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Creative Subway Tile Patterns for your Kitchen or Bath

August 28, 2020

I'm Caireen, Owner and Principal Designer at Shift Modern Home, lover of wallpaper, tiles, gin, Formula 1 Racing and potatoes. Who's with me?

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Ahh, the humble white subway tile.

While it was the design darling for a while, of late it has lost a little bit of its’ lustre and has been relegated to the boring pile.

However, I think this classic 3 x 6 tile still has merit, much like a good pair of jeans and a white T. Here’s why:

It’s cost effective – at $2.30ish a square foot from your local big box hardware store, it represents unbeatable value for money. And who doesn’t like a bargain in the midst of a renovation?

It’s versatility – there are so many ways to make this cost effective tile work for your personal style as there are almost limitless options. Dress it up or keep it simple – the choice is yours. Scroll on to see what I mean.


WHITE SUBWAY TILE PATTERNS FOR YOUR KITCHEN OR BATH.jpg

Below are several patterns that demonstrate how this classic tile can be both timeless and fresh.

BRICK PATTERN


BRICK PATTERN, HORIZONTAL

BRICK PATTERN, HORIZONTAL


BRICK PATTERN, VERTICAL

BRICK PATTERN, VERTICAL


STACKED PATTERN


STACKED PATTERN, HORIZONTAL

STACKED PATTERN, HORIZONTAL


STACKED PATTERN, HORIZONTAL OFFSET 50/50

STACKED PATTERN, HORIZONTAL OFFSET 50/50


STACKED PATTERN, VERTICAL

STACKED PATTERN, VERTICAL


STACKED PATTERN, VERTICAL OFFSET 50/50

STACKED PATTERN, VERTICAL OFFSET 50/50


HERRINGBONE


HERRINGBONE, HORIZONTAL

HERRINGBONE, HORIZONTAL


HERRINGBONE, 90 DEGREE RIGHT

HERRINGBONE, 90 DEGREE RIGHT


HERRINGBONE, VERTICAL

HERRINGBONE, VERTICAL


HERRINGBONE, 90 DEGREE LEFT

HERRINGBONE, 90 DEGREE LEFT


WEAVES


WEAVE

WEAVE


BASKETWEAVE

BASKETWEAVE


BORDER


BORDER

BORDER

 


You can add more interest by:

  1. Using a grout colour other than white – soft greys and taupes work particularly well to define a pattern without being too overwhelming or bossy. Plus they don’t stain or show the dirt easily. That’s always a win in my book!

  2. Include different tile finishes – mixing matte and gloss white tiles will create texture and interest subtly. Going random with this mix is my preference, with a 70/30 ratio of one finish to the other.

  3. Mix it up by using more than one pattern. In my own bathroom I created a riff on the weave pattern from counter height up, and used a stacked horizontal pattern below this height, like so:

COMBO

 


COMBO PATTERN

COMBO PATTERN


white subway tile bathroom backsplash modern pattern.jpg


white subway tile in bathroom.jpg

 

It adds pattern without being overwhelming or busy, and elevates this classic tile to something a little more special.


  

There you have it. No need to compromise on style or budget with these statement making tile layouts. For more tile inspo head to my Pinterest board.

Thanks for popping in.

Caireen


 

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