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Subway Tile

Simple yet chic, subway tile is a design staple for a reason. From solid black or white ceramic to natural stone, marble or glass, the design possibilities are endless. Kitchen and bathroom backsplashes are a few of our favorite places and ways to feature subway tiles throughout the home. Consider selecting subway tiles in an unexpected color to create more visual interest.

Design Ideas FAQs
Dog washing station with white subway tile and grey concrete-look floor tile.

Simple yet chic, subway tile is a design staple for a reason. From solid black or white ceramic to natural stone, marble or glass, the design possibilities are endless. Kitchen and bathroom backsplashes are a few of our favorite places and ways to feature subway tiles throughout the home. Consider selecting subway tiles in an unexpected color to create more visual interest.

Dog washing station with white subway tile and grey concrete-look floor tile.

Subway Color Trends

white subway tile bathroom

What makes this white subway tile stand out from the rest?
A polished finish and handmade-look surface that adds character and charm.

colorful subway tile bathroom

Subway tiles are a versatile design element that lends itself to creating patterns.
Personalize your space with an original layout that pops when paired with a unique color combination.

Black subway tile with white marble bathroom

This straight-stacked tile pattern adds a contemporary vibe to this elegant bathroom.
Simultaneously, the dark shade of subway tile creates a striking contrast.

You cannot go wrong with a classic white subway tile or colorful subway tile full of personality. Your space will benefit from any version of this beloved rectangular tile. Neutral colors create a simple yet elegant ambiance, while bright and bold hues create a contemporary atmosphere. Whichever color palette matches your personal style, explore our wide range of subway tile shades and finishes at The Tile Shop.

Subway Design Ideas

White subway tile kitchen wall floating shelves

A contrasting grout color is a simple yet impressive way to make subway tiles pop.

Colored subway tile bathroom wall

Create a tile design full of dimension.
The delicate lace pattern layered across these subway tiles enlivens walls with texture.

Modern farmhouse subway tile walls patterned floors

Subway tile doesn’t need to end with one wall.
Extend your design beyond traditional boundaries to create a custom yet cohesive space.

One of the best features of subway tile is how the classic shape is constantly being used in new, innovative ways. A white kitchen backsplash provides a clean backdrop that complements everyday activities and brightens surroundings. Tile designs that extend from inside the shower to the rest of the bathroom create the visual illusion of a larger space. Discover the subway tile design possibilities.

Subway Tile Materials

Green glass subway tile kitchen backsplash with herringbone mosaic accent.

Glass subway tiles are a simple yet visually stunning way to add color and shine to this timeless tile shape.

Grey glossy subway tile kitchen

Ceramic subway tile paired with a traditional brick-lay pattern is a reliable and sophisticated choice.

Marble subway tile bathroom

Marble subway tiles are ideal for creating an elegant space filled with timeless beauty.
Take this aesthetic a step further with luxurious layering pieces.

Glass subway tiles offer a stylish finish full of polished shine inside kitchens and bathrooms. Marble subway tiles infuse rooms with organic elegance and stunning details in the living room and beyond. Timeless beauty is just waiting to be discovered.

Ask The Experts

  • Subway tile is a small or medium-sized, rectangular-shaped tile known for its versatility, popularity and ease of coordinating with any space or style.

  • Subway tile received its name from the New York City subway system, where these rectangular tiles were developed and used to coat walls. The thin grout lines and flat surface made these tiles ideal for easy cleaning and simple maintenance inside well-traveled, high-traffic space.

  • Subway tiles are not one-size-fits-all. Some materials are more durable than others. We suggest thoroughly reading recommended installations and placements in the product description for each tile.

  • The choice is yours! Coordinating grout colors create a nice, neutral pairing, but this will not highlight subway tiles, whether herringbone or a brick-lay pattern. Whereas contrasting grout colors are eye-catching and highlight your subway tiles and patterns of choice.

  • Subway tiles feature a simple 1:2 height-to-length ratio. Previously, a standard subway tile measured 3" x 6". However, subway tiles can now be considered any smaller-format rectangular-shaped tile.

  • Subway tile is installed like any other tile. There are different installation methods depending on which pattern or layout you choose. For more detailed installation information, check out our resources to learn how to install tile. For more pattern information, check out our tile patterns inspiration.