comparison of 2 pieces of subway tiles side-by-side
Photo: Doug Rosa

Luxury vs. Bargain: A Side-by-Side Look

As far back as 1904, the year New York City's first white-walled underground transit stations were christened, "subway tile" was being hawked in catalogs. The easy-to-clean, tightly grouted 3x6s became a hit in American bathrooms and kitchens, and they remain popular today. Study the two shown here to see how small variations can shift the look from handcrafted to sleek.
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