Whether you choose the classic white 3x6" subway tile or opt for a large multi-color arrangement, subway tiles are a timeless choice for your kitchen, bathroom, or fireplace surround.
The Classic: 3x6 White Glossy Offset Subway Tile
These mass-produced little ceramic tiles are what started lining the New York subway in the early 1900s, hence the name "subway tile".
The most traditional version of subway tile is:
- Set in a 50% offset brick pattern
- No variation/texture
This is usually the least expensive version of ceramic subway tile, running appx. $3/sqft.
Low-maintenance, bright and clean-looking, these have been a standard of kitchen and bath design for the past century.
However, numerous variations on style, color, finish, size, and layout are now available to give you a multitude of ceramic tile options. Peruse our 5-part look book to find your perfect subway style!
Clean and Bright White
It's a classic for a reason. White matches everything, and reflects a lot of light.
Consider dressing up your white tile with a non-white grout color, such as light gray, for contrast. Medium-tone grout colors will hide dirt, while really light or really dark grouts will show dirt.
Use caution when designing with white-on-white, as your whites may not match! Your subway tile may have more of a warm white, while your bathtub may be a cool white with a slight blue undertone. Your white paint might have a faint rosy tint that you only see next to your crisp white subway tile. Look at samples of your white tile with other white design elements in your lighting before making final decisions.
Warm and Soft Neutrals
Off-white, cream, biscuit, warm gray, and other warm neutrals keep things bright and comforting without the harsh, sterile look of all white.
In an enclosed space with limited lighting, warm tones can combat a cave-like feeling.
Continue your warm tones into the grout. If you choose a contrasting color, match the undertones in your tile.
Cool and Sophisticated Neutrals
Cool tones feel fresh and clean and are a smart choice for a bathroom.
Complement your whites with grays, charcoals, and blues. A Carrara marble countertop looks great against blue-greys or cool tones with a hint green.
Bright accents, such as citrus yellows and oranges, look exquisite against cool neutrals.
Bold and Vibrant Color
Many ceramic lines offer dozens of bright, beautiful colors.
While some prefer to keep tile neutral, if you love a certain color, why not embrace it?
Tile doesn't fade or discolor like paint or wallpaper could, so your vibrant colors will be brilliant forever.