Monday, March 13, 2017

Subway tile

In the early planning stages of our home, I entertained the idea of using subway tile, but was not sure how or where to use it. As I scanned magazines and looked through photos on, I noticed builders/designers incorporating a great deal of these tiles in showers and bathrooms. While I like the look, it was never a "must-have" item.

"It will probably not come as much of a shock that subway tile was originally designed to be placed in subways. Designers George C. Heins and Christopher Grant La Farge created the distinctive 3" x 6" rectangles for the very first station of New York's then brand-new subway in 1904." -

I found myself making multiple trips to the design showroom with my long list of items to find, one of which was for a kitchen back-splash and  coordinating tiles to use behind my free-standing range. I knew both of these choices needed to work together.

I briefly entertained the idea of a mosaic since they are so popular in this area. If you have read much of this blog, you might realize that we were not trying to reproduce the same style home that is prevalent nearby, but working on a completely unique style instead. The mosaics I have seen are stunning. However, I realized they were all in homes that had a Tuscan theme.

Additionally, we had an unspoken goal to create a beautiful backdrop of calmness so the people and the furnishings could be the focus of the home. In order to accomplish that, we needed design elements that did not take center stage, but blended into the space with grace and elegance. That pretty much ruled out mosaics since they demand attention.

Property of OurSouthernHome2014
In a showroom filled with samples of flooring, tiles, bricks, and everything imaginable, I discovered a display board with a square tile that intrigued me. The instant I spotted this tile I was reminded of quilts, which definitely belong in an old southern home.

I will admit to pretty much "falling in love" with this tile, wondering where on earth I could use it. As I looked at the other tiles on the display board, I found my answer. There was a color matched subway tile, plus a piece of molding that could serve as a frame-like border. I had my answer!

Not only did my entire kitchen back splash come together instantly, these tiles were manufactured in a color that worked perfectly with the paint color we had already chosen for our kitchen. All worked together to create the calm background we wanted.

The faux quilt was laid in a stacked bond pattern, with the frame pieces as the border. The subway tiles are in a horizontal running bond.

The glossy finish allows the tiles to be easily wiped clean. The back splash works perfectly in our kitchen.

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