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  • Writer's pictureKorinne

Subway Tile Patterns

Since I became a designer, I have really been fascinated with how classic tile patterns continue to fluctuate in and out of style. This year, I have noticed that stacked subway tile and wall tile have become quite popular. They lend a very modern look to a space while maintaining a traditional subway tile feel.

Modern aesthetic right here. Horizontal stack bond subway tile. Remember when the stack bond brick pattern used to be all over brick mid-century buildings and houses? It's back with a vengeance in decor right now.

I have to admit, I'm the first one that had no idea just how many ways subway tiles could be laid. I love subway tile and I feel like they scream out "traditional" regardless of how they are laid. The fact that there are at least 10 interesting combinations is what really excites me!

Perhaps the most traditional subway tile pattern on the planet. Horizontal offset. The edge of one tile meets at the 50% mark of the tile above it. Super common patterning for brick, obviously as well. I love this pattern. It is classy, timeless, and you can count on it never going out of style.

Big on the scene today! Herringbone patterning is visually super interesting and is great for any tile, but especially shows off rich colours and textures of tiles. Point of interest with herringbone patterning. You assume 10% waste with a running bond pattern. Assume 20% waste with herringbone. So yes, it's "more expensive to do" as well.

An interesting one, for sure. Not as commonly seen, but definitely a classic as well. Crosshatch patterning - also sometimes referred to as basketweave. Definitely a lovely pattern with less waste.

Diagonal offset patterning is definitely not seen frequently in design. It can lend itself to making a room feel somewhat offset or skewed if not used in the proper context, but it is definitely clean and tidy looking.

This pattern, called vertical offset bond is an interesting staggered pattern that is actually, when you think of it, a brick pattern, but done with vertical tiling. Fun for something different while maintaining symmetry.

I mean, there are more variations made up of these. Did you KNOW this? Because prior to design school, I had no idea.

Couple a distinct tile layout with a textured tile, a tile with a beautiful patina, or a tile with a gorgeous glaze, and you're all set. It will definitely add contrast to your design. Shake it up, mix up a traditional pattern with a beautiful and unique tile!

Or just go with white subway tile because it's safe, classic and will never let you down.

Feel free to let me know what your preference is with subway tile! I'm curious to know how many people have used anything unusual or different in their spaces!

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