Subway Tile Backsplashes

Get info and inspiration for subway tile backsplashes, and prepare to install a stylish and efficient backsplash in your home.


By: Sean McEvoy

Subway tile kitchen backsplashes have been common in commercial kitchens forever, it seems, but in recent years many homeowners have chosen these efficient and stylish backsplashes for their kitchen designs.

Gorgeous Kitchen Backsplash Options and Ideas

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Stainless Steel Backsplash & Red Kitchen Cabinets


Kim Alexandriuk

Photo By: Photo Credit: Edward Addeo © Gibbs Smith, Farrow and Ball, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo (photographer) View original photo.

Modern Kitchen With Purple Wall, LED Lighting and Quartz Counter

Farmhouse Sink Area in Cottage Kitchen


Rustic Transitional Kitchen

Kitchen With Green Tile Backsplash and Wine Racks

Old World Kitchen With Nailhead Accents

Photo By: Photo Credit: Edward Addeo © Gibbs Smith, Barry Dixon Interiors, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo (photographer) View original photo.


Photo By: Picasa

Smoky Gray Subway Tile in White Kitchen



Elizabeth Tranberg

Contemporary Kitchen with Metallic Tile Backsplash

Green Glass Tile Backsplash in Modern Kitchen

Contemporary Kitchen With Multicolor Tile Backsplash



Nomita Joshi Gupta



John Colaneri

Transitional Kitchen With a Stainless Steel Island and Green Backsplash


John Colaneri

Sleek Contemporary Kitchen With Photo Backsplash

Traditional Kitchen With Dark Wood Island

Black and White Kitchen With Stainless Steel Stove


Eclectic Kitchen With Stone Countertops and Exotic Pendant Lights


John Colaneri

Contemporary Black Metallic Kitchen With Red and White Bar Chairs

Eclectic Stone Bar With Blue Ceramic Backsplash

Red and Yellow Kitchen Backsplash


Traditional Kitchen With Stainless Steel Range and Yellow Tile Backsplash

Transitional Kitchen With Rustic Table

Contemporary Kitchen With Mosaic Backsplash & Espresso Cabinets

Neutral Kitchen With Gray Mosaic Tile Backsplash

Sparkling Espresso Bar


Photo By: Peter Rymwid

Room to Work

Gray and White Chef's Kitchen With Dot Backsplash

Orange Country-Style Kitchen With Open Shelving

Photo By: Photo Credit: Edward Addeo © Gibbs Smith, Barry Dixon Interiors, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo (photographer) View original photo.

Modern Kitchen With Wood Cabinets and Mosaic Backsplash



Dorothy Willetts

Detail of Kitchen Range and Microwave UO 2011

Contemporary Kitchen With Mosaic Tile Backsplash

Neutral Contemporary Kitchen With Mosaic Tile Backsplash


Barney Maier

Cream & Brown Kitchen With Mosaic Tile Backsplash



John Colaneri

Kitchen With Teal Mosaic Tile Wall

Spacious Gray-Blue Transitional Kitchen


Photo By: Andrew Bruah

Contemporary Kitchen With Island Seating




Bright and Fun Green Tiled Backsplash


Gray Mediterranean Kitchen With Open Shelving

Transitional Kitchen With Dark Wood Cabinets and Granite Backsplash

Contemporary White Kitchen With Industrial Barstools

White Transitional Kitchen With Mosaic Tile Backsplash

Modern Apron Sink in White Mid-Century Kitchen


White Transitional Kitchen With Marble Counters and Undermount Sink

White Contemporary Kitchen

Dark Bamboo Cabinets in Contemporary Brown Kitchen

Modern Kitchen With Frosted Glass Cabinets

Mediterranean-Inspired Kitchen With Striped Tile Backsplash

Subway Tile Backsplash With Cabinets

Contemporary Kitchen Cabinets With Green Marble Countertops


Floral Window Shade in Pale Yellow Kitchen

White Kitchen With Blue, Green and Floral Accents

Tiny Traditional Kitchen With Gray Stone Tile Backsplash

Contemporary Kitchen With Green Tile Backsplash



John Colaneri

Green Kitchen With White Farmhouse Sink


John Colaneri

Black Kitchen Cabinets With Copper Range Hood


John Colaneri

Retro Cabinetry



John Colaneri

Traditional White Kitchen With Coffered Ceiling

Reflective Kitchen Backsplash



John Colaneri



John Colaneri

Contemporary Gray Kitchen WIth Glossy Cabinets and Striped Tile

Contemporary Grey Kitchen With Corner Cabinet Lazy Susan

Countertop-to-Ceiling Kitchen Backsplash With Stainless-Steel Open Shelving

Modern Kitchen With Chocolate Brown Cabinets

Mediterranean Kitchen With Blue Backsplash

Colorful Tile Backsplash Gives a Vintage Look

Eclectic Eat-in Kitchen

Kitchen With Repurposed Buffet Table

Small Butler Pantry in Transitional Kitchen

Range Hood and Horizontal Wall Cabinets

White Farmhouse Sink in Country Kitchen

Open Shelving in White Cottage Kitchen

Marble Backsplash Adds Texture in White Transitional Kitchen

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Deep White Sink

Stainless Steel Built-In Kitchen Range and Hood

White Kitchen With Blue-Gray Glass Subway Tile



Tara Benet

Kitchen With Mirrored Backsplash and Marble Countertop

Photo By: Chris Amaral © 2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved. View original photo.

White Cottage Kitchen With Wet Bar and Built-In Desk


Pro-Quality Stainless Steel Range

Farmhouse Sink in Transitional Green and White Kitchen

White Cottage Style Kitchen With Open Shelving and a Farmhouse Sink

Charming Cottage Kitchen In Classic White

Small Space White Kitchen With Pendant Lights


The classic, understated look of subway tile is extremely versatile—it can be paired with just about any kitchen style, from traditional to hyper-modern. Generally, subway tiles are small to medium-sized and rectangular in shape. They're available from home improvement stores or tile specialty retailers, both online and in store, in a seemingly endless variety of materials, colors and textures. The versatility of subway tile has made it an extremely popular choice among homeowners, which has led to its wide availability in a diversity of styles.

If you've decided that subway tile is the right style for your kitchen backsplash, your first task will be to determine exactly what tile material you want to feature. You can browse the available choices online or in-store, and you're likely to find that subway-style tile is available in just about any type of backsplash material, from ceramic to glass to high-end granite. Your personal style and desire to match or diverge from the overall style of the kitchen—in addition to the budget you've settled on for your backsplash project—will likely be the deciding factors here.


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When you've determined what material you'll be using, it's time to figure out how much you'll need to source for your subway tile project. Measuring the surface area you need to cover to determine the square footage will give you this figure. In general, backsplashes cover the portion of a kitchen's walls above the countertops which will be most at risk from cooking or cleaning spatter. However, if your subway tile vision includes a grand execution that stretches from countertops to ceiling, go forth undaunted—there are no hard and fast rules for how much backsplash is too much.

When you've determined the amount of subway tile you'll need for the project, it's installation time. Subway tile can be anywhere from extremely simple to extremely difficult to install, depending on the material you've chosen, the layout of the area you'll be covering, and the pattern of the tile. If you're a novice when it comes to tile installation, you'll probably want to hire a professional to install your subway tile backsplash. Alternatively, if you've got serious DIY chops or have installed backsplash tile before, you may want to try installing the backsplash yourself for a considerable savings.

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