Subway Tile – Patterns and Grout Options

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Subway Tile – Patterns and Grout Options

When designing with subway tile for your next home renovation project, not only do you need to look at the sizes and finishes as I did in my posting last week, but it’s also important to consider the pattern in which you want to layout your tile and grout colour options to choose from.

There’s no doubt that it can get pretty overwhelming to be making so many decisions…

With so many choices, you can easily want to pull out your hair!
With so many choices, you can easily want to pull out your hair!

But don’t worry, I’m here to help! So, let’s do this.

Pattern Options

There are 4 common ways in which you can layout your subway tile in your kitchen or bathroom design.  The first and most commonly seen pattern is the Brick style – shown below.

designer kitchen with white subway tile
Brick pattern style layout

If you are looking to create a more modern and streamlined look, this Stacked pattern shown in my clients bar design below  may be the better choice for you.

Stacked Subway tile pattern with white grout
Stacked Subway tile pattern with white grout

One pattern style that is not as common as the others is the ‘One Third‘ layout option.  This means that every third tile is laid out the same.  Here you can see it displayed vertically with 4″x16″ tiles.

Vertically shown in a 1/ 3 pattern layout
Vertically shown in a 1/ 3 pattern layout – similar to how hardwood is laid on your floor

If you wish to introduce a focal point in your design, the Herringbone pattern – shown below – is a great way to highlight a certain area of a space.

Subtle and Interesting
Subtle and Interesting

This is my clients kitchen where you can see that the majority of the white subway tile is laid in a brick pattern with the exception of this focal point area by the lovely Wolf Range.

interior designed kitchen in Burlington home
See more of this kitchen I designed with my clients here

Grout Colours

When it comes to choosing grout colour for your flooring or tile, you can either match it for a seamless look or contrast the grout so the tile design stands out more.  Think about what look you are you trying to achieve.  White on white is seamless and stunning.

White on White the most refined look, beautifully shown here by Jil Sonia Interiors
White on White is the most refined look, beautifully shown here by Jil Sonia Interiors from BC

Dark grout with light tiles is indicative of a more relaxed and rustic look.  The bathroom below shows 3″ x 12″ tiles with contrasting grout on the main walls as well as the back wall that is a focal point with the beautiful blue subway tiles with white grout.

More emphasis is on the tiles in this design by Hannah Dee Interiors in Philidelphia
Incredible design by Hannah Dee Interiors in Philadelphia

So, over to you – Which layout style do you prefer and why?  Let me know by commenting below.
For my FREE tip sheet on Patterns and Grout colours for Subway Tile, click here.

To see more on subway tiles, watch my latest youtube video below!

In case you missed part one of my Subway Tile series, click here for the blog post and click here for the video where I look at sizes, finishes and why the subway tile is such a popular choice for home designs.  See you next week!

All photos of Creating Contrast Designs work is photographed by Stephani Buchman Photography.

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