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The History of Tile in Subways

 

Across the United States and around the world, tiles and mosaic art play an integral part in the history of underground transit systems. Long recognized for its durability and ease of care, tile has always been a natural choice to cover subway walls and floors, many of which would see thousands of travelers every day.

 

When the New York City Subway System opened in 1904, the world was first introduced to Subway Tile. The rectangular, white, ceramic tile used to cover the walls of this underground transit system can be credited with helping to popularize the use of tile in subways around the world. What's more, in addition to the miles of white tile that protected walls and floors of the subways, beautiful mosaic artwork decorated the underground halls.

 

Today's modern subways (whether known as the T, L, Metro, or Tube) showcase a wide array of classic and modern art. While the ceramic Subway Tile that once covered underground subway surfaces has largely been replaced by newer, more durable materials, much of the original mosaic artwork that decorated the underground walkways remains intact. What's more, mosaic artists are consistently being commissioned to create new works to decorate subway walls and floors. 

 

Durable and stain-resistant, glass tile is a great choice for subway mosaics. Translucent glass tiles help illuminate dimly lit areas as light flows through them and onto nearby surfaces. For hundreds of years, since their early development by the Byzantines, people have recognized the natural beauty of glass tile mosaics. The versatility of glass allows for glass tiles to be made in an endless variety of colors, textures, and finishes. From modern subway-inspired glass tiles, to bright blends infused with glitter or flecks or gold, incorporating glass tile into subway mosaics brings beauty and light to traditional wall art.

 

The beauty of modern subways has earned them an online and print following. Web sites rate subways based on art and upkeep and guidebooks take travelers on tours of well-known transit systems. For more information about subway art around the world visit:

 

Metro Bits' - Metro Arts and Architecture

 

and

 

NYCSubway.org's Artwork Page

 

Visit our Amazing Tile Gallery to see examples of glass tile mosaic artwork created with Susan Jablon Mosaics' designer glass mosaic tiles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discover Susan Jablon

"Working with Susan was an absolute joy and my blend came out PERFECT!"

About a decade ago, Susan Jablon re-ignited her life-long passion for mosaics and has built a customer-focused, artist-driven, business offering you the very best in glass and decorative tiles and mosaics.

We are a glass tile store committed to excellence both personally and professionally. With lines of 100% SCS Qualified recycled tile, 12 colors and 6 shapes of mirror, semi precious turquoise stones from Arizona mines, to color changing dichroic glass.. stainless steel tiles in 8mm and 4mm and 12 designs within each, and anything you can dream of customized, we have the perfect solution for you or your customer.

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