The classic tile is hardly boring in these modern, industrial designs
1 of 10Design by Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects; photo by Casey Dunn
In a room featuring a neutral palette, a white subway tile wall can keep with the color scheme while adding some dimension to the space. Here, the natural light and nature views help warm up the modern aesthetic.
2 of 10Thomas J. Story
Luxe for less
High-end tile can be affordable if you use it sparingly. In this shower stall, pricey green glass tile serves as a colorful accent when randomly interspersed with economical white subway tile.
3 of 10Design by Taste Design Inc.; photo by Nat Rea
Cook a lot? Need more than a short backsplash to keep the kitchen easy to clean? Solution: Take that subway tile from the countertop all the way to the ceiling trim.
4 of 10Thomas J. Story
This small hallway bath keeps quiet with black floor-to-ceiling subway tile. The high shower windows and white utility sink basin add a punch of light to the space.
5 of 10Thomas J. Story
Create a splash zone—like this bathtub nook—with floor-to-hip-level subway tiles placed like wainscoting. Here, the white tiles serve as a neutral adjacent to the large pattered floor tiles.
6 of 10Design by Studio Z Design
Who says subway tile has to lay horizontally? Interchanging horizontal and vertical tiles in this small bathroom vanity space creates a graphic and modern accent wall.
7 of 10Design by Roost Interior Design
Install white subway tiles as a backsplash above the kitchen countertop. To guide the room aesthetic way from an industrial look, choose a bright paint color for the cabinet and shelf wall above.
8 of 10Thomas J. Story
In a small bathroom, let white subway tile work hard for you as both a wall splash guard and bathtub surround. Visually, the all-white tub area blends together, helping the small space live large.
9 of 10Thomas J. Story
Embrace the industrial vibe of subway tiles by keeping the room palette black, white, and silver. Utility hardware and materials like corrugated metal complete the look.
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While classic white subway tile makes a modern statement, choosing colored tile in long, skinny shapes over chunkier ones is equally stylish. “They’re more contemporary,” says interior designer Kricken Yaker, who stacks them linearly for cleaner lines and less grout.