13 Ways to Make a Subway Kitchen Backsplash Feel Fresh

A subway tile backsplash is like your classic black blazer — it's a safe bet when you want a tried and tested design option but a fresh new look for your home. Inspired by tiles from the opening of the New York City subway, the designs we now use in our kitchens have been popular ever since they were created at the beginning of the 20th century. Whether you love a classic backsplash vibe in your space, or want to create a fresh ambiance that will suit your personality, a subway tile backsplash is an all-time favorite to realize your kitchen dreams. 

 Gray and Black kitchen with Bardiglio Marble Subway Tiles and

Bardiglio 4x12 Honed Marble Tile combines the classic charm of this linear design with a contemporary color for a stunningly fresh kitchen design. 

You might think these backsplash tiles are a basic choice, but the range color options, materials, layouts, and finishes ensure you can put your own spin on this timeless kitchen trend. From white ceramic tiles with a handmade finish to geode tiles that create crystal gemstone decor, these backsplash tiles are more innovative than ever!

We’ll prove that subway backsplash tiles are still on trend with our favorite kitchen ideas for your next dream culinary renovation! 

These Subway Backsplash Ideas are Anything But Boring!

Go-to White Ceramic Subway Backsplash

White ceramic subway tile is to a kitchen backsplash design what a blank canvas is to a painter. If you’ve always gravitated toward clean lines and simple design, bring that style to your kitchen with white subway wall tiles. Despite their minimalist look, adding gray grout easily draws attention to your backsplash area.

White and Blue Kitchen with Matte Ceramic Subway Wall Tile Backsplash

You can’t go wrong using these white ceramics that started the subway tile trend! In this Scandi-inspired kitchen, White Matte Ceramic Wall Tile conveys a modern and fresh feel while beautifully coordinating with the room's rustic touches. Plus, ceramic tiles make it easy to wipe up splatters and spills thanks to the impervious finish!

Geode Art  Backsplash Style 

If you think this style is only defined by white tile design, think again. If there's one interior design trend that we can definitely get on board with, it's using geode tiles in the kitchen!  With a glossy finish and stain-resistant surface, these glass subway tiles are far more durable than actual geode clices and create a stunning detail for any kitchen. 

Inspired by the naturally occurring gems of the Earth, our Agate and Shale Glass Tile adds rich gemstone details to this kitchen decor. Furthermore, glass wall tile is a long-lasting choice for backsplash areas thanks to the stain-resistant material that can is easy to wipe clean!

A Burst of Blue Kitchen Style

An authentic solution for a full backsplash design, the vertical stack bond layout is a great way to nail the backsplash in your culinary space. If you’re looking for ways to switch things up and make a small space look taller, look no further than subway tiles in a vertical layout. Instead of going the traditional route with classic white or neutral tones, add a daring pop of color with blue tiles!

This sleek, modern kitchen design gets a cool splash of color with La Riviera Blue Reef Ceramic Tile in a vertical stack pattern. On its way to becoming a fast classic, the gorgeous glazed finish on these dark blue ceramic tiles outlasts any trend, representing tranquility, serenity, and peace in the space. 

Full-on Charm with Marble Tiles

Though white subway tiles typically take a starring role in the kitchen, white marble creates a canvas that looks far more unique and sophisticated. Each marble tile is an authentic creation because it brings its own vein patterns and shade variations. Plus, they offer high class and an organic beauty that only natural stone can deliver!

Elevate your kitchen with a tile range good in Calacatta Gold Marble bricks

The soothing color palette and authentic veining details of this unique wall surface with Calacatta Gold & Thassos Bricks Mosaic Tile creates a true statement. Plus, the wall design extends to the ceiling throughout the entire cooking area, wrapping around the kitchen so that the beautiful stone details stand out! 

Bling It Up

If you think your kitchen is one of the spaces that should excite and invigorate, you may consider ditching plain subway tiles in lieu of more exciting styles. Mirrored glass tile is one example - it adds bling and pizzaz to your space with a reflective backsplash.

No kitchen space is too small to have fun with mirrored tiles! Our Beveled Antique Mirror Glass Tile can brighten up even the dimmest corner of your kitchen, and instantly give your space a luxurious look. If you find yourself drawn to metallic decor elements or want to make the room feel more spacious, a mirrored backsplash design will dial up the sheen on your kitchen walls!

Not Your Average Gray Tile

Want to keep your kitchen backsplash understated? Why not let the pattern or texture take center stage? A textured subway tile design in a creative layout looks great in an otherwise neutral space, as seen here.

Wooden Beige Chevron Etched Subway Marble Tile

Wooden Beige Chevron Etched Subway Marble Tile adds detail and style to the classic rectangular tile, ultimately providing a visually exciting layout in a neutral palette. The chevron tile installation enhances the unique surface quality of the etched surface.

