Your Guide to Subway Tile

Tiles | Standard Tile

Your Guide to Subway Tile

Subway tile, a style of tiling surfaces, was created in 1904 for NYC’s subway system. See what makes subway tile stand out.

From kitchen backsplash ideas to bathroom vanities, subway tiles are a popular choice in recent remodels. But what is subway tile, and how can you use it to give your space a fresh, new look?

Read on to discover the trendy and timeless beauty of subway tile and where to find it for maximum impact in your home.

Subway Tile Basics

These versatile and popular ceramic tiles were first installed in the New York City subway system in 1904 to give the subway a stylish look. Designers chose ceramic tile because it was resistant to bacteria and stains, an essential feature for tiles used in underground subway tunnels. 

These tiles are timeless, and their classic lines suit just about any style. Their glossy finish is prized for cleanliness, making them an excellent choice for your kitchen remodel or bathroom renovation. 

Subway Tile Sizes

The original tiles came in the classic dimension of 3 x 6 inches long. There are many variations in size available today, and most of them are rectangular and small in format. You can install them in a traditional brick pattern or play with other arrangements.

When exploring home improvement ideas, try a 3 x 12 inch or 4 x 16 inch tile for a completely different take on subway design. There are even subway tiles available in a small mosaic format.

Layout and Design

The layout of subway tiles isn’t limited to the traditional brick pattern. They can be stacked horizontally or even vertically. A herringbone design is a great option for a fresh look. When you lay tiles at right angles, some parallel to the ceiling and another to the walls, you can achieve yet another feeling in the room. 

Try this virtual design tool to see how different subway tile options will look in your home. When you play with the layout and types of tile, you can get a feel for what you prefer.

Subway Tile Colors

 White is the most common choice for both industrial and residential use. However, colored subway tile is a great way to brighten up your home. Consider a trending color like green, blue, or pink. Subway tiles can be found in glass, marble or stone for a different effect.

Grout Color Choices for Subway Tiles

Grout is the filler between your tiles. It consists of cement, limestone, and color pigment. Grout color does make a difference to your overall design.

White tiles usually have white, gray, or black grout, but you can choose any color. When deciding on a grout color, think about whether you want to highlight the layout pattern or keep the focus on the tiles themselves.

If your tiles are in a smaller room, a contrasting grout color might make the space seem chopped up. Use a more compatible grout color if you want a subtle effect.

Subway Tile

At Standard Tile, we offer free design services to help you create the look and feel you desire. Together we will achieve a comfortable atmosphere that suits your style and taste.

Contact us today to see our large selection of subway tile options. Our award-winning designs will bring your home to the next level.