This year, high-shine subway tiles – also known as metro tiles – are a firm favourite with interior designers, home decoration bloggers and kitchen enthusiasts alike. Having re-entered the psyche of the design collective in 2014, this year’s interpretation conveys a clean, modern and super-shiny aesthetic. These timeless rectangular tiles also serve to protect walls and reflect light back into your kitchen. Subway tiles are an excellent addition for oak kitchens, creating a mixture of textures that both adds cosiness and demonstrates adept design savvy.
Subway tiling comes in all colours of the spectrum, and can be mounted in a variety of ways. Among our favourites are pure white tiles, which can give a plain white wall added interest, as well as safeguarding pale paint against sauce splashes! The tiles can even be used specifically above stoves to provide an alternative solution to glass and steel splashbacks.
Although it may not be something you will initially consider, opting for different colours of grouting can dramatically affect the impact of your tiles. Particularly with white tiles, matching white grouting will give a pure white appearance that is very simple and understated, whereas grey grouting gives tiles a little added definition. Dark grey grouting gives a much more distinctive look, making pale tiles stand out, and it is more effective at disguising the – unfortunately inevitable – slight discoloration of the grout over time.
Subway tiles can be set in a variety of arrangements, according to your preference. Set out like bricks, the formation is known as a ‘running bond’ and is popularly laid out horizontally. Other may prefer tiles that are laid in vertical lines; this look elongates the wall to create the illusion of extra height in rooms with low ceilings. Similarly, linear patterns can also be achieved with ‘stacked’ tiles, which take on a more modern feel.
Conversely, tiles may be styled in a herringbone formation, which offers a lovely thatched – or zigzagging – effect. This eye-catching design looks particularly charming in traditional, rustic kitchens.
For a funkier, geometric pattern, rotate this design by 45 degrees so the lines run parallel with the floor.
Bright colours make a bold statement when it comes to subway tiling – particularly if the tiled area follows the wall up to meet the ceiling – and provide a visually-stimulating alternative to paint. Statement colours are the perfect choice for a fabulous contrast with white wood kitchen cabinets. For the more daring, black tiles are a great choice for contemporary kitchens. Just like white subway tiles, black tiles are inexpensive and highly versatile, creating a sense of drama that is perfect for perking up a lacklustre kitchen.
Whichever design takes your fancy, it looks like the subway tile is here to stay – so opting for this style of tile would be both an affordable and wise investment. Choosing the right colour of tile and grout is very important for creating a look that is cohesive with the rest of your kitchen, so it is certainly worth spending some time deliberating and looking at samples!
If you have found the perfect tiles for your home and want to come and see our oak kitchens to complete the look, why not visit one of our showrooms? To get in touch, please telephone us on 0345 22 22 990 or email .