In 2009 we renovated a Kitchen as part of a work project. We decided to install a beadboard backsplash, with 2 1/2" wide v-groove boards painted the wall color, with a simple 3" base molding. It looked gorgeous!
When designing my own Kitchen a year later, I knew that tile just wouldn't work. As much as I like tile (and know a good tile installer aka my uncle), it just didn't seem right for a 240 year old house. The beadboard would give the kitchen a more country farmhouse look, which is what we were going for.
So now it was down to whether to use beadboard panels, or use the real thing. I voted for the panels (less seams, less nails, and a more consistent look. Plus we'd be able to use mdf which would stand up to cleaning better). R, the beadboard installer, wanted to use wood panels, which were 2 beadboards (is that the correct terminology?) wide. They were tongue and groove and relatively easy to install. Since he was the installer, he won this argument (though I still wish we went with mdf). The beadboard looks great, but I do have a couple complaints. Because they were pine panels, they took a ton of coats of paint to cover the wood grain and knots (there were a lot). We also wasted a lot of pieces because there were knots in less than ideal spots (such as right on the edge, or huge knot holes in the middle of a board). Now that they're painted, from afar you don't notice these imperfections. However, they are very rough to the touch, and I worry that they will not do as well over a couple years of use and cleaning (especially since they're right behind my sink). But oh well. This isn't our permanent Kitchen in the house.. it's more of a temporary kitchen to get us through the years until we can afford the addition.
For the base, we decided to use a mdf trim piece we found at Lowe's. Initially, R wanted to use wood (again). But I put the piece of wood behind the sink for a couple days (just to see how it would look), and after about 2 days all of the paint was peeling off and it was basically ruined (so we can't even return it). Luckily Lowe's carried the exact same trim in mdf, which has been installed for about 2 months now and still looks great. I suppose if I had to have one piece not be wood I'd prefer it to be the base trim... this will be getting wetter than the beadboard ever will.We still have some upper trim to install (very small 1/2" mdf trim, just to cover the seam between the boards and the underside of the cabinets). Once that is installed we can do one final coat of paint over everything, caulk a couple seams and then install my over the sink light (I've been waiting to do this so it doesn't get scratched or broken when the trim/boards were being installed/painted).