I had someone ask me recently if I thought subway tile was a trend that would be going out of style soon. The short answer, no and let me share with you why. Subway tile was first introduced in the early 1900’s in the New York City subway system, hence its name. The rectangular and ceramic tile were desirable for both aesthetic and practical reasons. It was durable, stain resistant, sanitary and the light color and high gloss finish was a good choice for the dark subterranean train stations of NYC.
People loved the 3×6 inch tiles and they soon began finding their way in the bathrooms and kitchens of prewar houses.
Image via: White Dove
When we renovated our 1940 home in 2009 I had this tear out in my file (before I used Pinterest) as a source of inspiration.
Image via This Old House
I wanted to cover my entire kitchen and dining area in floor to ceiling subway tile. I was able to accomplish it on one wall, but that was it at that time. It was one of those things that got placed on the back burner that we would hopefully do one day.
So, that one day came when I came across this image from a favorite blogger of mine, Gwen from The Makerista. I have had this project in the back of my head to revisit and am inspired to start planning it once again.
I have followed The Makerista for some time and Gwen’s kitchen renovation is stunning. She has chosen timeless elements for the space, so be sure to visit!
Here are a few other inspiring images of kitchens that have floor to ceiling subway tile.
Image is of Jeanette Whitson’s kitchen from Garden Variety Design. There are so many things that I love about Jeanette’s design style. The old world feeling is timeless and one that I could enjoy for hours on end.
Image via: Mike Hammersmith Inc.
Image via: Domino
Another source of subway tile inspiration are commercial spaces. They feel so nostalgic and welcoming to me when they contain this element.
Image via: Cool Hunting
What are your thoughts on subway tile? Do you have it in your home?