What are subway metro tiles


At Ceramic City Ireland we have a large range of  Subway or metro tiles” which typically refer to a specific style of ceramic tiles often used in subway stations, kitchens, and bathrooms. These tiles are known for their rectangular shape, typically measuring about 3 inches by 6 inches (although variations exist), and are usually arranged in a brick-like pattern with each tile offset from the one below it.

The classic subway tile design originated in the early 20th century and was popularized by its extensive use in the New York City subway system, which is how it got its name. Over time, this style of tiling has become widely popular in various interior design applications due to its clean and timeless look.

Subway metro tiles come in a variety of materials, colors, and finishes, allowing for a range of design possibilities. Some common variations include beveled edges, glazed or unglazed finishes, and different sizes. These tiles are often used to create a simple, elegant, and versatile backdrop that can complement a wide range of interior styles.

Whether you’re considering using subway metro tiles for a kitchen backsplash, bathroom wall, or any other interior surface, their classic and adaptable design can add a touch of sophistication to your space. We are happy to help you decide what look would suit you why not contact us today 

Are you interested in seeing more? Why not check out our Metro wall tile range here https://ceramiccity.ie/product-category/wall-tiles/metro-wall-tiles/

Why metro tiles are great for your walls

Subway tiles are popular and considered great for wall applications for several reasons:

  1. Timeless Aesthetics: Subway tiles have a classic and timeless look that can fit into a wide range of interior design styles, from traditional to contemporary. Their clean lines and simple design contribute to a fresh and versatile aesthetic that doesn’t easily go out of style.
  2. Versatility: These tiles can be used in various settings, from kitchens to bathrooms, and even commercial spaces. They provide a neutral backdrop that can be easily paired with different decor elements and color schemes.
  3. The illusion of Space: The horizontal arrangement of subway tiles, especially when used in a brick pattern, can create an illusion of width and make a space feel larger than it actually is. This makes them an excellent choice for smaller rooms.
  4. Reflectivity and Light: Subway tiles, especially those with glossy or glazed finishes, can reflect light and help brighten up a room. This effect can make a space feel more open and inviting.
  5. Easy Maintenance: These tiles are typically made from ceramic or porcelain, which are durable and easy to clean. They can handle moisture, splatters, and stains, making them suitable for areas like kitchens and bathrooms.
  6. Cost-Effective: Subway tiles are often more affordable than other decorative tile options, making them a budget-friendly choice for achieving a stylish look.
  7. Design Flexibility: While the classic 3×6-inch size is the most well-known, subway tiles come in various sizes, colors, finishes, and even shapes, allowing for creative design possibilities. You can experiment with different layouts and patterns to create a unique look.
  8. Matching with Decor: Their simplicity makes them a great choice for a backdrop that doesn’t compete with other design elements in the room. They can harmonize well with various countertop materials, cabinetry, and fixtures.
  9. Resale Value: Due to their enduring popularity, subway tiles can enhance the resale value of a home. Potential buyers often appreciate the clean and classic appeal of subway-tiled walls.
  10. DIY-Friendly: The rectangular shape and straightforward installation pattern of subway tiles make them accessible for DIY projects, reducing the need for professional installation in some cases.

Overall, subway tiles offer a combination of aesthetic appeal, practicality, and design versatility that make them a popular and favorable choice for wall applications in various settings.


Metro brick tile materials and finishes

Metro brick tiles, commonly known as subway tiles, come in a variety of materials and finishes to suit different design preferences and functional needs. Here are some common materials and finishes for metro brick tiles:


  1. Ceramic: Ceramic tiles are a classic and popular choice for subway tiles. They are durable, moisture-resistant, and come in a wide range of colors and finishes. Ceramic subway tiles are often used in kitchens and bathrooms.
  2. Porcelain: Porcelain tiles are denser and more durable than ceramic tiles. They are highly resistant to moisture, stains, and wear, making them suitable for high-traffic areas and outdoor applications.
  3. Glass: Glass subway tiles add a reflective and modern touch to interiors. They come in various translucent or opaque colors and finishes, creating a sleek and vibrant appearance. Glass tiles can be used to create beautiful backsplashes and accents.
  4. Natural Stone: Materials like marble, travertine, and slate can be cut into subway tile shapes. Natural stone subway tiles offer a unique and elegant look, but they may require more maintenance compared to other materials.
  5. Metal: Metal subway tiles, often made of stainless steel or aluminum, provide an industrial and contemporary vibe. They can be used to create striking accents or entire walls in modern spaces.


  1. Glossy: A glossy finish gives subway tiles a reflective and shiny surface. This finish is easy to clean and adds a bright and open feel to a space. Glossy tiles work well in kitchens and bathrooms.
  2. Matte: Matte subway tiles have a non-reflective surface that can provide a more subdued and sophisticated look. They can be a great choice for creating a muted backdrop.
  3. Beveled Edge: Beveled subway tiles have a raised, angled edge that adds depth and dimension to the tile surface. This style can create interesting visual effects and shadows.
  4. Crackle: Crackle finish tiles have a crackled glaze that gives them an aged or vintage appearance. This finish adds character and charm to subway tiles.
  5. Textured: Textured subway tiles have patterns or raised elements on their surface, adding tactile interest and visual depth. Textured tiles can create a more dynamic and engaging wall.
  6. Handcrafted or Subway Artisan: These tiles often have a handmade or artisanal look, with irregular edges and surface variations that contribute to a unique and rustic aesthetic.
  7. Subtle Variation: Some subway tiles feature subtle color variations within the same hue, creating a sense of visual interest without being too bold.

When choosing the right metro brick tile material and finish, consider factors such as the overall design style, the room’s function, maintenance requirements, and personal preferences. Different combinations of materials and finishes can help you achieve various aesthetics, from classic and timeless to modern and edgy.

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