Get Your FREE Quotation Now! Click Here
Singapore's Leading Renovation & Interior Design Site
Meet the Designers - Renonation.sg

What you need to know about Subway Tiles

A Brief History

These ubiquitous 3″ x 6″ rectangular tiles are enormously popular among the homeowners right now. The beloved, distinctive ceramic tiles made their first appearance in the New York’s subterranean subway back in 1904.

subway_tiles_01

New York’s City Hall Subway Ticket Station
Fanciful Guastavino tiles covered the arches and vaulted ceilings while ceramic subway tiles covered the walls
Image from oldtownhome

Due to practical and aesthetic reasons, these sterile 3-by-6-inch glazed white rectangles, which are easy to clean, stain resistant and light reflective, quickly captured the people’s hearts. Subsequently, these tiles made their way into home interiors and even hospitals.

subway_tiles_00

“1920s was a decade of tremendous design change and in no place was that more apparent than the kitchen”

Image from antiquehomestyle

Nevertheless, over the years, these simple white porcelain tiles slowly took on a life of their own, evolving into a mind-boggling array of shapes, colors and finishes. In fact, now we have beveled, stone, glass, crackled, textured, dimpled and so on subway tiles added to the mix to the meet the architectural challenges of today.

subway_tiles_02Image from oldtownhome


Ways to lay Subway tiles

Aside from the traditional offset pattern for the subway tile, there are actually 9 other ways to lay the subway tiles to add distinct personality and variety to your tiled spaces. Here is a simple round-up of the subway tile installation patterns which can be used.

subway_tiles_000
Images from a beautiful mess

1. Cross Hatch
Alternate between color and texture to add more depth and visual interest to the tiled walls.
subway_tiles_03

subway_tiles_13Image from backsplashideas

2. Stack Bond aka Straight Lay
In a stack bond, the subway tiles are literally stacked on top of each other, meeting at the corners. Stack bond subway tiles made the space look wider and more spacious.
subway_tiles_04

subway_tiles_14Image from pinterest

3. Traditional Herringbone
Named after the bone structure of a herring fish, herringbone is a classic pattern that adds timeless character to any design.
subway_tiles_05

subway_tiles_15Image from  pinterest

4. Running Bond
Running bond is composed of tiles offset by 1/2 tile per course. It is the most commonly used patterns in laying of brickwork. Variations can be achieved by offsetting the tiles. 
subway_tiles_06

subway_tiles_16Image from homebunch

5. Straight Herringbone
Straight herringbone is a variation of the traditional herringbone design. It is achieved by laying tiles at right angles into a zigzag pattern.subway_tiles_07

subway_tiles_18Image from viasanvito

6. Diagonal Herringbone
Diagonal herringbone is yet another variation of the traditional herringbone design.subway_tiles_08

subway_tiles_19Image from viasanvito

7. Offset
Offset is another variation of running bond tile style. The edge of the tile above it lays at the center of each tile below it.subway_tiles_09

subway_tiles_20Image from pinterest

8. Diagonal Offset

Diagonal offset is yet another variation of offset tile patterns.subway_tiles_10

subway_tiles_21Image from home-designing

9. Vertical Stack Bond
Vertical stack bond makes the space look taller and more spacious.

subway_tiles_11

subway_tiles_22Image from instagram

10. Vertical Offset Bond

A vertical offset bond is a combination of vertical stack bond and offset.

subway_tiles_12

subway_tiles_23Image from homedecorinfo

Number of Tiles needed for a Renovation Project

A simple formula to calculate the number of tiles needed for tiling is as follows:

Estimated number of tiles needed = Wall area/Tile area

Number of tiles actually needed = Estimated number of tiles needed + 5%  of tiles due to wastage

However, there are actually a number of online calculators which you can use to make the calculation easier; we have tile calculator from calculator.com,   calculator.net and besttile.com.


Are you curious about the progress of a certain BTO? Anxious to find out what yours looks like right now? You can try to locate yours in this list.

  • Complete this form and we will recommend you a list of reputable interior design firms that fit your renovation requirements. It's free!
  • My Property

  • Accepted file types: jpg, gif, png, pdf, ppt, jpeg.
    We recommend to attach your floor plan for a better estimate. File must less than 2MB.
  • Project Info

  • $
  • My Contact Details

  • Terms & Conditions

  • What information do we collect?

    Offsprings Group Pte Ltd collects information from you when you register on RenoNation.sg or fill out a form. When registering on our website, as appropriate, you may be asked to enter your name, email address and contact number. You may, however, visit our website anonymously.

    What do we use your information for?

    Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways:

    • to personalise your experience (your information helps us to better respond to your individual needs)
    • to improve our website (we continually strive to improve our website based on the information and feedback we receive from you)
    • to improve customer service (your information helps us to effectively respond to your customer service requests and support needs)
    • to send periodic emails that contain information, updates, related product and service information etc (if at any time you wish to unsubscribe, we include detailed unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of each email)
    • to administer a contest, promotion, survey, or other site feature
    How do we protect your information?

    We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you visit our website. RenoNation.sg uses technologies and policies such as limited-access data centres, firewall technology, secure socket layer certificate authentication and limitations of administrative access to our systems to protect your information.

    Do we use cookies?

    We do not use cookies.

    Do we disclose any information to outside parties?

    We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. This does not include third parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or servicing you, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply by the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others' rights, property, or safety. However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses.

    Third party links

    We include or offer third party products or services on our website. These third party sites have separate and independent privacy policies. We therefore have no responsibility or liability for the content or activities of these linked sites. Nonetheless, we seek to protect the integrity of our site and welcome any feedback about these sites.

    Online privacy policy only

    This online privacy policy applies only to information collected through our website and not information collected offline.

    Your consent

    By submitting your request through our website, you agree to be contacted by our appointed Interior Design Firms and other service providers. By selecting "Yes" for Renovation Loan, you agree to our affiliated bank to contact you via telephone calls. For details on data protection, please refer to our privacy policy on our website.

    Changes to our privacy policy

    If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page. This post was last modified on 1st Oct 2015.

    Contacting us

    If there are any questions regarding this privacy policy, you may contact us at support@renonation.sg.


Get Quotation - RenoNation.sg