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Subway Tile Ideas and Interesting Uses

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Stacked, bevelled, herringbone, pink! Subway tile ideas that are anything but boring. We explore interesting applications that will turn your bathroom or kitchen into one styley abode.

Subway Tile Patterns

Let’s get this party started with the wonderful world of subway tile patterning. There is so much more to the stock standard ‘brick’ pattern application (or running bond) when it comes to working with subway tiles. Their rectangular shape allows you to play with patterns that are impossible to achieve with a square or hexagonal tile.

Stacked Tiles

As the name says, stack your subway tiles in straight, even lines, one upon another. Horizontal or vertical, the choice is yours.

Diagonal, Vertical, Crosshatch…

Take the classic ‘brick’ or offset tile pattern and turn it diagonal. Or vertical for that matter. Or create a crosshatch look (particularly cool with contrasting grouting).


Herringbone subway tile patterns are so hot right now. Whether it be a ‘straight herringbone’ or a ‘diagonal herringbone’, a herringbone pattern is timeless. We’re talking black or white (or neutrals like grey) as this pattern is bold in itself, without the need of introducing bright statement colours.

Subway Tile Colours

On the topic of colours, subway tiles don’t just come in white. That’s right. There is a myriad of colour choices available.

Black and White

A glossy black subway tile with stark white grouting is sharp and contemporary. But how about combining black and white subway tiles? We absolutely love the look of white subway tiles in a classic running bond pattern, edged with a border of black subway tiles down the end of each wall. Crisp white grouting. The best of black and white combined.

Grouse Grout

There is an abundance of grout colours you can choose from (even glitter grout). A black tile with black grout looks grouse, or contrast your grouting to define the tile and make it the star.

Colour Play

The classic lines of a subway tile lend themselves beautifully to playful colours as well. Think pink. Forest Green. Or cobalt blue. Lime. Sunshine yellow. Chocolate.

Colour Blocking

Create wide horizontal bands of contrasting colour blocks such as grey and teal blue. Or black and white.

Subway Tile Sizes and Finishes

Which lends us to the topic of interesting use of subway tile sizes and finishes.

Slim Lines

Take the colour blocking example above. This packs a pretty punch when using the ultra-slim profile 70mm x 240mm subway tiles (compared to the classic subway 75mm x 150mm tile size).

Upsize Me

The large 100mm x 400mm subway tile adds a contemporary design element and looks really effective in a stacked pattern with contrasting grouting.

Bevelled, Mirrored, Undulating

Using a bevelled subway tile over a smooth profile subway tile completely changes the look of a wall. A pink bevelled subway tile? Bellissimo! For a touch of glam, go the mirrored finish. Alternatively, an undulated finish adds texture and style in one.


Achieve opulence and sophistication in one with a marble subway tile. It’s tonal and pattern variation, and interesting veining is the bomb.