Subway tiles are classic tile shapes that never goes out of style. Subway tiles are a timeless staple of bathroom design. True to their name, subway tile designs were originally used in the New York subway system in the early 1900s. The classic subway tile is twice as wide as it is high (regularly 6″ x 3″) in a flat-glazed, white tile. They are set close together in a staggered brick pattern. Tiles are laid tightly together with only the thinnest of grout lines for easy cleaning. These inexpensive and practical yet beautiful subway tile designs soon found their way into the home. Bathroom walls and showers are the most popular locations for the classic subway tile designs in white. Subway tiles come in enough colors and textures that there is a style that works in any bathroom.
Perhaps the most traditional way to use subway tiles in a bathroom is to lay each tile horizontally in a running bond pattern. Running bond means placing a single layer of tile on the wall and placing the next layer on top of it so that it is staggered, with each tile centered over the previous row’s grout line. The third layer is then installed staggered once again so that it lines up with the first row, and so on. This pattern can be applied all the way to the ceiling, two-thirds of the way up the wall or stopped halfway up the wall.