Design Tips

Subway Tile Tips and Ideas

We have been building and remodeling homes for years now and subway tile is something that never gets old. We have been using it from day one and still use it today in our projects and even our own custom build. Even though subway tile dates back to around 1904 when it was used in public transit systems. Its popularity continues to grow.

Whether used for a kitchen backsplash, shower, or even floor, it’s an inexpensive way to add a classic, timeless look without breaking the budget. We have found a way to incorporate subway tiles into most of our homes in some form or fashion. You can’t go wrong with a tile that is durable, fashionable, and very affordable.

What is Subway Tile?

I guess I better point out what subway tile is before we go any further. Subway tile is a thin, low fired, glazed ceramic tile. While most subway tile you see if 3×6, it can vary in length and size. Nowadays you can find them not only rectangular in shape, but also square. It comes in a variety of materials including glass, stone, and marble. Here are a few different ideas on how to use subway tile in your home or remodel.

Keep it Neutral and Classic

Keeping it classic and neutral is always the first look I think about when using subway tile. This is a look that is easy to achieve and can add a classic touch to a kitchen or bathroom.

Choosing a simple 3×6 white subway tile with a neural grout can be a timeless look that will last forever. It’s a tile that you will not be changing in a few years because it will go out of style. The basic white subway tile is classy and will go with almost any design.

Use Dark Grout

Using dark grout as we did here in our pantry is also a great look. We chose a 3×6 glossy subway tile from Jeffery Court which we love! This is a great example of how using a dark grout accentuates the pattern.

We used a pearl gray grout color for a high impact contrast between the two. This really made the subway tile pop! If you are searching for a little bit of a different look without spending tons, this is a wonderful option.

Change up the Pattern

Another great idea to do when using a subway tile is to change up the pattern. This may get a little more complicated but is still very doable for a motivated DIYer. The great thing again is, you are not spending that much for the tile, but with changing up the pattern, it can give it more of a high-end look.

Here are some alternative patterns:

There are actually several different options to mix up the look of laying the subway tile. One of our favorites is a herringbone pattern. If you’re going for a modern vibe, don’t be afraid to get creative with your subway tile pattern.

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