We wanted a hard surface for easy cleanup. Refrigerator, sink, micro-wave, oven and work surface areas are going to be prone to most spills. If this was the only bar maybe it would be make a lot of sense to bring the wood around front. (you call it the back?) But, we have the other bar in back of the seating where I would think more spills will happen in dark. We also looked at tiles in all different colors as well as different colored woods but ended up with what is the only brown surface in the room except for the cupholders on the Berkines, but it works for us.
Anyway we thought about different places to break the carpet and this just worked for us.