Unexpectedly Bold

Thinks subway tiles can’t look bold? Brimming with depth and elegance, a black kitchen backsplash commands attention, feels cozy, and offers tons of room for creativity. In fact, you can take it one step further and create a visual treat with your black tiling by opting for organic edging.  

Mallorca Black Zellige Ceramic Subway Tile in a Herringbone Layout for  Modern Kitchen Backsplash

This simple yet effective move is a brilliant way to bring a little extra to your kitchen backsplash area. We love the way our Mallorca Black Ceramic Tile is paired with black paint on the wall and matte black fixtures playing up the dark palette further! You can go for a bit of modern contrast by juxtaposing a black backsplash with wood and brass accents.

Blending In

Kitchen tile backsplashes also work great when they seamlessly blend with your cabinets. Slender glass tiles in cream or brown hues can make your kitchen glow with their translucent beauty while blending in with your cabinets in earth tones. This allows you to keep a neutral color palette, maintaining a modern vibe and create an easy-to-clean wall surface. 

Dark Gray Glass Subway tiles on the kitchen wall

Warming up a sleek, contemporary space with its warm tones, Stardust Dark Glass Mosaic Tile is beautifully outlined with white grout for added dimension in the kitchen backsplash area. Installing a brown backsplash is usually a great move as it matches the tone of cabinets while also blending well with any messes that occur in a busy kitchen!

A Nod to Nature

Natural hardwood is a beloved surface material for kitchens, but it does have a lot of drawbacks.

If you’re interested in the beauty of hardwood along with the classic appeal of subway tile, recycled glass tiles with wood-look texture will make it easy to recreate this timeless look. Plus, you can exercise your earth-friendly mindset and help preserve the environment while creating an attractive surface in your kitchen!

Neutral kitchen design ideas with recycled glass subway tile in beige wood look

With a kitchen backsplash that inspires the color scheme of warm whites, creams, and browns, our Recycled Glass Mosaic Tile in Wood Color is the answer to an environmentally conscious kitchen project that does not sacrifice style. Beautiful, elegant and low-maintenance, this kitchen design is proof that your subway backsplash can be eco-conscious and stunningly beautiful.

Uber-Sophisticated Kitchen Style

Indicative of luxury and drama, black marble subway tile is a backsplash option most kitchen designers only dream of. A lightly-veined black marble wall grounded by white countertops and stainless steel appliances will become a design feature in any room, adding plenty of dramatic nuance to your kitchen walls. If you’re looking to create a bold backdrop in the kitchen, consider a black subway backsplash that embraces more character than a muted wall tile! 

Black marble kitchen tile backsplash

This moody contemporary kitchen with our Nero Marquina 4x12 Subway Tile is proof that black marble adds a luxurious touch to an ultra-minimalist space. We love the way it steals the show as a full-height backsplash, and pops against the industrial range hood for an unexpected contrast.

Comfy and Elegant Interior Design

Like a favorite pair of jeans, a beige marble backsplash tile can make a statement in the kitchen with a comfy and inviting feel. With just enough of an earthy touch, it allows the space to feel bright and clean. If you’re looking to make the kitchen backsplash design fresher and warmer, Crema Marfil marble tile is the perfect team player.

Crema Marfil Subway With Dot Marble Mosaic Tile Kitchen Backsplash

Crema Marfil Subway with Dot Marble Mosaic Tile proves that these traditional wall tiles can be cozy too. The color scheme of beige stone partners perfectly with traditional to contemporary finishes. The dot design adds a playful detail to a traditional backsplash design!

Going Grande

In need of renovating your kitchen backsplash but looking for an innovative subway design? Large format wall tiles not only make your cooking space look expansive but also minimize grout lines for a modern result. As opposed to the traditional 3x6 format, a large format glass backsplash will make your space appear grand and brighter.

Large Format gray glass subway tile backsplash for a pantry

When it comes to today's subway tile, sometimes bigger is best! Glacier Gray 8x16 Polished Glass Tile serves as a modern and space-enhancing backdrop for this compact kitchen. As the sleek and contemporary version of this so classic shape, a stylish glass subway backsplash delivers wonderful visual results with its light-reflecting surface, enhancing clean and bright look even in small spaces. 

Subway tile is chosen for its versatility and ability to blend with various interior design styles for our kitchens. The vast range of design options have something for everyone, from classic looks to latest on-trend colors to unique finishes and unconventional installation patterns. Modern iterations keep this classic so current, so it keeps offering us so many options to choose from! 

Contemporary black and white bar backsplash with a textured glass subway tile in a herringbone layout

Villa Metallic Glass Tile creates a magazine-worthy backsplash design for this kitchen by giving the walls an edgy, contemporary aesthetic when laid in a herringbone pattern. 

If you’re interested in jumping on board with a backsplash design for your next kitchen reno, make sure to check our full subway tile collection and find the best one to design a kitchen that you can call yours. No matter what style you choose, there is no doubt the subway look is here to stay!

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