Top 7 Secrets of Subway Tiles Nobody Wants To Reveal

Although different tile experts have revealed a lot about subway tiles, it would amaze you to discover that there is still much more to learn. Presently in our archives, we have over two hundred stories that contain the term ‘subway tiles’. Yet, none of them has revealed some of the top secrets of the tiles. 

You might have probably heard, or known subway tiles are timeless, practical, and durable. And one of the most prevailing facts about them is that they work perfectly in all types of interior designs. 

Is that all you also know? Do you know what counts as subway tile? Do you know where it originated? Have you also discovered some secrets that can help you maximize the use of these unique tiles? If your answer is ‘NO’ to all of the preceding questions, you need to pay more attention to this article at this juncture.

Perhaps you will love to know that the best way to becoming an expert in tiles and interior designs is to understand the secrets behind those materials. Although it is not a gainsaying, it counts a lot in using them to achieve your preferred methods. 

Before I go into the full details, let me start by admitting that I was a novice like you. I barely have any tangible information about subway tiles. But, when the need to learn more arose, I began to dig deeper. 

Are you also ready to unlock some hidden codes about these tiles? Let’s go digging!  

1. Subway tiles originated beneath Manhattan

Yes! Incredible, isn’t it? Absolutely. In 1904, the iconic designers George C. Heins and Christopher Grant La Farge took up a tricky task to design a surface that people can easily clean. They found the first subway tiles below the ground in the subway system of New York City. The idea was to aid the then occupants of New York City using underground transit for the first time. 

Guess what? The two iconic designers came up with some tiles with slightly curved edges and a polished finish. Meanwhile, it illustrated that the subway stations were bright, sanitary and glossy. 

2. The first subway tiles are still available to date 

Does that sound shocking? Of course, it should. To be truthful, not many people are aware of this fact. For many years now, it has remained a secret though some people have visited the place to catch a sight of the first subway tiles.  

Are you a design expert, or you love to discover new things in life? Then, I am pleased to update you to gain access to see the first subway tiles. Your sole responsibility is to take a trip to the abandoned first subway station: the City Hall stop. 

The New York Transit Museum recently revealed that New Yorkers stay on the six trains purposely to catch a glimpse. So, if you’re planning to go on that tour, you are not alone. 

3. Subway tiles came into exist6ence out of an obsession with hygiene 

Have you ever wondered why designers always suggest subway tiles when there is a need to observe higher hygiene standards? Now you know why. 

Subway tiles came out of a Victorian-era when cleanliness is the watchword of every habitant. As you might have noticed, they come with glossy, glazed finishes, making them easy to clean and stain-resistant. More so, you can also channel that to the reason they reflect light perfectly. 

Since the time subway tiles came into the interior design world, they quickly became the top designer’s choice. After a few years, they became the best choice for wall and floor covering for bathrooms, kitchens, butcher shops, and more.

Without a doubt, the sudden general acceptance of the tiles came from being sanitary and valuable. However, it has been the reason they have been in high demand for several decades.

4. Subway tiles don’t have a definite shape

Of course, people used to the traditional rectangular shape will find it difficult to swallow this truth. So the classic dimensions of subway tiles have been up for debate for several years. 

Most people claim that the tiles always come with 3 x 6 inches dimensions. But, in reality, it is a different story entirely now. The truth is, Subway tiles don’t always come in only rectangular shapes anymore, and their dimensions are increasingly expanding. Have you ever seen a subway tile in a square shape? There are many of them out there.

5. Subway tiles also come in stone and glass 

So, if you have always thought that you can only define subway tiles the way there making, you need to think again. Typically, the general definition of subway tiles is a low-fired, thin, glazed, and glossy ceramic tile. However, the first subway tiles they made in the New York Subway stations had white glass as the primary material. That was based on account of the Washington Post.

In recent times, subway tiles are available in different materials, including stone, glass, marble, and many more. 

6. Subway tiles can cost below $1

Yes. It is true! How does it feel knowing that you can get a quality subway tile for as low as 90 cents or even below?

I will not disagree that this fact is among the reasons many people, including top designers, are always searching for subway tiles. And I wouldn’t blame them. Who would like to purchase high-quality materials for interior designs for a lower price?  Not even you.

7. Subway tiles are not for floors

It is rather strange that many people use subway tiles kitchen and bathroom floors. That is incorrect.

Of course, subway tiles come in good quality and are durable enough to serve for a long time. The possibilities of the pattern you can create are also endless, but they are not ideal for floors. 

Why? It is simple. Subway tiles are thin. As a result, they cannot stand the consistent wear and tear. However, you can use them to do all you like on your walls.


There are many other top secrets about subway tiles, but the above ones are more important. They will guide you during the use and maintenance practices and help you achieve the best design you would love to create. 

