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White Glossy Subway Tile or White Matte Subway?

November 26, 2018

New kitchen cabinets are white. Granite is named White Ice from MSI. Deciding on subway tile. I ruled out whitish marble (too busy and expensive), next gray (depressing) which basically leaves white. I like the glossy white which I saw recently in a professionally decorated model with kitchen colors close to mine (see last photo). Some say matte is nice also. Any opinions? Perhaps I should make a board as Jan Moyer suggested in a recent similar post?

Comments (18)
  • annied75
    You'll want to purchase a few different tiles and put them in your kitchen to view throughout the day. Don't choose a tile based on a photo that you saw online.
    vintagestuf thanked annied75
  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    more white subway tile. great. you could do either glossy or matte. really doesn't matter. Don't do a glass tile because it can give off a greenish hue.

    heres a matte 3x12 in a herringbone.

    tilebar.com Byzantine Bianco

    what about something in the taupe or fawn coloring? you have that in your stone.

    these are from Winchester Tiles and the color is Dunwich. it's a nice taupe/gray crackle glaze. so much more interesting than white subway tile!


    smokey taupe glass tiles

    Hive in Rice Paper.

    vintagestuf thanked Beth H. :
  • PRO
    HomeScapes Home Staging San Diego

    I agree that bringing the samples into the house and seeing what they look like in different light really helps. I love both. And that smoky taupe glass tile in the comment above is gorgeous!

  • vintagestuf

    Good suggestions which is great about Houzz. Agree with Annied75 about online photos, however, I was at that model and took the photo. I must keep in mind that the room was staged and perhaps the overall look was what appealed to me. Love the shades of taupe and fawn tile. At one time I considered a taupe. I shall reconsider and check a few local tile shops. Appreciate the tip on glass tile as I was unaware that it takes on other colors which makes sense. Altough glass tile is pretty in the store, I’ve ruled it out as I want a tile to compliment the granite not detract. This week, I’ll figure out how to make a board and do my own samples which will be the best way for me to decide. I’ll post photos.

  • PRO
    Skippack Tile & Stone

    If you go the white matte route, don't pick something builder basic; they can look pretty institutional. Look for handmade looking ones or better tile lines.

    vintagestuf thanked Skippack Tile & Stone
  • vintagestuf

    True. That is what I was concerned about, yet was unable to verbalize that concern - uh even in my own head. Hope to find some this week. Thanks!

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    I would use the taupe color in the counter IMO white does not work you can see that with the white on the walls right now.

    vintagestuf thanked Patricia Colwell Consulting
  • PRO
    Diana Bier Interiors, LLC

    Glossy crackle would look good--pick a color from the granite. You could go white, taupe, black, any one of those would look great.

  • mark_rachel

    The top tile in this pic is what I put in my kitchen. I LOVE crackle & gloss. For some reason the matte white subway tiles read too "bathroom" to me. Plus I like the added light that the gloss adds to the space.

  • vintagestuf

    The above three comments are good ones. I am starting to 'get it' in regards to the white having a builder look. Thanks!

  • PRO
    J Design Group - Interior Designers Miami - Modern

    There are so many options so it is wise to get a few options and see which appeals to you best and works with the surrounding areas.

    J Design Group - Miami Interior Designers
    225 Malaga Ave
    Coral Gables, FL 33134
    Ph: 305-444-4611

    vintagestuf thanked J Design Group - Interior Designers Miami - Modern
  • PRO
    Randy Trainor

    Glossy, as it reflects light. It will make it kitchen brighter.

    Contemporary Kitchen & Bath · More Info

    vintagestuf thanked Randy Trainor
  • vintagestuf

    After more tile shop shopping and the comments, I clearly saw that white subway tile washes out the granite. With my sample white ice granite, I went looking for a soft taupe tile. The sales lady pulled a few samples which included this pale gray satin matte finish. This gray appears just right and within budget. It goes well with the brushed stainless appliances despite stating that I did not want gray. Previously, I had the wrong gray from a big box store (geesh). A special thanks to Patricia Colwell for pointing out the obvious that the white on walls was an example of white tile and all who submitted examples of different tiles other than plain white. Houzzers assisted in making a better color choice.

  • herbflavor

    wow that looks great.

    vintagestuf thanked herbflavor
  • robinmdenny

    Just wanted to share a thought . First I think the taupe is very pretty. Just be careful with your lighting . When I stared out with my back splash I know I wanted a light taupe, When I stared placing the tile on the back wall and noticed the taupe started to look dirty at certain places / times of the day. I ended up with glossy white back splash., I love my new kitchen and so glad I took the time to think all things out. Best

  • vintagestuf

    Yes, preference depends on our lighting in our own homes. Thankfully, there are samples to bring home.

  • pfejer

    vintagestuf - can I ask what is the name of the tile sample that you have in the latest photo? It's nice and might be just what I am looking for!

  • vintagestuf

    The soft grey tile is made by Jeffrey Court. It is series Chapter 5 Studio Gazette. The color is Mountain Mist. I purchased from Beaver Tile which I think is a nationwide chain. I hope to have tile installed by end of year. If so, I shall post photo.

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