Month: October 2021

How subway tiles transitioned from underground to urban ways

Decorative elements such as subway tiling, shiplap, and barn doors are all popular in the home renovation market. As a consequence, although the latter two are more taste-specific home decor options, the surge of interest in subway tiles has resulted in a wide range of color options as well as patterns, finishes, and sizes to fit just about anyone’s preference in home décor. You may be interested in transporting a small piece of the metro into your own house. Examine some of the fascinating facts about the tile that everyone has come to know and love…

At the time of their creation, they were intended for use in the New York City subway system.

How subway tiles transitioned from underground to urban ways

The term “subway tiles” was not chosen at random; rather, it was given considerable consideration. Realistically speaking, the New York City subway system’s initial usage of subway tiles dates back to 1904, when they were created specifically for that purpose. A 3-by-6-inch (7-by-15-centimeter) tile was chosen by architects George C. Heins and Christopher Grant La Farge for the purpose of providing the subway a distinctive look. The tile was laid out in a brick-like pattern on the tunnel walls to achieve their objective. Also advantageous was the fact that they were easy to clean, which was particularly useful in both the filthy subway system and subsequently, the usual kitchen atmosphere. Following their debut into the New York City subway system in the 1920s, they made their way into residential design, where they have maintained a consistent degree of popularity. Visit to know more detail about subway tiles in Australia.

The restrictions imposed by dimensions are becoming less stringent.

Subway tiles have historically been distinguished by a 2:1 ratio, however, according to Fasan, the trend is shifting away from that conventional ratio. The popularity of the original format has resulted in it being extended to accommodate other sizes such as 4-by-8-inch (ten by twenty centimeter), 4-by-16-inch (ten by forty centimeter), and even smaller rectangles. “Subway tiles” has evolved to refer to any small-format rectangular tile, he continues, and today “any tiny format rectangle with a typical 1:2 or 1:4 ratio is often referred to as subway tile.” According to most people, the small size and rectangular form are the most distinctive features.”

Subway tiles is not appropriate for every kind of residence.

How subway tiles transitioned from underground to urban ways

True, anybody can install subway tiles in their kitchen or bathroom (the two most popular locations), but it’s doubtful that it would look appropriate in a rural kitchen. This is owing to the fact that it is more associated with a retro or steampunk style than with a modern one. The connotation of a space that includes subway tile lends itself to Art Nouveau and other modernist design languages, according to Fasan, and the timeless product is suitable with almost any historical style. According to the designer, if you like items like Edison lighting, SMEG appliances, and/or mid-century modern furniture, subway tile is likely to be a good fit for your interior design scheme. When you think of rocking rockers and quilts, what images come to mind for you? This isn’t the case at all.

It is best to store it in an enclosed space.

Subway tiles that are kept inside the home have a better chance of retaining its original look for a longer length of time. Due to the fact that modern subway tile, which is widely available for residential use, is not made of the same very durable materials as earlier subway tile, this is the case. Designed to withstand the high volume of traffic and changing weather/humidity conditions prevalent in the subway system, according to Fasan, the structure is made of high-density porcelain clay. “If it is made up of a ceramic wall body, its uses are restricted to interior wall locations only,” says the manufacturer.

Outdoor kitchens and living spaces are becoming more popular, which is driving an increase in the demand for outdoor-specific subway tiles. It is critical, however, to be certain that you have the proper kind of subway tiles before you begin installing it. Additionally, they should never be utilized as floor tile. It’s preferable to keep these tiles off the floors unless they have particular technical information like PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) ratings for glaze abrasion resistance and DCOF (dynamic coefficient of friction) values for slip resistance, as explained by the author. In terms of setup, it’s very easy. Usually, Click here to read about An overview guide on subway tiles

The majority of subway tiles projects are straightforward and need just a few basic supplies, such as grout, tile, adhesive, water, and a tile cutter, to be properly finished and installed. Also entirely up to the homeowner’s choice is the positioning of subway tiles on his or her interior wall (horizontally, vertically, L-shaped, etc.)

You should be careful not to take on too much before you have given the subject sufficient consideration. – When installing a complicated pattern like herringbone, one of the most frequent errors people make, according to Fasan, is failing to verify that the proportions are modular before starting the installation. Alternately, the smaller tiles should be divided into equal halves by the bigger tiles, and vice versa. A lack of uniform size among subway tiles results in “a lot of these subway tiles being non-modular, and something like a herringbone pattern, particularly when placed in 45° orientation, can become messy in a quick,” according to the designer. He also points out that the lines will begin to learn when the pattern drifts as a consequence of the uneven size, which will cause the pattern to lean.

Final thoughts

A recent trend is to make subway tiles truly “pop” by choosing a grout color that is drastically different from the tile itself. Consider the combination of white tile and black grout. Fasan recommends that individuals who choose this path test the grout on the tile first to ensure that there is no surface penetration owing to the deep colors used in the design.

So, this article has explained the transition of subway tiles to what we have it as today. In this regard, you can use subway tiles to notch up the interior of your home seamlessly. 

An overview guide on subway tiles

You’ve heard of and loved subway tiles, but do you truly understand what makes subway tile subway tile?

We’re here to assist you! We’ve included some historical context, basic features of conventional subway tile, innovative subway tiles installation patterns and modifications, and some suggestions for incorporating subway tile into your house.

Subway Tile – What Is It?

