Subway Tile Patterns – What is the Best Pattern for Subway Tiles?

22+ Subway Tile Patterns

3 BA8005

ID# 180407 – Product BA8005 – Blue & Gray Metallic Effect Glass Subway Tile

Modern White Cabinets with Classic Subway Tile Patterns

If you want to make a statement with your backsplash, this tile might be the one! Adorned with blue and gray color transitions, this glass subway tile backsplash creates an eye-catching look with a coastal feel. The plain appeal of the white flat-panel cabinets and white quartz countertops allows the colorful glass backsplash tiles to be the star of the show. The stainless steel appliances complement the metallic effect of the tiles perfectly.

Gray quartz countertop with black slate mosaic BA1045

ID# 180416 – Product BA1045 – Modern Black Slate Subway Backsplash Tile

Black Vertical Subway Tile Patterns with White Floating Shelves

Modern lines get mixed with neutral colors in this contemporary kitchen, and the black subway tile backsplash becomes the visual focal point with its vertical layout. Using a black grout with black slate tiles creates a seamless backdrop. The white floating shelves stand out on this black canvas, adding visual interest to the space.

Subway Tile Patterns

In the early twentieth century, subway tiles are first used in New York City mass transit tunnels. Subway tiles which were created by Christopher Grand La Farge and George C. Heins were an aesthetic and hygienic design solution for the subways but they become more than just public transport decor! Since the early 1900s, subway tiles have been a staple for backsplashes, bathrooms, and other interior surfaces. These tiles are timeless, and versatile, and offer effortless beauty with their simple rectangular shapes and white high gloss finish. Also, thanks to this finish, they are easy to clean and stain-resistant. That’s why they are indispensable. Subway tiles have been around for over a century but it doesn’t mean that they are outdated. After all these years, these white rectangular tiles measuring 3 by 6 inches are still around and different subway tile patterns have different influences on kitchens.

Different Types of Subway Tile Patterns

These classic tiles come a long way since the nineteenth century and they are still one of the most popular interior design elements. From farmhouse kitchens to modern bathrooms, you can see these tiles in different styled interior designs. Originally, subway tiles are made of glazed ceramics in 3 x 6 inches. However, in today’s market, these tiles come in an endless array of colors, materials, and size options. The classic staggered pattern of the subway tiles is effortlessly beautiful. However, do you know that you can use these tiles in different layouts to make a creative touch? In this article, you will find these different subway tile patterns and learn how to incorporate your next design project!

White Blue Brown Kitchen With Warm Gray Marble Subway Backsplash Tile BA2007

ID# 180401 – Product BA2007 – Warm Gray Marble Subway Backsplash Tiles

Subway Tile Patterns for Modern Farmhouse Kitchen

This modern farmhouse kitchen features a weightless and heart-fluttering design. It is fitted with white and wood cabinets topped by pure white quartz countertops. While the white upper cabinets and countertops provide a bright and spacious atmosphere, the wood base cabinets inject warmth into the space. The warm gray marble subway tile backsplash complements this warm sense. The dark gray kitchen island topped with a white countertop brings much-needed contrast. Lastly, the gold counter chairs, chrome cabinet hardware, and stainless steel appliances make a cohesive final touch.

Best Seller Mosaic Tiles

The elegant glass and marble mix rhomboid design backsplash tile

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Rustic California gold slate mixed with burgundy glass unique look backsplash tile

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Glass and metal mixed gray & copper color unique mosaic backsplash & bathroom tile.

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Multicolor light & medium travertine subway natural stone mosaic tile

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Modern white gray color polished subway made out of skyline marble

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Farmhouse Kitchen Gray Cabinets Chevron Marble Backsplash Tile

ID# 180402 – Product BA631613 – Modern Gray Marble Chevron Backsplash Tile

Gray Shaker Cabinets with Dark Wood Floating Shelves

With its eye-catching zigzag pattern, the marble chevron backsplash makes a statement in this transitional kitchen. Emphasized by dark gray grout, these chevron tiles reach through the ceiling and provide a seamless backdrop. The light gray shaker cabinets complement the gray hues of the marble tiles. In the middle of the cabinets, three rows of dark wood floating shelves add a warm sense against the cool gray shades. The rose gold faucet of the white apron front sink completes this warm sense with a dose of sparkle.

