Subway style tiles. The perfect choice for the kitchen

20 of May '22

Subway tiles combine modernity and vintage style. Their unobtrusive charm and urban style, as well as functionality and ease of cleaning, have made subway-style tiles find their place in many Polish homes.

Neutralne płytki są świetnym tłem dla kolorowych dodatków

Neutral tiles are a great background for colorful accessories

Photo by Becca Tapert ©UNSPLASH

Characteristic "bricks"

Subway tiles are small, oblong tiles with a smooth, shiny surface. Their shape resembles bricks, which is why they are sometimes called "bricks". The basic version of subway tiles is flat. However, those with beveling have also become popular. The characteristic beveling on the edges gives a three-dimensional look. The standard size of subway tiles is 7x15 cm, although they are also available in other sizes. Initially they appeared only in four base colors: black, red, blue and white. It was the latter that gained the most popularity. Today, however, we can buy tiles in many other colors. Tiles imitating marble or wood are also available.

Białe kafelki idealnie komponują się ze złotymi elementami

White tiles go perfectly with gold elements

Photo: Chastity Cortijo ©UNSPLASH

A subway element in your home

They owe their name to the New York subway. It was there that they made their debut in the early 20th century. The first stations were created by two architects associated with the Beaux-Arts movement: George Lewis Heins and Christopher Grant LaFarge. The task was not easy. It was necessary to create a design that would illuminate the dark stations. In addition, due to the large number of people staying there, the arrangement had to be easy to keep clean. At the time, the subway was a novelty, a leap of civilization. The decor had to emphasize the exclusive nature of the new means of transportation. The answer to these needs was precisely "bricks". They quickly conquered the hearts of residents of the city and the whole country permanently entering the decor element of American homes. Currently, their most popular use is in the kitchen. Especially often they appear on the splashback wall.

Ułożenie płytek subway w jodełkę

Subway tiles arranged in a herringbone pattern

Photo: Micheile Dot Com ©UNSPLASH

How to lay subway tiles?

The undoubted advantage of subway tiles is that we can arrange them in many different ways. We are actually limited only by our imagination. The most common layout is the classic brick arrangement. To add variety to this classic style, we can move the tiles along the longer or shorter side. Another way of laying subway tiles is herringbone. Here, too, we can introduce some variety with an arrangement at 90 or 45 degrees. A grid or panama weave will also be an interesting solution. For lovers of classics, we recommend a parallel vertical or horizontal arrangement.

Połączenie białych płytek w stylu metro i czarnej fugi nadaje kuchni nowojorskiego charakteru

The combination of white subway-style tiles and black grout gives the kitchen a New York feel.

photo by Edgar Castrejon ©UNSPLASH

Madness or simplicity?

We can also use "bricks" to create an intriguing, distinct interior element, for example, by using a combination of black and white tiles. Such a composition will go well in a retro-style kitchen. From colored tiles we can also arrange a pattern. Subway tiles with a ready-made decorative motif are also available. A lot of design possibilities are offered to us by combining white subway tiles with colored grout. Black infill will give our kitchen a New York flair. In a vintage-style interior, tiles with beveling, which resemble old tiled stoves, will be ideal. While in a minimalist room it is worth combining subway-style tiles with wood. This will warm up the interior. Glamour styling will be achieved by combining with gold elements.

Elaboration: Katarzyna Szostak

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