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Subway tiles are the white T-shirt of interiors: A timeless, well-loved basic that’s a classic for a reason…but can get really boring, really fast. Here, 13 unexpected and totally inspiring things to do with them.

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Mix Blue With Marble

How stunning is this slate-toned subway tile accent wall?

Swap Rectangles for Squares

When cut into oversized squares, subway tiles become a study in geometry. (We also love the contrast against the dove gray floors.)

Try A Basket Weave Pattern

A small layout tweak, like arranging tiles in an alternating two-by-two grid, lends a lovely, luxe-looking texture.

Think Long and Tall

Stack extra-long subway tiles vertically for a modern backsplash in a laundry or bathroom.

Divide and Conquer

Break up your subway tile layout by working in a preppy, decorative tile border.

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Go Green

Subway tiles look pretty damn dreamy in this deep emerald palette.

Make A Pattern Pop

Use dark grout to draw out a 45-degree herringbone tile arrangement (like in the ultra-chic midcentury-inspired bathroom above).

Color In the Lines

Or use colored grout to make a playful statement. (We love how this turquoise punches up an otherwise basic kitchen island.)

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Go For All Or Nothing

Too much of a good thing does not apply to subway-tiled bathrooms: Go ahead and cover every last nook and cranny.

Get Your Shine On

How fab is this glamorous built-in mini bar (replete with a mirrored subway tile backsplash)?

Consider Stripes

Break up a simple shower stall with thick gray penny tile stripes.  

Embrace A Jagged Edge

This live-edge herringbone backsplash certainly makes a statement.

Think Pink

If you’re one for retro, feminine charm, look no further than beveled powder-pink subway tiles.

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