Talking Tiles Categories

Why Subway Tiles are So Popular

Starting download...

The first subway tiles were designed as a hygienic solution for the underground subway stations of New York where a wall surface finish that would be simple to keep clean was required. These aptly named tiles were most often a crisp and glossy white with a sleek surface finish that allowed for absolute ease of maintenance in these busy train stations. Since then however, the original subway tile design has evolved and adapted to reflect current trends and architectural styles with a vast array of options available in terms of colour, shape and pattern. These exciting developments have ensured subway tiles continue to be a popular and timeless choice for any application, from residential to retail designs. 


From their humble beginnings in the underground train stations of New York, subway tiles continue to be made in traditional and contemporary styles, offering a world of choices for the modern home renovator or builder. These tiles have continued to be a staple in interior design over the years, allowing for a traditional and timeless design element that provides elements of pattern, shape and colour to any style of design. 

subway tiles

A classic and timeless choice, traditional subway tiles feature a simple rectangular shape in a crisp white colour. These tiles have stood the test of time, always being on trend in a range of different interior design styles. Our White Walls & Basics Collection includes a range of classic tile formats in an elegant pure white, perfect for the modern or traditionally styled home.


As a result of the immense popularity of the humble subway tile, tile manufacturers have created an impressive array of delectable options that elevate this traditional tile to a whole new level. Subway tiles are now being created in an array of exciting colours and materials, allowing for more creative design solutions in any project. From natural stone subway tile options to metallic and even bevelled edge tiles with a mirror finish, the design possibilities in subway tile collections are endless. 

A rustic yet luxurious option, our Volos natural stone subway tiles feature a slim, elongated rectangular shape that can be laid in a variety of different patterns from the classic brick bond pattern to the stylish herringbone tile layout. These wonderfully earthy and warm tiles can be used as either a floor or wall option throughout your home’s interiors for a timeless touch to your design scheme. 


Aside from the traditional rectangular shaped subway tile format, there are now many unique and stylish options available to choose from that will allow you to add a personalised touch to your design. Elongated rectangle shaped tiles can be incorporated into a design to emphasise a space’s size, picket-fence style shapes can add a unique and playful feature while parallelogram shapes can be used to create the popular chevron tile pattern. All of these types of tiles are modern adaptations of the traditional subway tile format, proving just how versatile this style can be. 

Metro collection

Designed to simulate the elegant look and feel of a traditionally handmade tile, the Metro Porcelain Tile collection includes an array of brilliant colour options for a creative touch to your next project. The slim format of these Italian made tiles allow them to be comfortably used in walls with a slight curve when laid running vertically for a refined finish in any design scheme. 


The simple rectangular shape of the subway tile allows for a range of different tile layouts or patterns to be achieved. These classic wall tiles can be used in a traditional brick bond layout, with each tile staggered in a horizontal line. They can be used vertically or horizontally stacked, creating bold, elongated lines running across the room or upwards towards the ceiling for a dramatic effect. Subway tiles can even be laid diagonally for a contemporary interpretation of this traditional style. Thanks to the small, simple rectangular shape, there a many different creative patterns that can be achieved with subway tiles. 

Made in Spain, the delightfully playful and colourful Taffee Wall Tiles feature a unique double glazed surface finish that creates an ethereal translucent quality. These luxurious wall tiles are available in both a bevelled or plain edge, allowing you a variety of options in terms of style and colour to create your own creative touch in your next project. 


As a result of the many different styles available and the range of patterns that can be achieved using the simple subway tile, the design possibilities are truly endless. Subway tiles can be configured in so many different ways from the classic brick bond style or the basket weave pattern or vertically/horizontally stacked to achieve a fresh new look in any style of design. The impressive and vast range of these options in terms of both materials and layout patterns allows you to include subway tiles in traditional as well as contemporary designs, creating a timeless look in the home. This versatile quality has ensured subway tiles continue to be a popular choice for all areas of the home, being used as kitchen splashback tiles, floor tiles, as a bathroom feature element and much more!

The Biscuit porcelain tile collection offers a modern interpretation of the traditional subway tile with raised, three-dimensional features and patterns that play on light on shadow.

Subway tile designs have certainly come a long way since their humble beginnings! These elegant and classic tiles have been reinvented time and time again, ensuring their place in the world of interior design as a timeless selection. Our Richmond tiles showroom is full of exciting possibilities in various materials, colours and finishes. Visit us or arrange a free online design consultation to view our selection and receive expert advice on the best options to suit your creative vision, budget and style.