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Timeless Subway Tile Patterns For Your Bathroom & Kitchen

Timeless Subway Tile Patterns For Your Bathroom & Kitchen

From first appearing in the underground train stations of 1900s New York City, the classic subway tile has since found residency within the interior design choices of households around the world. The traditional subway tile that was once resigned to mere horizontal arrangements has taken on new appeal in unique patterns that experiment with colour, shape, texture and size. In celebration of the classic white subway tile and its renewed popularity, here are 5 creative subway tile patterns you can use to add a splash of personality to your bathroom and/or kitchen.

The herringbone tile pattern

While the classic running bond pattern is the image we all intuitively associate with the timeless tile, the Herringbone layout has been a trending style choice for some time now. The classic 90-degree interlocking zigzag pattern creates an elegant aesthetic. The Herringbone’s natural contours excel at drawing the eye across its length, making it an excellent choice for tall walls and floors. Horizontal and 45-degree Herringbone variations can also function as a sophisticated statement feature for kitchen splashbacks and bathroom walls.

Vertical Stack subway tile patterns

As one of the more trendy ways to lay subway tiles at the moment, choosing to canvas your kitchen or bathroom with either a vertical stack or vertical offset subway tile pattern is a surefire way to bring modern appeal into your home. The uniformly arranged, sleek lines of a vertical stack can offer a clean, refined look to walls and splashbacks. They can also be embellished with contrasting grout to champion a bolder aesthetic. Otherwise, incorporating the slightly off-centred rows of an offset pattern is a great way to add more geometric variety to this contemporary look.

Offset brick subway tile pattern

The offset subway pattern is when the tiles are staggered by centring the end of each tile with the centerline of the tile above. This specific laying pattern personifies an industrial style, mimicking the use of bricks indoors but instead with beautiful tiles. An offset laying pattern can be used throughout a home in many spaces, however, using this style as a feature wall will highlight its authenticity.

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Horizontal stack subway tile pattern

This subway tile design draws on a pattern of horizontal tiles to produce an ascending ‘step ladder-like arrangement. Naturally, this layout focuses attention up and across its contours – a wise pick for the rising shower walls. This pattern is essentially tiles stacked above each other horizontally to create a clean-cut look.

Beyond the pattern

It’s important to remember that transforming your bathroom or kitchen into a space of beauty and appeal is just as much about colour, grout, tile size and texture choices as it is about the overall pattern. While the white ceramic rectangle has been the long-loved favourite, opting for more textured surfaces and colourful solid or even neutral hues can help you capitalise on a whole range of styles, from organic to luxurious. Alternatively, a dash of colour can work equally as well when confined to the spaces in between according to architect Tim Wilkinson:

“Colourful grout continues to trend and by adding a splash of colour around your subway tiles, you can actually highlight them as a feature of the room. For simple white tiles, try a bolder black grout around them”

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