Originally found lining the stations of New York and London’s subways, white metro tiles have been a ‘thing’ in home design for a while now. Their popularity stems from their low cost, rich history and complete versatility, there is so much you can do to update the metro tile to fit your space. Traditionally metro tiles are laid straight in either brick bond or stacked format and they look fab either way but there are a world of possible laying patterns and cheeky little upgrades that will update a white metro tile. I’m going to share a few ways you can use these timeless classics in your home.
Tilt Them Up
It was the diagonally laid tiles that I came across on our stay at the incredible Old Stocks Inn that inspired this post, the simple 45 degree turn that elevated the otherwise simple white tiles and gave the metro tile a much needed refresh. You can use this simple method to create sections in large spaces, for instance you could straight lay most of the room and create a separate shower section by laying the same tiles at 45 degrees.
Everybody loves a herringbone (apart from the tiler I presume) because it adds interest but retains the classic charm of the metro tile. Herringbone tiling adds character and interest to an otherwise simple tile which may explain it’s increased popularity, great if you have a large expanse of tiling because the herringbone pattern ensures the space wont look like a sea of tiles.
Arguably the most overlooked way of updating a white metro tile is to incorporate a brightly coloured grout, less innocuous than going for a bright tile, it is the perfect answer for us cautious colour lovers. I could barely find any reference images of coloured cement which goes to show just how under-used this aesthetic is.
Mapei do a great selection of grouts so you no longer needed to stick to standard white or cement grey, my personal favourites from the brand are: Turquoise, Yellow and Terra Di Sienna.
Another way to add interest and update a white metro tile is to throw in a few coloured tiles, a classic border or trim can really update a simple metro tile. There are so many ways to arrange a border they in themselves are very versatile, depending on how you lay them you can create an industrial vibe or go for classic.
I’m sure there is so much more you can do with these inexpensive tiles and if you have any creative ways to update a white metro tile I would love to hear about it in the comments below!