Why Subway Tiles Are Still a Timeless Choice for Kitchen Backsplashes
Home decor

Why Subway Tiles Are Still a Timeless Choice for Kitchen Backsplashes

Backsplashes are a great place to incorporate style while providing easy-to-clean surfaces for drips and spills. While many options are available, subway tile remains a classic option for kitchen backsplashes.

Backsplashes can be made from glass, ceramic, porcelain, or natural stones like marble and travertine. They can be polished or honed for a smooth, shiny finish.


While kitchen backsplash tile is often considered a useful design element, it can also add personality and character to a kitchen. Backsplashes come in various materials, colors, textures, and sizes to complement or contrast with countertops, cabinets, and other design elements.

Subway tiles are a versatile choice for any kitchen backsplash design. Their simple look can create a classic and timeless style, or you can experiment with more modern patterns to update your space.

There are endless options, including textured tile, marble effect tile, herringbone, and more. It’s important to keep proportions in mind when selecting your backsplash tile. Choosing a too-large or small tile can quickly date the space.

Subway tiles are traditionally oriented in a running bond pattern, with one long side resting against the short side of the next tile, with their end joints matching up. This creates what looks like a stepping stone pattern along the wall. However, you can install the tiles in a herringbone pattern or crosshatch to create a woven grid pattern. Other patterns that work well with subway tiles include brick, chevron, and basketweave.

Why Subway Tiles Are Still a Timeless Choice for Kitchen Backsplashes


A durable backsplash is a must when working in the kitchen. Spills and drips happen — often — so you want your backsplash to stand up to the test of time.

Subway tile is a smart choice for that reason. These durable tiles have a glossy, glazed finish that’s rust-proof and easy to clean. Plus, they are a great option for working with various color palettes and design aesthetics.

The glazed surface also helps resist mold and mildew, making it easier to keep your kitchen looking fresh. And, if you do have to deal with some grime, a mild soap and water solution will do the trick.

Another benefit of subway tile is its cost-effective choice for any kitchen remodel. You can find various tile sizes, materials, and colors to match your budget. And, when it comes to installation, you can do it yourself or hire a professional.

While “subway tile” typically refers to the 3-by-6-inch white glazed ceramic tiles first used in NYC subway stations, today, you’ll find them in countless hues and materials from porcelain to quartzite to handmade concrete. You can even have them glazed in any rainbow color, from deep blues and greens to subtle grays and bright corals.


While the popularity of subway tile spiked during the recent farmhouse trend obsession, this classic style has existed way before. 

Over the years, subway tiles have evolved with new colorways, materials, and textures to become an integral part of interior design for both residential and commercial spaces. They can now be used in various applications, from bathrooms to kitchens and even as backsplashes.

Keeping them looking their best is as simple as being attentive to cleanliness and regularly cleaning your tiles. Vacuuming with a soft head attachment and sweeping often prevents debris from scratching the surface of your tile, which can dull its sheen and cause stains. It’s also important to promptly wipe up spills and splatters so they don’t set in, as they can be difficult to remove once they can soak into the grout.

Creative finishes are another reason homeowners have fallen in love with subway tile. Instead of just the classic ceramic, people are choosing glass and natural stone styles with unique color variations. They can have a hand-applied glaze to produce subtle tonal variations or a crackle finish that highlights beveled edges and adds depth to a finished wall.


Subway tiles come in a variety of colors and sizes. They can be used for the entire backsplash or incorporated into other kitchen design elements like small appliances and artwork. This allows homeowners to add a personal touch to their kitchen without a full renovation.

In addition to a wide array of color options, subway tiles come in different shapes and textures. Some are glossy, while others have a matte finish. They can also be glazed or unglazed. Glazed subway tiles are more stain-resistant and provide a smoother surface that is easier to clean.

Backsplash tiles are usually applied to the wall above countertops, often at risk from cooking spatter and cleaning supplies. Subway tile is popular because it provides an attractive, durable surface that will stand the test of time.

Although many people are familiar with the classic white subway tile, various other colors and styles can be utilized to create an eye-catching backsplash.

For example, black subway tile can make a dramatic statement in any kitchen. Using it with marble-look porcelain tiles can create a gorgeous and luxurious kitchen backsplash that will stand the test of time.

In addition to being a striking visual element, dark backsplashes are easy to maintain since they hide dirt and stains better than white backsplash.

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