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How to Tile with Metro Tiles

Posted by Direct Tile Warehouse | Monday, August 09, 2021


The humble metro tile dates back to the 20th century when it was developed for underground stations as a versatile option to cover large spaces including curved ceilings and arches. Although white glossy ceramic metro tiles are pretty iconic, nowadays you can get metros in a range of colours, finishes and sizes.

As metro tiles are relatively small in size, they give you plenty of options on how to use them. Whether you tile from floor to ceiling or use a few to make a feature, we’ll show you different patterns and styles that will hopefully inspire you to conjure up some metro magic into your home.

Black and White Vital Metro Tiles

Grout for Metro Tiles

It’s so important to think about grout when you’re choosing metro tiles, as it can really elevate the look.

Metro Tile Grout Range

Matching
For a seamless look, match your tile and grout colour.

Contrasting
Try dark grout with light tiles or vice versa for an on-trend, dramatic look.

Complementary
Pair coloured grout with similar coloured tiles for a coordinated design.

Different Types of Metro Tile

Metro tiles come in all shapes and sizes. There’s the standard 10cm x 30cm ‘brick’ option, longer 30cm tiles and skinny metros at 7.5cm in height. Then you can choose from flat metros for a smooth chic look or a bevelled edge for a more 3D effect. And of course, there’s the option of a matt or gloss finish to consider too.

Subtle pastels

Gamma Pink Metro Tiles in Bathroom

Pastel metro tiles can add subtle warmth, go well with most other shades and are light enough to give the impression of more space. Helen has created a beautiful bathroom haven by choosing these soft pink metro tiles. “I love the different textures and tones of each tile and how they look in different lights”. She has complemented the tiles with grey terrazzo accessories to add some contrast.

Bold brights in a vertical block

Avila Blue Metro Tile Bathroom

Natalie and Simon’s cheerful bathroom in the Vale of Glamorgan is definitely a scroll stopper on Instagram! When designing the room, they used these vibrant blue metro tiles as a starting point. The half-height tiling is a perfect choice and the vertical block placement helps to create the illusion of height in the room. 

Mix with a pattern

Boulevard Black and White Patterned Tiles in Bathroom

Rhian and Matt chose a classic white metro for their spacious bathroom which really allows the mustard yellow wall to shine and the black accessories to pop. The Victorian-style patterned tiles add to the monochrome effect and bring another layer to the room.

Watercolour metros

Vita Blue and White Watercolour Metro Tiles in Bathroom

Lisa has used our Vita range to great effect by not only using two colours, but also adding in the complementary décor tile as a feature border and in the inset shelves. The watercolour effect adds a dreamy waterlike character to the room which isn’t overpowered due to the white tiles. Absolutely beautiful!

Use 1/3 spacing

Gamma White Metro Tile in Kitchen

How you lay your metro tiles can make all the difference. At first glance, this lovely bright splashback looks like a standard brick bond (subway) layout, but look closely and you’ll see the tiles are offset at 1/3 to give a really soft and staggered effect. You can also push this further with a ¾ layout and try the same idea with a vertical design.

Horizontal block

Avila Grey Metro Tiles in Living Room or Lounge

If you like the idea of metro tiles but aren’t so keen on the brick effect, then why not try a horizontal block? Not only does this design look stunning, but your tiler will also thank you for it as it’s the easiest way to position metro tiles so it will take less time for them to work their metro magic.

Multicoloured metros

Avila Brown Metro Tiles in Bathroom

Madeleine loved all three different metro colour samples from the same range so much she decided to use them all! She has created the wow factor in her shower by using an adaptation of a basket weave layout to create lovely blocks of complementary colours.

Herringbone at 45 degrees

Fabulous Mini Metro Bevelled Black Tiles

To add lots of texture and interest, why not try a 45-degree herringbone layout? This works really well for smaller sections such as a splashback or feature wall. And if you’re just tiling half-height, you can opt for a straight-lined finish or add more oomph with gorgeous triangles.

90-degree herringbone

A wonderful option for the popular longer length metros is to opt for a 90-degree herringbone pattern. Choosing a matching grout gives a lovely subtle effect that will still stand out in any room. This style works best with full-height tiling or a splashback.

Both directions

Artistic Sage and Bone Long Metro Wall Tiles

If you can’t decide which direction to go with your tiles, or you would like to make two shades stand out more, then why not go for a multi-directional look? We love how these soft shades work together in harmony to create a bright and shiny space. Don’t forget to take the measurements of your tiles into consideration when you’re planning how it will look!

Metro Tile Inspiration

We hope we’ve inspired you to choose metro tiles for your project. Shop the range here, order free samples or contact us for tiling advice.

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