Beveled Subway Tile Backsplash Classic Style with a New Take

A beveled subway tile backsplash brings a classic yet contemporary look to any kitchen. This timeless tile style blends seamlessly into both traditional and modern decors. With an angled finished edge, beveled subway tiles add dimension and visual interest to backsplashes and walls. Though the subway tile backsplash trend has been popular for decades, adding the beveled edge gives this classic tile design a fresh, new take.

Benefits of Choosing a Beveled Subway Tile Backsplash

Opting for a beveled subway tile backsplash offers many advantages for your kitchen remodel or redesign. Here are some of the top benefits of using this tile style:

Timeless Look

The subway tile backsplash is a time-honored trend that has spanned decades. Unlike some bold, trendy designs that can date your kitchen after a few years, the classic subway tile style will always remain in style. The beveled edge adds just enough of a modern touch to prevent your backsplash from looking outdated. This timelessness means you can enjoy your backsplash for years to come without needing to remodel again soon.

Works in Any Kitchen

A key benefit of the subway tile backsplash is its versatility. The simple, understated style works seamlessly in both traditional and contemporary kitchen settings. Whether your kitchen leans toward a cozy cottage or sleek modern design, beveled subway tiles will complement your aesthetic beautifully. This versatility also allows you to change up your kitchen’s decor without needing to replace the backsplash.

Reflects Light

The angled finished edge of the beveled tiles refracts light differently than flat subway tiles. This helps add dimension and almost a shimmery effect when natural or artificial light hits the backsplash. The light reflecting off the beveled subway tiles can make your kitchen seem brighter and more open.

Easy to Clean

Subway tile’s smooth, glossy surface wipes clean easily. The beveled edges get into fewer crevices than textured tiles, further aiding simple maintenance. Just use a damp sponge or cloth to remove any messes or splatters from this unfussy backsplash. The minimal grout lines also limit the number of dirt traps.

Budget-Friendly Option

In comparison to some other backsplash tile varieties like granite, marble, or hand-painted ceramic, subway tiles tend to cost less. The simple rectangular shape makes installation quicker as well. Beveled subway tiles come in an affordable price range, allowing you to get the stylish backsplash you want at a wallet-friendly cost.

Modern, Angled Look

While traditional subway tiles have flat, ninety-degree angle edges, the beveled variety slants the edges. This small detail adds a more three-dimensional, modernized take on the classic subway tile style. The resulting look is eye-catching and unique.

Sleek Alternative to Penney Tiles

Penney tiles, also called penny round tiles, feature a dotted circle motif. The beveled subway tile offers a smoother, more streamlined alternative to the traditional Penney tile kitchen backsplash. Yet it still nods to the retro-styled look.

Customizable Styling

From white to bold colors, small to large sizes, matte to glossy finishes, and countless laying patterns, beveled subway tiles offer limitless ways to customize your backsplash design. Mix and match colors, dimensions, and tile orientations to create a fashionable backsplash that’s distinctly you.

Elements of the Beveled Subway Tile Backsplash Style

What defines this variety of subway tile backsplash? Here are the key elements that distinguish the beveled subway tile look:

Rectangular Tile Shape

The simple, straightforward rectangular tile shape defines the classic subway tile style. Traditional subway tiles measure 3 inches by 6 inches, but beveled subway tiles come in a range of sizes. Options like 4×8, 4×10, 4×12 and longer “plank” sizes remain true to the subway style with their elongated rectangular forms.

Beveled Edges

The signature detail of this tile is the chamfered, angled edges. One or more of the tile’s outside edges feature a flat slanted surface instead of a sharp ninety-degree angle. This bevel gives the illusion of depth while allowing light to reflect off the surface differently. The resulting look is brighter and slightly more dimensional than flat-edged subway tile.

Surface Finish

Beveled subway tiles most commonly feature a glossy finish, but matte options are also available. The visual effect ranges from reflective shine to subdued matte, depending on your preference. A glossy finish intensifies the light-reflecting property of the beveled edges.


