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What is authentic subway tile?

Subway tile is a style of glazed ceramic tile originally used on the walls of the New York City subway stations in the early 20th century. The charming 3″ x 6″ tiles covered the walls of subway platforms and allowed for easy cleaning and graffiti removal. Today, you know subway tile for its timelessness and versatility. But how do you know if your subway tile is authentic? 

What to look for:

  • Clean, precise & sculpturally tiled surfaces.


  • Flat tile surfaces with pencil thin grout lines.


  • The classic 3” x 6” field with many alternative format & patterns options.


These characteristics are a classic example of the principle “form follows function,” inherent in sanitary ceramic tilework of the Victorian period.


Featured here: 

  • Specialized mouldings and radius corner pieces.
  • Cove base transitions smoothly  between floor and wall surfaces.
  • Decorative cap mouldings to elegantly terminate wainscot walls
Subway Tile Avalon

Featured here: 

  • Tiled-in glazed ceramic accessories such as ceramic towel bars and recessed soap dishes. 
  • Complimentary mosaic floors in unglazed porcelain patterns.

Quality certifications

The Subway Ceramics collection is proudly made in the USA to the highest standard of craftsmanship.  Product test data available upon request for ANSI A137.1 (USA) and European CE EN 14411

Industry affiliations

Tile Council of North America (TCNA) – member

Tile Contractors’ Association of America (TCAA) – member

Tile Heritage Foundation – contributor