10 Inspiring Ways to use Subway Tiles in your Home

Subway tiles, traditionally white, but today there are an array of colours, textures and finishes for all interior styles.

Named after the ceramic tiles used on the walls of New York subway stations in the early twentieth century, subway tiles continue to be popular in homes and commercial spaces around the world.  Creative applications and placement of subway tiles can create a unique look to your space, all it takes is a bit of inspiration to get you on your way.

Here we share with you 10 inspiring ways to use subway tiles in your home:

1. Vertical Lay

Turn traditional on it’s head.  Horizontal brick bond isn’t the only way to go with subway tiles.  Different lays can add interest to a classic white subway tile.


Above:  Bathroom vertical lay subway tiles, image via Pinterest.


Above:  Love this application with contrasting grout and marble countertops.  Image via Pinterest

2. Herringbone Pattern

There are many benefits in design to the herringbone pattern (read here).  Create movement and interest in your design, particularly impressive on a kitchen splashback.



Above:  White kitchen with white subway tiles laid in a herringbone pattern, image via Pinterest

3. Grout Colours

Define your subway tile pattern with contrasting or coloured grout.  Visually exciting and practical for cleaning too!


Above:  Bathroom splashback, image via Pinterest


Above:  Kitchen splashback, image via Pinterest

4. Handmade Subway Tiles

Handmade versions of the subway tile are in demand with beautiful glazed finishes.


Above:  Create a feature using different colours of the same tile.  Image via Pinterest.


Above:  Handmade gloss tiles laid stack bond, image via Pinterest.


Above:  Stunning turquoise crackle glazed finish handmade subway tiles, image via Pinterest.

5. Mirror Effect

Push the walls back – make your space appear larger with mirrored subway tiles.


Above:  Straight from Belle magazine, feature panel wall of mirrored subway tiles, image via Pinterest.

6. Feature Wall

Use coloured subway tiles to make a feature wall pop in your space.


Above:  Add personality to your toilet, think outside the square, image via Pinterest.


Above:  Compliment your coloured subway tile feature wall with other fixtures, image via Pinterest


Above:  Who said tiles are only for wet areas?  Add a subway tile feature in your dining or living space, image via Pinterest.


7. Bevelled Subway Tiles

Add something a little extra to your walls with bevelled subway tiles.


Above:  Black sophistication, image via Pinterest.


Above:  White bevelled subway tile splashback, adding texture to a white wall, image via Pinterest.

8. Marble Subway tiles

The use of marble will add elegance and boost value to your space.  Who doesn’t love the unique qualities of natural stone?


Above:  Herringbone pattern on floor, image via Pinterest.

marble 2

Above:  Marble subway tiles on walls with marble mosaic herringbone floor tiles and marble counter top, image via Pinterest.

9.  Mix and Match

Mix subway tiles in varying shades, colours, patterns and textures.  Have fun with it – it’s your space, love it.


Above:  Scandi inspired space with two tone textured subway tiles in a herringbone lay.  Image via Pinterest.


Above:  Play with colours – be as bold or as subtle as you like.


Above:  Love this ombre herringbone effect in subway tiles, very cool.  Image via Pinterest.

10. Not just for Walls & Floors

Continue your subway tiled splashback theme to your bench.


Above:  White subway tiles, soft industrial look with pastel hues, image via Pinterest.


Above:  Concrete benchtop with classic white subway tiles, another great industrial look.  Image via Pinterest.

There are so many exciting reinventions today of the classic subway tile and they are sure to be a favourite for many more years to come.  Continue your inspiration on Pinterest here.

By Hayley Norman

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About Hayley Norman

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