How to Clean and Maintain Terrazzo Tiles

There are a couple of dimensions we can take to look at terrazzo tiles. There is the aspect of identifying the excellent terrazzo tiles, why you need a professional tiler to fix your floor and wall, and other exciting topics. But when the terrazzo tiles or terrazzo look tiles have been installed in your home or office, the next thing may be maintaining them. In other words, after the designer may have done his job, you will be in charge of cleaning and maintaining the terrazzo tiles until there is a need for repair. Click here to learn more about cleaning and maintaining your Terrazzo Tiles.

By the way, fixing terrazzo tiles by yourself may not be an excellent idea because of the required skills to do a great job. However, cleaning the terrazzo tiles is up to you. Everyone who sees the place will appreciate the beauty and the tidiness. Consequently, this article expands on the methods of cleaning the terrazzo tiles or faux terrazzo tiles. In addition, it considers the general maintenance culture that you need to get the best out of your design.

If installing terrazzo tiles is relatively costly than other traditional flooring methods, the cleaning methods are easy and affordable. Let us just bear that in mind and build on it. In other words, it is straightforward to plan for a standard cleaning process for your terrazzo tiles to remove any stain that could become permanent if ignored. Another important aspect of cleaning terrazzo tiles is the portion of the house where you have them; indoor or outdoor terrazzo tiles. 

How to Clean Indoor terrazzo tiles

There is no doubt that laying terrazzo tiles on the floor of the home, office or any other place is a joy to behold. The sight already gives a good feeling of beauty once laid and tidied up, which leads us to the next part. Terrazzo tiles are straightforward to maintain, mainly because dirt and grime can only accumulate when the cleaning process is not regular or efficient enough. 

In other words, when the cleaning process is constant and thorough, there won’t be room for any permanent stain on the floor. Otherwise, the accumulation of the dirt can cause many complications when it is time for cleaning. And instead of using a light cleaning method, you may have to employ some other safe and secure ways. Let us consider some of the different cleaning options.

  • You can make use of a vacuum cleaner or a light brush to first sweep the terrazzo tiles off any grit or dust. When doing so, do it systematically without leaving any portion of the surface untouched.
  • Another option is to use a specialized terrazzo tiles cleaner available from retail stores in Sydney, Australia. When washing with the cleanser, use warm water with a damp microfiber cloth or mop to clean up. Do not use cotton or sponge mops on terrazzo tiles.
  • Also, ensure to exert a minimum force to slightly grab the surface when using the mop. This way, you can gently lift off any daily grime that gathers. At the same time, note that a damp microfiber mop is far better and more efficient than a wet mop. The latter can cause streaks during the cleaning process
  • You can also prepare a solution containing a dash of methylated spirit and hot water. This homemade solution can replace the use of soap-based products. Otherwise, you may get some thin films on the terrazzo tiles and thereby attract even more dirt. 
  • Cleaning requires a patterned style from one side of the room to the other. In other words, ensure to avoid walking on the terrazzo tiles until everything has become dry. 
  • If you own a polished porcelain tile, you can use a steam mop as a durable alternative to the conventional mop
  • If there is a somewhat dull haze on the new tiles just laid, there is no reason to panic. However, simply wash it off as it may be due to the grout residue, and it is easy to remove when discovered on time. Tiles and Bath Co assures you of durable high quality, and timely supply of any required items.

How to Clean Outdoor Terrazzo Tiles

Outdoor tiles are relatively even much easier to clean than indoor tiles. The outdoor terrazzo tiles comprise the most complex materials and very responsive to polish and cleaners. Let us follow the itemized steps below.

  • Gently wet the portion of the area where you have the terrazzo tiles to add some moisture
  • Scrub or sweep the surface of the terrazzo tiles with a bristled broom
  • You can use specialized cleaner from the Tile & Stone Company as an ideal option for removing mild grime from your outdoor terrazzo tiles.
  • In tidying it up, hose the area and remove any leftover dirt that may still be attached to anywhere on the surface. When working on a larger surface area, divide the room into different sections and take one team at a time to clean until you finish the whole house. Start working from the surface of the wall away from it. 
  • When you encounter any issue during the cleaning process that you cannot solve, consult a stone specialist brochure for help. In addition, workmanship comes with consultation services for natural stones like the terrazzo tiles. 

Summary of Items to Clean New Terrazo Tiles

There are two essential things you remove from your terrazzo tiles, they are grout and dirt. Grouting on the terrazzo tiles may be due to cement residue, silicone leaching or any kind of accumulated dirt. Any attempt to remove the grout without spoiling the tiles must follow specific steps that include some listed items in this article. The steps to follow are not also hard at all, while the hardest will be waiting for the grout to dry up. Also, the following recommendations are assuming that you will work on ten square meters at a time.

