Matte vs Glossy Subway Tile: Which Is Better for My Home?

Subway tiles are unique-looking, minimalistic tiles that provide an sophisticated and stylish look to any room. With their compact and simple type, they can change the ambiance of a space, dependent on the owner’s specific need. These tiles arrive in many styles, sizes, styles, and colors and can generate a contrasting appear or neutralize the area.

When it arrives to the distinct finishes of subway tiles, in the same way to most other tiles, you can select among matte and shiny. Considering that every single house owner is browsing for a distinctive and individualized method, we will checklist all the variances and attributes of these two sorts to support you make the greatest determination.

Overview of Matte Subway Tiles


Matte subway tiles are classic and contemporary tiles that come with a matte finish. The matte search provides the entire design a advanced truly feel although staying refined and minimalistic. Matte subway tiles are made to match in bigger rooms with far more organic light-weight and lead to a minimalistic, neutral atmosphere. They go especially properly in rooms with edgy and eccentric designs to develop stability. Given that these particular tiles are non-shiny, they also have non-slippery attributes.

These tiles will offer your house with a rustic and timeless fashion with their simple kind. The softness of the matte seem and the heat undertones include a heat and comforting effect to any area.

installing rectified tiles
Image Credit: Sidorov_Ruslan, Shutterstock


Cleansing and keeping your matte subway tiles may seem to be tough since of the rough matte finish. When attempting to thoroughly clean your matte subway tiles with normal h2o and soap, you may possibly locate that the soap accumulates on the tough surface. For this purpose, cleansing your matte tiles with a light mixture of h2o, vinegar, and detergent is advisable. You can scrub the tiles with a more challenging brush, rinse them with water and dry them with a cloth. Even though vinegar has excellent anti-bacterial qualities, it will also prevent mildew and mildew from increasing on your tiles.

Sustaining clear matte subway tiles might want a little extra work, but these tiles are excellent for areas in which there is a great deal of splashing given that the stains are much less most likely to be noticeable.

Where Are They Used?

Matte subway tiles are ideal for regions with large humidity amounts and rooms with a good deal of organic daylight. Since they really do not have any reflective qualities, you should stay away from putting in matte tiles in darker rooms. These tiles will be excellent mounted in your kitchen area, toilet, laundry place, or outside patios. Matte tiles are a excellent resolution for homes with elderly or youngsters due to the fact of their anti-slip homes. Matte subway tiles typically occur smaller sized and narrower, which makes them excellent for backsplashes all close to the property. They can be made into various designs and designs to suit the room’s all round design.

  • Anti-slip properties that are excellent for households with senior citizens and smaller children
  • Excellent at concealing spillages, splashes, and water stains
  • They provide your home with a timeless and rustic look
  • The minimalistic form of subway tiles is versatile and easy to fit in with any design
  • They have a non-shiny surface which is ideal for creating a soft and calming environment
  • Unsuitable for darker rooms because they don’t reflect light
  • Challenging to maintain
  • Stubborn stains aren’t as easy to remove

Overview of Glossy Subway Tiles


Glossy subway tiles are gorgeous symmetric tiles with a shiny complete. They are topped off with a glaze that displays light, which results in an illusion of a more roomy room. Glossy subway tiles are exceptional for scaled-down rooms or areas with insufficient normal mild given that they can lead to making a vivid and warm atmosphere. Opposite to matte subway tiles, which have a soothing influence, shiny tiles are an outstanding way to liven up a room and include far more strength and spark.

They go exceptional with other matte surfaces, such as counter tops and cupboards, by adding distinction and character.

subway tiles
Image Credit: Pixabay


Cleaning shiny subway tiles is generally significantly more straightforward than cleansing matte tiles. To thoroughly clean these tiles extensively, you will require warm h2o and a gentle cleansing agent. Because the area of these tiles is so sleek, all that it requires is a single wipe to take away any stains. Even so, there are some small problems in the shiny design and style as effectively. H2o stains or detergent marks will be a lot much more obvious when they dry up, particularly with darker tiles. For that explanation, it is critical to complete cleansing your shiny tiles with a microfiber cloth to guarantee no marks seem.

