Subway tile – what originated along the walls of the first New York Subway system in the early 1900’s has quickly become a design staple – sleek 3X6, brick laid, rectangular tiles with little space in between intended for easy cleaning and a classic aesthetic. And while subway tile will never truly go out of style, when seen in bathrooms and kitchens over and over, again, it can definitely get a little tired.
To keep the punch in your next new build or remodeling project, here are five ways to reinvent this classic look:
Mixing a white tile with a dark grout (I love Custom brand #09 Natural Grey) or a dark grey tile (especially in a white kitchen to ground it) with a lighter grout (Try Custom brand #386 Oyster Grey) will add instant impact to your space.
Above: A dark grey grout gives added interest to these white subway tile walls in this Mountain Modern bathroom.
Suzanne McAleer Design
SUBWAY TILE SQUARED
My current obsession and being installed in three bathrooms I’m completing this month (excited to share photos soon) is the square subway, still laid in a brick set pattern. A totally different take that feels even more cheery than the traditional rectangle.
ADD A HERRINGBONE
To create a completely different look, try arranging in this more trendy and eye-catching pattern. This approach packs a punch so try to use a slightly lighter grey grout so that it doesn’t feel overwhelming.
STRAIGHTSET SUBWAY TILE
Throw the brick set to the curb and embrace a more clean and perfectly stacked look. Perfect for a more modern bathroom.
CREATE AN ACCENT WALL
Introduce another element in your shower by combining subway with an accent wall in a completely different type of tile. This will keep the space from feeling too one-note but still embrace the classic look.