  • A broom
  • A heavy scrubbing brush
  • Two buckets of warm water
  • Many buckets of cold, clean water
  • Cleaning detergent
  • A wet vacuum cleaner
  • Phosphoric acid cleaner

Inspirational Ideas on the use of Terrazzo Tiles

Are you planning on revamping your property or build a new one with terrazzo tiles? Then this article can help you. We perceive that many builders love the dream of what terrazzo tiles can do to both the interior and the exterior of a building. But what is missing is the right idea or inspiration for the same. Whether towards the interior parts of the house, such as table slabs, kitchen slabs, dining table, bathroom walls, and the rest, terrazzo tiles form the new way to go in interior decorations. You can know more detail about Terrazzo Tile by visiting at

On the other hand, you may enjoy terrazzo tiles better on the exterior parts of the house. In making that happen, you need the right creative ideas. Meanwhile, one thing about ideas is that it does not just jump out of ‘nowhere’ all the time. At times, what we refer to as a new idea actually stemmed out of an existing one. So, in the context of decorating with terrazzo tiles, you may start with a completely new design or modify the current configuration to fit your specific needs.

Below are some of the inspirational ideas that can promote your terrazzo tiles concept and installation.

Terrazzo Pouring for Bathroom Countertops

Depending on the kind of house, you may want to have a solid and smooth countertop made of terrazzo tiles. However, many people may otherwise not know that even if Terrazzo is available as tiles, it can also be cast in-situ as a whole slab. In such cases, fabricating the slab will involve concrete as the base material in which the entire collection of chips are mixed. The mixture of concrete is then poured out on the granite, marble, and other stone chips.

Meanwhile, all the chips must have already been laid out in the right arrangement and seamless form. After the pouring has been done carefully and professionally, you can then begin to smoothen out the poured concrete on the slab into a seamless finish. This mixture molds itself around the edges and curves of the particles. Apart from the countertop of bathrooms, you can also use Terrazzo for the basins, which involve wrapping it around the edges of the surface.

Mounting Terrazzo on the Kitchen or Dining Areas

Apart from using the bathroom terrazzo tiles or slab, we can also produce an in-situ terrazzo cast for the kitchen countertop or basins. The kitchen counters need to be strong and be able to bear a reasonable weight. Therefore, you can build the terrazzo slab to support the weight of objects in use in the kitchen. It may also be employed in designing the kitchen furniture, including the cabinet. 

Apart from the kitchen countertops and cabinet, how about casting Terrazzo on the backsplashes and other parts, just to make the whole view more beautiful. You may even decide to cast it on the kitchen sink entirely or while leaving the aluminum or marble top. Also, you can use the same method for breakfast areas and the dining room table, which also has to be a firm, fanciful, durable, and attractive surface.

Creating Decorative items with Terrazzo

Terrazzo tiles and slabs are not limited in use to definite places such as tabletops and shelves. You can also use them in creating fanciful items. In more than a few ways, various interior designers have experimented with Terrazzo to form different shapes and sizes of objects. For instance, the Scandinavian prototypes of terrazzo flower pots and other valuable tools still remain relevant. Therefore, Terrazzo can help build accent pieces such as coasters, flower vases, and other decorative items in the home. 

Furthermore, considering the material’s versatility, you can also create terrazzo boxes as much as you can imagine them. And as against the initial fear, these objects don’t have to be heavy. You can develop lampshades, paperweights, and wall murals of diverse colors of Terrazzo. Alternatively, you can make use of broken terrazzo tiles while exploring other objects from your creative mind. 

Terrazzo Tiles as Staircases or in Flooring 

No doubt, perhaps the most common use of terrazzo tiles is in different flooring places, be it residential or commercial. However, apart from the floor of rooms, extended use may also involve integrating on to staircases. There are two options to making staircases out of Terrazzo. The first one is to create terrazzo tiles and install them on the existing structure of wood or concrete. 

On the other hand, you can cast a fresh terrazzo slab to make the staircases from scratch. The method is similar to the one we first mentioned. First, you need to pour out concrete on terrazzo chips, the process of which may be in-situ or ex-situ, laid with terrazzo tiles. Moreover, the use of Terrazzo in this structure can really be strong and durable for a long time. However, you may have to take caution on the slippery part, which you can read more on in this article.  

The Do’s and Don’ts of Terrazzo in Interior Decorations

We have discussed the unique features of using Terrazzo to decorate your house’s interior and exterior. But we need to open up on some of the dos and don’ts of using Terrazzo. One of the primary reasons we need to touch it is that people quickly go overboard with Terrazzo. Whereas excess Terrazzo in the house may look too monotonous as a design. Although it is fair enough to have terrazzo material here and there but indeed not everywhere.

Moreover, if you want to make the room look very cool and attractive, you may just blend in your terrazzo objects against plain surfaces. In that way, you remove the risk of distraction and enhance Terrazzo’s beauty at the same time. However, this strategy involves ensuring that the colors you are combining match well together. Perhaps, this reason is enough inspiration for you to create neutral backgrounds or white terrazzo tiles. 


In conclusion, hardly any interior or exterior designer would not enjoy working with Terrazzo due to the material’s versatility. At the same time, the interior space allows a design that brings out the creativity and artistic gifts of the designer. Finally, there is a way the arrangement and setting of a house using terrazzo speak of the house’s personality. It can tell if they enjoy minimal and straightforward or they like it loud and wild.