You can’t watch TV for five minutes without seeing white subway tile in a commercial or on the set of your favorite sitcom. It’s so prevalent that some people are beginning to think that white subway tile will date kitchens and baths from this era.
The beauty of plain white is that it’s versatile. It can be the focus of the room or it can become the background. You can turn it into something unique to your kitchen or bath or you can go with the timeless classic. It suits classic designs just as well as it suits modern designs.
Consider the Material
Subway tile is available in several materials. Ceramic, of course, is the most popular. But if you are looking for something a littlet different, think about natural stone. Marble, limestone, and travertine make a positive impact on your design. The natural veining and graininess create a warmth and texture that elevate it.
Decide on the Finish
Classic subway tile is glossy, but you might want to try something a bit softer depending on the style of your bathroom or kitchen. If you want your tile to be the focal point of the space, gloss can draw attention. If you want to highlight other elements of your space, a softer finish (matte or semi-glossy) might work better.
Keep in mind that the finish you choose should be part of the overall plan for your design. Too much gloss in a space can be overwhelming and serve to make your tile fade into the background. Your tile is only one element that needs to fit into your scheme. Make sure it will play nice with everything else in the room.
Try a White Variation
Pure white makes for a bright, clean space. If you are going for something a little softer, one way to get it is to adjust the color ever so slightly. Creamy whites can change the feeling of your room.
You could stick one toe over the line and go with a tile that’s the slightest bit beige, gray or yellow to introduce a hint of cooling or warming color to the space.
Experiment with Grout
The color of grout you select has a huge impact on how the finished product looks. White grout with white tile makes the tile blend together in harmony—your guests might have to look twice to appreciate the subway design. Black grout will make your subway pattern pop out unmistakably. A gray or beige grout will add a slight accent that will bring out and harmonize the accent colors in your space.
Think through this decision carefully. It’s pretty permanent.