Traditional ceramic or porcelain comprise most subway tile backsplashes, including the beveled variety. But glass, marble, and other materials like metal can be cut into rectangular subway shapes as well. Natural stone types like granite, travertine, and onyx come in subway sizes too.

Grout Lines

While some tile varieties feature irregular hand-cut shapes, subway tiles arrange in consistent horizontal and vertical lines because of their uniform rectangular shape. This creates an orderly grid pattern accented by even grout lines between the tiles. Grout color choices like bright white or dark charcoal make the lines more noticeable while matching the tiles downplays the grout lines.

Color/Pattern Combinations

One design option for beveled subway tiles is a monochromatic look, using a single tile color. Or pair colors and patterns, like combining white and gray tiles or using light blue and classic white. Laying them in interesting orientations like a herringbone pattern or offset brick pattern adds visual appeal.

Beveled Subway Tile Backsplash Installation Tips

Installing a beveled subway tile backsplash yourself can save on labor costs for your kitchen refresh. Follow these tips for DIY installation success:

Gather Supplies

Purchase all the tile and necessary installation supplies before starting, including:

  • Beveled edge subway tiles
  • Tile adhesive mortar
  • Grout
  • Grout sealer
  • Notched trowel
  • Mixing buckets
  • Tile spacers
  • Tile cutter
  • Safety gear like gloves and goggles

Prepare the Surface

Remove any existing backsplash tile or materials on the wall area. Clean the surface thoroughly and make any needed repairs to the wall before applying tile mortar.

Plan Your Tile Layout

A well-thought-out tile layout looks more polished and prevents problems as you install. Decide on the tile arrangement, pattern, color/material combinations, and grout width. Have enough tiles to cover the backsplash area without any unsightly seams from mixing dye lots.

Spread the Adhesive Mortar

Follow instructions to mix the mortar, then use a notched trowel to evenly spread it on sections of the wall where you’ll immediately place tiles. Don’t cover too large of an area with mortar at once before tiles are set or the mortar can dry out.

Set the Tiles

Firmly press the subway tiles into the mortar in your planned positions. Use spacers between them to achieve even grout line width. If needed, cut and shape tiles to fit around outlets, corners, or edges with a tile cutter.

Let the Mortar Cure

Allow the mortar to fully cure behind the tile according to manufacturer directions, generally 24-48 hours. Keep the tiles free of traffic during the curing time. Do not grout or seal until the tile mortar has fully hardened.

Apply Grout and Sealant

Grout application helps secure the tiles while adding visual appeal. Follow product instructions to grout the tile joints uniformly without leaving gaps or excess. Finally, apply a grout sealant to prevent staining and damage in the busy kitchen environment.

Beveled Subway Tile Backsplash Design Ideas

With its versatility, the beveled subway tile backsplash adapts well into diverse kitchen settings and styles. Here are some striking design ideas to inspire your backsplash vision:

Unite Mixed Tiles

Blend an assortment of beveled subway tiles in varying materials like cultured marble, ceramic, and glass. The repeating rectangular shapes provide cohesion even among an eclectic tile mix. Use varied sizes like 4×12” and 3×6” as well for dynamic effect.

Contrast White with Color

For traditional appeal, pair brilliant white beveled glossy ceramic tiles with eye-catching blue, green, or handmade artisan varieties. The contrast makes the bolder colors truly pop.

Stacked Bond Pattern

Laying the rectangular beveled subway tiles in a stacked or running bond pattern creates clean, continuous lines, especially on a large backsplash. The staggered parallel rows provide visual movement and interest. A brick-like stacked bond highlights the tile shape and beveled edges.

Statement Chevron

Lay the rectangular subway shape tiles on the diagonal in a forward-facing chevron motif. The beveled edges catch light from more angles in the chevron formation, producing mesmerizing shine and texture. Use tiles in contrasting colors to make the dynamic pattern pop.

Elevated Herringbone

Achieve dimension and style with the upscale herringbone arrangement. Lay the beveled subway tiles in a timeless zigzag pattern with the beveled edges providing depth and light reflectivity from every viewing angle in the kitchen.

