subway tiles kitchen

A Comprehensive Guide to Using Subway Tiles in Kitchen Design


Subway tiles have become an incredibly popular choice for kitchen design in recent years. Their versatility, timeless appeal, and affordability have made them a go-to option for homeowners looking to update their kitchens.

In this guide, we will explore the world of subway tiles kitchen and how they can transform your kitchen into a stylish and functional space.

We will also touch upon the trending terrazzo look tiles and how they can be incorporated with subway tiles to create a unique and eye-catching design.

Understanding Subway Tiles

Subway tiles are rectangular tiles that were first used in the early 20th century in the subway stations of New York City. They were designed to be functional, easy to clean, and durable. Today, subway tiles have evolved into a staple in interior design, particularly in kitchen backsplashes.

Subway tiles typically come in a size of 3 inches by 6 inches, though other sizes are available as well. They are usually made of ceramic, but you can also find them in materials like glass or porcelain. The most common shape is the classic rectangular shape, but square and bevelled-edge options are also available.

One of the biggest advantages of subway tiles is their affordability. They are a cost-effective choice that doesn’t compromise on style or quality. Additionally, subway tiles are incredibly durable and resistant to stains, scratches, and water damage, making them a practical option for kitchens where spills and splashes are common.

Benefits of Using Subway Tiles in Kitchen Design

One of the main benefits of using subway tiles in kitchen design is their ease of installation. Whether you hire professionals or take on the project yourself, subway tiles kitchen are relatively simple to install. Their uniform size and shape make achieving a clean and cohesive look easy. This can save you time and money compared to more intricate tile designs.

Another advantage of subway tiles is their ability to make a small kitchen appear more prominent. The sleek and straightforward design of subway tiles creates an illusion of depth and openness, making even the tiniest kitchens feel more spacious. This is especially beneficial for those living in urban apartments or compact homes.

Subway tiles are also incredibly versatile when complementing different interior styles. Whether you have a modern, minimalist kitchen or a traditional farmhouse-style space, subway tiles can effortlessly blend in or stand out, depending on your desired aesthetic. Their clean lines and neutral colour options make them a perfect backdrop for any design scheme.

Creative Ways to Incorporate Subway Tiles in Your Kitchen

When incorporating subway tiles into your kitchen design, the possibilities are endless. One of the most popular areas to use subway tiles is the backsplash. A subway tile backsplash adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to any kitchen. You can cover the entire wall behind your countertops or create a focal point by extending the tiles only partway up the wall.

In addition to the backsplash, subway tiles can be used on countertops or even on entire walls. Using subway tiles on countertops can create a sleek and seamless look, especially when paired with a matching grout colour. As for the walls, subway tiles can create an accent wall or cover the entire kitchen area, creating a cohesive and visually appealing space.

Consider experimenting with different layout patterns to add visual interest and personality to your kitchen. The classic brick bond pattern, where the tiles are laid in a staggered formation, is popular. However, you can also opt for the herringbone pattern, where the tiles are laid diagonally, or the basketweave pattern, where the tiles are interlaced.

For those looking to add a touch of glamour and uniqueness to their kitchen, consider mixing subway tiles with other materials. One trending option is to combine subway tiles with terrazzo look tiles. Terrazzo look tiles feature a speckled pattern reminiscent of traditional terrazzo flooring but in a more practical and affordable format. This combination can create a stunning visual effect and elevate your kitchen design to the next level.

Choosing the Right Subway Tiles for Your Kitchen

When selecting subway tiles for your kitchen, there are a few factors to consider. First, you must determine the material that best suits your needs and style. Ceramic subway tiles are the most common and affordable option. They are durable and easy to clean, making them perfect for high-traffic areas like the kitchen. Glass subway tiles, on the other hand, add a touch of elegance and luminosity to the space. They reflect light and create a sense of depth, making them ideal for smaller kitchens. Lastly, porcelain subway tiles are the most durable and water-resistant option. They are perfect for kitchens where spills are everyday.

In terms of colour, white subway tiles are the most popular choice for kitchens. They create a clean, timeless, and versatile look that can be paired with any colour scheme. However, don’t be afraid to venture beyond the classic white and explore bolder colour options. Soft neutrals like grey or beige can add warmth and depth to your kitchen, while vibrant hues like blue or green can make a bold statement. The key is to choose a colour that complements your overall design scheme and personal taste.

subway tiles kitchen

Installation Tips and Maintenance Guidelines

Installing subway tiles can be a rewarding and relatively simple DIY project. However, if you are not experienced with tile installation, hiring professionals to ensure a flawless finish is advisable. If you decide to tackle the installation yourself, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Prepare the surface: Make sure the surface where the tiles will be installed is clean, dry, and debris-free. If necessary, apply a primer to ensure proper adhesion.
  2. Plan the layout: Before starting the installation, plan the layout of the tiles to ensure a balanced and symmetrical look. This is especially important if you are using a patterned design.
  3. Use the right tools: Invest in quality tile adhesive, a notched trowel, and tile spacers to ensure a smooth and even installation. A tile cutter or wet saw will also be necessary to cut tiles to fit around corners or edges.
  4. Grout properly: After installing the tiles, allow them to set for the recommended time before grouting. Choose a grout colour that complements your tiles, and use a grout float to apply the grout evenly. Remove any excess grout with a damp sponge.

Regular cleaning is essential to maintain your subway tiles and keep them looking pristine. Wipe the tiles with a mild soap or tile cleaner and a soft cloth or sponge. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrub brushes, which can damage the tiles. Additionally, be mindful of any spills or stains and clean them up promptly to prevent permanent discolouration.


Subway tiles are a versatile, affordable, and timeless choice for kitchen design. Their sleek design, ease of installation, and ability to complement various interior styles make them a go-to option for homeowners. By incorporating subway tiles kitchen, you can create a functional and visually appealing space. Don’t be afraid to get creative with different layout patterns or mix subway tiles with other materials like terrazzo look tiles to add a unique touch to your kitchen design. Remember, the possibilities are endless when using subway tiles in your kitchen, so let your imagination run wild!

To Top