How to Style Subway Tiles

This is Tile Wizards’ go to guide to help you choose the best subway tile pattern for your space.

Subway tiles, iconic for their use on 1900s subway systems, are simple, hardwearing tiles that look great as wall or flooring in any room.  From the classic offset tile pattern to the eye-catching herringbone, the sky is the limit when it comes to this versatile design.

Classic Looks

The offset tile pattern is created by lining up the center of each tile with the edge of the tile above it.  This pattern is one of the most commonly used, and looks great in spaces where you want to keep it simple. The kitchen splashback or bathroom walls look great with an offset tile, and the lines made by the grouting provide a far more interesting look in these spaces than a stacked tile.  This pattern is ideal for those laying their own tiles, as it is easier to install than some of the more involved patterns.

If you want a simple look with a bit of a twist, try a one-third or even one-fourth offset, so that each tile’s edge is offset by one-third or fourth of the width of the tile above it. This pattern will increase the angles made by the grouting for a more interesting visual.

The running floor bond is a classic floor pattern and looks simple and clean in spaces like the shower or bathroom flooring.  Create a running floor bond by starting small in the middle and then tiling around in increasing squares with an offset pattern.

Bold or Feature Designs

For a bolder design, you can’t go past the visual impact of a herringbone tile pattern. Named for the shape of a herringbone skeleton, this pattern is created by laying each tile at 90 degrees to the tile beside it. Try this pattern in the bathroom behind the vanity for a stunning feature wall. Bear in mind that this pattern can be tricky to lay, so take it slow and map it out first.On the floors, a crosshatch design gives a bold impact and can be created by laying two tiles alongside each other vertically and then horizontally. This look is perfect for bathroom flooring and can be especially effective when doubled so that four tiles are laid alongside each other. This design is also quite simple to lay for those who like to DIY.

At Tile Wizards, we stock subway tiles in a range of stunning designs to complement every space. Speak to one of our experts in store for further advice on the best tile pattern for you.

Visit any of our stores in Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Coffs Harbour and Adelaide.

Find one that is nearest you – HERE

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