If white subway tile is so popular why are the stores filled with this?

If you were brand new to the design world and looked at any of the shelter magazines, Pinterest or Houzz, you would think that white subway tiles must be the only available option. They are everywhere! Since I am currently working on both a kitchen and bath remodel it came as no big surprise that both my clients requested white subway tiles….really??

I get it, subway tiles are timeless and it is doubtful you will regret installing them when the current trends change. Remember those earthy busy accent tiles of the 90’s? Looking back, I cringe when I think of the small fortune I paid for hand made fruit accent tiles in my kitchen of that same era. The fact is, no one wants a dated tile look in a few years, because let’s face it, tiling is expensive.

So why is it then when I walk into the tile store to grab a few samples I am greeted with this?

There are so many beautiful tiles on display yet not a single white subway tile in sight. I approach a salesperson and for some reason I feel like I need to whisper, “I’m looking for white subway tiles”. It’s like walking into Baskin Robbins 54 favors and asking for vanilla.

Tiles by Design Danvers

Tile by Design Danvers

For someone like myself, who LOVES color and pattern I am in heaven. That is until my practical brain says “yes, but these beauties will be dated before they are even paid off”.

The choices today for tiles is so overwhelming that I can understand why the average homeowner simply defaults to white. It’s sooo tempting though to fall in love with something other than boring subway tiles.

Tiles by Design Danvers

Tile by Design Danvers

They are all just so pretty!

Tile By Design Danvers

Tile By Design Danvers

Textured and faceted tiles seem to be newly trending

Tile By Design danvers

Tile By Design Danvers

and smaller mosaic tiles seem to be making a comeback.

Tile By Design Danvers

Tile By Design Danvers

Oh my gosh…those colors!!

Tile By Design Danvers

Tile By Design Danvers

These are a fun twist on the vintage “penny tiles”

Tile Showcase Boston

Tile Showcase Boston

and these tiles by Walker Zanger debuted two years ago at KBIS and wrote I about them here.

Tile By Design Danvers

Tile By Design Danvers

I did ask the sales person what he was seeing as far as sales and not surprisingly he told me “the huge overwhelming majority of sales are standard white subway tiles”. So….can you guess what I left the tile store with?

I would love to hear what you think..subway tile or would you go for the trendy?

On an unrelated note, I was nominated for an AMARA Best US interior Design Blog award. I’ve never been nominated for anything blog related before so I am pretty excited. The voting is super easy and I would be so grateful if you voted for me. This is the link.

 

3 Responses to If white subway tile is so popular why are the stores filled with this?
  1. Jill I Dippman Reply

    I love those green ‘leaf’ tile. I don’t know if I would want an entire room of them, but maybe a backsplash or a feature wall somewhere, I could see this is a greenhouse.

    • Linda Holt Reply

      I agree, too many would be overwhelming but a small accent wall would be fabulous!

  2. Sheila Reply

    Boring subway tiles are timeless (I took a chance and selected subway tile with a beveled edge!). I love these decorative tiles in your post. They are pieces of art! I think if you truly love a patterned tile, incorporate it in a place that makes sense and won’t dominate the room. I chose a fun tile with a chevron pattern for my powder room. It really dressed up the space without looking out of place.

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