Plastic Laminate: Durable for moderate wear, comes in a multitude of colors, low end in price, can chip at the edges and shouldn’t be cut directly on.
Do you really need a one? Not really. But you’ll inevitably get that wall dirty while cooking or washing dishes, and an easy-to-clean surface can make messes easier to wipe up, especially if your stove doesn’t have a one built in. And almost any type of material can work–from bamboo to corkboard–as long as it’s properly sealed.
In the past, tin was an incredibly expensive material. It was viewed as a sign of wealth for anyone who was able to incorporate it into their home designs — think about the revered tin ceilings found in restored buildings. These days, faux tin sheets are easy to obtain and offer the same look at a fraction of the price. This is also a great choice to replace tile as the texture of the tin finish will make any grout lines disappear.
Brick one way to warm up a kitchen, whether left as is or painted to match the rest of the design scheme. Like stone, brick can be harder to clean, but can be maintained pretty easily if sealed properly and cleaned on a regular basis.
The biggest real estate for a focal point is behind the stove. Create focal points by changing up the pattern or color scheme of your materials, whether that’s laying tile at an angle or mixing and matching complimentary colors. And if you’re on a budget, splurge on that stove-top wall and use a less expensive material everywhere else.
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