If you spill fluids on your glossy subway tiles, never ever go away it unattended, even if it is just drinking water. Thoroughly clean the spillage instantly with a sponge or a mop and dry the floor with a microfiber cloth.

Where Are They Used?

Considering that glossy subway tiles are so straightforward to maintain, they will be an superb addition to large-site visitors areas with a good deal of humidity, these kinds of as kitchens and bogs. Glossy subway tiles are an exceptional remedy for more compact rooms this kind of as hallways, tiny loos, and entrance regions due to the fact their reflective properties generate an illusion of a more substantial area.

If your kitchen is a bit smaller, with inadequate light, installing a shiny subway tile backsplash will help open up up the room and create a transitional appear. These tiles are outstanding for rooms where rustic satisfies modern day, making a warm yet energetic area.

  • They can make any room seem more spacious and brighter
  • Straightforward to clean and maintain
  • A perfect blend of modern and rustic
  • Excellent at adding more energy and character to a dull room
  • Any imperfections will be more visible
  • Tend to be slippery
  • Unsuitable for rooms where the reflection may be distracting

Subway Tile Patterns

No matter whether undertaking a kitchen backsplash or bathroom remodeling, you will require to determine on the sample of your subway tiles. Since these tiles have this sort of a simple and minimalistic sort, there are several ways to stack them and generate a distinctive design. There are different achievable patterns to choose from and each and every one will give your room a special seem. The most common and common designs utilized in kitchens and bathrooms are:

  • Classic Brick Layout
  • Vertical Running Bond
  • Stacked Bond
  • Vertical Stacked Bond
  • Herringbone Pattern
  • Diagonal Herringbone
  • Basket Weave Layout

These are just a couple of of the many accessible possibilities. Even though following these simple nevertheless stunning patterns, you are often free of charge to play and customize your subway tile layout to your very own liking.

subway tiles patterns
Image Credit: Fire Clay Tile Examples of Subway Tile Layout, Lynn Friedman, Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Which Subway Tiles Are Right for You?

After studying about every type of subway tile, you might ponder which sort to select for your residence. The two tiles have an intriguing and special layout, however the end tends to make them vary a whole lot. Your decision will only depend mostly on the purpose these tiles will serve and the place where you want to put in them.

For a kitchen area backsplash, a shiny subway tile may be a far better selection merely because of the frequent splashes throughout cooking. You will want a tile with a sleek surface that will be simple and fast to clear.

For the lavatory, it would be greatest to install matte subway tiles. There will be frequent h2o splashing in the lavatory, especially shower stalls, and matte subway tiles are excellent at hiding water stains. These tiles also have anti-slip qualities, making them superb for continually soaked or humid locations.

If you are thinking of putting in subway tiles in your hallway or entryway, it would be best to go for glossy because they do an exceptional task at generating a sensation of a significantly larger place. They will incorporate far more natural light with their reflective qualities, creating your hallway brighter and a lot more welcoming.

When installing subway tiles on your patio or balcony, the matte subway tiles are the correct decision for you. These tiles will be satisfying and neutral to the eye, although a glossy finish could be too reflective for open space. The identical goes for offices or study areas—matte tiles are advisable due to the fact they have a calming influence.

Matte Subway Tiles Glossy Subway Tiles
Appearance Soothing, calm, and neutral. Minimalistic and vintage style. Energetic and bright. Rustic style with a modern twist.
Maintenance Harder to clean. Better at concealing stains. Easier to clean. Stains are more visible.
Uses Larger rooms with plenty of natural sunlight. Excellent for bathrooms and kitchen floors. Excellent for patios. Smaller and darker rooms. Excellent for kitchen backsplashes and areas with frequent spillages.


Matte and glossy subway tiles are exceptional choices for any sort of home, whether contemporary, rustic, classic, or classic. Given that these tiles are so versatile, they supply a broad variety of aesthetics. House owners that pick the shiny variety of tile have a tendency to go for a far more lively and energetic option that will bring in as considerably organic light to the area as possible. Owners that want a peaceful and serene location have a tendency to go for matte tile.

After studying about the features of every single tile, hopefully, you can choose which one is greater suited for your property.


Featured Graphic Credit history: (L) yarmrtsnk, Shutterstock | (R) Kues, Shutterstock