Subway Tiles: A Timeless Trend

If you’re planning some home improvement projects for your kitchen or bathroom, then you should definitely consider getting subway tiles. You may be wondering what this kind of tile is. As the name suggests, it was first used in subways.

It might not be easy to imagine putting subway tiles in your home but it actually have plenty of benefits. Subway tiles are affordable, versatile, and durable. You can use it for any part of your home, and it will last for a long time.

A Brief History of Subway Tiles

Back in 1904, the subway in New York City opened. The stations were tile-clad, giving it a distinct look. This kind of tile became popular and soon was used in homes for lining kitchen and bathroom walls. Don’t use them for the floor though since they’re glossy, it can be slippery to use them for the floor.


You can never go wrong with subway tiles because they are timeless. Many interior designers can attest to this. It is simple but it goes well with just about anything. It will never go out of style. Simply put, it’s become a classic.

What Does a Subway Tile Look Like?

Traditionally, these tiles are white. The measurement for each tile is at about three inches by six inches. Today however, there is already a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes for subway tiles. Homeowners can take their pick according to their needs.

What is the Cost?

On average, the cost of the tile for every square foot is at about $2. It won’t cost you a fortune to use subway tiles for your home. Of course, the basic type which is white is the most affordable. Depending on the sizes, colors, and shapes, the price range can greatly vary.

As for the installation of the tiles, homeowners don’t have to stick to the traditional way. The tiles can be installed through zigzag chevron or interlocking patterns. Whichever way you choose to install the tiles, it is possible.

Using the Subway Tile for Kitchens

When we think about subway tiles, we may immediately imagine a traditional kitchen that is heavily American-styled. This doesn’t have to be the case. As mentioned earlier, the subway tiles are versatile so you can use them in whatever style.

For example, if you’re going for a kitchen with a Tuscan-style, you can definitely use these tiles. It will complement to the other elements of the space such as terracotta tiles or brick tiles. The wooden cabinets will surely pop out because of the white subway tiles.

Using Colored Tiles

There are many ways to use subway tiles. You don’t have to stick to the white ones because they come in different colors nowadays. You can break the monotony of your kitchen by installing lively-colored tiles.

While your kitchen remains to have that classic look, it will also look modern because of how you play with the colors. The space will be more welcoming and warm. You and your family will surely enjoy spending time there.

Installing the Tiles Vertically

You can install your tiles either vertically or horizontally. To have a different look, install it vertically. It will break the expectation of the viewer and will make the space more exciting. You can have white tiles and gray tiles and have them in alternating patterns.

You can also choose whatever complementary colors you like so you can play with them as well as the patterns that you want to make out of them. Don’t be afraid to be imaginative when it comes to choosing your tiles and how you install them.

Providing a Strong Contrast

If you like having gray tones or monochromatic black and white tones for your bathroom, having subway tiles will give you that strong contrast. You will achieve a very modern look for the space even though your materials are retro.

It’s all about experimenting and seeing what works best. Your bathroom doesn’t have to be a boring, all-white space. Work with strong contrasts to make certain elements pop out. This space is one that you’ll be proud of.


So, what do you think about subway tiles? They’re not just boring white tiles. When you use them, you’re also putting a bit of history into your home. It’s great to know how this type of tile was first used and how it became popular for homes.

As a homeowner, you would want that each element that you put into your home has its own significance. You’ll never look at subway tiles the same way again. You can use it for that classic look or go all out modern with them. It’s all up to you. The subway tiles can handle it.

Have you used subway tiles in your home? If you have, feel free to share with us what you think of them. We’d love to know what you think!

Author Bio: Richard Fong is an avid fan of interior design, architecture, and home improvement blogs. He’s the founder and CEO of, a Los Angeles-based SEO company.


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