Subway tile — everyone’s perennial favorite — has slimmed down and veered vertically. The new look sees the tiles flipped upright and slimmer for a captivating do-over. Use vertical tile in tight spaces to draw the eye to the sky, creating the illusion of higher walls and ceilings, or just because you desire a daring new look. Click through for inspiration to get you started.
By placing simple white subway tiles vertically, they bring a whole new perspective to bathrooms, like in this stunning space by Toronto design firm Collective Studio.
Designer: Alana Firestone & Jordy Fagan
A mudcloth motif on one side and inky tiles shooting skyward on the other spells sultry bohemian in this space by Amber Interiors. A brushed gold faucet plays beautifully against all the black.
Recalling shiplap, a bank of tile from Heath Ceramics has quiet presence near warm wood shelves.
A spa shower cloaked in rich green-blue tile is ravishing and refined against wood floors in this project by Asheville, North Carolina’s Shelter Collective.
Photographer: Emily Johnston
Source: Maryann Thompson Architects / Tate Builders
White contrast-heavy grout against Fire Clay tile are a sophisticated spin in this interior by Tera Janelle Design. Keeping the rest of the walls white, really punches out the tile.
A dapper blend of horizontal and vertical subway tile (and eye-catching flooring) ensure there’s never a dull moment.
Radiance glass tiles, reminiscent of the sea, shimmer on the wall of this luxurious bathroom, clad vertically for even more vavoom.
Black vertical tile and pink flat-front cabinets are a winning combination in this modern kitchen.
A sunny yellow vertical-tile backsplash and coordinating accessories spell fun in Australian furniture designer Katie Graham’s home. (Katie is behind the swoon-worthy wicker shop, the Family Love Tree ).
Photographer: Derek Swalwell
This moody, matte tile — the Magma Collection from Spain’s Equipe Ceramics — has an alluring earthy ethos. An unusual layout is equally interesting.
Skinny tile with a brilliant sheen is striking in its simplicity in this two-tone kitchen by L.A.’s Veneer Designs.
Photographer: Amy Bartlam
Dashing and a bit retro, a slim grid of mustard tile offers memories of the ’70s without feeling dated.
A deep blue gloss subway tile from Cle Tile has beautiful depth and drama thanks to slight variations in the shade.
Veiny marble meets a gray-blue stone tile in this alluring bathroom inside Woollahra House, by New South Wales-based firm Decus Interiors.
Photographer: Felix Forest
Larger, thinner tiles spruce up this space by San Diego-based designer Abbie Naber. Stacking subway tile unconventionally feels modern and fresh, she says.
Photographer: Jess Isaac
Narrow, longer subway tile have major cool factor in this bathroom by interior designer Alanna Dunn of Calgary’s Reena Sotropa In House Design Group. Alanna went vertical to highlight the skylight. The strip of Moroccan-inspired cement tile is eye-catching against the white ones.
Photographer: Phil Crozier
Soft blue tile, black plumbing and pale wood are fresh choices in this mid-century modern kitchen by L.A.’s Veneer Designs. Both the blue color and the vertical arrangement combine for a playful feel.
Photographer: Ace Misturas
A host of vertical tiles look painterly at Alma, a design-forward members-only club in Stockholm designed by the architectural firm Tham & Videgård.
Photographer: Soren Jepsen