The Subway Tile – Classic vs Colour

It was pointed out to me the other day that I haven’t written many posts about kitchens or bathrooms, which surprised me, as I love designing kitchens and bathrooms! One particular look that keeps catching my eye lately is the use of the subway tile in both kitchens and in bathrooms. I am still not sure what it is about the subway tiles that have been drawing my attention, but they have certainly been growing on me!

Traditional subway tiles came about in the early 20th century. They were flat, glossy white ceramic tiles, laid with pencil thin grout, originally used in public spaces such as subways (hence the name!) as they were extremely durable and easy to clean, though they soon also found their way into residential homes. More recently there seems to be a resurgence of these tiles as a popular choice for kitchen splash backs and bathroom walls. Now there are countless reproductions and variations on the original tiles with various widths, lengths and colours. I am surprised to say that I am leaning towards the classic white subway tiles, though I also came across some stunning rooms with coloured variations too…

Here are a few of my favourite spaces, from the simple, elegant and classic look… through to some other more colourful variations inspired by the original subway tiles…

via – DecorPad

 a classic looking bathroom – elegant and simple


via – the Design Daredevil

 Marble subway tiles are a stunning feature in this kitchen, mind you I just can’t take my eyes off those pendant lights!


via – Pinterest

It seems if you are going to have subway tiles, you must style the room with bunches of pink flowers!


via – Razmataz


 via – Coco Cozy

How luxurious is this bathroom! I am loving that tub


via – Visual Comfort

I love the way all the colours and textures are balanced in this kitchen, and the honed marble bench top is to die for!


via – Mix and Chic

of course there was no way I could go past this space, with the beautiful teal splashback!


via – Curbly

something a little brighter…


via – Casa Sugar

This is such a cool looking space!

So what do you think of the subway tile? Do you prefer the classic crisp white, or would you rather colourful subway tiles? Believe it or not,I am still leaning towards the classic style, though you the beautiful teal coloured kitchen is begging me back to the colourful life!

Rochelle xx


7 thoughts on “The Subway Tile – Classic vs Colour

  1. I think its cool that the yellow tiles have been used vertically instead of horizontally too! looks interesting!

  2. Ohh I adore the subway tile!! IKEA has (or had, the last time I was there) a crisp white beveled subway tile, and it’s sooo gorgeous! But if I could pick from the top shelf, marble would definitely be my choice. Love all the pics, especially the white kitchen!

    xox Linda

    1. Wow! Thank you Linda, I didn’t even know IKEA sold tiles? I wonder if they do here in Australia? I will have to check it out…
      Loved your post today by the way… xx

  3. I have have loved classic white subway tiles for 9 years… Unfortunately I decorated my house 10 years ago! 😉 Oh well…

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