Designed to resemble the tiling found in classic underground stations, metro tiles – also referred to as subway tiles – have popped up from the underground, and made their way into modern bathrooms, kitchensand even home bars.

Metro tiles have become increasingly popular, owing to their versatility. They suit both modern and traditional homes, and are often found in contemporary bathroom schemes despite being around since the early 1900s.

The uniformity of subway tiles makes them perfect for use in a contemporary setting, as they create a neat, geometric backdrop.

See these cool cloakroom ideas.

The geometric tile pattern is able to blend in withindustrial schemes, as well as the more rustic, minimal and elegant styles.

As metro tiles are usually polished, they help bounce light around a room, making them perfect for smaller rooms – like thecloakroom.

With their simple rectangular shape they're not just limited to the simple subway grid; mix them with a contrasting coloured tule, or arrange the tiles in a more modern formation like a herringbone pattern.

See more bathroom tile ideas

on the grid

on the grid

This room has a contemporary feel with its clean grid-like lines, but careful use of materials links it with the more traditional elements elsewhere – the metro tiles match those in the utility room and the natural wood of the cabinets mirrors the furnishing throughout. Get the look The bathroom cabinet was designed by Stephen Akehurst. Try CP Hart for similar. Head to Mandarin Stone for limestone floor tiles. The Jade lamp table (used as a stool) is by Wilhelmina McCarroll for Zuster in Melbourne. Try Objekten for similar.

Floor To Ceiling

Floor To Ceiling

Floor-to-ceiling metro tiles and a Victorian-style floor put a period spin on this modern wet room. Get the look: The metro tiles are by Walls and Floors. The floor tiles were bought from Tons of Tiles. This is a Burlington pedestal basin.

Herringbone

Herringbone

Large metro tiles in herringbone formation give a fresh look, while copper-coloured grouting ties in with the copper bathroom fixtures and fittings. The modern freestanding tub is big enough for two.

Herringbone

Herringbone

Large metro tiles in herringbone formation give a fresh look, while copper-coloured grouting ties in with the copper bathroom fixtures and fittings. The modern freestanding tub is big enough for two.

Industrial Edge

Industrial Edge

The bathroom features industrial design, from the exposed bulb pendant to the copper taps and retro reclaimed vanity unit.

Copper

Copper

There’s a freestanding shower too, featuring the same industrial-style copper scheme.

make a splash

make a splash

Here, a wet room finish makes the most of the space, and no-nonsense fittings kept costs down. Get the look Bath, ebay. Tiles, Walls & Floors.

WALL TO WALL

WALL TO WALL

The bath was positioned next to the shower for practicality and views of the garden. Floor to ceiling tiles provide a chic waterproof backdrop. Get the look The floor tiles are by Home Depot.

hotel chic

hotel chic

Slate flooring sets a dark and moody backdrop for hip hotel-style additions. Black grouting and black brassware pull the look together. Get the look The metro brick tiles are from Material Plans. For a similar bath, try CP Hart. The bath towel by Khadi and Co is available at The Conran Shop and Aesop’s hand wash is from Twentytwentyone.

vintage style

vintage style

This small space has been optimised with wall-mounted taps and a counter-top sink. The cupboard underneath provides storage space and the white tiles and black grout keep the look modern and fresh. Get the look The basin and mixer taps are from Aston Matthews. The tiles come from The Reject Tile Shop. The wall light is by Trinity Marine.

MONOCHROME MIX

MONOCHROME MIX

This bathroom was based on one in Shoreditch House where the couple once stayed. It was originally planned with a built-in bath and shower but then the couple saw the freestanding tub going for a good price. The black window frame creates a cool contrast against the white tiles. Get the look The bath is from CP Hart. The wall and floor tiles are from World’s End Tiles

Chevron

Chevron

Here, metro tiles have been configured into a more modern chevron style pattern. hexagonal floor tiles help complete the look. Get the look: The floor tiles are from Tiles Direct. Kast Concrete Basins made the basin and RCC Furniture created the vanity unit. These are Orlanda wall sconces by Industville.

Serenity

Serenity

Floor to ceiling tiles emphasise the height of this room, while the monochrome colour scheme gives a sense of serenity. Get the look: The wall tiles are from Waterworks, the roll top bath is from Sunrise Speciality and the tap is from Waterworks. The sink unit was custom-made, the basin is by Kohler and the Henry tap is by Waterworks.

Dado Height

Dado Height

The bathroom’s black and white colour scheme feels über-chic. The metro tiles offer a bright contrast to the wall colour, which actually helps make the room feel larger. The tiles are also a practical and easy way to keep this room clean. Get the look: The Dyad sconce above the mirror is by Apparatus.

Contrast

Contrast

White metro tiles have been broken up with contrasting pops of black. Get the look: For wall and floor tiles like these, try Tile Magic.

Herringbone

Herringbone

Flat matt metro tiles, dark grouting and black taps are offset by the white walls help to create an industrial feel. To smarten it up, extra-large tiles in a herringbone pattern were used. Get the look The tiles are from Tons of Tiles. The taps are from homary.com. The bath mat is from Urban Outfitters.

Shower Shelf

Shower Shelf

This metro tiled shower has a handy built-in alcove shelf for keeping toiletries at close hand. Get the look Find similar tiles at Topps Tiles.

Uniform

Uniform

Simple metro tiles along the vanity area and shower create a uniform backdrop. Get the look: The basin and shower are from Heritage Bathrooms. The smaller mirror is an antique Venetian design from The Mint List Interior Design. The Tarovine wallpaper, soap dispenser and tumbler are by House of Hackney.

Wallflower

Wallflower

The white metro tiles along this back wall completely blend into the background, offering a simple, bright wipe-down surface that lets the Crittall style doors and encaustic tiles do the talking. Get the look: The steel and glass wall is by Space Exploration Design. Try Mosaic del Sur for similar floor tiles. The cabinets are bespoke. The taps and shower are by Barber Wilsons & Co. The bath is vintage – try The Albion Bath Company for a similar style.

Industrial Style

Industrial Style

Herringbone tiles are used just to dado height. A metal framed mirror, industrial-style tap and a vanity unit that’s seemingly on wheels pulls together this industrial theme. Get the look The tiles are from Tons of Tiles.