So you want to put in or replace a backsplash in your kitchen and you’re overwhelmed with all the tile choices. Not only do you have to match them to wall and cabinet colors, but you have your countertop to contend with. Are you pulling out your hair yet? I say keep it simple and timeless. Timeless doesn’t have to mean boring, it just doesn’t mean trendy. If this is your forever kitchen, then choose materials that will last. If this is a flip or short-term home then go for the trendy choice. The white/cream subway tile has been in use since the early 1900s in the subways of NYC. (Hence the name, subway tile.)
Don’t get me wrong, I love the new gray and black trend including the colorful encaustic tiles! I pin pictures all the time of these trendy kitchens and baths. Have we not learned from our past love of trends? Shag carpeting in the bathroom in the 1970s. Avocado green refrigerators and Tuscan brown tiles to mimic living in Italy to name a few. If we could only afford to renovate every 5-10 years to keep up with the trends. Use paint if you love a color trend so much, it’s much cheaper. Believe me, I didn’t always believe in this simple-is-better aesthetic. I started reading Maria Killam’s blog many years ago and became a believer. She’s a True Color Expert and man does she know her stuff. Her answer to most tile questions is, “Subway tiles.” See for yourself and decide if white subway tiles are boring or timeless.
I believe Joanna Gaines from HGTVs Fixer Upper has used subway tiles in all of her kitchens and baths. Looking through many pictures for this post I realized the designers all used very simple products in their designs. I’m sure this is for budget reasons. They like to use their money for the bling like lighting, faucets, cabinet hardware and furniture, not expensive backsplashes.
The white or cream subway tile works in every style kitchen I’ve seen so far. I like how you can change the look with grout colors, tile patterns and different sizes. These tiles match and enhance all the gorgeous stone counter choices available.
What do you think, does timeless =boring?
P.S. Need a quick fix for some ugly tiles? Check out these peel-n-stick tiles I found on Amazon.