Origin of Subway tiles?

The origination of subway tiles happened in the early 20th century. In 1904, these glazed ceramic, 3"x 6" tiles were initially seen on the walls of the New York City subway stations. The glinting white tiles adorned the walls of the upcoming subway platforms and were usually accentuated with vibrant tile mosaics of the station names. Many eminent buildings in the New York city also started having their names written on colorful tile mosaics. Subway tiles enabled effortless cleaning and graffiti erasure. These radiant tiles exhibit traits like easy cleaning, blotch resistance, and durability. Shortly the design, style, and attributes of subway tiles were admired by homeowners, designers, and craftsmen. Besides being low on maintenance, these tiles proclaimed hygiene which made them popular in pre-war bathrooms and kitchens throughout the nation.

Historical Importance of Subway tiles:

  • During the Victorian years, subway tiles became an exemplar of the axiom of "form follows function", and became the touchstone of sanitary ceramic tile-work.
  • Subway tiles became a distinctive mode of tile installation and followed a systematized American architecture and design.
  • The tiles are a representation of the early 20th century authentic tilework used in the construction of residential homes and mercantile structures.

Attributes of Subway tiles: 

Subway tiles are strong and versatile tiles. The amalgamation of its general components makes them the preferred one.

  • The tilework evinces a pristine white aura.
  • Filed tiles are available in a conventional measure of 3"x 6".
  • Delivers proper installation with differentiated moldings and corner wedges to avoid miter seams.
  • Corner guards or cove base moldings protect the base of the wall from impact damage.
  • Use of cap moldings to eliminate top edges in a decorative way.
  • Glazed smooth touch ceramic toilet paper holders, towel bars, alcove soap dishes and corner shelves, all tiled-in for an orderly look.

Layout Applications of Subway Tiles

Extensive variety of colors, textures, and patterns allows constructing styles that supplements the architecture and design of the space. Subway tiles certainly add character to the area used in. However, these tiles are not suggested for flooring application.

  • Kitchen and bathroom backsplash, and bathroom shower area in residential projects.
  • Shower area and backsplashes in hotel restrooms.
  • Restaurants, resorts, and bars counters.
  • To beautify prominent public buildings and transport departments.
  •  Shopping malls and retail stores are decorated with colorful mosaics and patterns.   

How to identify a genuine subway tile?

New manufactures coming up with advanced shapes, sizes and accessories in subway tiles has put a question mark on the authenticity of the tiles. Look out for the following features to check for the genuinity:

  • Flat tile surface - Various finishing processes leave a flat, thin-like feel that is smooth and velvety to the touch.
  • Rectified edges - A mechanical process flattens the tile edges and ensures that they are perfectly squared with right-angle edges.
  • Pencil thin grout lines - A perfectly flat tile surface with square edges gives you very thin grout lines that present your tiles at their best.
  • 3/8" thickness - An authentic subway tile will be flat with a thickness of 3/8".

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