Modern Metro

Extra-long “metro” sized beveled subway tiles laid vertically create a towering, modern look. Use large-scale 12×24″ or 12×36″ metro tiles to establish clean vertical lines, maximizing the impact of the height and beveled edges.

Outline Accents

Using specialty-shaped tiles like mosaics, circles, or diamonds? Outline them with classic beveled subway tiles to tie the look together cohesively. The subway tiles’ square edges provide the perfect framing shape.

Contrast Floor and Wall

Select beveled subway tiles for your backsplash that contrast the size, shape, or color of your kitchen flooring. For example, pair narrow brick floor tiles with wider subway backsplash tiles, or vibrant patterned flooring with plain white subway tile walls. The complementary contrast enhances both elements.

Balancing Classic and Contemporary Style

The beveled subway tile hits the sweet spot between time-honored tradition and current modern tastes. It brings a touch of contemporary flair and visual interest to the historically popular subway tile with its fresh angled finish. This allows you to achieve the sophisticated mix of old and new design elements that embodies today’s transitional kitchen style.

The beveled subway tile backsplash ushers in the new while still respecting the old. It celebrates kitchen design’s past while looking to the future. With just enough edge to keep up with changing trends but without going overboard into fad territory, this tile allows you to enjoy your backsplash for years before it starts to look tired or dated.

Incorporating the inclining beveled edges into the traditional subway tile shape gives this backsplash variety a revived take on the tried-and-true. It walks that delicate balance between outmoded and overly trendy. The resulting look feels both novel and nostalgic.

So whether you prefer your kitchen design to lean into the vintage charm of decades past or the sleek lines of modern minimalism, the beveled subway tile backsplash fits right in. This versatile and visually engaging backsplash option brings the best of both design eras together.

FAQ About Beveled Subway Tile Backsplashes

Still have some questions about using beveled subway tile for your kitchen backsplash? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Is a subway tile backsplash still in style?

Yes, the subway tile backsplash remains one of the most classic and popular kitchen backsplash styles. Many interior designers still use it in traditional, transitional, and even contemporary kitchen designs. The beveled subway tile puts a fresh spin on the enduring subway tile trend.

What color grout should I use with beveled subway tiles?

Lighter grout colors like white or light gray keep the focus on the beveled tiles themselves but can get dirty looking. Bold grout colors like black form an eye-catching grid pattern. Matching the grout color to your tiles helps them blend smoothly together.

How difficult is it to install a beveled subway tile backsplash?

For an experienced DIYer, installing beveled subway tile is a moderately easy project. The small uniform tile size allows you to handle the tile cutting and setting yourself if you’re comfortable doing the steps correctly. Patience and attention to detail are key.

Should subway tile go all the way to the ceiling?

The current trend favors a full height backsplash, installing subway tiles from countertop to ceiling. But partial backsplashes stopping a few inches from the ceiling or food prep areas are also stylish options. Choose based on your kitchen plans and style preferences.

Can I combine subway tiles with other materials?

Certainly, mixing subway tiles with complementary materials like marble, glass mosaic, or metal can add beautiful contrast. Use beveled subway tiles as the background and accent with special designer tiles and shapes. Just be sure the overall look ties together.

Do beveled or non-beveled subway tiles reflect more light?

The angled beveled edges refract light differently than flat tile edges, creating more bounce, shine, and visual depth. So beveled subway tiles reflect more light for a brighter, lighter kitchen look.

Bringing Timeless Beauty to Your Kitchen

With its versatile transitional style that blends classic elegance with contemporary Details, the beveled subway tile backsplash deserves its long-lasting popularity. This backsplash option truly earns the title of “classic”. Bold enough to make a design statement yet understated enough for any kitchen, the beveled subway tile look provides lasting visual delight. Its refined sense of style transcends short-lived trends.

For homeowners, designers, and tile installers alike, the beveled subway backsplash delivers on all fronts. Beauty, function, durability, affordability, and design flexibility come together in this impeccably styled and crafted tile. Bringing dimension, light, and an artfully balanced blend of vintage appeal and modern simplicity to backsplashes everywhere, the beveled subway tile backsplash is truly a timeless treasure.






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