When New Yorkers first descended underground in the early 1900’s, they expected subway stations to be dark and damp. Instead, they saw gleaming ceramic tiles covering ceilings and walls. The way they reflected the light, and the fact that they looked easy to clean, quickly made the now-classic subway tile a staple of kitchen and bathroom design across the country. Mission Stone & Tile recently took those 3-by-6-inch glazed rectangles of old and made them new and exciting again. The feel, shapes and colors of their Essentials Collection take subway tiles from basic to badass.
We’ve seen subway tiles before, but never like this. These pan-glazed, artisan tiles from curated by Mission Stone & Tile's design owner, Mary Elizabeth Oropeza, have unique, must-touch textures like pinpoints, pinstripes, honeycombs, diamonds. The unusual sizes of 2.5, 4.5, mod pickets, and raised-edged mosaics add to the appeal of the collection. And we love the cool palettes like warm greys, ivories, oyster whites, mists and the nearly-black mink. We can't think of a design the Essentials Collection wouldn't work with. A bold statement, a calming neutral, or an elegant focal point—they'd all look great. And mixing textures with smooth tiles could give you a totally cool look.
Don't be afraid to take chances. Many homeowners play it safe and lay subway tile horizontally. But rotating the tiles 90 degrees so that they're vertical—called ‘soldier stacked’—is an easy way to add height and interest. Parquet, basketweave, and herringbone patterns are unexpected, but not hard to do with subway tile. Or if you're really badass and adventurous, play around with a random design for a truly creative twist.