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Subway Tiles – The Fascinating Story Of Their Versatility

The subway tile trend is strong and popular, especially in kitchens and bathrooms. Its history dates back to the early 1900s when the New York subway system was unveiled. It featured these beautiful walls covered in white 3”x6” tiles and it didn’t take long for interior designers to adopt the look when remodeling homes. Kitchen subway tiles are very popular and appreciated for how low-maintenance and easy to clean they are but also for their classic yet still quirky look and the thin grout lines, all of which are qualities that also make a subway tile bathroom look exquisite.

edd5846a6c2d088028aa5f54bcee8c6b Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their Versatilitye1f7a674c4fd6e1cc6671f78cf2da02a Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their Versatility4c85e20deed1b65937ee35819e229c63 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their Versatility237166a2da781eae63aafb384e352475 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their Versatility556971792f54d22267591007878f4de7 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their Versatility0d8355240337460d3176738481cb0ea3 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their Versatility67594d77b64c15849c075968cf6d2909 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityBeveled subway tiles are a quirky alternative to the classical type, one which doesn’t stray far from the originaldcd2064151f5af2f2262d0fdf84a513e Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their Versatility

Installation is fairly easy and you could probably do it yourself. If you don’t know how to lay subway tiles, we can help with a few tips and ideas. There’s a bunch of patterns to choose from and a lot of designs you can create. You can mix and match different colors, pick a theme for your design or keep thing simple and go with a monochromatic and classical look. Either way, your new kitchen tile backsplash or wall should be ready to make a style statement in no time.

White subway tiles

Use as inspiration the elegant white subway tiles that actually stand at the base of this whole trend: the New York subway platforms. Sure, their look has changed over time but that initial impact is something that you can recreate in your home by keeping the decor simple and monochromatic.

b98d56dc74a1d3e35de10ddbe3f7d4b9 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityWhite tiles, whatever their dimensions and shape are, look classical and are always versatile8b8efeec832570145c28ab9149d76bc8 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityPair a white subway tile backsplash with cabinetry in a light color to make a kitchen look more spacious95ada7e32bc86c5d1974af8440816f7e Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityThe countertop can be in a dark color such as black for a strong visual contrastWhip Up Easy Floral Cardboard Letter DécorSubscribe to HOMEDIT5a9ed879a914358f135a7384b5451860 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityWhite subway tiles can also provide a clean and elegant look in the bathroom

Beveled subway tiles

Beveled subway tiles, like the name suggests, have beveled edges and this gives the impression of a three-dimensional design. The tiles are appreciated for the play of light and shadow that they create but also for the fact that they add texture to the decor and that they stand out more than others. If you like the look, keep in mind that these tiles are a bit more difficult to clean that the regular kind and that can be an inconvenience in the kitchen.

fb5bdd23544f773abb11cc466333a298 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityEven if they’re white, beveled subway tiles still stand out and add dimension to the decor74bdf5328b909ceaca10a319aad1c6c8 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityIt’s easier to see the unique features of beveled tiles when accent lighting puts an emphasis on them1c40cb7c26b9fb54c15d6c3024cb87c4 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityBeveled subway tiles are a quirky alternative to the classical type, one which doesn’t stray far from the original

164d224ff4aa7784c204831933d8dcb9 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their Versatility

6dd28f6dd0e0ae69ca16144342d91599 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityIn bathrooms, beveled tiles maintain a simple look without being monotonous

Glass subway tiles

These tiles are obviously made of glass and that gives them a beautiful shine but also makes them heat and water resistant which makes them ideal for kitchen backsplashes, the area behind the sink and even the bathroom. There’s also another advantage: glass subway tiles come in every color imaginable, both solid and translucent

7bbd2354225ba720618ebcd42e7f230e Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityGlass tiles have a nice shine and look luminous no matter what color you decide to go with2fd800fe6ced4d929403b69695e58b36 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityComplement a glass tile backsplash with an LED light strip for a beautiful and eye-catching effect85921682eb437f4c064cf50db932bb63 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityGlass subway tiles, even the classical white ones, look refined and sophisticateda635da9a5e7c94a7fffe3ecdf81dedb7 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityTake advantage of the shiny glass finish of the tiles to make the kitchen look brightac56967eedbe969a7f9838d3d657a7c3 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityAlthough glass can make a bathroom look cold and impersonal, it can also highlight some of its beautiful features

Marble subway tiles

Working with marble and exploiting its unique beauty and elegance is not easy. Still, it’s all worth the effort when the final picture starts to form. Even small tiles like those used in subway patterns can showcase this material’s beautiful veins and lines . Marble subway tiles come in various different finishes and color tones and their price varies according to the region of provenance and type.

5b87f91d1ddfdf976697dfad731e6af5 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityIt’s important to properly seal the backsplash tiles in order to ensure their durability and long-lasting beauty70596a685229eada8ce5008f51aaf57e Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityMarble tiles don’t come in very bold colors or solid tones and their delicate patterns are what makes them specialdb014c416f4e7f1c52b6dc9a141e5751 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityYou can pair these tiles with other marble elements such as countertops or even floor tilesc8830fb44907bd189973b4ca0b087398 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityIn the bathroom, marble subway tiles add an unexpected touch of sophistication and luxury

Black subway tiles

Black may not be a very popular color when it comes to tiles or any kind. Nevertheless, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You can take advantage of that and create a kitchen design that stands out and plays with contrasts in unusual and interesting ways. In addition, black is a very practical color that hides stains well and that makes it great for kitchen backsplashes.

