Subway Tile Backsplash Design Ideas + Installation Tips

The effects of backsplashes have revolutionized over the years; they are no longer just used to protect the walls. Different backsplash designs have come up to add some grandeur into kitchens. The Subway tile backsplash has emerged as a popular contemporary and classic kitchen addition. These tiles get their name from the ceramic tiles that line New York Subways.  They are not only urban and bold but also extremely playful.

The subway tile backsplash provides a sense of sophistication that will never go out of style. The backsplash comes in different designs which give you the options that best suits your needs. The best bit about laying the tiles is that you could do it on your own without worrying about extra costs associated with employing a technician.

Having a backsplash with thin grout lines makes it easier to clean the kitchen. If you add stain resistant glazes, then your cleaning is further eased.

Subway Tile Backsplash Design Ideas

The subway tile backsplash comes in a variety of designs. You could pick one depending on your favorite colors and themes. If you could want a traditional feel in your kitchen, you could opt for darker and traditional tones. The single-colored backsplash is ideal if you want a simple look.

Choosing the right color is essential to creating a classic look. For a bolder look, place the tiles horizontally.

1. White Beveled Subway Tile Backsplash

White Beveled Subway Tile Backsplash
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The beveled white subway tile which may also be used on floors come in different finishes. Some varieties offer a glossy finish while others get you a matte finish. They are different whites that you could choose from.

2. Black Subway Tile Backsplash

Black Subway Tile Backsplash
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Black brings a little natural drama into your kitchen. This design can be achieved with different shades of black. Black backsplash ideas range from retro, sleek, charming, eclectic, professional and polished. You can pair black splashes with; glossy subway tiles with white cabinets and black countertops. You could also match black mosaic tile with grey cabinets and marble tops.

Black splashes are ideal if you are looking to make a strong statement in your kitchen. Furthermore, the design is not only beautiful but also durable and easy to clean. It instils a sense of elegance and depth.

3. Blue Subway Tile Backsplash

Blue Subway Tile Backsplash
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This tiling design evokes the myriad shades of the ocean giving the calming effect in your home. The bold blue invokes rest and tranquillity and would be an ideal addition to your kitchen. The blue color also instils a sense of peace and serenity.

If you like some little drama, brilliant blue hues will serve you better. Blue also brings in some powerful energy. Blue comes in different variations; azure, Prussian blue, cyan, sapphire, cerulean and cornflower blue.

4. Green Glass Subway Tile Backsplash

Green Glass Subway Tile Backsplash
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If you are looking for renewal, harmony, and touch of nature, this is the design for you. It exudes energy, and your kitchen could benefit from a splash of color. You could also opt for a variety of shades ranging from Kelly green, moss, jade, pea green, olive drab, seafoam to emerald.

Green mixes well with many other colors.

5. Gray Subway Tile Backsplash

Gray Subway Tile Backsplash
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If you are looking for some neutrality, this is the best color for you. Neutral shades are incredibly versatile and can go well with other colors. They also give your house a natural look. The tone also comes with inherent sophistication and calmness.

Solid grey tiles offer more strength whereas the soft grey gives a delicate feel.  The grey tile backsplash could be useful if you want to tone down bright colors. Slate grey and charcoal grey are popular tile choices.

6. Mosaic Glass Subway Tile Backsplash

Mosaic Glass Subway Tile Backsplash
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The mosaic backsplash is incredibly versatile and easy to install. You could also opt for different mosaic styles to add some flare to your kitchen.

7. Tumbled Stone Subway Tile Backsplash

Tumbled Stone Subway Tile Backsplash
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Tumbled stones tiles allow you to create any look that you desire. Tumble stones include quartzite, limestone, and travertine. It not only gives a touch of elegance but also provides the kitchen with an exotic vintage look.

8. Simple Carrara Marble Subway Tile Backsplash

Simple Carrara Marble Subway Tile Backsplash
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Sometimes having a pure white tile backsplash can be a little dull and boring. You could spice up your kitchen by using a Carrara marble backsplash. The Carrara marble used to make the tiles is of high quality thus guaranteeing durability.

The suppleness of Carrara marble and visual depth adds to the elegance of the subway tile backsplash.

9. Herringbone Faux Subway Tile Backsplash

Herringbone Faux Subway Tile Backsplash
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As its name suggests, this subway tile backsplash employs the use of the herringbone pattern. It is one of the most classic backsplash designs. This design is achieved using paint. This could be the best option if you are looking to cut your expenses. It is also ideal if you live in a rented house and not looking to make long-term changes to your home.

You can opt for different colors as per your tastes.

10. Classic Brown Subway Tile Backsplash

Classic Brown Subway Tile Backsplash
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Chocolate brown subway tile backsplash will be ideal if you want a beautiful traditional look. The color is rich in elegance and class.

Brown is the color of wood which represents stability. The color brown is best served with muted sage-green, burgundy or pale aqua.

11. Perfect Cream Subway Tile Backsplash

Perfect Cream Subway Tile Backsplash
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Cream is a quiet and soft color. The cream subway tile backsplash would provide your kitchen with pleasantness and warmth.

