Subway Tiles

How to make your subway tiles look classic

How to make your subway tiles look classic

Let us discuss tile, friends… These days, everyone and their mother, brother, mailman, and so on (you get the picture) are utilizing subway tiles. For the last six or seven years, this old material has exploded in popularity, and the trend does not seem to be slowing. That is both a good and a terrible thing, in my view. The good news is that people have found subway tile’s enchanted and ageless beauty.

What about the negative news? Because subway tiles have been a safe and fashionable option for a long period of time, their overuse is beginning to seem dull and antiquated, rather than classic. You’re probably thinking, “since it IS a classic material, you can’t go wrong and it’ll never go out of style”… Yes and no, eh? As with all trends, materials and décor come and go. Too much of a good thing is not necessarily a good thing, as we all know. Not to worry, though! I’m going to provide a few ideas for laying subway tile in a manner that seems ageless, purposeful, and far from plain or dull. Click through for many ideas and strategies for avoiding overusing this popular tile without appearing fashionable or risking it becoming old.

Whether you’re prepared or not, here we go! You are aware of the adage “variety is the spice of life.” It’s normal to get dissatisfied with something after seeing it a million times on Pinterest, Instagram, or in five of your neighbors’ kitchens and bathrooms. When a material or design is overdone, it becomes “trendy” and risks becoming antiquated. That is not to say that a material is no longer important; it just means that you must be careful in the way you install and design it if you want it to last.

I’d like to offer some suggestions for revitalizing this incredible and inexpensive tile! After all, I’m going to begin constructing our guest bathroom this week (YAY! ), and there’s a reason I’m continuing to use subway tile… clearly, I still like it.

USE PIECES OF TRIM

This is true for every subway tiles project; if you want it to seem completed and fitted, include trim pieces! Obviously, the preceding picture is exaggerated due to the architecture. It’s beautiful and certainly not typical, but you get the idea!

To create a coherent appearance in my guest bath, I’ll use this base tile, pencil liner, subway tile, and chair rail tile. Regardless of your style, ensure that the exposed edges seem and feel complete. Even if you’re going for a contemporary look, make careful to cap the tile with a basic bullnose tile or Schluter to conceal an unfinished edge. I’m a stickler for details and believe me when I say that they make all the difference! Visit http://lovelyhomegarden.com/subway-tiles-individual-tiles-vs-sheets/ to read about Subway tiles – Individual tiles vs Sheets.

CONSIDER AN EXTENSION

Subway tiles is attractive since it comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Don’t be scared to use an inset border to create some contrast. You may even switch up the material! Consider how elegantly marble carrara contrasts with the traditional white subway tile in the top picture. Again, looking back in time, this method was often used. Spoiler warning… my guest bath will also have a border, and just glancing at the design plan has me all psyched for a nice graphic element.

TRY BLOCKAGE OF COLOR

Clearly, I’m a lover of color blocking, and tile is no exception. This is an excellent technique to extend a space or to break up a field of monotonous white tile.

VISIT A COLORED TILE STORE

My friends Kim and Scott chose a colorful subway tile for their treehouse kitchen backsplash, and the outcome is beautiful! I like the warm gray color that is both neutral and traditional while still being welcoming. Utilizing a colorful subway tile instantly updates and modernizes the space.

ACCESSORISE WITH A DIFFERENT PATTERN

Consider running your subway tiles in a different pattern or direction. This is the simplest approach to make a difference with what you currently own.

IMPROVE THE SCALE

36-inch subway tiles is the standard size. However, there are many alternatives on the market that alter the size of subway tile. Due to the extended form of the above tile, this bath seems more contemporary. Additionally, you’ll note the designer ran it vertically. That, in my opinion, is a victory for both the size and the unusual design. Remember how I ran the tile vertically in my last bathroom to fool the eye into believing the ceiling was higher than it really was? That is another creative technique using the orientation of the tile.

EXPLORE THE WORLD OF TEXTURED TILE

Recently, I’ve developed an affinity for textured subway tiles. These handcrafted and hand-glazed subway tiles have an organic, natural feel and offer an incredible amount of depth and diversity to any wall. They evoke a sense of timelessness and effortlessness yet are contemporary. The textured tiles give off a much more relaxed feel.

CREATE A SEPARATE NICHE

How to make your subway tiles look classic

To bring attention to the niche, I like to include a little of contrast. Whether it’s a backsplash behind the range or cooktop in the kitchen or a shower niche in the bathtub, a little sophisticated contrast goes a long way! You might change the color of the trim, replace the tile entirely, run a different pattern, or experiment with size. Whichever way you choose to emphasize the recessed region, the effect will undoubtedly be one of immediate elegance. Bear in mind that we’re attempting to avoid the term “basic.”

DESIGN THE ENVIRONMENT

Finally, the environment and associated design components of a place have a significant impact on the appearance and feel of the area. For instance, if you’re putting subway tiles in a bathroom because it’s a timeless material, consider investing in timeless plumbing fittings. The surroundings have a significant role—not it’s just about the tile! Everything that enters into a place contributes to its ageless, fashionable, or antiquated vibe.

If you’re concerned about grout, that’s a different story.

Final thoughts

For those of you who are currently sporting plain subway tiles and are freaking out… Please refrain! Rock it, accept it, and style it to death. POSSESS IT. At the end of the day, it is a timeless material—despite its prevalence. To summarize, I’ll offer this little comparison…

Subway tiles are similar to a simple tee-shirt in that it can be worn every day and yet appear fresh and new depending on how it is styled. That is just how I see subway tile! It’s very adaptable and can take on any aesthetic—it all depends on how it’s installed. It will never go out of style, but if you don’t pay attention to the details, it may appear monotonous.

