Blue Subway Tile: A Failsafe Addition to Your Home

blue subway tile for pools
by AquaBlu Mosaics

What do you get when you meld the most popular tile color with a timeless pattern? You get blue subway tile, of course.

It doesn't matter what your design aesthetic is or how much space you have, subway tiles are a failsafe addition to virtually every kitchen or bath.

Subway tile became an instant classic when it was introduced in NYC subway stations in the early 1900s. Over a century later, these simple, cheap, durable, easy-to-clean tiles are a go-to option for kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms and other areas. And because of their versatility, they work in a variety of interior design styles, from industrial lofts to contemporary or period homes.

Originally, subway tile referred to simple 3 x 6 tiles that were arranged in an offset running-bond “brick” pattern.

But today, subway tiles can be featured in several different patterns as well as in sizes that mimic the original rectangular proportions. There are also choices in finishes that range from matte to glazed and high-gloss.

A wide range of Epoxy grout colors and additives present even more possibilities for personalizing your subway tile design.

Glass subway tile in particular has jettisoned past ceramic as the choice of designers who prefer glass tile for several reasons, including:

  • Makes kitchens and showers appear larger
  • Easy to maintain
  • Glass does not absorb moisture
  • Glass can lighten a dark space with its luminous light reflecting quality

AquaBlu's Naval Blue 2" x 3" Blue Glass Tile

While white tiles are considered the standard, blue tiles have gained ground over the past several years.

A versatile and well-loved color, there really isn’t a bad place to use blue in the design. From classic blue and white kitchens to deep, rich blues with brass accents for bathrooms, or a refreshing light blue paired with wooden cabinets. There is a perfect blue mosaic tile for just about everyone, and for just about every situation.

Here are a few ideas on how to incorporate blue glass subway tiles into your interior designs:

Blue Tile Kitchen Backsplash

In the kitchen, mosaic tile expressed in stunning backsplashes can help deliver refuge from our busy lifestyles. A blue backsplash in the subway pattern is both stylish and family-friendly.

With a little creativity, it can easily become a show-stopping element of your kitchen, or it can be laid in a way that is subtle and highlights the rest of the space's beauty.

The popular open concept kitchen is perfect for subway’s classic feel. This kind of spacious kitchen can be held together with walls covered in subway mosaic tile from counter to ceiling.

A textured gloss or semi-gloss mosaic blue tile in the subway pattern also adds interest in the kitchen while remaining clean and reliable. AquaBlu’s Steel Blue textured glass tile can really set off floating wood shelves and shaker cabinets.

Bimini Blue 2" x 3" Glass Tile


Subway Tile Bathroom

When you want to create a feeling of calm, blue can help transform a bathroom into a sanctuary retreat, delivering an oasis of tranquility before your day starts or a zone for decompression at the end of a long day.

Whether it’s a full shower or accents, subway-patterned blue tile makes the bathroom. Same holds true for the bathroom backsplash. Glass subway tile is especially appropriate in the bath to help brighten what is often a darker space.

The hue of the blue also make a difference. Light blue glass tile is said to dissolve tension and promote tranquility. Pale blue mosaic tiles are perfect for your moments of repose.

Dark blue, on the other hand, stimulates clear thought and is great choice if you’re inclined toward meditation. 

light blue subway tile

Light Blue Blend 2" x 3" Glass Subway Tile


Don’t Be Afraid to Mix It Up

No one said you have to use a standard brick pattern. The versatility of glass mosaic tile manifests in many ways. The herringbone pattern, for instance, is a very compelling offshoot of the standard brick pattern. The herringbone tile pattern creates a V-shaped zigzag by placing rectangular tiles in alternating 45 degree angles. 

Dark blue subway tile in a herringbone pattern looks great in a bath covering the main shower wall and then extending across the bathroom floor.

This technique adds depth and a seamless finish to the wall. 

In the kitchen, designers often recommend herringbone subway tile for those smaller backsplash spaces. Blue herringbone patterns here can create a whimsical feel while at the same time adding another focal point to the space that creates a bit of dimension.

Another variation that’s gaining traction is the stack pattern where subway tiles are stacked rather than staggered. Some feel stacking creates stronger grout lines and creates a crisp geometric feel that is both eye catching and clean.

And yet an additional alternative to staggered tiles is turning them vertically so they are taller than they are wide. Often called a “vertical stack,” this pattern is perfect for a small space.

Vertically stacked glass tiles will give the illusion that a space is larger than it is. It works something on the order of when people say vertical lines are more flattering than horizontal lines in clothing. The  same principle applies to your tile backsplash. This look still has the strong geometric feel of the traditional horizontally stacked subway tile, but gives a more delicate and sleeker vibe. 

One of the best applications of vertically stacked glass mosaics is the partial coverage of one shower wall surrounded by either light colored marble or porcelain tile. This eye-catching look is created through the contrast of mixing materials and shapes in the same space.