5e66f057023114cbe8114fe5f625566c Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityUsually, black subway tiles are paired with white grout in order to create a visual contrast

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b7812cec682cf7776812dec47b823d66 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their Versatilityit can be interesting to mix and match various shades of black or to choose a material or finish that highlights the color’s beauty74f461bcf6130f3c17b239fd07cede05 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityComplement a black subway tile backsplash with black appliances, countertops or furniture accents

Gray subway tiles

Gray is a neutral color, the marriage between black and white, two timeless colors, so very different from one another. Some consider this color dull and boring without considering how elegant and stylish it can look in the right setting. We love the look of gray subway tiles paired with white grout. They make spaces feel unexpectedly warm and welcoming.

72026b797c1c3e8268399fd83b031ae8 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityGray bathroom tiles are an interesting and practical choice which pairs well with small and vibrant color accentsab8f768dda4b5f8bf3549655bafe450d Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityConsider gray subway tiles in the shower to maintain an open and airy look without relying on white978884194e533808aa616573984bd223 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityIn the kitchen, gray subway tile backsplashes go well with stainless steel appliances

Blue subway tiles

Blue is the color of the sky and is often also associated with water, peace and tranquility. It’s a color that can be both vibrant and soothing and with many different variations that can really make a space stand out. Blue is only a mainstream and boring color if you let it be. There are many ways to avoid that when decorating and one of them has to do with subway tiles which can make any color look beautiful and sophisticated.

dd61672cd9e24117a76850ffc2ec99f0 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityThese blue subway tiles extend the kitchen backsplash all the way up to the ceiling and establish a beautiful focal point4a387e1999fab005f42446d231eabec7 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityBlue and white look great together but they often need a warm color to balance them outcf428b53bf2d1da3c12e2305a2032c09 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityDarker shades of blue have a deep and mesmerizing look and they pair wonderfully with wood

Yellow subway tiles

Yellow is a bright and cheerful color and a perfect choice for spaces like the kitchen. There aren’t that many ways in which you can introduce a color into the kitchen but those that are available can be exploited in a lot of creative and beautiful ways. For instance, a yellow backsplash can look amazing and to make it even more stunning you can use subway tiles.

a0fba0ef5f5d444b6e550592d8c8c35a Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityYou can use white as the main color and the yellow backsplash can match a few smaller accessories in the room52b0aa41909098e172ab5b7ebd02f686 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityIf you don’t want the yellow backsplash to be the focal point of the space, make it blend in469f818086f9c6f0d50f1d24fa427074 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityA beautiful shade of yellow isn’t your only way of making a backsplash look amazing. You can also rely on patterns

Pattern options: herringbone tiles

There are several patterns to choose from when installing subway tiles and this is one of them. The herringbone pattern is commonly used when installing wooden flooring but can look just as beautiful on walls. It’s a good option when working with pain white tiles, a way to avoid creating a monotonous decor and of allowing the subway tiles to stand out in a subtle and efficient way.

a522ef3842f9534f48f7ca8835835e7e Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityHerringbone tile backsplashes don’t need bold colors or prints to stand out and look beautifulf8b605f04df796e1097ba90a2d9697b5 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityThis is a pattern that looks nice in traditional and mid-century modern interiors2c524427fc144d594190be464e828690 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityYou can also use the herringbone tile pattern in the bathroom to add an unexpected twist to the design

Offset tiles

This could very well be the most commonly used and most popular pattern of all when it comes to subway tiles. It’s easy to work with, easy to install, easy to clean and simply practical and efficient in general. It looks good in a lot of different settings and in combination with just about any color or type of space.

e9f48e0d5787a891b0f9f5351c0809ec Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityOffset subway tiles maintain a clean and simple look but are not as minimalist as straight-line tiles

The diagonal offset pattern

This is more or less the same thing as the offset tile pattern but with a twist. It’s an interesting variation of the design, a sort of hybrid between the offset and herringbone patterns. Installation is a bit more tricky although not overly difficult. It’s a style that proves you can be creative and completely change the look of a tiled wall without actually modifying its structure and without relying on color or material to take the spotlight.

eb87cd2b6b008ed31eb6ac36a712b41d Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityThe pattern of the tiles in interesting enough to not require the use of busy color combinations of prints

Straight set tiles

This is a very simple and straight-forward pattern. It has clean lines and it actually puts an emphasis on the space between the subway tiles and the grout rather than on the tiles themselves. You can take advantage of that and create all sorts of interesting combinations of colors and play with the contrasts between them or you can use the minimalism and freshness of white on white to create a sleek and contemporary design.

fa3bdf5f4f2e1bcc627695cf40c1d329 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityThis pattern is perfect for modern and contemporary kitchens and bathrooms887a4c86114b8de3bfae9b773110f788 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityThe straight lines highlight the proportions of the walls and frame the room in a unique way

Vertical tiles

There’s not much to this really…it’s the offset tile pattern with one exception: the tiles are arranged vertically instead of horizontally. This strategy can be useful if you want to make a small room seem larger by giving the impression of a higher ceiling or if you want to simply stay away from the mainstream horizontal subway tiles and try something a bit more interesting yet equally simple.

589f39334359fcf4489b1d7c9a931665 Subway Tiles - The Fascinating Story Of Their VersatilityYou should emphasize the vertical lines with contrasting colors
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