Add colour, texture and pattern with classic Metro tiles
Firstly, to all my lovely followers, apologies for being absent since November! I blame overwork, which as it pays my bills, has to take precedence, then a last minute hospital stay to have a new knee. I'm still recovering but it hasn't affected my typing, so not an excuse really! Its just been really busy. Anywho, I was asked by CTD tiles to do a blog post for them recently - https://www.ctdtiles.co.uk/inspiration/kitchen-tiles-inspiration-and-ideas/8520-how-to-update-your-kitchen-with-classic-metro-tiles.aspx So I thought I would reproduce it here too.
The humble Metro, or Subway tile has been with us for many years, back to the start of the 20th Century in fact, when the world was changing dramatically. The London Underground, New York City Subway and Paris Metro were all being built as part of a new and exciting world order at the start of a new century. Designers working on the new Underground wanted something new to express this bright new future, and the Metro tile was born. Typically made from ceramic and finished in white gloss, they were a simple style and shape, hard-wearing, and with a clean, fresh look - something that was important to designers at the time, who wanted to move away from the dirt and gloom of Victorian London. They carried on being used but jumped into the spotlight once more in the early 1990’s when people were converting lofts and other post-industrial buildings and wanted a simple, practical and retro look. At that time you couldn’t go into a London kitchen without seeing a wall of white Metro tiles! They have continued to evolve and their versatility has made them a timeless choice - they can be laid in different patterns - horizontally or vertically, colours can be mixed, they can have straight or bevelled edges, and with a gloss or matt surface, to create a multitude of different looks. Have a look at some of the different styles here.
As you probably know, Pantone Colour of the Year this year is Very Peri, so this lilac combination is bang on trend. These are Dyroy Aubergine gloss tiles, 200 x 65mm, £24.67 m2 and come in a blend of different shades for an individual look. The gloss surface is also rippled, so it picks up the light and gives an undulating feel. These are laid in a vertical block design for a clean look and they marry up perfectly with the lilac kitchen units with the black grid trim. https://www.ctdtiles.co.uk/gemini-tiles/dyroy/p-8145-dyroy-aubergine-tile-200x65mm.aspx?catid=2906
These Poitiers Bordeaux Gloss tiles, 300 x 75mm, £49.99 m2 have been laid in a vertical brick pattern which looks really striking, and if you have a low ceiling or a small kitchen, its a good visual trick to make the room seem taller than it really is. Again they have a gloss finish so the light bounces off them. This burgundy or berry shade has been really popular recently and is a good contrast to the traditional Shaker cabinets in lilac.
These Metro Brick tiles in Dark Grey Gloss 200x100 mm £15.99 m2 have a bevelled edge which adds another dimension, and although the room is all one colour, the bevelled edge adds pattern and individuality. They have also been laid in an unusual way that gives them an almost 3D effect. A pale grey grout has been used so it doesn't detract from the shape of the tile.
One of the trends from Cersaie, the tile trend show in Bologna last year, was tiles being continued from floors up onto walls - whether it's on an island, walls, on stair risers or in alcoves, which makes for a dramatic and cohesive look. These Dyroy Green tiles 200 x 65mm, £49.99 m2 make a feature of the island with the block of deep emerald green and have a rippled finish for interest. They have been grouted using dark grey so it blends in and makes them easy to keep clean. Then the design has been repeated on the far wall using the same tiles but in blue. https://www.ctdtiles.co.uk/gemini-tiles/dyroy/p-8147-dyroy-green-tile-200x65mm.aspx?catid=2906
Laying tiles in a herringbone or chevron pattern has been popular for the last couple of years and always looks stylish. Poitiers Azure Blue Gloss tiles, 300 x 75mm £49.99 m2 gives a solid block of colour as a splashback. These ones are slightly longer and thinner to add impact and have been grouted with white for definition. https://www.ctdtiles.co.uk/gemini-tiles/poitiers/p-7723-poitiers-azure-blue-gloss-tile-300x75mm.aspx?catid=2822
And of course I couldn't write about metro tiles without showing the classic white 200 x 100mm - they never date and always look clean and fresh, and they go with anything. Laid in a vertical block pattern and with a bevelled edge, they will stand the test of time.