Subway tiles add a traditional look to any kitchen layout and one that won’t be going out of style any time soon. They are named for the white tiles used in New York’s subway stations but can come in a variety of colors for your kitchen. They’re great for your backsplash, or you can blend them with other décor when used for the kitchen walls. You can achieve a different look and effect depending on how you utilize these rectangular tiles, and the following are eight popular ways to arrange them.

1. Horizontal Running Bond.

The running bond terminology comes from brickwork where bricks are stacked in a staggered pattern one on top of the other. This is one of the simplest layouts, and the staggered pattern means it can be used to conceal uneven surfaces or crooked walls. Depending on the size of the wall area you wish to cover in this manner, you can choose to use bigger or smaller tiles.

2. Vertical Running Bond.

If you want to present an illusion of greater height for your kitchen walls, doing the previously mentioned running bond pattern in a vertical layout is just what you’re looking for. This layout also seems less commonly used in comparison to a horizontal arrangement, so it adds a unique flair to your kitchen or bathroom.

3. Herringbone Pattern at 45-Degree Angle.

To make your layout a little more interesting than only a horizontal or vertical arrangement, you can have them laid out at a 45-degree angle to the floor with tiles going in both directions at this angle. The pattern’s name gets its inspiration from the appearance of the bones of fish such as the herring.

4. Herringbone Pattern at 90-Degree Angle.

This pattern could best be described as a mix of the horizontal and vertical running board layouts. You basically place your tiles perpendicular to each other, which puts them at a 90-degree angle relative to the other tiles direction. In terms of style, this pattern is used to reflect your kitchen’s straight lines and to convey a sense of motion.

5. Double Basket Weave.

Known for being a simple pattern to install, this one employs a series of pairs of vertical and horizontal tiles right next to each other. This gives a visual effect of, you guessed it, the criss-cross pattern of a basket’s weave. This pattern lends itself to the utilization of colors other than white to emphasize the contrasts in the layout.

6. Horizontal Stacked Bond.

One of the simplest subway tile patterns available, it’s like a horizontal running bond except for the fact that they are laid directly on top of each other rather than in a staggered position. If you have a modern or traditional kitchen, this layout creates the sort of minimalist appearance that will complement it perfectly.

7. Vertical Stacked Bond.

This is, of course, the previous pattern except with the tiles arranged length-wise vertically. This is definitely an unusual way to fill any wall spaces you may have between countertops and cabinets. It’s a simple look that can work well in your kitchen or bathroom.

8. Stacked Running Bond.

This layout requires the use of at least two different colors of tile for a successful application. Basically, it’s a different take on the stacked horizontal bond layout. The variation is the inclusion of tiles of a different color running vertically between each column of horizontal subway tiles. This variance between the direction and color of each of the two groupings of tile definitely makes any kitchen look more interesting.

Help With Picking the Right Tile Layout for Your Kitchen or Bath

At Kitchen Krafter, our team of experienced designers knows that subway tile is a popular design element for walls and backsplashes in kitchens and can also be used in bathrooms to great effect. From our Ocean Township location, we’ve helped homeowners in Monmouth County and beyond incorporate just the right subway tile layouts that make their new kitchen or bath come to life as never before. We have a wide array of tiles and patterns to see in our online gallery, and you should come look at our showroom to provide you the inspiration you need for the kitchen of your dreams.


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