Subway Tile: 10 New Takes on an Old Classic

Arriving on the scene in 1904, Subway Tile debuted in the underground train stations in New York City. These 3 x 6-inch white tiles started to steal the hearts of homeowners everywhere. Over 100 years later, Subway Tile has maintained its popularity. In honor of this perennial favorite, we are going to show you how to incorporate an old classic with some new twists.


Abubaca Glass Mosaic Tile Blend
Multi-Colored Subway Glass Tile in Running-Bond Layout



Running-bond layout

Just like Coca-Cola, vinyl records, and The Godfather, with Subway Tile there is nothing like the original! The running bond, or brick pattern, is the classic subway tile layout that you have seen everywhere from kitchens, to bathrooms, and (of course) while riding the subway!

   In this layout, tiles are laid like bricks, so the end of each tile is directly lined up with the center of the tiles both above and below it. We have come a long way since 1904, and thanks to the variety of colors and sizes of glass tile, this timeless look can fit into any style kitchen design today.
Light Lime Green Subway Glass Tile in a Stacked Layout


Stacked-Layout    Love that modern style? Then “stacked” is the layout for you! Each subway tile is stacked, one on top of the other, leaving clean and crisp shapes and angles.   This style pairs perfectly with organic looking countertops and cabinets.   Try this simple layout in one solid color for a zen-like feel, or put a contemporary flair on it with a mix of colors!
Orange Subway Glass Tile Installed Vertically
              Vertical Layout   Give your subway tile a unique twist, literally, by spinning it 90 degrees for this new and interesting look. Vertically installed glass tiles provide a great focal point that draws your eye up, making your space appear larger.   Choose a bright and bold color, like this orange subway glass tile, and add stellar lighting to heighten your visual senses to a whole new level.    Hybrid Layout    A Hybrid layout combines two different elements, such as in this subway and square glass tile combination. This is the ultimate contemporary twist on your favorite subway style tiles.   This creative custom blend mixes shapes, sizes, colors, and materials, giving you the highest level of visual appeal. Better still, you can replace these tiles with any colors in our custom mosaic designer.   
Contempo Glass Tile in a Hybrid Layout

Herringbone Layout

  Get fun and creative and step outside of the box (or, rather, the rectangle) with this stunning and timeless herringbone design. This tile layout gives any space a contemporary aesthetic with lively dimension.   Try it in a striped pattern, or mix up the colors randomly for an interesting and unique look.  
Herringbone Glass Tile Design
Herringbone Glass Tile Design
Simply Sweet Blend
Simply Sweet Glass Tile Blend in a Flemish Bond Layout
            Flemish Bond Layout   This is for those who love the running brick layout but are looking for something with a little more visual aesthetic. The flemish bond layout is a "running brick 2.0," all the look and feel of the classic design, but with a tiny spin that will make your walls pop.   This mosaic layout has a pattern that alternates a rectangular subway tile with a square tile, providing for an interesting level of dimension no matter what color palette you choose.         
Steel Bamboo With Orange Glass Tile
Steel Bamboo With Orange Glass Tile in a Hells Kitchen Layout
                Hells Kitchen Layout   This is a Susan Jablon original layout that she designed especially for the set of FOX TV’s “Hells Kitchen.” 1 x 6-inch and 1 x 3-inch subway glass tiles are blended together in a random fashion to create this fun and unexpected look. This layout takes the original to the next level as it breaks the traditional pattern with two different sized tiles.   This layout is usually designed with multiple colors, and you can even place stainless steel tiles in your blend for a pleasant visual surprise.     
Stainless Steel Tile in a Basketweave Layout
        Basketweave Layout     The basketweave, or crosshatch, layout is a look made for those with a contemporary bent. In our basketweave layout, 1 x 3-inch subway glass tiles are placed in groups of three, creating a 3 x 3-inch square. Each grouping is then alternated so the first will lie vertically, then horizontally, and so on, creating the appearance of a weave pattern. This play on shapes adds dimension and a new sense of drama to any area in which it is installed.                   
Pinwheel Layout Design
Glass Tile and Stainless Steel Tile in a Contemporary Pinwheel Layout
              Pinwheel Layout   The Pinwheel or windmill layout is a tile pattern that is sure to excite and interest. This creative grouping mixes subway glass tiles with square tiles for a beautiful and fun effect. This tile design can be all white for the perfect finish to a modern space, or finish off your contemporary kitchen with contrasting colors for an interesting backsplash that will pop right out of the wall.     
Himalayan Beauty Series in a Metro-Retro Layout
            Metro-Retro Layout   Mix it up to the max with our original metro-retro layout. This layout has an urban contemporary flair reminiscent of the 1960s. Metro-retro mixes 1 x-6 inch and 1 x 3-inch subway tiles with sets of three 1-inch square tiles.   Like the basketweave layout, metro-retro is a play on shapes, but instead of arranging the Subway tiles into squares, this layout scatters 1-inch squares in groups of three, creating a subtle 1 x 3-inch rectangle. This can be installed horizontally or vertically for two very different and very interesting effects.      

I think it's safe to say that Subway tile has certainly graduated over the last century, and still remains the go-to tile for many projects. Whether you are a fan of the original or love your subway tile with a wild twist, at Susan Jablon we make sure that all of those options are available to you. We offer these ten layouts, as well as over 50 others, in various shapes, sizes, and colors that are customizable in our Custom Mosaic Designer. Chose or create your dream tile today, or let us help create it with you.


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BacksplashGlass tile layoutIdeas & inspirationsKitchen designMosaic tileSubway glass tile

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