10 Things you probably didn’t know about subway tiles
10 Things you probably didn’t know about subway tiles

Despite the fact that subway tiles have acquired tremendous popularity in recent years (we found over 200 articles in our archives that mention the term), there is still a lot to learn about it. We’ve known for a long time that subway tiles are a practical and timeless design element that can be utilized in a number of applications. However, it is uncertain as to what exactly constitutes subway tiles. And, maybe more significantly, from whence did it come about? We’ll admit that we weren’t sure what to anticipate when we arrived. As a consequence, we carried out some studies of our own. Here are some fascinating facts about the world that you may not have known before.

1. Its roots may be traced back to the streets of New York City.

It’s safe to say that you’ve already realized that the first subway tiles emerged underground, in the New York City subway system, which was constructed in 1863. Architects Christopher Grand La Farge and George C. Heins were tasked with a difficult task when the subway system first opened its doors in 1904: design a surface that was easy to clean while also feeling familiar, safe, and welcoming to city dwellers who were experiencing underground transit for the first time. The result was a surface that is still easy to clean today. In the end, their solution, which comprised of tiles with slightly curved edges and a glossy finish, made it possible for the subway stations to be sanitary, polished, and bright. Click here to learn more about subway tiles patterns in Sydney.

2. You may be able to get a glimpse of the world’s first subway tile at an abandoned subway station.

If you’re interested in viewing the world’s first subway tiles, you may do so by paying a visit to the City Hall to stop on the New York City subway system, which is no longer in operation (now decommissioned). Tours of the New York Transit Museum are offered, however, some New Yorkers have been known to sneak a look at the displays while riding the 6 train in the back of the car.

3. This was the consequence of an excessive concern with cleanliness.

A preoccupation with cleanliness in Victorian England led to the development of subway tiles in New York City’s subway system. Because of their glossy, glazed surface, they are stain-resistant, easy to clean and have a light-reflective look in addition to being stain-resistant. Because of their reputation for being both practical and sanitary, they quickly rose to become the ideal wall covering in a number of locations, ranging from bathrooms and kitchens to butcher shops and other food preparation areas. Several of these features are shared by modern kitchens, baths, and other areas, which makes them a practical choice for many people.

4. What are the conventional units of measurement? However, there is some disagreement.

In what manner does subway tile differ from other types of tiles? If you’re talking about subway tile in the context of a certain rectangular shape, it may be a bit tricky to pin down exactly what it means. However, although the classic subway tiles have a dimension of three by six inches, the definition is becoming increasingly flexible. Often seen in contemporary construction, subway tiles (tiles that are twice as long as they are wide) are tiles that are twice as long as they are wide. Furthermore, it has been found that they no longer need to be rectangular in nature.

5. It is also available in other materials such as glass and stone.

You are also incorrect if you think that the method in which subway tiles is manufactured determines the kind of tile. It is officially described as a thin, low-fired, glazed ceramic tile with a glazed surface that is made of ceramic clay and glaze. In fact, according to a story in the Washington Post, the very first prototypes of the New York City subway system were made entirely of clear glass. Nowadays, “subway tiles” is available in a broad variety of materials, including glass, stone, and marble, to name a few examples of what is accessible in terms of materials selection.

6. It is feasible to get it for less than a buck each.

The price of subway tiles varies greatly depending on where you buy it. For example, in contrast to the basic, hardware-store variants, which can be purchased for less than $1 per tile (or $8 per square foot), the handmade and artisan versions, such as those produced by Heath Ceramics, may be purchased for up to $60 per square foot. See Resources for a full list of recommended resources (at a variety of price points)

7. The quality of the grout is very essential to the final result.

After all of the work (and money) that has gone into acquiring subway tiles, it is understandable that grout is treated as an afterthought. This should not be the case, however, since the grout you choose will have a significant impact on the look and style of your subway tile installation. Because there are so many variables to consider, from dark to bright and all in between.

8. There are an unlimited amount of pattern combinations to choose from.

Subway tiles, laid out in a typical horizontal “brick” pattern, is most likely what you’re picturing when you think of subway tile. Unbeknownst to many, subway tile may be placed vertically, in a herringbone or geometric L-shaped pattern, as well as in a variety of other ways.

9. It should not be used on carpeting or hardwood floors.

The only place where subway tiles should not be utilized is in a bathroom, as stated before. The ground level is where you’ll find us. Given the thinness of subway tiles, they will not be able to resist the rigors of everyday use and abuse.

10. In terms of design, it’s the equivalent of a well-fitting pair of jeans.

Deborah Osburn, the designer of Clé Tile, told us that the tile has become a “classic,” comparable to the way jeans and a T-shirt have been fashionable in recent years. If you ask me, subway tiling is a classic, practical wardrobe necessity that goes well with almost anything in your closet. In fact, as Osburn points out, even the cheapest tile can be turned into a design statement by dressing it up or down depending on the occasion.”

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