There are many different ways you can approach this decision, and since an island takes up a significant amount of floor space it’s worth it to take time to make every element of its design intentional.
Butcher Block: Wood product, best used for islands away from water sources/sinks. Medium durability – can absorb stains because wood is porous. Color is chosen by different wood stains, moderate to high in price. Tile: Durable if taken care of properly. Porcelain tiles can chip, crack or break if items are dropped on the counter. Grouting can also chip and discolor. Price is based on how expensive the individual tiles are. Can get expensive with hand painted and imported tile.
When it comes to modern spaces, open any home design magazine and you’ll see many of the same materials: cool metals, smooth stone, and reflective glass. This makes the shine of a mirrored backsplash an easy choice for those looking to achieve a sleek design.
Of course, different styles of wood can achieve completely different aesthetics. If you’re looking for your final project to have a more streamlined feel, you’ll probably want to opt for the manufactured tongue-and-groove pieces that are sold at home improvement stores. But if your dream backsplash consists a truly unique and aged look, you can create a one-of-a-kind design from reclaimed wood pieces.
Add another dynamic by creating variation in the height of your island. Using the island for multiple purposes, like eating and food prep, will both maximize the utility and make it feel like two totally different spaces. For example, add an appliance to one level (like a sink or stovetop) and create a breakfast bar on a higher tier.
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