How do I choose a subway tile pattern?

In today’s market, subway tiles come in a wide range of colors, materials, shapes and sizes. This wide variety allows you to reflect your style in your design. Just like these options, there are also different layout options for these tiles. This choice is a personal matter. If you opt for a classic look, you can go with a running bond pattern. Stacked layouts offer a more modernized look for interiors. On the other hand, if you want to create more visual interest through your tiles, you can go with a herringbone or basketweave pattern!

Two Tones Brown White Kitchen Cabinet With Modern Long Beige Backsplash Tile BA4501

ID# 180403 – Product BA4501 – Modern Beige Porcelain Backsplash Tile

Two-tone Cabinets with Beige Porcelain Tile Backsplash

Running bonds, chevrons, or herringbone are the popular patterns for subway tiles. However, if you want to create a super modern look, you will love these porcelain tiles. Adorned by a long and slim shape, these rectangular tiles provide a sleek and elegant focal point for this contemporary kitchen. While the wood upper cabinets complement the warm appeal of the beige tiles, the white base cabinetry, countertops, and white kitchen island enlighten the atmosphere.

6 Different Ways to Lay Subway Tiles

In today’s market, from very small to large, straight edge or beveled, glazed or matte, glass to marble, you can find an endless array of subway tile options. On the other hand, not only you can find these materials, colors, shapes, and finish options, but there are also different layout options for these classic tiles. Running bond, horizontally stacked, vertically stacked, vertical running bond, herringbone, chevron, basketweave, and diagonal pattern are the most popular layout options for subway tiles. Let’s look deeply at these different options.

Running Bond Pattern – Classic Subway

When it comes to subway tile patterns, running bond or offset is the traditional style that takes its cue from conventional brickwork. To achieve this pattern, tiles are laid horizontally at a 50-percent offset for each row. Each tile joint aligns sit the center of the tile below and above. 3 x 6 inches white high gloss tiles are the traditional materials to create this classic look.

On the other hand, you can use any wall tile with a 1 to 2 size such as 2 x 4, 4 x 8, or 6 x 12 inches. This symmetrical layout offers simple yet effective appeals. It is mostly used for kitchen backsplash and bathroom walls. Whether you go with white 3 x 6 rectangular tiles to create a timeless appeal or add a splash of color with this pattern by using colorful tiles, a running bond or offset pattern will never fail you!

White Kitchen Glitter Design Backsplash Tile BA8001

ID# 180404 – Product BA8001 – Sparkled White Glass Subway Backsplash Tile

Classic Subway Tile Patterns with White Shaker Cabinets

Awash with white, this transitional kitchen fosters a peaceful atmosphere, a welcoming place for natural lights to play around. Even though the white color dominates the space, small details make a huge difference and elevate the otherwise all-white look. The white glass subway tiles are one of these details. While the classic running bond pattern of these 3×6’’ tiles provides a timeless elegance, the slight textures add visual interest. White grout color perfectly completes the fresh appeal. The brass cabinet knobs are the other details that break the white dominance and add much-needed warmth to the space.

Subway Mosaic Tiles

Modern look, slim white marble mosaic tile, for kitchen backsplash and bathroom projects.

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Dark gray slate subway tile for a contemporary yet timeless kitchen backsplash

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Dark gray subway slate wall tile, modern, unique and natural look.

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Modern white gray color polished subway made out of skyline marble

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Modern Subway Rosewood and Gray Marble Backsplash Tile

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White Quartz Countertop Blue Subway Tile BA8002

ID# 180405 – Product BA8002 – Blue & Beige Glass Subway Tile Backsplash

Beige and Blue Glass Subway Tiles with White Quartz Countertops

With its gorgeous blue and beige color transitions, this subway tile backsplash is the reminiscence of the ocean. Creating a dazzling look, these glass tiles bring a coastal breeze into this kitchen. The white glass-fronted upper cabinets and wood-base ones perfectly complete the beachy vibes while the white quartz countertops draw a sleek profile. The black cabinet hardware makes a contrasting final touch.

