10 ways to lay subway tiles

Subway tiles can make a world of a difference in your home when you shake it up and add a fun pattern. So let’s talk about subway tiles and the different ways to lay it to create a unique look in your home.

Subway tiles are originally from the early 1900s where it was put in the New York underground train stations. Then it inspired people to use these tiles in their kitchens or bathrooms.

Today you can find subway tiles in all sorts of colours, sizes, and textures. It can be a little hard to figure what would be the best way to lay them, so we put together some subway tile laying pattern options to help you choose the one suits best your area.

In case you need further help, feel free to book a free design consultation with us.

Let’s get started:

1, Traditional Brick bond Pattern

The classic way to lay subway tiles. This is how subway tile was first started and adds a classic look to any space especially if you’re using natural stone tiles.

This look is elegant, timeless and pairs well with other shapes as well.

2, Classic Herringbone Pattern

If you want a simple and clean look but bring some interest to the space without using colour, then get a textured white subway tile and lay it in a herringbone pattern.

It makes any wall pop and works amazing as a feature wall.

It’s a classic look that I don’t think will ever go out of style.

3, Double Herringbone Pattern

Another great way to lay herringbone pattern is to double them up.

It brings that extra wow into a simple, clean look.

4, Vertical Stack Pattern

Contemporary and cool, a super popular way to lay subway tiles is a vertical straight stack.

To make the ceilings feel taller ,definitely stack your tiles.

Your tiler will also love you for this as it’s easy and quick for them to lay and that will save some $ for you. Bonus!

5, Vertical Offset Pattern

Rotate the classic brick bond look 90 degrees, and you’ve got a whole new look .

This design helps to enlarge the room and makes a statement in your space that’s more fun than the traditional design.

This pattern is a more modern look and also works well with full tile walls, like in a bathroom or as a feature wall.

The look can be further enhanced by using a darker grout – it’s all about what you want to achieve. We will talk about the power of grout next time 🙂

6, One Third Offset Pattern

Another great way to put a modern twist on a traditional look is to lay a brick pattern but but not 1/2 , instead 1/3 offset.

In this project we used decorative subway tiles and due to the height it was smarter to lay the tiles horizontally. We definitely wanted to put a modern twist on the look so we did 1/3rd offset.

We love how this laundry splashback turned out!

7, Diagonal Brick bond Pattern

All you do with this is take the traditional subway tile, stack it like bricks and rotate it at a 45-degree angle.

This twist on the classic adds a surprise in the kitchen because it’s so unique and not expected.

The diagonal pattern helps to expand the room while keeping the classic look.

8, Step Ladder / 90 Degree Herringbone Pattern

It’s definitely a different layout and not one you see often but as you can tell, it makes a great statement. Good alternative to the classic 45 degree herringbone pattern.

Ideal pattern for a smaller bath or kitchen because it keeps your eyes moving throughout the room making it seem bigger.

It’s also a great way to draw the eye around the room or direct attention to a specific element in the space.

9, Mixed Pattern

Why not mix up the laying patterns and create something different and unusal?

When you’re on a budget and don’t want to overspend on subway tiles , the best thing to do is to grab a plain straight edge tile and lay it as on the picture.

It brings interest to the space and you can dress it to make it look super sleek.

10, Horizontal Stack Pattern

This looks great in a range of bathroom styles including coastal. This is more of a classic look.

If you want to achieve width in a space, always lay your tiles horizontally.

Ready to get tiling?

We can’t wait to see what you’ll create in your home !


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