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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-look 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’s overall aesthetic - be that a retro-themed kitchen or a contemporary bathroom.

Naturally, traditional designs evolve to cater for modern styles and changing customer demands. As a result, the humble underground tile is no longer limited to the quintessential colours and styles you see in tube stations. 

While the dimensions and design principles have largely remained the same, you can now find an even greater choice of metro-style tiles on offer. For a traditional finish, go for flat edge subway tiles or add depth to walls with bevelled edges. Or, play around with different finishes, shapes and materials like subway tiles with a crackled glaze, natural stone options, oxidised tiles, chevron-shaped versions and rustic styles (to name but a few).

So much choice means even greater potential for home interior updates. You can have all the alluring charm and characteristics of a metro tile with the added scope for incorporating different textures and finishes. Whatever home design ideas you have in mind, we’re confident there’s a metro tile to match.

Why subway tiles are great for your walls

When it comes to covering your walls, metro tiles are the ideal solution, and here’s why: 

  • Durable: made from hard, glazed materials like ceramic, porcelain and glass, metro wall tiles provide a strong and robust layer to protect walls against daily wear and tear
  • Practical: scratch, stain and water-resistant these tiles offer exceptional practicality to give walls added longevity, whether you’re using traditional subway kitchen tiles or modern styles in other areas of the home
  • Low maintenance: their glazed finish also makes them incredibly easy to maintain. Needing little more than a wipe down with water to banish cooking splashes and spills, your walls will be back to pristine condition in no time
  • Sustainable: thanks to their long-lasting properties and the natural materials used, most subway tiles offer a sustainable decor material for eco-conscious homeowners
  • Timeless: with an evergreen appeal, using metro walls tiles enables you to bypass current trends knowing you have a wall tile that will always be in style
  • Versatility: with a huge variety of colours, finishes, sizes and styles available, subway tiles are the epitome of versatility, offering countless styling options

All the colours of the rainbow

To enjoy the full impact of brick effect tiles, it’s important to get your colour choice spot on. With tile colour options galore up for grabs, you really can have your pick of the entire colour spectrum. 

If you love classic colour schemes, our choice of black, cream, grey and white subway tiles is sure to have just what you need, but these aren’t the only colours you’ll find.

Use the raised profile of the bevelled edges on brick effect tiles in muted hues for added impact, or keep it simple with a flat finish to your walls. Whatever your preference, you’ll still find plenty of colour inspiration to pull off your dream interior updates, including: 

  • White: if cool and classic is your must-have interior, simple white subway tiles on the walls will see you through to monochrome perfection
  • Black: another monochrome favourite is black metro wall tiles that expertly add drama to your walls
  • Cream: create a softer look than white with cream brick-effect tiles that can give your walls a more traditional and warm look, whether in a glossy or matt finish
  • Grey: choose from our numerous shades of grey subway tiles like taupe, dove grey and charcoal to help you pull off your dream look, be that industrial chic or ultra modern
  • Red: make your walls demand attention with loud and proud hues like fire engine red subway tiles or go for bold and moody interiors with rich mulberry hues like those in our Stromboli tiles range
  • Blue: from dark navy to sky blue, our choice of blue metro wall tiles will help you create soothing interiors that never go out of style, whether you go for glossy tiles or a more rustic feel with an antiqued finish
  • Green: reinvigorate your interiors with green shades that evoke a connection to nature, be that funky and playful lime green or calming sage and olive tones
  • Yellow: give walls a bright and sunny feel with yellow subway tiles that can adapt to both modern and classic interior design styles
  • Pink: chic and elegant, pink metro wall tiles lend a sophisticated and comforting finish as a standalone colour or paired with grey, blue or green
  • Brown: from pale beiges to deep chocolate hues, brown subway tiles are primed for creating a rustic look, especially if you go for brick-effect or stone designs

Metro brick tile materials and finishes

Whether you’re tackling a minor kitchen update, a full bathroom renovation or any other room, our metro brick effect tiles deliver versatility, colour and flair. The right tile finish can have a direct impact on the overall look and feel of your space. 

That’s why, at Tiles Direct, we want to give you as much variety as possible when it comes to choosing your metro brick tiles. So, beyond our extensive colour wheel, you’ll also find a fantastic array of different finishes and materials available for metro wall tiles, giving you all the versatility you need for your desired look.

From smooth, glossy brick tiles that deliver a clean and sleek finish to oxidised metallic mosaics, glass, crackled glaze options and even natural stone, we’ve handpicked a diverse selection of metro brick effect tiles to pull off almost any aesthetic. All this means the variety is abundant, guaranteeing you find just the right tiling solution for the job.

Discover what finishes we ha