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Brick & Metro Tiles

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When it comes to giving your home an update, it’s natural to want your decor changes to last longer than a passing interior design trend. This is why our range of brick effect and metro tiles offer a perfect solution for any room in the home, delivering a durable finish that will stay looking pristine for years.

Of course, longevity is a desirable quality in a tile - but there’s more to longevity than hard-wearing materials that can handle their fair share of wear and tear. At Tiles Direct, we’d say lasting beauty is just as important as durability. Sometimes, this means making compromises, foregoing heavy patterns in favour of something timeless and evergreen, but with metro wall tiles it’s possible to have the best of both worlds.

Our iconic range of metro tiles (otherwise known as subway tiles, underground tiles or brick effect tiles) offer an ideal way to revitalise tired interiors. From kitchens and bathrooms to living rooms and hallways, these versatile, era-bending tiles offer endless styling possibilities to bring your home’s interiors well and truly up-to-date.

With a rich history, you can find out more about the cultural roots and design potential of our metro brick tiles, giving you all the inspiration you need for bringing a fresh new look to kitchens, bathrooms and beyond.

What are subway tiles and metro tiles?

In the early 1900s, the walls of London and New York’s Underground stations were famously adorned with plain, white, brick-shaped tiles. This boasted a powerful, timeless look that birthed the name ‘subway tiles’ in the United States and ‘metro tiles’ here in the UK. 

Due to their simple, slick, minimalist look, these popular brick-look wall tiles are among the most versatile on the market. And thanks to their iconic origins as subway tiles, they’re also the epitome of contemporary chic.

The first subway tiles were designed by George C. Heins and Christopher Grant La Farge. Chosen for their aesthetic appeal and easy-clean, durable glazed surface, subway tiles offered a practical solution to decorate the first underground railway station, City Hall, in New York. 

An instant hit, it wasn’t long before subway tiles crossed the Atlantic and began appearing in underground stations in other major cities like London and Paris. 

Despite many of London’s tube stations undergoing modern overhauls, you don’t have to go far to see stunning examples of original metro tile designs for yourself. From the colourful station signs at Regent’s Park and Russell Square to the iconic white corridors at Tottenham Court Road, the beauty and visual impact of subway tiles can still be witnessed today. This is great news as it offers interior design inspiration even in the most practical spaces.

Instantly recognisable by their slim brick shape - generally being twice or three times as wide as they are tall - brick effect metro tiles are highly sought-after in the world of interior design. Available in a broad spectrum of shades and finishes, it’s possible to pair subway tiles with all kinds of design themes.

One thing to note, though, is that classic metro tiles are almost exclusively sold in plain designs, using block colours. This quality allows them to play a powerful supporting role in a room&r