How To Decorate With Subway Tiles

Subway tiles are often found throughout the underground subway stations of New York City. These are brick-patterned rectangular tiles that are also used in houses. Subway tiles are usually used in traditional kitchens, bathrooms, and also around fireplaces. You can easily decorate your kitchen or bathroom with subway tiles for that classy urban look.

  • Choose the size, color and glaze of your subway tiles. Subway tiles are usually colored white, and come in 3 x 6 inch measurements. However, these can also be obtained in different sizes and colors. Subway tiles can be as small as 1 x 3 inches or as large as 6 x 12 inches. Glaze is often matte or glossy, and smooth or crackle.
  • You should also choose between handmade tiles or machine-made tiles. For handmade tiles, you will require spacers to make sure they are evenly spaced. Machine-made tiles don’t require spacers, as these are already evenly-sized.
  • Plan your tile layout. This should be easy enough if all your tiles are the same color and size. This way, the brick pattern should be easy to follow. If these are differently colored, or if you will be using other glass or ceramic tiles in conjunction with the subway tiles, you will need to lay out the pattern first, so that you can correctly place the tiles.
  • Install a backer board on the wall, so that your tiles will have a level surface to adhere to.
  • You will need to measure the wall and your tile. Make sure you have enough tiles to cover the wall. Start at the upper corner, and then spread glue onto each individual tile. You can also add glue to the wall first, depending on instructions from the adhesive packaging.
  • Push tile onto your wall with a twisting motion. You will need to continue with the rest of the tiles until everything is complete. If you need to create a brick style pattern, you will need to cut the tiles meant for the wall or floor edges using a diamond blade.
  • Use grout in between the tiles, if necessary. You can use white, or you can find colored grout, which will give your tiles a modern appeal.

Some tips

  • You can use a laser level to make sure the tiles are straight. First, measure a level and straight line, and then mark this line around your wall, for reference.
  • Check with sales representatives at the home improvement store for the differences in material and brand of the tiles. These might have different instructions and advantages.
  • You can tile a countertop by first sanding the existing laminate top. Then, you can lay the tiles the same way as if it were on the wall.
  • Try to avoid placing tiles unevenly. Be sure to remove any existing tile on the surface before adding back-boarding or new tiles.
  • Be sure to follow instructions from the tile, adhesive and grout packaging, for best results.


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