10 unique characteristics that define our American heritage tilework

Historically-authentic Subway Ceramics tile installations result in pencil-thin grout lines and a virtually flat tile surface, the distinctive qualities characteristic of Victorian-era tilework. But to really appreciate our heritage tilework, you have to look beyond the surface. Intrigued? Then please read on...

Trim tiles used in period tilework created a gentler radius at the outside corners compared to conventional bullnose.  This aesthetic refinement produces offset grout joints to eliminate the vertical seam.

A cove base moulding serves as a gentle transition between floor and wall surfaces, a feature inherently practical as it is elegant.  All cove base options feature inside and outside corner mouldings for a miter-less installation.

You may hardly notice the subtle amber tone that the vintage tilework has acquired over these many years. Hold-up a new, gloss white tile to it and this patina is clearly evident. Subway Ceramics has reproduced this original patina in our Avalon white glaze option, a popular choice that works well with classic unglazed porcelain floor mosaics.

Our collection of historic cap mouldings also include inside corners, outside corners, up and down corners, and end-stops.   These specialty components are available to address every common transition requirement in a tile design, resulting in a clear departure from the usual ‘cut-to-fit’ approach of conventional tile installations.

In addition to the standard 3” x 6” subway tile, vintage field tile formats included a variety of other sizes and shapes all faithfully reproduced in the Subway Ceramics collection.  Consider the bevel field for a classic look that will stand-out from the rest.

Glazed ceramic accessories were used extensively in bathrooms and kitchens from the early 1920's as recessed soap dishes, paper holders, and tiled-in towel bars. These exquisite, sculptural details were functional as they were beautiful.
American heritage tilework of the 1920's and 30's was replete with decorative floor mosaics of the most creative and colorful variety imaginable. With our exclusive palette of 13 patterns and 22 colors, our made-to-order mosaic design service allows you to craft a unique and personal space with the inspiration of historic tile mosaics from pre-war American homes and businesses.
The accent glaze options available in the Subway Ceramics collection offer range and depth, and a dramatic crackle finish consistent with the color palette of heritage tilework. Accent colors may be used simply as a thin liner along a wainscot wall, or more extensively as a field tile in a kitchen backsplash. Sample tiles for any of the glaze options can be conveniently ordered online.
All tile components in the Subway Ceramics collection are proudly made in the USA. We are grateful to the many dedicated crafts-people experienced in the production of architectural ceramics who have made it possible for us to faithfully reproduce our American heritage tilework.