Classic Design: A Gallery of Subway Tiles in the Kitchen

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Subway tiles are a common element in bathrooms, but we love the way they look in a kitchen. There’s something about the shape and brick-like pattern that makes them look more modern than square tiles, but they’re still classic and clean. We’ve rounded up lots of crisp white, plus colors from blue to chocolate brown. Go take a look…

Subway tiles look industrial to us, like they belong in a factory or a huge, pre-war kitchen in the back of an Italian restaurant. And yet, they also look completely at home in a country kitchen or a small space. They work anywhere.

1. Blue tiles turned on their sides! This photo is from the website for Heath Ceramics, which manufactures some of the most beautiful tiles around.

2. Simple, clean backsplash in a California kitchen. We spotlighted this kitchen before: Allison and Paul’s Silverlake Special. It’s got a lot of colorful, warm elements, but the clean, simple backsplash keeps it open and light.

3. Subway tiles up the wall. These add a little interest to a small Brooklyn kitchen, and they make it feel old even with modern furnishings. From Martha Stewart.

4. Another entire wall covered in fresh, white tile. We’d imagine the tiles reflect light, too, making a small space feel bigger. From design*sponge.

5. Subway tiles in an IKEA model kitchen. At least, we’re pretty sure this is an IKEA kitchen. (There are quite a few price tags.) These are a very pretty, very pale greyish-blue. From Mod Walls.

6. Brown tiles with white cabinets. Really cool contrast here, although we can’t decide if the brown tiles make us think of brick walls too much. What do you think? Also from Mod Walls.

7. A super clean, streamlined kitchen. We loved this kitchen tour: Katin & Brandon’s Casual Kitchen by the Sea. It’s so peaceful, and the tiles really stand out, with just simple wood shelving on top of them.

8. All white in a Chicago row house. It’s a narrow space, but somehow the horizontal tiles make it feel wider to us. From Martha Stewart.

9. White tiles, warm wood. The dark cabinetry really sets off the white walls, and again, we like how the tiles go all the way up the walls. It feels like you’re enveloped. From Living Etc.

10. White and cream color scheme. Proof that you can mix the two. The creamy cabinets are set off by modern tiles, and yet the whole farmhouse-ish look still works. From Country Living.