When I first heard of "subway tiles" I thought it was an exclusive term reserved for the social elite designers of New York — now I know better.
Subway tiles date way back to 1904, when New York City opened its first white-walled underground subways. The look became an instant classic and the simple, easy-to-clean design lives-on in homes around the world.
The tiles themselves don't have a lot of variety. It's rare to see them in colors other than traditional white, black, or mint green. But clearly you can create a lot of looks from one basic rectangle.