These Kitchens Prove That Subway Tile Backsplashes Will Never Go Out of Style

Updated 05/05/19

The kitchen is often the focal piece of a home. Although it can be seen as utilitarian, its aesthetic features shouldn't be overlooked. It is a room you likely spend quite a bit of time in, after all, so you might as well make it a place that suits your design preferences just as much as it makes for a good cooking space. After you've picked your appliances, found an accent rug, and chosen the perfect cabinets, it's time to consider the backsplash.

Subway tile backsplashes have long been a go-to design element and for good reason. The glossy tiles are a timeless touch, and there's a wide spectrum of variations that can be made to match your personality and your home's décor. Branch out with new materials like marble or vary your layout with a herringbone or crosshatch design instead of the traditional horizontal stack bond approach. Take a look at these stunning kitchens with subway tile backsplashes for some much-needed design inspo.

subway tile kitchen
Alyssa Rosenheck

This dreamy kitchen is bright and fresh looking, thanks to its all-white motif. The subway tiles blend together without heavy grout defining each line. Achieve this look by laying tiles in a straight herringbone design. With an all-white backsplash, you can feel free to play with different designs that will hardly be noticeable.

Distressed Arabesque Wool Rug
West Elm Distressed Arabesque Wool Rug $199 $150
kitchen backsplashes
Jessica White DESIGN: Studio McGee

If you're looking for a design upgrade, find subway tiles made out of an unexpected material. Marble has always been in style and it certainly isn't going away anytime soon. This chic material will take your kitchen backsplash up a notch. Depending on the vein variation you choose, you can make the design bold and eye-catching or subtle and understated.

Rejuvenation Rose City Fitter Single Sconce $199 $159
kitchen subway tile
Stefani Stein

This kitchen features offset subway tiles above the sink in a quite traditional fashion. The visible grout allows the design to stand out and draws the eye toward the tiles. It also plays well with the brown accents and additional lines visible throughout the space. Don't be afraid to experiment with a backsplash design that stands out and even competes with the floor tile.

Capitol Large Black Bell Pendant Light
CB2 Capitol Large Black Bell Pendant Light $299
kitchen backsplashes
Melissa Lee DESIGN: Bespoke Only

Here marble subway tiles take on the straight herringbone design. The dual elements make the backsplash unique, and the darker marble flows effortlessly with the rest of the design features found in the kitchen. If you don't want to commit to a backsplash design that goes from the counter to the ceiling, try dividing the wall between a backsplash and a crown molding. Both are classic and can look gorgeous when positioned near each other. Add a chandelier and this look is yours.

Leif Farmhouse Serving Board $48
subway tile backsplash ideas
Sarah Sherman Samuel

This glossy white kitchen looks as if it came straight out of a cozy cabin. The shiny offset subway tiles contrast beautifully with the dark wooden countertops and their sheen makes this small kitchen feel bigger. No matter how much space you have, there's always a way to fit in the décor elements you've been dreaming of.

Barn Light Electric Porcelain Enamelware Nesting Bowls $130
subway tile backsplash

For a sophisticated look that goes against the trend of the all-white kitchen, match dark cabinets and appliances with a moody backsplash. Pick any color that suits your home's unique décor. This kitchen features black tiles in a traditional herringbone design, but you can change it up with a crosshatch or vertical design to go with the color of your choosing.

Rejuvenation Upton Cabinet Knob $21
kitchen décor
Katherine Carter

While you may feel the urge to show off your subway tile backsplash, don't be afraid to hang shelves atop a cabinet-to-ceiling design. Here wooden shelves add dimension and play off the rustic wooden floorboards in an otherwise white space. The offset tiles with visible grout blend seamlessly into the existing décor for a chic look.

Translucent Bubble Vase
Anthropologie Translucent Bubble Vase $14
kitchen backsplashes
Alyssa Rosenheck

For a modern look, take inspiration from this bold kitchen design. The backsplash appears clean and glossy as tiles travel up the wall and around high windows. You can hardly notice that the range hood is made of different materials than the tile, thanks to horizontal lines that mimic the subway tile design. Play around with a backsplash that is similar to other design elements in the kitchen, and don't be afraid to mismatch dark cabinets with light tiles.

Riviera Backless Counter Stool - Natural
Serena & Lily Riviera Backless Counter Stool, Natural $238

This post was originally published on January 10, 2018, and has since been updated.

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