Wondering how to tile with metro tiles? Wonder no further as we show you how to incorporate this timeless classic of a tile into your home.
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.
How to Tile with Metro Tiles
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 how to tile with metro tiles and a range of different patterns and styles that will hopefully inspire you to conjure up some metro magic into your home.
How to Tile with Metro Tiles
There are a few key facts to consider when you’re thinking about how to tile with metro tiles.
First of all, work out the area you are going to tile, and decide which direction you would like your metros to go. Will you go for a standard brick effect, go vertical, or opt for a funky herringbone or block option?
The standard size of a metro tile Is 20cm x 10cm, but 30cm x 10cm metros are emerging as a favourite choice if you want a slightly longer look. There are other slight variations of size. Just remember if you’re using a herringbone layout your tile’s height should be divisible by its width, otherwise the design won’t work.
Always add on a small percentage for wastage, as there might be several cuts needed.
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.
For a seamless look, match your tile and grout colour.
Try dark grout with light tiles or vice versa for an on-trend, dramatic look.
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 ‘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.
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. She says: “I love the different textures and tones of each tile and how they look in different lights”. She has complemented the tiles with gorgeous terrazzo accessories to add some contrast.
Bold brights in a vertical block
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
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. The matching grout creates a gorgeous seamless look.
Lisa has used our Vita range to great effect by not only using two colours, but also adding 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
How you lay your metro tiles can make all the difference. At first glance, this 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.
If you’re wondering how to tile with 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.
Madeleine’s bathroom is a great example of how to tile with metro tiles. She loved her 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
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.
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.
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 shown you how to tile with metro tiles and inspired you to choose subway tiles for your next project! Shop the range here, order free samples or contact us for tiling advice.