Why Subway Tile Is a Must Have for Your Home
If there’s a tile that takes the cake for versatility, cost effectiveness, and timelessness, it’s subway tile.
As trendy as it is at the moment, there’s a reason designers come back to it time and again. The variety of options available – from classic white to beveled and patterned – gives it plenty of individuality, while practically, it’s a great way to get a high quality design for an affordable price. And as a bonus, subway tiles are typically easier to install (and clean!) than more complex patterns.
So, to get you started, we’ve rounded up some tips and inspiration to get you dreaming about your remodel. Scroll below to see some of our favorite trends today.
Traditional Tile Styles
Your typical subway tile look is about as classic as it gets – flat, white, and simple. It’s perfect for giving a room a streamlined look, whether you’re adding it to a kitchen or bar backsplash, or using it on your shower and bathroom walls. With a clean white tile, you’ve got the flexibility to shift the overall style of the room as the years pass, and it pairs perfectly with contrasting tile patterns, wall colors, and a wide variety of design trends.
Non-Traditional Tile Styles
Subway tiles don’t have to stick to only traditional white and flat looks. If you want to branch out from the crowd and add a splash of personality to your design, go for a larger-sized subway tile, or one that’s glass as opposed to ceramic. You can even play with different color schemes, and with everything from green and blue to marbled white and gray, there are endless options to choose from. Mixing and matching is always a good bet, too, if you want to try a couple of complementary tile designs for different areas of the room (think an accent tile wall in the shower or behind the kitchen sink).
While your tile color and size makes an impact, your grout is just as important (and a detail many people forget to focus on). There’s a wide range of grout colors available, and the shade you choose can completely shift the look of your subway tile within the room. Typically darker grouts are going to make your white tiles pop, but they can also make for a busier look overall, so the key with these is to keep the rest of the room simple. On the other hand, lighter grouts will make for a more streamlined and clean look, though they are more prone to stains and discoloration. Whichever way you go, be sure to put some thought into your color choice and determine which design option is the best for you, and which one will pair best with your ideal subway tile.
Unique Patterns (Vertical / Herringbone)
Tired of the usual subway tile layout? Change it up! Laying your tiles vertically or in a herringbone pattern allows you to keep to the subway tile trend while still getting creative and creating a unique visual tableau. Sometimes a little tweak can give a classic style a whole new look.
Textured Tile (Beveled / Catalina)
Beveled and Catalina styles are great options if you want a bit of texture added to your tiles without going in a completely different color direction. With beveled tile, you get extra depth and each tile is defined individually while still working together as a whole – these are particularly beautiful in kitchens as backsplashes. Catalina styles give the subway tile trend a purposefully imperfect vibe – the uneven surface makes the space feel natural and weathered. It’s a softer look that looks gorgeous in any space.
Shine vs. Matte
One other consideration for your tiles is whether you want to opt for a high shine or a more matte version. Both are beautiful, and there are versions between the two that strike a nice balance. But the thing to keep in mind when making your decision is the overall feeling you want your room to evoke. High shine tiles are a bit more showy and reflect light quite strongly, meaning that if you want to make a statement, that’s the perfect match. Matte or low shine tiles, conversely, will make things feel more subtle and sophisticated.
So, are you more of a traditional subway tile aficionado? Or are you all about making a bold statement with a bright blue glass style? Whatever your preference, we think it’s a tile you simply can’t go wrong with. Get creative, and you’re sure to find the perfect tile style for your space.