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Good Ol’ Subway Tile

There are some things in life that you can always rely on: Levi’s jeans, duct tape, white cotton underwear…….these things work when you need them to – without a lot of frills – and they never ask for a thank-you. And the same can be said for subway tile. From the time it was created by designers George C. Heins and Christopher Grant La Farge, for New York’s very first subway station in 1904, it has continued to be a staple and an insanely affordable go-to tile contender. Only in the 80’s did we see a decline in popularity, but we were a nation obsessed with fanny packs and parachute pants so our design choices, on a whole, were questionable then.

I love subway tile for the endless looks that you can create with it, depending on how you lay the tile. If you’re looking for classic-traditional, no problem. Just lay a 3×6 white ceramic tile in a standard brick pattern with white or gray grout. Or go for a more modern look with the same traditional layout by using a 2×8 size tile or an even larger 4×12. And we’ve all seen the edgy, industrial look using the same tile but adding drama with a dark gray or black grout (but make sure to bring cookies for your tiler that day because black grout puts them in a very bad mood FYI).

I, myself, have used subway tile in my own house twice and am currently planning to use it in two different client homes. We’ll be installing the same tile but with three completely different outcomes: 1) Modern Farmhouse Bathroom, 2) Farmhouse Industrial Kitchen and 3) Cute Edgy Kids Bathroom. It’s going to be awhile until these projects are completed but in the meantime let me show you some great subway tile inspiration to start your week off right!

Here’s a good example of a larger tile install. I’m pretty sure it’s a 4×12 but don’t quote me on that. And speaking of tile: I am all over that Moroccan tile floor. It is so pretty!!

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Subway tile set in a herringbone pattern. Yes, please.

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Taking the tile all the way to the ceiling is a great way to add more personality and is also very eye-catching.

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And look, our stand-by 3×6 bestie. The one you can always count on.

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There you have subway tile at its best.

Tomorrow I’m on my way to visit our friendly neighbors to the North. Vancouver, BC here I come, eh?!


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