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Different ways you can lay your subway tile

The subway tile is an evergreen classic that isn't going anywhere and we are here for it! There are so many variations to the classic brick lay running bond when it comes to laying your tile.


While typically subway tiles are oblong, and twice as wide as they are thick; these layout patterns will for practically any sized tile, whether oblong or square.

Different Subway Tile Layout Patterns

Bricked Style - When the edges of the tiles are offset 1/3rd or halfway through the tile in the row below it, the tiling pattern is bricked. This is te most classic and widely used style of laying tiles. It was how the subway tiles were originally laid and is a evergreen visual. Layers of interest are added by rotating the laying pattern by 45 or 90 degrees, or by using squares in stead of brics.

This still retains the classic look but adds a lot of interest to the room.

Aligning the tiles vertically lengthens the space, while the horizontal or the 45-degree makes it look wider.

Stacked Style - To stack a subway tile is to place them aligned along the edges exactly and not offset it at all. With the resurgence of the subway tile; (essentially any tile that has a 2:1 or a 3:1 ratio and is realtively small in size, i.e the the shorter side ranges from 2 to 6 inches) the stacking style started picking up. Unlike its brick counter part,this does not offset one of the rows half way through the tile on the rows below and above.

All the likes and edges of the tile are aligned exactly with at lease one of the tile adjecent to it. This created a stacking pattern, the way you would books, and lended a more clean, contemporaty look to spaces where smaller sized tiles were used.

As the experimentation with tiling patterns continued, there are any variations of a stacking pattern apart form the simple horizontal and vertical ones. At least 9 of them are listed below

Herringbone Style - a pattern made up of rows of parallel lines which in any two adjacent rows slope in opposite direction, Afterall whu nit bring the flooring paatern on to the walls when the result is so charming. The difference between a herringbone pattern and a chevrom pattern is that herringbone uses a rectangle where as a chevron pattern uses a parallelogram as its base.

It gives an illussion of overlapping and creates an interesting pattern play on the wall.

Geometric Style - The ways in which you can arrange subway tiles is limited only by your imagination, anything that does not fall in the above category can be geometric. Everything else that you try from a pinwheel, catwalk, and practically anything else, can be bundeled together under the geometic pattern, becasue why complicate things? You're playing with geometry after all.

TYC Approved Tile Options

An easy way to enhance the look of your rental and make it a well-designed and cared-for home is to upgrade the backsplash in your kitchen and bathrooms.

With the increasing renter market, there are hundreds of options that we can use to make the most of the rental apartment, without having the landlord break down your door. Here are some of our tried and tested renter-friendly peel-and-stick subway tile options.

You can choose from Vinyl Peel and Stick, PVC Peel and Stick, glass, ceramic, glass peel and stick, and ceramic peel and stick.

Here are our top choices!

Tiling Pattern Snapshot

Also Read:

The History of Subway Tiles

DIY Backsplash Upgrade


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