Shake it Up: 7 Creative New Ways to Lay Subway Tile

Subway tile: it's classic, it's cheap, it's ubiquitous. If you love the look (and the price!) of subway tile but want to try something more out of the ordinary, consider one of these seven creative ways to lay those standard 3" by 6" tiles that will have your kitchen (or bathroom) looking just a little different.

Pictured here is the classic subway tile layout you've seen in a million kitchens and bathrooms, and on, well, the subway. The tiles are laid like bricks — this is called a running bond. Image from House Beautiful via Interior Canvas. (You can see many more examples of this here.)

Here's the running bond again, but with a slight twist: the whole pattern is rotated 45 degrees. The diagonal orientation makes it much more dynamic. Spotted on Schiavinis.

Here's the running bond, turned 90 degrees so the tiles run vertically. It's the same thing you've seen so many times before... and yet so different. From WS Workshop.

You can also stack the tile, so the grout lines run straight up the wall. This lends a much more modern feel. Spotted on La Maison d'Anna G.

Here's that same pattern, turned 90 degrees. From Lotta Agaton.

Subway tile arranged in a herringbone pattern... perfect. From HGTV.

This project from Smitten Studio features subway tile in a herringbone pattern... but Vs of the herringbone are turned so that one side is parallel to the floor. It's a fun, geometric look.

And finally... the pattern in this bathroom (from Architecture Now) at first seems like it might be same as the one above, but look closer. This tile runs vertically up the wall, and then, when it gets to the ceiling, it turns, making what could have been a pretty standard installation much more dynamic and interesting.

(Image credits: HGTV; House Beautiful; Schiavinis; WS Workshop; La Maison d'Anna G; Lotta Agaton; Smitten Studio; Architecture Now)