Fresh Ways to Use Subway Tile
When in the midst of designing a bathroom or kitchen, hunting down the perfect wall tile can lead me deep down the Pinterest rabbit hole where the possibilities seem endless. There are hundreds of beautiful patterns and shapes but time and money can set limits to what options I have. That’s when I can rely on Old Faithful: the subway tile.
I trust anything timeless. Subway tile has been around since the 1900’s and is still going strong. That’s good enough for me! While not necessarily glamorous, this utilitarian and affordable option can make an impact when wielded in a creative way. Scroll down to see how you can reinvent the classic subway tile to create a modern, unexpected, and fresh look.
Switch Up the Grout Lines
Experimenting with grout thickness allows the opportunity to create unique and unexpected patterns. Combine both thin and thick grout lines to break up the repetitiveness of a uniform installation. With this method, the pattern possibilities are endless. Or, apply thick grout all around to create a distinct grid. You can emphasize the grid even further by pairing tile with a contrasting grout color.
Blend Different Tones
Blending different tones from the same color family creates a cohesive palette with subtle variations. Use a range of light, medium, and dark shades to add depth and visual interest to your tile design. Colors with a slight gradation create a soft and understated look while tones with high contrast are more lively and dynamic.
Mix Matte and Glossy Finishes
Put a twist on the usual wall tile installation by mixing together glossy and matte tiles. A glossy finish adds pops of shine and vibrancy without being too dramatic. You can either sprinkle in gloss tiles randomly or install them strategically to form a pattern.
Rethink Grout Color
Grout is oftentimes an afterthought when deciding on tile colors. But the examples below reveal that deviating from neutrals and opting for a colorful grout can push your tile design to the next level.
Color blocking is an easy way to get creative with subway tile, and it isn’t only for aesthetics. Distinguishing or highlighting different areas can also be achieved through using color. The bathroom below, for example, uses green tile to highlight the shower floor and bench, revealing that color blocking is a useful way to organize a room visually.
There is nothing unique about a regular old subway tile, but who knew there were so many ways to take a simple rectangle and turn it into an eye-catching design? I love that subway tile offers so much room for experimenting and for creating your own, one of a kind design!