From the Floor Up

Herringbone Subway Tile Shower Ideas

Posted by Daltile Team on Jan 18, 2017 10:30:00 AM

DT_Rittenhouse_RES_04_CU012.jpgRittenhouse Square in Architectural Gray and Almond

Herringbone subway tile ideas don't stop with the traditional interpretation. If you stretch your design muscles, you can creatively explore modern ways to use this statement-making pattern. The subtle geometric design provides decorative movement in an otherwise sterile setting. Its vertical or horizontal arrowlike layout not only makes the pattern appear bigger than its standard 3 x 6 format, but it also visually stretches the walls in whichever direction needs more length. These are just a couple factors that make the herringbone subway tile pattern a savvy design choice for a shower of any type and size. Read on to discover fresh ideas for this ever-trendy tile layout.

Should You Mix Tile Colors?

Who says a herringbone subway tile shower has to be all one color? The popular 3 x 6 tile comes in a wide range of hues and materials suitable for the bathroom's surrounds, walls, and backsplash. By mixing neutrals in subtly different shades—Urban Putty and Almond, for example—in the zigzag design, you increase the pattern's definition and visibility without making it appear too busy. A third tile hue—maybe white or gray in this scenario—works wonderfully in a randomly mixed scheme.

A simple all-white herringbone layout, however, almost always offers maximum style longevity, and allows you—or the next homeowner—to adjust the room's accent and accessory colors as time goes on. If you want a bit more oomph from a monochromatic design, go with a herringbone inserted pattern that's strategically staggered with small, square tiles. On the other hand, bright tile hues give the ever-trendy pattern—and entire room—a punch of personality, but are more acceptable in hip metro areas in homes with streamlined, minimalist decor. If you go this route, contemplate using a large-format tile layout to create a bolder look and to end up with fewer grout lines.

What about the Floor?

So what type of flooring should you go with in a bathroom that features a herringbone subway tile shower? First of all, don't compete with the surround's wavy visual. Instead, go with something simple, and slightly similar in angle and color. If you opt for a midsize or large-format square or rectangular floor tile, consider setting it diagonally to coordinate with the arrowlike design that hugs the shower. If you keep all the tile colors the same, or close to the same, shade, major surfaces will merge as one, rather than appearing choppy. When the hues blend together, the space will seem larger than it is.

Essentially, as long as the floor, wall and backsplash tile colors blend to some extent, but the sizes differ, the result is going to be interestingly agreeable. This isn't a concrete rule, but it simplifies the design project.

How about Herringbone Backsplash?

When designing a backsplash, consider repeating the herringbone design in a small format, or going with a simple subway tile brick or grid pattern. Like the floor, the idea is to have the area around the sink somewhat mimic the shower. In a large bathroom, mirroring the surround's design exactly, from floor to ceiling on the wall behind the sink, provides optimal consistency.

Every bathroom benefits from quality finishes and attention to detail, and you deserve a good-looking space to start and end the day—not to mention a high return on investment. When you're ready to choose your tile, take your design plans to your local Daltile retail dealer or showroom for helpful advice and to see the latest offerings.

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Topics: Subway Tile, Design

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