A Glimpse of History: Subway Tile

They seem to be all the rage in kitchens and bathroom these days, but the history of subway tile dates back to the unveiling of the New York subway system in the early 1900s. Gleaming white, 3×6 inch tiles covered the walls of the new subway platforms, accented with colourful tile mosaics…I love the idea of this dark underground system filled with beautiful pieces of art, greeting travellers as they stepped off the brand new subway cars…

Now we see subway tiles used frequently in interior design. They’re clean and crisp, and somehow manage to give a nod to history while still feeling current. We recently used white subway tile in our kitchen redesign of The Hug, a basement apartment in Halifax, and think the results look fabulous. You can check that work out here.

Nick’s biggest tip about working with subway tile is to consider the environment it’s being used in. If it’s a working environment, like a kitchen, he recommends to use a dark coloured grout to finish between the tile. The grout picks up stain, and so by using a dark colour, you can avoid the grout picking up any food spills and spatters, leaving your subway tile looking beautiful and clean!

So, with all that said, leaving you with a few inspirational images of this lovely material to imagine in your own dream home…

Images: 01 Sweet Home Design Ideas| 02 via From Scandinavia with Love | 03 via Handcrafted in Virginia | 04 via Design*Sponge | 05 via A Paper Aeroplane 

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