mosaic, use CD's, sheet metal, cool checkered pattern with matching colors of the rest of your kitchen
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i was thinking old colorful floppydisks but i dont know how i would grout them or for that matter put them on the wall
Many home improvement stores sell panels that are made of plastic, but look exactly like punched tin ceiling tiles. I think they'd make a great backsplash in the right kitchen.
Check the This Old House website; their magazine has shown many versions from cheap-and-cheerful to very fancy, and many of those will be shown on the website as well. I sorta like the folks who realized that if you put a sheet of glass in front of it, anything becomes a usable backsplash.
The back splash gets no wear so glue with water proof glue some aluminium foil onto plywood and make your own tiles. If you like you can emboss the aluminium to give a patterned effect - You can select your own suitable surface for the embossing.
I really like high contrast brushed aluminum tiles. You can achieve differing looks by laying the brush marks horizontally, vertically or in an alternating pattern, and trim with polished aluminum tiles. As a bonus, you can get them with a peel and stick backing for easy installation.
I like that idea.
One big sheet of polished stainless steel! Amazingly beautiful. The brushed one also looks very good.
Tin tiles can be used for backsplashes, and they look great.www.americantinceilings.com/backsplash.html
Not new but I like using small tiles for the backsplash.