Subway Tile

subway tile

Subway tiles are a hot topic so we recently updated this article with more current information including details about popular subway tile bathrooms and glass subway tile.

The rage in bathroom remodels are subway tiles and as easy and clean as they look they are often not as easy to find or install. Subway tiles also don’t have to always be all white, throw in some red, green, or blue, glass tiles if you want a bit more contemporary look.


You can also mix subway tile styles with other types of tile like the kitchen below from the Osprey Eco-Cottage.

Subway Tile Resources

Since the popularity of subway tiles has exploded you’ll find ideas and inspiration from almost every home/shelter magazine you pick up or website you read. We’ve found some of the best inspiration comes from the most unlikely places such as paying attention to our own friends’ homes or even visiting your favorite restaurant or bar.

Subway tile is being used extensively in commercial applications and if you see a style of tile you like, take a quick picture and show it to your designer or have it with you when you visit a tile showroom.

Subway Tile Installation

The installation of subway tile is generally the same as any ceramic tile. You’ll want to start by making level measurements across the wall using a level to properly layout your tile. These measurements need to be exact. Don’t level to your countertops or cabinets as those could be skewed.

Once you have a layout pattern you’ll need to sort out the amount of tile you’ll need as well as cut the tile to fit into the remaining spaces.

You can then use dry-set mortar to set your tiles in place or a new product like Bondera to set your tiles easily and with no mess. You may need to set up a level support board to keep your tiles in place as they dry.

Use a small tile saw to fine-tune the last pieces of tile to set and once all the tile is set to use a mallet and 2×4 wrapped in a cloth to lightly tap the tile into place so it completely sets.

Next comes setting the trim around the edge of the tile. Make certain it fits cleanly.

Finally, it’s time to grout the tile after the mortar has dried completely and then seal the grout with silicone sealer and caulk the edges where the tub or wall meets the tile.

If this all sounds too daunting then we suggest looking for contractors on ServiceMagic which is an online database of home improvement professionals who are constantly reviewed for quality and service.

And if you are ready to start the process of installing your own subway tile then check out the offerings from Home Depot.


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  • Steven Jones
    November 20, 2007 at 2:32 am

    What do you think of these tattoo tiles??

  • toni
    December 1, 2007 at 9:43 am

    where can i find subwy tiles – need pricing samples etc.?
    supplier in nyc area ??

  • Timothy
    December 1, 2007 at 11:39 am

    Hi Toni – I would try They deliver anywhere and work with architects, contractors, and homeowners.

  • Diane
    March 14, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    That looks stunning! You can get subway tiles and basket weave tiles at They ship all over.

  • Carl Hooley
    May 23, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    Do you have a 6 1/8″ X 8 1/8″
    subway style tile? I am trying to match some existing
    tile in a tub surround. Thanks Carl Hooley

  • Shelly Mcginnis
    September 5, 2011 at 9:25 am

    I really like when people are expressing their opinion and thought. So I like the way you’re writing.

  • Robbie Marinero
    March 30, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Mmmm-hmmm. Granite flooring tiles can also be used in kitchen countertops. What’s great about them is that you can install them yourself. Aside from the bragging rights you earn ( Hehehe), you can enjoy having a slick-looking kitchen with your new granite countertops.

  • benny
    May 12, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    can you lay subway tile from the top of the wall to the floor

    • Bob
      May 19, 2013 at 6:08 pm

      no- gravity will pull them down. you lay the botton row first and build up