Everything you need to know about Metro Tiles

Everything you need to know about Metro Tiles

There’s more to the metro tile than first meets the eye. To help you make the right choice, we’ve pulled together this handy metro tile buying guide with a breakdown of everything you need to know.

Read on for our top tips for using metro tiles, plus our recommendations on finish, colour, metro tile patterns and more. 

But first, let’s go back to the history of the metro tile...

Why is the metro tile so famous?

If you’ve been to London, then you’ll probably have taken a trip on the Underground at some point. If you’re a bit of a jetsetter, then you might even have come across the New York Subway or Paris Metro during your time.

If so, you’ve probably noticed one very common trait they all have:

The iconic metro tile.                                                                                                                                                                            

Originating from the early 20th century when underground transport was just starting out, the metro was first developed out of necessity, before eventually becoming a style icon. With underground stations often having curved ceilings and arches, this rectangular tile was the ideal shape for covering large spaces. Typically made from ceramic and finished with a white gloss, the humble metro or subway tile has expanded its purpose with new sizes, finishes and colours, making it a sought after choice for the home.  

Where to use metro tiles

There’s no denying it, the metro tile is one of the most popular tile designs in the home, and it’s easy to see why. Simple to lay in a  variety of different metro tile patterns, easy to maintain and, with its suitability for numerous rooms, it’s often the go-to choice for an up-to-date and stylish tiled look. 

Whether you go for a full wall or half, want to make a feature of your fireplace or freestanding bath, or are looking to create a simple splashback in your kitchen or bathroom, the metro tile and our buying guide is here to help. 

British Ceramic Tile - Cosmopolitan Navy Gloss Wall

It’s all in the finish. Matt or Gloss?

When placing matt and gloss tiles side by side, there may not seem much difference. You might even be thinking, does it matter?
The answer is… yes. 

In our experience, we’ve found that most people are either a matt or gloss type of person, but truth be told, either can have big impact on your overall finished look. 

If you’re not sure which is for you, we’d recommend taking the time to think about your interior choices so far. If you’re drawn towards polished, clean finishes then a gloss metro tile might just be for you. If you prefer a more rustic and understated look, then a matt metro tile is your friend.                                                                                                                                                          

British Ceramic Tile - Metro Grey Metro Gloss Wall

Choosing between flat and bevelled

If you’re toying between a flat or bevelled metro tile, we’re here to help. 

The flat metro tile was the original star of the underground due to their easy maintenance qualities. As their popularity grew, we saw the introduction of new shapes and designs including the bevelled metro. Offering a softer and more homely feel, the bevel is a great choice for places where cosiness is key, such as the bathroom. 

The traditional flat version with its direct links back to subways and undergrounds, are great for achieving an alternative and more edgy look. Their flat, easy-to-clean design makes them great for kitchens too. 

British Ceramic Tile - Cosmopolitan White Gloss Wall

When to use colour with metros

Traditionally the metro tile was white, most likely to brighten the dark underground spaces it was being used for. Today the white metro tile still holds its own as a style staple with many now starting to add their own unique stamp. The introduction of bevelled metros, coloured grout and more modern tile laying patterns, means the white metro tile is anything but boring.

British Ceramic Tile - Metro White Metro Gloss Wall

Coloured metro tiles are also proving their worth in the interior world, too. With both bold and more muted colour choices available, you can easily match the perfect shade to any trend or style. Whether you need an accent colour or something more impactful like our Sykes Blue V&A Metro, there’s a coloured metro tile out there for you. 

V&A - Metro Sykes Blue Bevel Gloss Wall

Getting sizey with your metro

You may not have realised, but the metro is often available in a choice of sizes. 

Let’s take a look at the metro tile sizes available:

First up is the most common size, which is around 100mm x 200mm and great for a classic metro look. If you’re working with smaller areas like a splashback, the mini metro at 75mm x 150mm makes a great choice. For a style statement, our oversized V&A Metro Range at 148mm x 498mm are sure to wow! 

V&A - Metro Frieze Bevel Gloss Wall

All the metro tile patterns

The metro is one of the most versatile tiles on the market with a variety of tile laying patterns to choose from. Who doesn't love choices? 

More traditionally, the metro tile is often found in a horizontal brick pattern which is still a great option today.

Credit - mydarkhome_

For those feeling a little more creative, hold tight.

A vertical block layout is a twist on the ordinary and gives a room visually more height. The herringbone is another classic and guaranteed to show visitors your stylish side. For an alternative and more contemporary tile layout, the basket weave and vertical brick are our favourites. 

Take a look at the metro tile patterns we recommend:

You’re ready to shop...

Hopefully, with the help of our metro tile buying guide, you’ll be well on your way to choosing your dream metro tile style. Whether you go for a white, bevel metro tile in a classic brick layout, or, basket weave metros with a coloured grout, you’re sure to create a sophisticated and timeless look for your home.

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