20 Beautiful Subway Tile Bathroom Ideas

Subway Tile

Bathrooms are often overlooked when it comes to updating or remodeling them. Bathrooms are often viewed, simply as a functional space, as opposed to a room you should enjoy spending time in and feel inspired when you’re in it. Updating your bathroom is one way to keep your home’s decor fluid, and cohesive throughout. One of the most popular design elements used in bathroom remodels and upgrades, is the use of subway tile. Subway tile is classic, elegant, and very versatile. Bathrooms can be designed with entire walls, showers, and floors, covered in subway tiles. Or you may opt to incorporate them on a smaller scale, using them on a smaller area of your bathroom. Here is more for you to consider when choosing subway tiles for your bathroom.


Subway tiles come in a wide variety of sizes, and what area of your bathroom, and how large or small the space is, may play a role in the size you choose. Perini discusses the different sizes of subway tiles, with the basic subway tile measuring 75mm x 150mm. This size offers a classic look for a backsplash area or even a shower stall. For a more dramatic and contemporary look, you may want to consider larger subway tiles, like the 100mm x 400mm tiles. These larger tiles are great for covering large walls, floors, encasing tub faces, or covering an entire shower stall.


While subway tiles come in many colors and textures, some of the most classic looks using subway tiles include an all white tile surface using white grout, or the classic look of black and white, using black subway tiles, combined with a crisp, white grout. This take on the longtime, traditional black and white decor theme brings a fresh new look to any bathroom. It’s simple and elegant, and will transform any outdated bathroom into a more modern motif. For small bathrooms, mirrored subway tiles are a great way to add visual square footage to give the appearance of a larger, and brighter space, perfect for bathrooms lacking in natural light.

Contrast grouts add dramatic effect

If traditional looks don’t do it for you, you can create a more dramatic look in your bathroom by making a few changes to your subway tile choices. While white-on-white, and black-and-white may create a desirable look for some homeowners, you might want a bit more drama in your bathroom, which you can get by using a contrasting grout with your subway tiles. Make your white subway tiles really pop by using a darker color grout, or get even more dramatic by adding a contrasting grout choice with a colored subway tile selection, a suggestion by The Spruce.

Get creative

Subway tiles may be a longtime traditional tile, but you certainly don’t have to “traditional” in how you lay your tiles. Get creative and make your subway tiles really stand out, and even more than that, make them work with your bathroom’s unique layout. For low ceiling areas, such as a low-ceiling shower stall, laying your tiles in a horizontal pattern can add visual square footage to the height of the space. For a taller walls, break the look of a wall of subway tiles up by adding a line of mosaic tiles in the mix to give the eye a unique pattern break. When using dark subway tiles for walls, showers or tubs, try laying a lighter colored flooring choice, says The Decorologist, for a more dramatic look and contrast.

Final thoughts

Subway tiles will never go out of style. Since the early 1900’s when they were first used in, yes, subway stations, they have only grown in popularity, creating beautiful spaces in homes around the world. Subway tiles remain at the top of the list for tile choices due to being the total package in tiling. They’re classic, yet stylish, practical, and budget-friendly. Whether you plan to re-tile a small powder room, or a large, heavily-used family-sized bathroom, you’ll find subway tiles to fit any style and decor theme you dream up. For more beautiful subway tile uses and ideas, take a look at the following pictures of 20 beautiful subway tile bathroom ideas to help inspire your bathroom makeover.

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