Bathroom Subway Tile Ideas

Make a splash with subway tile in your bathroom. These classic rectangular tiles have almost endless applications and variations. Find the look that's right for you.

Classic white subway tile will always add timeless appeal to any bathroom. Originally seen on the walls of subway stations, these rectangular tiles have been cemented in the bathroom tile vocabulary. But a new crop of colors and sizes brings variety to the marketplace, as do colorful grouts and inset tiles.

Timeless Tile Update

Classic Subway Tile

The walls of this bathroom are clad in traditionally dimensioned and colored subway tiles. The room gets a signature look thanks to a slightly tinted grout, which helps provide a smooth shift between the crisp white tile and the chocolate brown on the upper walls.

Accent on a Classic

Subway Tile with a Decorative Border

Subway tiles are an affordable option for bathroom walls and surfaces, so using them for a majority of your tile application will yield a lower-cost project. But adding accent tiles can add pizzazz. The watery teal and green mosaic tile border enlivens this classic look. The jewel-tone tiles and shapely edging serve as a transition from the laid-back white subway tiles to the color-infused aqua wall above.

Finish with Color

Yellow Subway Tile

Explore tile finish and glazing options if you want the classic shape of subway tiles but don't want traditional white tiles. A crackle finish on the tiles of this tub surround gives the tile treatment a contemporary edge, and the variegated yellow tones create a sunny, dynamic look with natural undertones.

Simple Canvas

White Subway Tile

Inherently simple, subway tiles make a statement when applied en masse. The shower surround in this bathroom is clad in subway tiles and matching white grout, creating an uninterrupted plane of white. The reliable water resistance of properly installed tile also protects the walls of the shower from moisture damage.

Basic Goes Luxe

Marble Subway Tile

If you love the look of subway tile, but want a more refined look, consider using marble subway tiles rather than ceramic or porcelain. In this opulent bathroom, marble subway tiles climb almost to the ceiling and are capped with a thick border tile. Instead of relying on a thick grout line to add visual interest, variegated veining in the tiles draws attention to the walls and gives the tile a softer look.

Design Change

Green Subway Tile

Larger subway tiles will lend a more contemporary vibe to a bathroom, while still retaining a sense of timelessness. Wide grout lines also add a distinguishing accent to the tile application, as does a specialty glaze or color. The tile in this bathroom embodies all three of those traits, creating a memorable shower surround. In the light and airy bathroom, the bold structure of the tile design grounds the space, and the green-glaze tile coordinates with the green-tinted glass shower door and walls.


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