So we love subway tiles as much as any designers, and in the right clawfoot inspired bathrooms they can look amazing. The key to understanding why subway tiles look so different - but familiar - is they're flat edged. This means when they're tiled there isn't the bevel seen on most mass produced modern tiles - the bevelling meaning they're easier to tile - so there's less grout between tiles. This means the thin pencil line between tiles is sharp and distinct, and the offset pattern (vertical lines bisecting tiles above) is equally distinctive.
But the problem with subway tiles is whole walls, floor to ceiling, can look oppressive. But a half height design, similar to wood beading, can look unfinished. So what to do?
This is a great example of dressing a classic clawfoot bathroom with subway tiles. Rather than use the subway all round the bathroom, or the compromise, half height panels, the subway tile is used only to detail the shower walls. As well as being practical and in keeping with the style of the bathroom, the glass panel highlights the floor to ceiling panel as a subtle design feature. A great sensible (ok, subtle) subway style in a classic clawfoot inspired bathroom.