Tips for Designing with Subway Tile
Subway tile, a style of white glazed ceramic tile was first used to line the walls of New York City’s railway stations in the early 1900s. These 3×6-inch tiles quickly became a favorite in homes and are still being used decades later. Plus, they come in a multitude of colors and finishes. See why these timeless tiles are our go-to choice when designing!
Subway tile is easy to clean and resists stains.
Subway tile has a charm that feels nostalgic but also works well with contemporary styles.
Basic ceramic subway tile runs as low as $2 per square foot at home centers. Thicker, high-quality versions can be found in the $5-$7 per square foot range.
Subway tile has a reflective quality that brightens up any kitchen or bathroom.
There’s more to subway tile than the standard offset pattern.
Part of subway tile’s versatility lies in the variety of ways it can be installed.
- For a more classic look, cover your kitchen backsplash.
- Extending subway tile from the countertop to the ceiling creates the illusion that the room is taller than it actually is.
- Install a section of tile in a contrasting pattern to create an inset above your cooktop.
- Line a shallow recess above your cooktop or in your pantry.
- Install subway tile under the countertop overhang or on an island. This makes it easy to wipe off smudges.
- Installing subway tile on the walls of the bathroom makes it super easy to clean.
Dark grout with white tile makes for a more historically-accurate look and the high contrast emphasizes the installation pattern. Dark grout also hides stains. A light grout color makes for a clean and fresh look, while a medium gray grout color creates barely-there contrast. When you want the grout to blend with the tile, use a white grout color.