From Vertical Alternating, right through to Step Ladder and 45-degree Herringbone, Beaumont Tiles discusses 12 different ways to install subway tiles to make an impact in your kitchen renovation or bathroom style. While known for their classic and timeless nature, the subway tile has experienced a renaissance in autumn 2019, but not in the way home renovators would necessarily expect. Subways have evolved dramatically of late and are now incorporating dynamic patterns; vibrant colours; and plank-tile concepts. From Herringbone, Step Ladder, Cross Hatch and Stacked, the styling possibilities of the subway tile are endless:
Herringbone – 45-degrees, 90-degrees and horizontal. Whether it’s for the floor, a kitchen splashback or a bathroom wall, a herringbone patterned subway tile can turn your next tiling project into a prominent feature that creates depth and theatre to the overall home renovation. Herringbone 45-degrees, 90-degrees and horizontal herringbone layering styles create the illusion of movement. If you want to make an even bigger statement choose a contrasting grout, like an alluring space blue or delicate jade green. Using a contrasting grout will frame each tile and emphasize the intricacies of the way they’ve been laid – creating a beautiful feature on your floor or wall. For more subtle styling, opt for a complementing grout, which is ideal for projects that are coastal, country chic or contemporary influenced, such as a marble or stone subway like Nostalgia Carrara Gloss 300×75 paired with Beaumont’s Ardex Misty Grey grout.
Step ladder. The step ladder pattern is like the herringbone, resembling dynamic movement and direction. This layering option can make any space feel bigger and is a great for making a statement. The step ladder is an ideal choice for a niche space in the bathroom – particularly the shower – but would also create a dynamic and vibrant kitchen splashback.
Cross Hatch. This versatile pattern is an attractive combination of horizontal and vertical stacking and ideal for the geometrically brave home renovator. While the subway tiles are simply layered at 90-degree angles, grout plays a huge role in transforming the “cross hatch” layout into a beautiful feature or focal point. Electing for monochrome coloured tiles in a cross-hatch layout is perfect for contrasting with leathers and prints – the ultimate eclectic bohemian vibe.
Brick Bond – 45-degree stack, vertical and horizontal. From the New York Subways of the 1920s to modern houses of today, brick bonding is everywhere. It’s simple and symmetrical. This iconic way of layering captures dimension and flow; and any space can be revamped with a brick bonded subway tile. Choosing a variety of different colours or mixing your finishes like satin and gloss with a bold coloured grout is daring and fun, and a creative way to change or accentuate your style. You could pair your vibrant and colourful layout with black or neutral homewares, for a playful and retro style with a modern twist. For those with a retired fireplace, you could turn it into a statement-feature by using contrasting laying styles on the facing and fire box, such as pairing brick bond in Beaumont’s agrestic gloss white subway with agrestic gloss grey aid horizontal in the firebox.
Stacked: Vertical, Vertical Alternating, Horizontal, Horizontal Alternating. For a safe and traditional layout variation, you cannot go past stacked tiles. Stacked tiles are a popular option, particularly for first-time home renovators. While simple in nature, they still have considerable styling properties. The vertically stacked layout is suitable for making ceilings feel taller; while the horizontal stack has the same principle, but with widening capabilities. Mix things up a little with the vertical and horizontal stacked alternating layouts, which means you offset the rows. Creating a modern look, this layout is great for full tile walls or as a statement wall in a kitchen renovation.
Expert commentary from Beaumont Tiles Strategic Designer Vanessa Thompson.
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