7 Different Subway Tile Patterns

7 Different Subway Tile Patterns – there is more than one way to lay subway tile. Subway tile is timeless and works with any decor style.

7 Different Subway Tile Patterns

Subway tile is my favorite tile – for both its timeless look and versatility. Today I’m sharing 7 different subway tile patterns.

I explain the patterns individually below, but first watch this video which quickly shows the 7 different subway tile patterns:


  • Horizontal Stack

If you are new to tiling, this is the pattern for you! I love repetition in design, and the horizontal stack provides just that. It is classic, timeless look.


  • Horizontal Offset

This is probably the most popular layout used today in subway tile because it works so well, and it’s my personal favorite.

I used this layout in our DIY kitchen remodel:

And our DIY laundry room remodel:


  • Vertical Stack

If you love repetition but want slight twist on the horizontal stack, try the vertical stack.  It is easy to lay, and it gives an unexpected twist to your space.


  • Vertical Offset

If you want a twist on the horizontal offset, take it vertical!  


  • Straight Herringbone

This pattern adds a little fun to subway tile, and this is the pattern I used in the bathroom I’m currently remodeling. It works well with the classic 3×6 subway tiles.


  • Crosshatch

This pattern begins to create the illusions of squares, and it would work well with any decor.


  • Herringbone

If you’re ready for a pattern that is challenging and looks amazing, then herringbone is for you!

I used this pattern above my stove:

I’d love to know – what is your favorite subway tile pattern?  Are there any great patterns I missed?

Go create something!

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13 thoughts on “7 Different Subway Tile Patterns

    1. If you want the pattern to stand out more, than go with a contrasting grout. I prefer a medium gray with white tile. I would never go with a light grout on a floor – it will get dirty. Hope this helps!

  1. The straight herringbone looks great.
    Two questions
    1. I see you started from the top and worked down. did you have any issue with tiles sliding/not staying level because you didn’t have a straight edge supporting from below as you went?
    2. where the tile meets the ceiling, did you use a spacer and grout that or did you butt the tile right to the top and not grout it (ie. maybe just caulk or silicone at the end)?

  2. Hi Anthony,

    I did continuously watch my tiles to make sure they didn’t slide (and often checked with a level), but it really wasn’t a problem. Where the tile met the ceiling, I tried to go as close to the ceiling as possible while staying level. I just filled in the top with caulk.

    Good luck!

  3. Looks great with the straight herringbone, im doing herringbone in my bathroom, the bathroom is very crooked soo that in itself has been quite a challange,.. Ive regretted it many times BUT it does look good! Soon ill have to do the floor tiling and I have noooo idea in which patterns yet – since i dont want it to be too dominant since the wall pattern is, the floor tiles are also rectangular hmmm