Ready to give your kitchen a refresh but your budget and time are in short supply? If you’re looking for a simple, stylish, but also practical way of updating the heart of your home, changing your backsplash is a great way to achieve a new look without the heavy cost of new cabinets or appliances. This smaller renovation project can even be done without too much interruption to your cooking and life schedule. A new backsplash can breathe new life into a tired kitchen design or add a dash of personality to make the busiest room in a house your favorite place to hang out.

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One of the most popular choices for a kitchen backsplash is subway tile. Affordable, durable, and easy to style, subway tile is readily available and offers the perfect scale for your backsplash. Inspired by the tiles that line cover New York City’s subway stops, classic subway tiles have been a popular choice for backsplashes since they were first invented in 1904. In fact, subway tiles have become so popular, that they sometimes can feel a bit traditional. That being said, subway tiles are still a great size and shape to install and create great design. By incorporating a fun color, unexpected material, or an interesting pattern, this design staple can be reimagined, serving as the perfect design accent for any space. Here are a few great options for subway tiles that put a twist on this everlasting design classic.

Easy and Breezy: Blue Subway Tile

A kitchen can be one of the busiest, and sometimes, messiest spaces in a home. If you’re looking to add a splash of color to your design, while still opting for a soothing atmosphere, an inspired blue color palette is a perfect choice. Blue subway tile can be vibrant and exciting, and also relaxing and harmonizing.

TileBar’s Paint Blue Notte Porcelain Subway Tile exudes a grounded and soothing presence with its undulating blue shade variations that give this tile a handcrafted look. For a brighter statement, the Bayou Blue Marine Ceramic Subway Tile brings the clear waters of the sea and sky to your space with a vibrant color and natural finish.

It’s So Easy Being Green: Green Subway Tile

Going green can be more than just taking care of our planet. This color has made a comeback in a big way this year and green will always bring the outdoors into your space with its nod to the many faces of mother nature, from the soft seafoam of the waves to the dappled leaves of your favorite trees.

Can’t decide which shade of green you love the most? The Portmore Green Glazed Subway Tile offers a mix of shades and tones that can coordinate with just about anything, and the varied surface texture brings even more color and depth. The Los Lunas Green Subway Tile takes a more subtle approach with its soft hue and rustic finish details that gives this tile an artisanal feel.

Coming Up Roses: Pink Subway Tile

Pink is a surprisingly versatile color when it comes to design. The coastal Art Deco scene loves to splash this color everywhere as the perfect pairing with teal while 80’s inspired mod brings this soft tone together with the bolder black. From vintage to modern, pink will always be the color of love in life and in design.

Find a more dramatic pink look with the Carolina Coral Subway Tile. The ombre wash of color adds dimension and interest while the unique 2″ x 20″ size is perfect for herringbone, stacked, or a brick lay pattern. The softer side of pink is perfectly on display with the Park Hill Coral Subway Tile with its versatile color and kiss of an edge detail in the finish.

Bolder IS Better: Black Subway Tile

Black may be bold, but don’t be afraid to take a chance. This inky option is almost as versatile as white, bringing out the best in your cabinets and countertops. Let your black backsplash be the star of your neutral kitchen or pair it with color for a true design statement.

The Montauk Jet Black Subway Tile brings all of the drama with its sculpted texture that plays with the light for even more depth and character, offering a modern crafted look. The Diesel Camp Black Rock Subway Tile, on the other hand, uses texture and a subetly mottled surface to diffuse light for a soft matte look.

Down to Earth: Terracotta Subway Tile

Keep your kitchen down to earth with the welcoming warmth of a terracotta colored tile. Whether you are bringing the sun-drenched Mediterranean into your space or an earthy contemporary feel, this natural colorway is sure to bring the right mix of inviting comfort.

Terracotta gets an urban edge with the Brick Rustico Rosso Subway Tile, combining a brick-like form and texture with a variation of light and dark shades that can compliment any space. A more refined option is the Paint Terracotta Subway Tile that brings the lighter side of this colorway into a modern form that works in a traditional offset pattern or herringbone.

Gray Matter: Gray Subway Tile

Color doesn’t need to be bold to create interest in your kitchen. Gray is a great color option if you know that you don’t want basic white, but don’t want to commit to a bolder hue. Just remember that grays can have different color tones so make sure to sample your gray tile before you buy. Curious how to sample? Check out how it works here.

The Bayou Gray Subway Tile brings the perfect neutral compliment to any decor. The satin matte sheen and undulating surface add interest while the classic subway shape works with any pattern from brick and stacked to herringbone. The Portmore Gray Subway Tile brings a mix of different tones together in a relaxed palette that will add charm to any space.

Mix It Up with Materials

Colorful subway tile doesn’t only mean ceramic and porcelain glazes: natural marble, glass, mirror, or even metal provide unique looks with natural colors or special paints. An original way to create a colored subway tile design is to switch out the classic ceramic or porcelain for a different material, changing the context of the subway design.

An elegant Calacatta Gold marble Subway tile, for example, combines the traditional subway with the luxurious Calacatta Gold stone, providing a sophisticated pattern and natural colors. The Remington 3D Bricks Midnight Glass Mosaic Tile achieves a glamorous and eye-catching look using glass’s reflective quality and a modern 3D design. The Copper Metal Subway tile creates a unique industrial look with color and texture.