Photo: James Bombales, design by Claire Jefford

The struggle to save money on home renovations without being labeled “basic” is real.  Yes, I am referring to subway tile — that versatile, affordable, now-ubiquitous wall covering. Its most classic form is rectangular and ceramic, measuring three by six inches. But these days, there are endless sizes, colors, glazes and materials to choose from. If you’re drawn to the wallet-friendly price or timeless appeal of subway tile, but don’t want your kitchen backsplash to look like everyone else’s, consider one of these inventive layout ideas.

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1. Vertical running bond

Photo: 1111lightlane/Instagram

2. Diagonal running bond

Photo: artplusvie/Instagram

3. Horizontal stacked

Photo: noellebeckerstudio/Instagram

4. Vertical stacked

Photo: oursouthwestnest/Instagram

5. Crosshatch

Photo: sarahshermansamuel/Instagram

6. Basketweave

Photo: triciavaughn/Instagram

7. Traditional herringbone

Photo: katiepritchard/Instagram

8. Double herringbone

Photo: roseontherow/Instagram

9. Diagonal herringbone

Photo: semihandmade/Instagram

10. Step ladder (aka 90-degree herringbone)

Photo: sunnycirclestudio/Instagram

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