Subway tile patterns. There are a ton to choose from. Too many, Sometimes too many options can be paralyzing, right? That’s why we created this post. We wanted to share with you some of the most common tile patterns used for rectangular/subway tiles. We won’t share a gazillion. Just the most popular, most common subway tile patterns.
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We’ve done a lot of bathrooms in our day, and in every one of them, we’ve used some form of rectangular tile, or subway tile.
In our most recent master bathroom renovation, we used several different subway tile patterns. On the floor, we used a “cross hatch” pattern. Also often called a “basketweave” pattern.
Cross Hatch or “Basketweave” Subway Tile Patterns:
Herringbone is one of the subway tile patterns we’ve used in almost every bathroom remodel we’ve done. Here it is on the floor of our “we’ll never be royals” powder room (below):
Below, in the little bath we affectionately call “Napoleon’s throne room” ?⚔️?, we used a herringbone pattern on the upper shower wall.
In our master bathroom (below), we again used a herringbone pattern on the half of the shower.
There’s really only one type of herringbone, but you can turn the pattern so that it’s oriented in different directions.
Herringbone Subway Tile Patterns:
Probably the easiest subway tile patterns are done in a “running bond”. That’s the most basic pattern type, but there are several variations.
In our cottage bathroom above, the upper and lower sections of shower were done in a running bond where each brick overlaps the one above and below by 1/2 of the width of the tiles.
Running Bond Subway Tile Patterns:
And in our “dungeon” bathroom as we call it (below), we used the herringbone pattern on top, an accent tile in the center, then marble subway tiles on the bottom done in a running bond pattern.
And in general, the overall pattern you see below is our favorite type of shower enclosure tile installation.
A herringbone up top (usually standard sized 3″x6″ marble subway tile). Below that, a chair rail or pencil.
Below that, a band of accent tile of some sort. The accent tile is sectioned off below by pencil rail. Then finally at the bottom, we’ll use either more standard sized subway tile (as seen above), OR a larger variation of typically rectangular tiles (like below) installed in a running bond pattern.
Hope this has given you some good ideas of subway tile patterns you can use in your next flooring or bathroom project! It can be overwhelming figuring out what pattern(s) to use! If you just stick to these basic patterns, you can hardly go wrong! Happy tiling!