Mass-produced vs. handcrafted, square edges vs. beveled edges, and clean solid colors vs. fun patterns or exciting glazes... there are a lot of options when it comes to choosing the right subway tile style for you!
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!
Simple & Clean
Uniform ceramic tiles with no fuss or frills.
Clean lines at low cost.
These are the basic, universal subway tiles.
Available in a number of sizes and colors, these tiles make a great, neutral backdrop to other design elements.
The Handcrafted Aesthetic
A little irregularity on the edges and a little wobble in the glaze provides more character than the mass-produced basic subway tiles.
Whether truly handmade or machine-made with variation in the design, these tiles are usually more expensive than uniform subway: around $10-$15/sqft for machine-made and upwards of $20/sqft for truly handmade tiles.
These subway tiles are gorgeous in a Craftsman home, cozy in a cottage, add character to a Victorian, and embody shabby chic style.
Beveled tiles range in price from $4/sqft to $15/sqft for uniform tiles, and upwards of $20/sqft for handmade beveled tiles.
The beveled edges add a bit of class and refinement to the standard subway tile, and create depth and interest on what would be a flat wall.
Use beveled tiles to echo details of cabinetry and furniture in the room for a cohesive, elegant look.
Some tiles spice up their lineup with patterns and detailing. Instead of a solid ceramic surface, these tiles feature printed or 3D patterns for added interest.
The effect of pattern tiles can range from a strikingly modern geometric affair to a cozy patchwork quilt look.
Embrace uniqueness, color, and texture with a gorgeous glaze!
Subway tiles don't have to be monochromatic or solid. Like a ceramic vase, a wonderfully varied glaze can add character.
Expect to pay a premium: tiles with these rich glazes can run upwards of $40/sqft