Timeless Tile Designs that Aren’t Subway Tile

Everyone loves Subway Tile. And listen, we get it. We like it too. It’s classic, versatile and works well with any style of kitchen design. But if you are looking to break out of the norm and do something unique, our River North Design District (RNDD) Members have some alternatives to subway tile for your next home remodel. And don’t worry, these alternate tile designs are just as versatile and timeless as the old classic.

Classic with a Modern Twist

A foyer floor was brought back to the original James Means archived design plans for the entryway. The “stand out” element of the foyer is the custom pattern of the antiqued black and white marble tile from Renaissance Tile & Bath, resulting in a 3-D effect. This classic black and white tile combination is one that can stand the test of time.

Visit the Renaissance Tile & Bath showroom at 555 N. Franklin St. or online here. Their design professionals are ready to expertly guide you through our showroom environment, discovering materials, and design options that capture the essence of your vision.

Design: Renaissance Tile & Bath
Builder: Ladisic Fine Homes

Photo by Galina Photography

Marble is Forever

Made in the USA, the Calacatta Lincoln from Calia Stone Boutique never goes out of style. A clean white stone with soft grey veining, this marble keeps the vibe classic and timeless. The Calacatta Lincoln is featured here in this new build home in Lincoln Park. See more of the marble available through Calia Stone here.

Interior Designer: Elizabeth Krueger Design
Builder: Barrett Homes Chicago
Calia Stone Stylist: Meghan Sargent


Vintage Never Goes Out of Style

When it came to this bathroom design, the biggest challenge for Staci Munic Interiors was how to make the bathroom feel expansive. Staci selected a large format, vintage inspired porcelain tile, and installed it across the entire wall in the shower and behind the toilet. The light cove was designed with Kiersten Hoiland Studios and washes the entire wall in a soft glow. The grey cement inspired porcelain tile on the shower control wall compliments the patterned wall tile and the terrazzo floor becoming the bridge for the three surfaces. See more here.

Bath 1
Photo by Lance Gerber
Bath 2
Photo by Lance Gerber

Putting You Best Face(ted) Forward

In the kitchen of the Centaur Interiors (CI) Showroom, CI used a beautiful geometric-shaped faceted Calcutta marble from Artistic Tile as opposed to the traditional subway tile. The under-cabinet routed lighting highlights the structure and beauty of the tile, and by pairing the tile with an electric plug mold meant that no cuts are made to the backsplash. As clients and prospective clients enter the showroom, it is imperative for the Kitchen/Meeting space to possess a timeless appearance that many can appreciate, and this elegant backsplash achieved just that. See more here.


European Elegance

Leaving behind a traditional home in the suburbs of Chicago, this couple wanted a home that was a reflection of their modern and edgy style, so they turned to the best: Donna Mondi Interior Design. The master bath is a standout with custom floor tiles from Renaissance Tile & Bath, in River North, composed of four different Nero Marquina stone marble in neutral colors punctuated with polished brass inlays. The look is reminiscent of the splendor of an old European palazzo and adds to the elegant look of this master bath. The marble floor pattern blends well against all custom black cabinetry from O’Brien Harris and balances the modern freestanding bathtub. The Brutalist style gold chandelier, in addition to the aged brass vanity sconces, creates a dramatic look that is timeless. See more of this beautiful bathroom here.

Shot_9_09 copy
Photos by Werner Straube

Geometric Tile that Packs a Punch

The design team at Milieu created a custom metal hood for this kitchen with copper accents that carries throughout the space. They worked with the client’s existing subzero refrigerator creating custom panels to give it a fully integrated look. But the real stand-out design detail is the geometric Sarri Blanco tile from Artistic Tile, which they used as the backsplash, taking it all the way up to the ceiling in some areas. This antique-patterned tile is composed of triangles and circles in a soft, neutral color palette making it the perfect compliment to a modern or traditional kitchen style. See more here.

Photo by Tony Soluri
Photo by Tony Soluri

A Modern Take on an Old Classic

This family kitchen, designed by Dresner Design, is located in the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. The project was a gut renovation and resulted in this beautiful all-white kitchen that mixes modern and traditional elements. When it came to the tile, Dresner Design took a new twist on the classic subway tile with these elongated, white, hexagon Pratt & Larson tiles from Artistic Tile. By taking the tile all the way up to the top of the wall, it provides an interesting backdrop for the open shelving and custom hood. See more here.

Photo by Jim Tschetter

Show-Stopping Tile Used Sparingly 

In this master bath renovation, Yamini Designs was asked to create a serene sanctuary for a client whose style was traditional and who was looking for an updated bath that also echoed her love for organic motifs.

The client was especially inspired by a distinctive, leaf-patterned, glazed ceramic tile that she had long coveted. Since the client had a tight budget, Yamini used this higher end tile sparingly as a focal point, creating a design that maximizes its eye-catching effect while minimizing its overall use to reduce cost and avoid lengthy installation times. With smart choices and a focus on detail, this tile was used to design a classic bath that evoked a fresh, verdant oasis with all the amenities of a modern bath. The patterned tile and marble countertops are from Tithof Tile & Marble, and the cream floor tile and shower wall tile was from Studio41. See more here.

Princeton Lane -Tile Pic

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