The Ultimate Guide To Subway Tile Backsplashes

Written by : Andre A & Editors | Last Updated : April 19th, 2024

When it comes to tile kitchen backsplash, subway is one of the most popular choice that never gets old. Not only this option is very affordable for homeowners who have a tight budget for their kitchen renovation project, but these kinds of tiles also give a pretty interesting look.

It’s beautiful pattern is a great upgrade compared to any simple tile pattern, while the high-reflective and high-glossiness effects of the tile can give any kitchen an open and spacious feel

However, although it’s quite simple, using subway tile backsplashes can also bring some challenges. For example, you should choose the right tile colors that will complement your current decor style and color palette. Furthermore, you should also carefully choose the right elements around it or potentially ruin all of the beauty of your backsplash.

In this post, we will give you some awesome subway backsplash ideas along with some tips and tricks to let them shine and bring out all of their potential.

Best Subway Tile Materials


Ceramic backsplash

This is an excellent material choice for any backsplash. With a glazed surface, ceramic subway tiles have great durability and are resistant to stains, splatters, and moisture, ensuring easy maintenance and longevity.

From the visual perspective, the glossy finishes of the ceramic materials reflect plenty of light, helping brighten up the entire space.


Porcelain tile

This is a great alternative to ceramic, with a denser and harder character, it has a bit more durability than regular ceramic.

Porcelain also brings more refined looks, making it a great choice for you who want to create a sleek yet stylish backsplash for your kitchen or bathroom.

Natural Stone

Natural stone tile

Give your backsplash a unique, natural character by using natural stone tiles. This material will create an exquisite kitchen backsplash that offers a bold, organic color and texture that adds warmth and sophistication to the kitchen.


Marble tile backsplash

Bring timeless elegance and luxury to your kitchen by using marble tile backsplash. With natural veining and striking patterns, the marble tile will be a sophisticated backdrop, elevating the kitchen aesthetic while allowing any other elements to shine.

The investment you made in marble subway tile backsplash can easily pay off in the form of stunning design elements that take your home to the next level.


Glass subway tile

Glass subway tile not only adds a modern and luminous touch to the space, but its reflective surface enhances the natural light and creates a sense of openness, making any space feel larger and more open.

Comes with a wide range of colors, and you can easily choose any glass tile that suits your design style.

Different Subway Tile Pattern

Standard/Offset Pattern

Backsplash tile with an offset pattern

This is the most common pattern for subway tile, providing a timeless and versatile aesthetic that complements a wide range of kitchen styles, from traditional to modern.

This pattern blends simplicity with a hint of artistic touch, offering a sense of balance and visual interest.

Vertical Offset Pattern

Vertical offset pattern

You can add a bit of a twist to the classic subway tile layout by using the vertical offset pattern. This way, you can add a sense of height to the kitchen, making the space appear higher.

And that’s why this is a great pattern if you are creating a large backsplash that goes up to the ceiling.

Herringbone Pattern

Herringbone pattern backsplash

The distinctive V-shaped design of the herringbone pattern will add a dynamic and stylish element that breaks away from the monotony of the typical subway-tile layout.

The herringbone pattern helps make any small space appear larger, drawing the eye upward and creating an illusion of height.

Straight Herringbone

Backsplash with straight herringbone pattern

If you want to create a herringbone pattern while still keeping a simple and clean appeal, then you can try this alternative.

The straight herringbone pattern comes with clean, linear lines that create a sense of order and symmetry, offering a perfect balance between the classic herringbone design and a modern aesthetic.

Stacked Pattern

Subway backsplash with stacked pattern

Stacked pattern, or often called as a straight set or grid pattern, is a great choice for you who want to make simplicity the main theme for your kitchen.

The clean lines and uniform layout create a sleek, minimalist look that is perfect for any modern contemporary design style. This pattern also works really well in small spaces, helping create a clean, spacious, and more organized appeal.

Vertical Stacked

Vertical stacked pattern

In this pattern, the tiles are aligned vertically, creating an illusion of height and making the space more open and spacious.

And that’s the reason why this pattern will be very beneficial in any kitchen with a lower ceiling. The simple stacked pattern offers a simple, minimalist look with a hint of a modern twist.

Crosshatch Pattern

Crosshatch pattern

Crosshatch or basketweave pattern is an intriguing and visually engaging pattern, making it an interesting choice for you who want to make a backsplash that stands out and makes a big impact on the overall kitchen design.

The unique design of this pattern easily draws attention, especially when you are combining the artistic pattern with bold or vibrant colors.