Tin ceilings originated here in the States in the late 1800s. Decorative metal plates were (and still are) an affordable way to emulate the intricate plaster work seen in European homes. Plus they're fireproof; kind of important when you cook, warm and see by flame. Now in the 21st century, tin tiles aren't necessary, but nostalgic. And they don't have to be regulated to your fifth wall, either.