apply it by pressing it into the tile joints at a 45-degree angle.
  6. Remove any remaining grout with a scraper when the project has been completed. Clean the tiles and grout joints with a moist sponge. A final wipe-down of the tile is required after a few additional hours to remove any grout haze that may have developed on the surface.
  7. Seal the grout and, if necessary, the tile. Mold and mildew will be prevented because of this.
  8. Seal the area between the counter and backsplash with latex caulk.

Grout-Free Installation

  1. The mortar should be mixed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. When you’re done, use the notched side of the trowel to comb the surface using the notched side. You should only apply a little mortar at a time so that it doesn’t dry out too fast.
  2. Using even pressure, push the tile sheets firmly into the mortar.
  3. Once all the tiles have been installed, check to see if the floor is level. Before it gets a chance to dry, remove any mortar that may have gotten on the tiles.
  4. Grouting isn’t necessary because this tile is grout-free! You can still use grout if you really want to. To fill in the gaps between sheets, it can be utilized. Using a grout bag is the best way to apply grout.
  5. In order to fill in any gaps between your counter and tiles, use caulk to fill them in.

Cleaning and Maintaining Backsplash Tile

The process of cleaning your backsplash tile is very similar to that of cleaning your floor tile, except that you won’t be doing any sweeping or mopping. Keep your backsplash sparkling clean with these handy tips and methods.

How To Find Your Perfect Backsplash Tile – MSI Blog

Best Backsplash Tile Cleaners

The type of tile you have will determine the type of cleaning solution you need. When cleaning your backsplash, even if you take all of the proper precautions, a dangerous chemical in your cleaner could still damage the tile.

  • As a result, if you don’t use the correct cleaning agent for natural stone, it can absorb moisture and get discolored. Lemon, vinegar, and other acidic ingredients should be avoided. Natural stone will yellow if cleaned with acidic cleaners. When in doubt, use a natural stone-specific cleaning agent.
  • Ceramic and porcelain tile can be cleaned with a simple soap and water solution. Make sure to choose a cleaner that is safe for both the tile and the grout and has a pH balance of around 7. Using severe chemicals, such as acids or ammonia, can cause serious harm.
  • Most of the time, glass tiles can be treated like any other type of glass surface. It’s possible to clean the tile with a gentle water and vinegar solution and leave it with a glossy shine.
  • Acidic or bleach-based cleansers, as well as oil- or wax-based cleaners, should be avoided while cleaning metal tiles. Instead, use a soap and water solution to clean metal tiles.

Note: Before using any cleaner, conduct a small inconspicuous patch test to see whether any damage or discoloration occurs.

How to Clean Backsplash Tile

  1. Dilute your tile cleanser in warm water, if necessary, to clean the tiles. The type of tile you have will determine the best cleaning method. If you’re unsure whether a cleaning solution will work on your tiles, ask the company that made them.
  2. Scrub the tile with a moist sponge, but not one that is soaking. Using circular motions, gently exfoliate Make sure you don’t overlook any persistent stains by being thorough.
  3. Using a dirty sponge to clean tile is a recipe for disaster. Keep it clean by rinsing and reusing it on a regular basis.
  4. The tile should be dried promptly after cleaning with a clean cloth, ideally a microfiber one. This will help prevent water streaks.
  5. Remove any remaining filth from the grout lines with a final cleaning. Dish soap or a mixture of baking soda and water can be used to clean. To thoroughly clean the grout, use a soft-bristled brush, such as a toothbrush. Sealing your grout on a regular basis is the best way to keep it free of dirt and stains.

Why Choose Backsplash Tile?

Having second thoughts about tile? All is well! Backsplash tile has several benefits, and we’ve compiled a list for you.

  • Tile’s stylistic options are unparalleled. You can choose the form, color, pattern, and material of your backsplash to create a one-of-a-kind design. There’s no way to compare that to regular old paint, really.
  • Tile is more expensive than paint, but that comes with the added bonus of increasing the value of your home. Renovations benefit greatly from its inclusion because it will last longer and look fantastic while doing so.
  • Even though tile has a bad rap for being difficult to install, there are now a slew of do-it-yourself options for installing backsplash tile. There are a variety of solutions available, from peel and stick tile to grout-free alternatives.
  • When it comes to kitchens that get a lot of foot traffic and use a lot of cleaning products, tile is an excellent choice. As a result, it will serve you well for a long time to come.
  • Splashes can cause long-term water damage to the wall behind your sink, so it’s important to take precautions to keep it dry. Splashes and dampness are no match for walls covered in water-resistant tile.
  • You can just wipe it down to maintain it looking its best because tile doesn’t retain stains.


What is mosaic tile backsplash?

Mosaic tiles are little tiles that are arranged on a sheet of paper. For example, mosaics can be built from anything from glass to porcelain to stones to metal. It is common practice to slice up several types of materials, such as stone, porcelain, and glass, into little bits.

Can mosaic tile be used as backsplash?

It’s a popular choice for kitchens of all shapes and sizes because of its ability to add visual variety, color, and attractiveness to any room. Mosaic tile is a great option if you’ve already decided on the style of tile you’d like to use for your kitchen’s backsplash.

What does mosaic tile mean?

For easy installation, mosaic tiles come in a sheet with various sizes, shapes and materials in a variety of colors. They can be made of ceramic, porcelain, glass, natural stone, or even metal or mirror, and they’re commonly mounted on a mesh-mounted sheet.

What is the difference between mosaic and tile?

That’s the difference between tiles and mosaics: tiles are a flat piece of clay or other material used to cover or beautify a surface, while mosaics are works of art made by putting colored squares (typically tiles) in a pattern to produce an image.

What can I use for mosaic tiles?

With a wide range of materials available, mosaics can be created using everything from new and repurposed materials to old and recycled ones.

Is mosaic tiles good for kitchen?

When it comes to a kitchen’s design, it may either make or ruin it. Kitchen splashbacks can benefit greatly from the wide variety of designs, colors, and finishes available in mosaic tiles.

Does backsplash tile touch countertop?

The backsplash tiles should not come into contact with the granite during installation. In place of that, place them about 1/8 of an inch above it. An expansion joint is the technical term for this little opening. In the event that a house does settle or shift somewhat, the expansion joint is essential.


It’s time to look at your selections for backsplash tile now that you’re an expert!

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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