Next Up

20 Stylish Ways to Use Subway Tile in Bathrooms

August 04, 2022

Why should kitchen backsplashes have all the fun? These graphic and practical treatments are the ideal combination of style and functionality in washrooms and bath suites, too.

Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money off these affiliate links. Learn more.
1 / 21
Photo: Jackson Design and Remodeling. From: Jackson Design and Remodeling.

A Classic That’s Going Places

First used in the New York City subway system in 1904, these 3x6-inch bricks became a residential hit for the same reason they made sense in transit tunnels. Sleek, versatile and easy to clean, they’re a one-two punch of form and function. More than a century later, designers are once again deploying them to great effect. Take a spin with us through stylish bathrooms featuring iconic installations.

More photos after this Ad

2 / 21
Photo: Molly Culver

Reference the Greats

Houston designer Mary Patton went old school with her style nod for this evocative space and its subway-tile installation: It was inspired by NYC’s legendary Gramercy Park Hotel. “Lots of dark and moody features in the brass fixtures and paint color, but it still feels young and sophisticated,” she explains.

More photos after this Ad

3 / 21
Photo: Jerry Miller. From: Seven Gables Real Estate.

Or, Turn Tradition on Its Head

This industrial-chic California bath features framed technical drawings, a pair of vintage vanity lights, a no-nonsense wall-mounted sink and right-angled subway tile that turns the shower into a sneaky showstopper. Puzzling out this arrangement probably called for a few technical drawings of its own, but, oh, isn’t the effect worth the elbow grease?

More photos after this Ad

4 / 21
Photo: Jessica Alexander. From: Caitlin Murray.

Try Black Tile + Wild Wallpaper

This deliciously bonkers floral print and crisp black-tile-and-white-grout combo turns a teeny-tiny powder room into a jewel box. To pull off a pairing like this one, look for a pattern with a background that matches the tile of your choice and foreground images that approximate its scale.

More photos after this Ad