11 Subway Tile Bathroom Ideas

Have you been looking for a great way to showcase your shower, accent walls behind the bathroom sink, or looking for a timeless style of tile?  Subway tile is not only practical, but it provides plenty of visual interest and is low maintenance. We researched how subway tile can make your bathroom look brighter, inspiring ways to use subway tile in your bathroom, and other home decor suggestions. 

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Subway tiles are widely available in various colors and dimensions, providing ample surface coverage for rooms where water is abundant. Installing subway tiles in a bathroom shower or as a backsplash provides an elegant space that naturally increases lighting in a space. Brighten your bathroom with subway tiles, reduce excess water from sticking around, and enjoy a tile that is aesthetically pleasing and durable. Overall, no matter if you have a farmhouse, industrial, minimalist, or bohemian home, subway tiles look stunning.

Create a bathroom that is elegant, sophisticated, and outlasts passing design trends with decorative subway tile. No matter how you choose to utilize this versatile style of tile, you can find the inspiration you need to get started right here. Read on to learn how subway tile can transform your bathroom from boring to bada-bing!

Luxurious bathroom with large bath and two sinks, 11 Subway Tile Bathroom Ideas

Make A Statement With Subway Tile

Subway tile is a versatile and beautiful choice of covering for bathroom floors, walls, and tubs in homes of all styles. Many people love subway tile because it has a timeless look, is easy to clean, and covers ample surface area in a space. Additionally, subway tile immediately makes a room seem brighter, more open, and refreshing.

When you have a small bathroom with little to no windows or an odd-shaped room where the lighting is dimmed, add bright, white subway tiles. Choose subway tile for an industrial style bathroom, an eclectic bohemian retreat, or even a bathroom with a Scandinavian aesthetic. Let's have a look!

1. Hi-Contrast

Create a bold look with bright white subway tile paired with black grout and solid black tile for the floor. Instantly turn up the lighting that streams naturally from windows and any ornate lighting overhead. For a bathroom with a clean, minimalistic look, having subway tile nearly all of the shower space, backsplash, and bathtub creates a united design.

Check out this traditional white ceramic subway tile on Amazon.

Check out this classic subway tile on Amazon.

2. Sinks With A Splash

Choose subway tile in color for a practical and visually appealing backsplash for a double sink in a bathroom. Look beyond installing subway tile for a shower or bathtub and create a sink space that makes a statement when washing your face or freshening up. Subway tile in a soft, shale blue-gray looks amazing contrasted with bright, white counters, modern wall sconces, and reflective mirrors.

Check out this glossy gray subway tile on Amazon.

3. Go Big And Bold

Freshly renovated bathroom features light blue bathroom vanity

Create a welcome contrast in style with larger bright, white subway tile paired with light brown laminate flooring and textured walls in eggshell for a modern, traditional home.  Choose this look for a small bathroom, narrow along only one wall, to increase light when there is little to no natural light. Larger subway tile amplifies the light and creates a more inviting space when behind a reflective mirror.

4. Pretty In Pastel Pink

Traditional home with pink bathroom

If you have a vintage or traditional bathroom, bask in a softer, diffused light with pink subway tile that matches other pink fixtures. Heighten the drama by painting half of the bathroom wall in bright white paint. You get a bathroom that pops with color and makes chrome showerheads and reflective mirror elements stand out in a good way.

5. Modern Minimalist

Small ensuite bathroom with white tiling laid in a brick pattern

Maximize the style points of a smaller bathroom with a crisp, white wall treatment that pairs beautifully alongside architectural style sinks with minimalist chrome taps and a structured toilet. The hidden storage space above the toilet covered in clapboard contrasts wonderfully with the dominant subway tile. Make the subway tile the star of the show with uncovered windows that allow natural light to shine through and chic, dark floor treatment.

Check out this Italian designed tile on Amazon.

6. Blue Luxury

Antique luxury design of blue bathroom

Choose this bathroom decor for a home that has a vintage, classic, or traditional style. Accent the simple bathtub space by covering it in white subway tile and dark grout. What makes this look work is the pop of soft blue color of the sink counter and the wall surrounding the window above the toilet. Additionally, the contrast of the vintage floor tile and clapboard with wainscotting really make this bathroom zing!

7. Bohemian Allure

Feel whisked away in a bathroom enveloped in stately, white subway tile, contrasted with ornate floor tiles and a sitting bathtub. The design elements make this cozy bathroom seem more opulent, open, and bright. The copper elements for the tub's feet, shower head, and mirror shine even brighter paired with the subway tile.

8. Black And White Chic

Make an impression with a minimalist, industrial style shower with a single French-style door, hanging globe lighting, and brass hardware for sinks and the showerhead. The black and white tile plays off the shower door's color treatment, dark grout on the walls, and vintage floral floor tile. Note the architectural structure of the white bathroom sink with contrasting dark metal accents.

9. Dark And Rich

Turn up the contrast with bold, luxurious black honeycomb floor tile paired with crisp, white subway tile for the shower and partial walls. Throughout the bathroom, a balance is struck between the strong black and white elements of the window treatment, floor, and sink with a neutral wooden countertop. Plus, a well-placed plant adds a touch of nature, complementing the floor, sink, and open look.

Check out this black ceramic tile on Amazon.

10. Vintage Affair

Indulge in a sophisticated and artful bathroom, chock full of vintage details from the tub to the sink, and a high-set window to highlight the subway tile. The brassy tones of the shower's hardware, accents of the lighting, and dark grout work seamlessly. Throw in an antique painting with wood framing, a small plant, and a large mirror opposite the shower to make pure visual magic.

11. An Elegant Escape

Go back in time with this exquisite bathroom featuring classic black and white floor tile, a sleek, black clawfoot tub, and of course, subway tile for the wall treatment. The small, frameless mirror hangs naturally above the vintage sink in this cozy, corner bathroom with a single narrow window to allow light to enhance the bold, black accents among the smooth, white subway tile.

Check out this glossy tile on Amazon.


Make a statement in your bathroom, whether in a vintage, traditional, farmhouse, or modern home. Subway tile has been popular for over a century, thanks to its versatile style, durability, and easy maintenance. If your bathroom needs remodeling, give it a makeover with chic, timeless subway tile in classic white, black, grey, or a pastel hue. Play around with the placement and size of subway tiles, pair it with a textured wall treatment or bold solid color for added contrast. No matter your personal sense of style, subway tile is a top choice for bathrooms of different types.

Check out the following articles about tiles and bathroom decor.

Where To Buy Bathroom Tiles

How To Clean Bathroom Tiles

Should Kitchen And Bathroom Tile Match?

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