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17 Marvelous Ways to Use Subway Tiles in Your Home

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Subway tiles boast a treasure trove of qualities sought by many homeowners. They’re incredibly versatile, reasonably affordable, and appear to never go out of style. While these tiles don’t look that exciting when used in a subway area, they gain a new aesthetic depth when you incorporate them into your home. Subway tiles feature an air of familiarity with their classic white and rectangular design. They work best in the kitchen or the bathroom but any room can look fresh with the help of this stylish type of tile.

If you’re wondering about the best ways to incorporate subway tile into your interior design style, check out the following inspirational ideas. Even though subway tiles are versatile enough to be integrated easily with other decor elements, some combinations work better than others. These tiles may appear pretty basic at first but it turns out there are lots of different styles and laying methods to consider before putting them in the room. Let’s explore the full show-stopping potential of subway tiles added to your home.

1. Dark Grout Subway Tiles

Dark Grout Subway Tile Bathroom

Looking for a great way to enhance the visual impact of plain white subway tiles in the bathroom? The solution comes from pairing them with dark grout. The strong contrast emphasizes the beauty of the tiles making the white look extra crisp. This is a modern approach to classic subway tiles that use white grout. It’s a suitable decor choice for monochromatic showers where the combination of black and white dominates.

2. Chevron Pattern Subway Tiles

Chevron Pattern Subway Tile Kitchen

If you think the classic horizontal pattern of subway tiles is too bland, consider a more creative style. This kitchen backsplash appears fresh and somewhat whimsical thanks to the use of a chevron pattern. The visual effect of this kind of design might draw a little too much attention than needed. However, the patterns are integrated very elegantly into a neutral white color scheme to avoid a visually overwhelming look. The chevron style makes a solid combo with the marble look of the countertop.

3. Vertical Interest

White Subway Tile Kitchen

Anyone searching for a way to modernize subway tiles should try a more creative layout. Instead of arranging them in a traditional horizontal style, go for a vertical lay pattern. The resulting visual effect is unexpected but surprisingly elegant. It matches a modern minimalist aesthetic very well considering the focus on clean, orderly lines. The geometric pattern is a welcomed addition to an otherwise simple white-toned kitchen environment.

4. Textural Effect

White Subway Tile Bathroom With Textural Effect

Fans of an understated subway tile look should try the following idea. It’s based on classic white tiles but with a textural twist. The grout is harder to distinguish while allowing other colorful accents to grab most of the attention. It’s a really creative way to bring some textural depth to the bathroom but without compromising on subtlety. The purple marble and sky blue paint look very attractive with the help of the backdrop created by the subway tiles.

5. Geometric Beauty

Geometric Subway Tile Bathroom

One way to enhance the style of the shower in the bathroom is by incorporating subway tiles together with a mosaic-tile floor. This is a successful combination if you want to take advantage of the geometric beauty of multiple patterns. The subway tiles on the walls are designed with a taupe color that warms the color scheme together with the teak wood accents. The mosaic-tile floor has a black grid on a grayish background for some extra visual interest.

6. Splash of White

Black Kitchen With White Subway Tiles

Can you incorporate traditional white subway tiles in a modern black kitchen? The answer is yes. This is proof of the amazing versatility of subway tiles. They help to enhance the elegance of this modern kitchen by creating a stunning contrast. The white backsplash works as a stunning backdrop for floating shelves while the classy dark cabinets appear bolder surrounding it. It’s not the kind of aesthetic suitable for everyone but fans of dramatic kitchens will appreciate it.

7. Bright and Airy Subway Tiles

Bright Subway Tile Kitchen

Subway tiles can form an ideal background for other decorative elements of the room. It’s not surprising that this is a popular tile style for kitchen backsplashes. The tiles maintain a bright and airy atmosphere in this modern kitchen despite being relegated to a background role. With a healthy dose of inspired creativity, you can emphasize the beauty of subway tiles with the help of decor pieces such as string lights. Floating shelves also work great for displaying and storing kitchen essentials.

8. Different Vibe

Black Subway Tiles

Try switching the tile and grout colors for creating a different vibe in the room. This kitchen backsplash breaks the usual conventions and uses black subway tiles contoured by white grout. It’s a departure from the traditional style but a very welcomed feature for modern kitchen designs. Due to the intense visual effect of a black kitchen backsplash, it’s recommended to lay dark subway tiles only halfway up the wall. Add repeating patterns in the same color palette on the floor to maintain cohesiveness.