Generally, the phrase “subway tiles” refers to rectangular tiles (typically 3 by 6 inches) that are placed horizontally with a 50% offset. Subway tiles, which are made of ceramic tile, are renowned for their durability and timeless design. You can know more detail about subway tiles by visiting

Why Are These Tiles Called Subway Tiles?

You may be asking why subway tiles are referred to as subway tiles. They were first installed at New York City subway stations.

An overview guide on subway tiles

Subway tile was created in 1904 when designers were entrusted with creating a surface that was both low-maintenance and brilliant for the first subway station.

Victorians placed a premium on cleanliness, which is why easy-to-clean, stain-resistant, and bacteria-resistant ceramic tile was an obvious option. Additionally, the white and glossy style of the initial subway tiles created a highly reflecting surface that contributed to the creation of a safe, hygienic atmosphere for passengers who may have been concerned about subterranean transit.

Is Subway Tile Still in Fashion?

Subway tiling was introduced in 1904 and quickly spread to other transit centers around the globe. Due to its hygienic look and health advantages, it was quickly adopted for usage in areas where hygiene was a priority, such as kitchens and baths.

Today, subway tiles continue to gain popularity.

We are often asked whether subway tile is a trend. While the tremendous popularity of this tile pattern may lead you to believe it is a passing fad, its endurance is a strong indication that this is not the case. Over a century old, subway tile continues to be a popular choice for homeowners and business owners alike.

So, what is it about subway tile that makes it so popular?

We must attribute this to the subway tile design’s intrinsic timelessness. Subway tiles have created a look that is both dramatic and simple to produce by using basic white rectangular tiles and a simple tile arrangement.

FAQs about Subway Tiles

Let us be more precise: Some commonly asked questions regarding subway tile are included below.

What is the pattern of the subway tiles? 

Subway tiles are usually placed with a 50% offset, which means that the tile’s center coincides with the borders of the two tiles above or below it. However, contemporary versions of subway tile often deviate from or even forsake this pattern entirely. Subway tile designs with an offset of one-third and one-fourth are also available.

What is the typical size of a subway tile? 

How big is a subway tile? Subway tile is typically 3 x 6 inches in dimension, and this is the most common size. However, any rectangular tile with a dimension of one to two may be used as a subway tile, as can additional subway tile sizes such as 2 x 4, 4 x 8, or 6 x 12.

Subway tile is made of what material? 

Originally, subway tiles were made of ceramic. Today, subway tiles are available in ceramic, porcelain, and glass varieties, all of which are popular for the same reason ceramic tiles were first chosen: minimal maintenance and great design.

Are subway tiles too expensive? 

Subway tiles are very inexpensive, particularly if you go with the classic white pattern.

Installation and Maintenance of Subway Tiles

An overview guide on subway tiles

Installing subway tile: Conduct research on what goes into subway tile installation for your planned use and particular requirements, such as how to install subway tile in a shower. Consider studying specifics such as how to tile a subway tile backsplash corner or how to tile a subway tile shower niche. If you lack the required expertise or equipment, we suggest hiring a trained tile installer to guarantee a high-quality installation.

The proper method to install subway tiles is as follows: Lay tiles with a 50% offset for the classic subway tile pattern. Each tile’s center should align with the borders of the two tiles above and below it. Because subway tile usually has one to two dimensions, the short side of a tile may be used to calculate the long side’s midpoint. We recommend that you do a dry layout prior to installing your tile to identify where your cuts will be required.

The proper method to cut subway tile is as follows: You may need to trim a few subway tiles to accommodate outlets and the size of your room. Certain cuts can be performed using a snap cutter and a score and snap technique, while others may need the use of a wet saw. A wet saw may be required for certain materials, such as porcelain and glass tiles. If you lack this equipment or the necessary expertise to properly use them, we suggest contacting a trained tile installation.

How long does subway tiles installation take? Subway tile installation is dependent on the size of the application to be tiled, the layout’s intricacy, and the tile installer’s expertise. However, the majority of classic subway tile applications are very fast to install, particularly in tiny sections like backsplashes.

Can subway tile be installed over drywall? Subway tiles may be installed over drywall as long as the region is not subjected to excessive dampness. Cement board supporters enhance the long-term durability of high-moisture regions (such as shower walls).

Is it possible to paint subway tiles? Except for small-scale do-it-yourself projects, painting ceramic tiles is not advised. Painting your subway tile may reduce its resistance to stains and scratches, and the pattern may become unattractive with time. A better alternative is to choose subway tiles in the desired color or pattern.

What is the proper method to clean subway tile? Subway tile may be cleaned in the same manner as any other ceramic tile: with a damp cloth. Additionally, see our Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Ceramic Tile for extra cleaning suggestions.

Subway Tiles and Grout

Grouting subway tile: To mix and apply grout, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

How to choose a grout color for white subway tile: Subway tile in white is often used with white, gray, or black grout. However, white subway tile — or any subway tile color, for that matter — may be used with any color of grout. 

Consider whether you want to attract attention to the layout pattern or not when choosing grout color for subway tile. Subway tile with contrasting grout draws attention to the design, while subway tile with matching grout provides a seamless appearance. Choosing a vibrant grout color may also be a fun way to personalize your white subway tile. Pro tip: Grouts that are highly contrasted with the color of your tile may also highlight any flaws in the grout line and any difference in tile size. Click here to read more about vibrant grout color.

How wide should subway tile grout lines be? Typically, 3×6 inch subway tiles have 1/16 inch grout joints, although 1/8 inch grout joints are also frequent.