Subway tiles – Individual tiles vs Sheets

Subway tiles – Individual tiles vs Sheets

A look at the cost, installation, and aesthetic variations between putting individual subway tiles and subway tiles sheets.

I am a sucker for subway tiles. It is traditional, clean, and reasonably priced! Even more so if you install it yourself. However, when it comes to the tiles, should you go for individual subway tiles or for sheets?

To assist you to determine which to utilize, I decided to try them both out. I tiled the tub surround in my master bathroom with individual subway tiles and then the tub surround in my guest bathroom using subway tile sheets.

Now I’m going to discuss the differences in installing each kind, the cost, and the appearance of each type so you can determine which one is ideal for your next subway tile job.

What Is the Cost Distinction?

Let us begin with the most often asked question: What is the pricing difference between individual subway tiles and subway tile sheets?

I utilized Daltile ceramic subway tiles from House Depot for both tile projects in my home (they were both in stock at my local store). Both of these were the least costly choices. Click here to read more about ceramic subway tiles for your home.

Of course, you may significantly raise your tile prices by experimenting with various tile sizes and materials. I am examining just the ceramic subway tiles. Perhaps one day I will have the funds to install Carrera marble in a bathroom!

Subway Tiles Individually

For a typical tub surround with the tile terminating at 7′ (I like the tile to be higher), about 56 square feet of tile is required. Add 10% for cutting and mistakes for a total of 62 square feet.

This puts the total cost of the subway tiles for a basic tub surround to $70.84. (not including any trim subway tiles you may want to use).

Sheets of Subway Tiles

For a typical tub surround with a tile height of 7′, you’ll need 56 square feet plus 10% for cutting/errors. This totals 62 square feet. Because each sheet covers 0.83 square feet, 75 sheets are required to cover 62.25 square feet.

Thus, the total cost of the subway tile sheets for a normal tub surround comes to $223.50. (not including any trim subway tiles you may want to use).

Cost Analysis Conclusion

Individual subway tiles are less expensive to use than sheets.

They are really a third of the price! That implies that for the price of tiling one tub using sheet tiles, you could buy enough subway tiles to tile three tub surrounds in individual subway tiles.

Therefore, why would you utilize sheet subway tiles??? Following that, let’s examine the differences in installation.

Which Is Less Difficult to Install?

The time and work required to install your new tiles play a significant role in your do-it-yourself job. Therefore, easy-to-install tiles are a bonus. This is when the sheet tiles come out on top!

Individual Subway Tile Installation

Precision is required when laying a big area with individual subway tiles (such as a tub surround). You must ensure that your line begins precisely level and remains so throughout its length.

Consider how an uneven line will make the tub seem to be leaning. That is not acceptable!

From my experience, installing the individual subway tiles was straightforward. However, while aligning them, they may easily go slightly out of alignment. If you had a tendency to press items together 1/16th of an inch closer on one end of the tub, it would take just eight rows to be 1/2 inch off. This is very obvious.

You’ll want to check your line for level on a continuous basis to ensure this does not happen.

Additionally, since you are cutting one tile at a time, you will take many more steps out to the tile cutter. I spent two full days laying each individual tile in our master bathroom (not including grout).

When it came to measuring and cutting out the holes for the showerhead and tub faucet, the individual tiles were simpler to work with than the installation sheets.

How to Install Subway Tile Sheets

To be fair, I did have a few more tiling jobs under my belt between the master bathroom renovation and the guest bathroom, but I still feel that the sheets of subway tiles were much simpler to install.

Each sheet is connected to 15 smaller tiles. Thus, aligning one tile is equivalent to aligning fifteen subway tiles. However, it does not take 15 times as long to line up as an individual tile, but rather 2-3 times as long.

To tile a typical tub surround, about 470 individual tiles or 75 sheets must be aligned. That is a significant time-saver.

Additionally, when cutting a sheet to fit into a corner, you may make a single cut across all six rows of subway tiles.

However, when it comes to drilling holes for the faucet and showerhead, it does take a little longer. Depending on where the openings lie on the sheet, you may need to take tiles from the backing and cut them separately to fit.

Each sheet is connected to 15 smaller tiles. Thus, aligning one tile is equivalent to aligning fifteen tiles. However, it does not take 15 times as long to line up as an individual tile, but rather 2-3 times as long.

To tile a typical tub surround, about 470 individual subway tiles or 75 sheets must be aligned. That is a significant time-saver.

Additionally, when cutting a sheet to fit into a corner, you may make a single cut across all six rows of subway tiles.

However, when it comes to drilling holes for the faucet and showerhead, it does take a little longer. Depending on where the openings lie on the sheet, you may need to take tiles from the backing and cut them separately to fit.

What Is the Appearance Difference?

Tile Dimensions

One thing you may not notice while seeing the tiles at the shop, but will notice much more after placed, is the difference in tile size.

The individual tiles I used are 3′′ tall x 6′′ broad and are typical subway tile size. Individual tiles on the sheets are just 2 inches tall by 4 inches wide.

While the size difference may not seem to be significant, I find it very apparent when comparing the two bathrooms. One tile seems to be much smaller than the other.

However, I am unable to state definitively who won the appearance. It’s a matter of personal taste. Do you prefer bigger or smaller subway tiles?

Additionally, there are additional choices for individual subway tiles. You may select between a longer 3′′ x 12′′ tile, a bigger 4′′ x 12′′ tile, or even a square 6′′ x 6′′ tile.

Patterned Tiles

If you choose the traditional 50 percent brick joint design for your subway tiles, both individual and sheet subway tiles will work.

If, on the other hand, you wish to use one of the other fascinating tile designs, such as the ones below, you will need to choose individual subway tiles for your project.

Final thoughts

Therefore, you must determine for yourself if you like smaller or bigger tiles, as well as which kind of grout will work best for your own tastes and lifestyle.