7 Subway Tile Shower Ideas Worth Considering for Your Bathroom Makeover

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A classic staple in any bathroom, sleek subway tile is one of the most versatile options that you can choose. Whether it's for your backsplash or your shower walls, this selection is pretty much a no-brainer. It's simple, budget-friendly, timeless, effective — the list goes on and on — but basically it's an easy way to dress up and add visual interest to your space. Don't just take our word for it. Here are seven subway tile shower ideas that are anything but boring.

1. Start with something simple.

You really can't go wrong with white subway tile in your shower — the classic look will never go out of style, as seen in this contemporary design from Lindye Galloway. It's the perfect ode to the traditional 3 by 6 inch running bond formation that we all know and love.

Get the look: Daltile Restore Bright White 3" x 6" Ceramic Modular Wall Tile, $1.20 per square foot

2. Go for a vertical stacked bond formation.

Rotate the subway tile in your shower 90 degrees for a whole new look and feel. The vertical stacked bond formation used in this luxury design by Banner Day Interiors helps to make the space feel larger than it is and adds sophisticated ambience.

Get the look: Peronda Poitiers Sage Ceramic Wall Tile, $4.59 per square foot

3. Or, opt for a horizontal stack instead.

Stacking your shower subway tile horizontally will allow the grout lines to line up, creating a modern grid pattern. The effect works particularly well with a neutral color palette and natural materials as proven by this Scandinavian-inspired guest bath by Jen from The Effortless Chic.

Get the look: Interceramic IC Mattes 2 x 8 Tile in White, pricing upon request

4. Focus on color.

What your shower may lack in unique patterns can be made up with color. Try a bold shade, as seen in this eye-catching design by Lauren and Chase, or play with the layout to create more of a statement. If you're really feeling brave, consider using grout or floor tile in a contrasting hue.

Get the look: Fireclay Tile Pheasant Matte, pricing upon request

5. Create an ombre effect.

This subway tile shower idea by The Fresh Exchange is endlessly appealing to look at. It features ceramic bricks showcasing subtle color variation, resulting in an ombre effect.

Get the look: Fireclay Tile Sand Dune 2" x 6", $29 per square foot

6. Play with herringbone.

A traditional herringbone layout looks chic and effortless, even in white. Designer Melissa Lunardon was able to add texture and visual interest to this minimal space — the perfect finishing touch for an otherwise pared-back design.

Get the look: Ivy Hill Tile Pier White Polished Ceramic Subway Wall Tile, $6.33 per square foot

7. Shake it up.

Taking the cross-hatch pattern to the extreme, Sarah Sherman Samuel has created something spectacular with this dynamic, white subway tile shower idea. The arrangement is similar to a basket weave and shows just how far thinking outside of the box can take you and your space.

Get the look: Metro Subway Tile in Matte White, $6.99 per square foot


Emma Jane Palin is a multi-award-winning blogger and freelance writer with a penchant for design and interiors.

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