Cream subway tile backsplash is ideal if you want to change to kitchen styles constantly. Cream complements different colors. Thus you do not have to keep changing the backsplash style when you reinvent your kitchen.

12. Red Glass Subway Tile Backsplash

Red Glass Subway Tile Backsplash
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The red tiles used in this design make up for a colorful kitchen backsplash. These tiles also bring warm energy and vibrancy to any room. The design features a deep red color which blends well with neutral cream tones and bright colors such as yellow, green or orange. The cherry-red design is not only versatile but also inviting and can be used at home or in a commercial setting.

Subway Tile Backsplash Installation Tips

Subway Tile Backsplash Installation Tips
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How to install subway tile backsplash. If you would like a touch of pomp and glamour in your kitchen here are a few tips that could help you achieve a classic look;

  1. First, ensure you acquire all the resources you need. You would typically need Tiles, grout, mastic, grout sealer, trowel, tile saw, spacers, putty knife, caulk, float and tiling sponges.
  2. Ensure that all the appliances are out of the way. Lay out an old cloth on the countertop to protect it from damage.
  3. Carve out the area that you’ll be covering and use tape to demarcate the perimeter you’ll be working on.
  4. Using the putty knife apply mastic on the area and apply slightly higher than the tile height. Apply row by row for the best results
  5. Score the mastic using the trowel teeth with the towel marks in the same direction. This serves to reduce air pockets under the tile and levels the tiling surface.
  6. Begin by installing the border tile first and then put the sheets of the subway tile and press them in place. You could use spacers to make sure that the spacing is done correctly. Always ensure that you do any readjustment before fixing the next tile.
  7. Using a tile saw, cut any tile that needs to be sized especially those that would be placed around electrical sockets.
  8. After the mastic has dried overnight, use a rubber float to apply the grout. Be sure to tape out the regions that you would not want to get into contact with the grout. You could use any color of grout depending on the color you like.
  9. Take a damp sponge and wipe out the excess grout.

It is essential to ensure that you do your research before embarking on installing your subway tile backsplash. You need to consider the amount of time that you would require for the installation. You need to determine whether it sits well with your schedule; If it doesn’t, you might be required to hire the services of a professional. You also need to look at your ability to get the required tools and consider if you can obtain them without straining financially.

You also need to carefully acquaint yourself with every step of the installation regimen to reduce the margin for error. You could ask questions at your local hardware store.

Tips to Design or Pick a Subway Tile Backsplash

Tips to Design or Pick a Subway Tile Backsplash
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Below are some tips that would help in choosing the right backsplash.

– Colour

The color you choose plays an important role especially in regard to the kitchen space. If you want the backsplash to blend well with your kitchen colors, you would want to go for neutral shades. Neutral colors such as cream and white give the kitchen a sense of cleanliness. If you are looking to sell your house at a future date, a neutral backsplash would be excellent as it complements different design preferences.

If you love bold colors and would want your kitchen to stand out, go for a colorful glaze. A vivid glaze brings forth cheerful and energizing vibes.

– Finish

Satin, crackle and gloss finish all have different effects. A gloss finish gives visually smooth surfaces that reflect light. Satin glazes, on the other hand, have a matte finish thus reducing reflections.

Crackle glazes offer a vintage style which gives a sense of texture even though the surface remains smooth. It is important to consider the backsplash’s lighting especially if it is under the cabinets; the lighting is key in highlighting the type of finish used.

– Pattern

The way your design will look at the end would be determined by the type of pattern you use. You could pick from a variety of patterns depending on your tastes and preferences.

– Shape

The subway tile comes in different forms, ranging from the traditional 3″X6″ to the domed hex. The shape you choose is important as it sets the tone of your kitchen. The square tiles and the traditional 3″ X6 are ideal for a classic look.

For a more urbane look, go for a blend of the flat and domed hex tiles.

– The Height of the Backsplash

The height of your backsplash would be determined the effect you intend to achieve. If you don’t want the backsplash to take over the entire kitchen set up, then you would want to have a moderate height.

However, if you want the backsplash to stand out then have the tiles up to the ceiling.

– Kitchen Style

The backsplash you choose should complement your kitchen layout. You need to consider the styles of your cabinets, countertops, appliances, and floors.

If you have rustic-styled sinks and cabinets, then you would opt for a shape and glaze that is of the same design. If your kitchen is sleek and urban, then you would want that reflected in the backsplash. If you have not decided on the model to choose, go for the neutral colors as they complement different designs.

– Grout Colour

Choosing the right grout color would go a long way in ensuring that your kitchen looks great. Grout selection is as important as the choice of the tile.

The traditional style uses light grey grout. This type of grouts results in less staining and discoloration, which is essential in creating a flawless look.

However, if you want your backsplash to stand out, use a contrasting color. If you want a less dramatic look, you could match your grout color with that of the tiles. Matching the tile color with that of the grout is a great way of making big spaces to appear smaller.

– Consider the Trim

The quality of a backsplash can be enhanced by the moldings and trims to give it a polished finish.  It is critical to ensure that all the trim pieces that you require are available with the chosen glaze.