9. Pastel Statement

Green Pastel Bathroom

If you’re undecided regarding the color scheme of your bathroom, you can’t go wrong with a pastel tone of blue. This calming shade looks even more impressive thanks to the textural effect and clean lines of vertical subway tiles. This powder room looks simply stunning with this bold wall color, especially when taking into account the speckled sink base. The playful style of the subway-tile wall is beautifully matched by the artsy floor tiles using eye-catching geometric patterns.

10. Stacked Bond Pattern Subway Tiles

Stacked Bond Pattern Subway Tile Kitchen

Instead of a basic subway tile pattern, it’s worth trying out a different approach to achieve a unique look. This tile layout makes use of a stacked bond pattern that’s appreciated for its relatively straightforward installation process. It’s a minimalist subway tile look but it provides effortless versatility to suit both modern and traditional kitchens. Tiles are neatly arranged in evenly stacked rows. The orderly fashion brings great visual appeal to this neutral-toned space.

11. Cozy Urban Style Subway Tiles

Urban Style Subway Tile Kitchen

Any kind of kitchen can incorporate subway tiles without difficulty. If you live in a small apartment, this tile design is useful to provide a sense of depth and slight visual interest without the risk of looking outdated. Even a traditional white subway tile style fits modern urban interiors very well. It’s all about figuring out the right decor elements to combine it with. It seems that wood cabinets featuring a distinctive finish blend nicely with the crisp white tiles.

12. Pure Luxury

Luxurious Bathroom

Can you make subway tiles appear luxurious? Some designs appear to closely resemble the look of marble. That makes it possible to give subway tiles a more aesthetically-pleasing finish that will elevate the style of any bathroom wall. Despite the premium look, you can save money by going with this design approach instead of purchasing a big marble slab. It’s both practical and attractive. The tiles retain that natural stone appeal in the process of mimicking marble.

13. Zig-Zag Look

Zig Zag Subway Tile Kitchen

Keeping a simple white color scheme in the kitchen gives you some great opportunities in terms of patterns and textures. Subway tiles arranged in a straight herringbone pattern create a memorable zig-zag look without the need for bold color. You can maintain a mature atmosphere in this functional room while providing a bit of extra character through the kitchen backsplash. Use slimmer tiles to achieve the best herringbone pattern effect.

14. Mustard Yellow Tiles

Mustard Yellow Tile Kitchen

Finding the perfect balance in a kitchen color scheme is difficult if you’re afraid of overpowering the space in bold hues. It’s extra challenging in case you’ve decided to try a more unexpected color tone instead of a monochromatic or neutral palette. Go for a mustard yellow shade that’s not as bright and cheerful as other yellow tones. It can form a stylish contrast in this modern gray kitchen when incorporating the color through subway tiles.

15. Diagonal Tiles

Diagonal Tile Bathroom

Here’s a particularly bold pattern to use when laying subway tiles. The diagonal style grabs a lot of attention considering its unusual look, especially if you pair it with darker colors. If you plan on adding some dramatic flair to the bathroom, this is a recommended aesthetic. Diagonal subway tiles can look very refreshing compared to other patterns but they can bring an overwhelming punch when the entire room is decorated like this. Stick to an accent wall if the visual impact is too strong for you.

16. Subway Tile Alcove

Subway Tile Alcove Kitchen

Subtle yet very aesthetically pleasing, this small alcove stove makes use of subway tiles restricted just to this narrow space. It’s more distinctive compared to covering an entire wall or the kitchen backsplash. Even when incorporated in smaller doses, subway tile brings fresh style to improve the look of the room. This modern kitchen uses subway tiles to focus the attention on the farmhouse stove which stands out properly as a contrasting vintage element.

17. Mix of Tiles

Pink Subway Tile Bathroom

If covering the wall in a single type of tile feels like a very focused commitment, perhaps opting for a mix of tiles would be a smarter idea. Subway tiles combined with other tile styles might work even better in modern interiors, especially if you favor an eclectic touch. This elegant bathroom has one half of the wall decorated with pink subway tiles while the upper half makes use of white honeycomb penny tiles. It results in a playful geometric effect that’s also repeated throughout the room by elements such as the round mirror and drawer handle.

By Stefan Bucur

Stefan is the founder and owner of Rhythm of the Home. He has 6 years of experience in home improvement, interior design, cleaning and organizing.

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