kitchen with subway tile

Subway tiles are in vogue, and due to their timeless aesthetic and unique look, there’s a good chance this classic tile won’t ever go out of fashion. If you’re looking to create your dream kitchen or bathroom and include backsplashes, subway tile is the perfect way to protect walls and surfaces while ensuring your spaces look perfectly chic.

Keep reading to learn about five modern, innovative subway tile backsplash ideas and learn a little more about these traditional yet ultra-stylish features.

What Are Subway Tile Patterns?

Subway tiles were first used more than 100 years ago in the New York subway, and people loved the simple, clean yet customizable look. They quickly made their way into our homes, where they’ve been a staple ever since.

While solid blocks of plain white tiles might be a little old fashioned, you can play with ideas to make backsplash patterns exciting and nuanced so they offset other elements of your interior design. In addition to pattern variations, different-colored grout, tiles with texture and mixing neutral colors with bright colors are great ways to use subway tiles as backsplashes.

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Subway Tile Backsplash Ideas

Using subway tiles is a great way to visually break up walls and cabinets, protect the wall and add a sleek, unique element to your home design. Below are some creative ways to use subway tiles.

1. Stacked Bond Subway Tiles

Vertical stacked bond, horizontal stacked bond and stacked running bond are simple yet slick backsplash patterns. This minimal, repetitive design works best with a simple white subway tile and either white or black grout against a colorful or dark backdrop. You can even match the grout color to the wall color for added pop.

classic subway tile pattern

2. Running Bond Pattern

Horizontal running bond is the most classic tile backsplash pattern. However, you can get this style laid in vertical columns instead of rows, creating the illusion of a high ceiling and taller walls. The vertical bond pattern is ideal for smaller rooms and usually works best with light or white materials.

3. Chevron Pattern Offset With Herringbone

Lots of people mistakenly think herringbone and chevron are the same pattern, but there are key differences and using both together can enhance the appearance of your space. Chevrons are smaller and not typically available in a traditional subway tile, while herringbone consists of subway tiles installed at 45-degree angles. The peaks and dips draw the eye and look great on kitchen or bathroom walls.

herringbone subway tile patternOpt for laying white tiles with gray grout in the kitchen to complement stainless steel fixtures. Or, create an inset in your bathroom shower to add visual interest without using colored tiles. This bathroom look works particularly well for all-white bathrooms with white cabinets, walls and bathroom suites.

4. Add Texture: Beveled Edge, White Grout and Gray Subway Tile

Classic subway tiles are flat and white, but there are other ways to mix up subway tile patterns than formation alone. Adding a textured subway tile like those with beveled edges adds the depth and subtle variation necessary to make large walls look charming and pretty without being over the top.

If you love your white cabinets but want to go with the season and add some gray, use gray tiles as a backsplash to add nuance and texture to an otherwise clean, white kitchen. On the other hand, if you have a colorful kitchen or bathroom, white tiles and white grout provide a contrast in visual texture while letting your bright design shine.

5. Add Visual Interest With a Different Grout Color

Grout can be used as an accent to make your backsplash stand out, with minimal effort or investment. White herringbone with black grout is particularly popular at the moment, but you can match the grout color to any other element of your home design for a bold, individual aesthetic.

Decorate Your Space With Subway Tiles

If you like the look of subway tiles and either have some creative ideas for kitchen subway tile backsplash patterns or require some inspiration, Element Build Design Remodel can help. Schedule a consultation with us today to discuss.