You’re always seeing subway tiles installed on Fixer Upper, but are they for you and your house project? Maybe so! Subway tiles are clean, classic and their popularity only seems to increase by the day. But how can choosing such a basic material seem so overwhelming? Subway tiles are basic; however, they come in endless color, glaze and size options. Let’s channel our inner Joanna Gaines and get down to subway tile basics.

The consistent trend of subway tiles are, obviously, derived from the inspirational subway tubes in New York City. Train passengers stand underground next to narrow walls of white ceramic tiles that form the iconic arched walls. From there, this traditional material has made its way into homes and commercial buildings all around the world, gaining popularity with its versatility and sleek-inspired look. Want to hop on this tile train? Let’s talk rooms:


Subway tile in your bathroom looks clean, smooth and can tie your entire renovation together. It’s wild to see how quickly the installation of subway tiles in the bathroom can really change its entire look. Subway tile is not only perfect for a sink backsplash, but perhaps also for the shower or tub surround! Its versatility is what makes it so popular and beautiful. Subway tile is more durable and easier to clean than painted walls and will last for many more years.


What matters most to you in a kitchen? Cleanliness, aesthetic, or a mix of both? Once you’ve narrowed that down, your subway tile decision may find its way to you faster than you think. An updated subway tile backsplash behind a sink or oven range really accents your countertops and appliances, not to mention is super easy to clean.

The sky’s the limit when going with subway tile in your kitchen as there are countless combinations of sizes, materials, textures and colors that meet the needs of any homeowner or designer.


If you’re looking to make a classic, but effortlessly chic statement, try framing your fireplace with subway tile. Fireplace tile patterns can be especially exciting when you mix and match different colors and directions. Weather you have it installed in the standard fashion, or try something fun like herringbone or chevron, you’re sure to be happy with tile by your fire.

Picking colors

Contrary to popular belief, subway tiles do not just have to come in true white to be considered authentic. One of the things that make subway tiles so wonderful is their versatility. Feel free to experiment with colors and take chances. Try an ocean blue subway tile in your bathroom, or alternate between two shades of your favorite grays in the kitchen. At Tithof Tile & Marble, you can choose from hundreds of colors or hand-glazed tiles that bring depth and cohesiveness to any project.

If your heart is set on white, we don’t blame you! There’s something about true white subway tiles that bring an iconic level to a kitchen or bath design. If you do decide on white, just don’t neglect your grout!

Tile grout

Grout is so much more than just a finishing step of your tile installation. Just like tile, grout comes in an abundance of colors, and the color you choose can really accent the subway tile backsplash you’ve installed. So, besides general grout maintenance, consider these guidelines when making your grout decision:

  • A color that matches or compliments your tile; consult a Tithof Tile & Marble designer for input
  • A grout color that is lighter than the tile itself, to show less dirt and grime
  • Explore dark grout colors that can really make your design pop

The world is your oyster when it comes to incorporating subway tiles into your home or commercial project. The professionals at Tithof can truly create whatever you dream up. For example, many of our clients love the subway tile look, but also have their hearts set on a particular slab of natural stone. So, we cut the slabs into subway tile-like pieces and complete the design of their dreams. We’re ready to explore and create new things if you are!