If kitchen backsplash comes to mind when someone says “subway,” you’re ready to dive into the world of tile. From New York tunnels to millions of American homes, those 3” x 6” white glazed ceramics are still popular today.

But there’s SO much more.

Fireplace, mudroom, kitchen, bathroom, patio, living room. Inside or out, wherever there’s a wall or a floor, you can tile it.

Creating a unique tile design for your custom home is limited only by imagination and budget.


Tiles are made from four basic materials:


Ceramic tile starts with clay—shale, gypsum, and sand which is turned into bisque. The bisque is shaped into tiles and fired in a kiln up to 2500° F. The higher the temperature, the stronger the tile.

Porcelain is a variety of ceramic tile that must meet a higher standard of water absorption than ceramic, making it a better candidate for high moisture areas.

Mosaic designs, patterns or figures with different colors of clay are called ceramic encaustic tiles. Made with clay and glazes that have been put through a heating process to burn in pigments and patterns, these are the most traditional type of tile, used by many cultures over centuries.


For a sparkling, reflective look, glass mosaic tiles are a great choice for limited vertical surfaces that get a lot of attention. Often in bright colors, with brick, basket weave, or chevron designs. Because they crack under pressure, glass mosaic is not appropriate for floors.


Made from clay and shale, quarry tiles come in a range of red and brown. For both indoor and outdoor projects, with its rough surface, quarry tile is perfect for flooring because it provides a good grip. Not a good choice for kitchen countertops because it’s very porous.


Including slate, sandstone, limestone, marble, travertine and quartzite, stone tiles can be used on facades, walls and floors. Best for kitchens and bathrooms, but like quarry tile, stone is  porous and must be sealed and polished.


Mixing and matching geometric shapes like chevron and herringbone, large-format and hexagonal tiles can update classically-inspired styles for a modern look.

Thick and thin, vertical and horizontal, flat and three dimensional, linear designs add depth, movement or focus to a room.

Ceramic tiles with wavy ridges, raised and asymmetrical profiles create seamless sculpted surfaces.


Inspired by painting or sculptural designs, transform your custom interior with tiles to create objet d’art.

Sandblasted marble with distressed and tactile effects can add a nice touch for a minimal aesthetic.

From slate to gunmetal and greige, the color grey is trending for every style of interior.  Add a bit of pattern and texture for a chromatic statement in tile.

For a dramatic and modern look, cover surfaces from countertops to walls with thin, oversized porcelain slabs.

Whether you’re splash-proofing a bath or adding an art wall to your great room, designing with tile adds luxury to your custom-designed home.

Consult your Design Concierge for inspiration and expert guidance.