Erin Napier’s Fresh Take on Traditional Subway Tiles Is Far from Square

published Nov 1, 2021
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Credit: HGTV

White subway tile is the go-to tile for backsplashes and bathrooms for a reason. But “Home Town” star Erin Napier is inspiring her followers to put a twist on the old classic.

Napier posted a photo on Oct. 17 from inside her bathroom, and it’s hard not to notice the marbled square-shaped subway tiles behind the bathtub daughter Helen is taking a soak in. 

Forget the traditional rectangular shape, and make room for square subway tiles. 

Square tiles, as seen in the Napier-designed kitchen below, are normally placed in a grid pattern. But Napier staggered her like one would do when installing subway tiles on a backsplash. She also used black grout instead of white to make that staggered installation really stand out.

To get the same look, all you need is a preferred square tile in any size and color. Home Depot sells simple 6” by 6” tiles that come in colors like bright white, ash gray, ivory, red, teal, and black — but you can find square tiles anywhere and everywhere.

Textured zellige tiles or marbled tiles like Napier’s will make your finished product look a bit more lived in — as will darker grout. So play with a few aesthetic ideas before making your final choice.

Napier has done tiling like this in the past. You may recognize the staggered square tile from Myrick’s kitchen on “Home Town,” for example. The variation in color of the blue tile adds even more interest to the backsplash — it truly looks like hydrangea petals.

If you love the look of subway tile but want your backsplash or bathroom to stand out from the crowd, maybe try something a bit more square.