Are subway tiles out of style in 2022?

Since the early nineties subway tiles have been one of the most popular interior design elements. From kitchen backsplashes to shower walls, you can see these tiles in many different areas. Thanks to their simple yet effective appeals, they guarantee their longevity. So, they are definitely in style in 2024! However, if you want to make a modern spin, you can try different layouts like vertically stacked.

Modern White Subway Marble Backsplash Mosaic Tile BA6306 1

ID# 180406 – Product BA6306 – White Marble Subway Backsplash Tile

White Marble Subway Tile Backsplash with Wood Cabinets

If there is any tile that beats the classic appeal of the white subway tile, it is a white marble subway backsplash! In this transitional kitchen, these marble tiles reach through the ceiling and provide a seamless backdrop. The darker grout emphasizes the classic brick pattern while the white quartz countertops perfectly blend with the tiles. Below, the natural wood cabinets break the white domination and provide a warm atmosphere by balancing stark white features.

White Kitchen Countertop Green Unique Glass Subway Beveled Glass Backsplash Tile BA8013

ID# 180408 – Product BA8013 – Green Glass Subway Backsplash Tile

Green Glass Subway Tiles with Light Wood Shelves

With their gorgeous green colors, these glass subway tiles look like precious gemstones! These beautiful textures also evoke beachy vibes which are complemented by light wood floating shelves. Even the blue kitchenware and some decorative objects complete the green shades of the tiles.

How big should grout lines be for subway tile?

The thickness of the grout line for 3 x 6 inches subway tiles is typically 1/16 inch. 1/18 inch is also a popular grout size for these tiles. However, this dimension depends on the size and weight of the tiles and also the type of grout!

Black Countertop Gray Beige Subway Glass Backsplash Tile BA8010

ID# 180409 – Product BA8009 – Gray & Beige Glass Subway Mosaic Backsplash Tile

White Cabinets with Glass Subways and Granite Countertops

This monochromatic kitchen executes an unconventional look for a beach-style kitchen. Lacking warming shades, it delivers an all-white look contrasted by the gray backsplash and countertops and stylized with brass additions. With their eye-catching gray and beige textures, the glass subway tiles create a striking focal point between the white cabinets. The gray granite countertops perfectly complement the dramatic appeal of the tiles. The brass cabinet hardware is the only element that breaks the monochrome color scheme and brings warmth to the space.

Herringbone Subway Tile Patterns

Just like the classic running bond, herringbone is also one of the most popular layout options for subway tiles. The herringbone pattern consists of rectangular subway tiles that are laid at 45-degree angles. The end of one tile meets the side of another tile and it resembles fish scales. This simple layout twist on the classic rectangular tiles makes a big difference in the overall look. So, if you opt for a little bit of extra bolder pattern, herringbone will be a perfect addition to your design.

You can cover the entire space such as the kitchen backsplash or bathroom walls with this pattern to create a visually stunning aesthetic or use the herringbone pattern in a specific area such as behind the stove to create an accent wall. On the other hand, besides the 45-degree angle, you can also create this pattern by laying the tiles at a 90-degree angle. A 90-degree herringbone will create a stairstep pattern on your walls.

Modern Blue Cabinets Blue Glass Large Herringbone Mosaic Backsplash Tile BA5507

ID# 180410 – Product BA5507 – Blue Glass Herringbone Backsplash Tile

Blue Glass Herringbone Backsplash with Stainless Steel Appliances

If you want to use subway tiles but do something different, you can lay them in a herringbone pattern as here. This beach-style kitchen does the same and uses bluish-gray cabinets topped by marble countertops to demarcate its zone. Between the flat-panel door styles of the cabinets, the blue glass herringbone tile backsplash creates a focal point with a glamorous look. The stainless steel appliances complement the modern style of the cabinetry while the gray marble countertops make a luxurious touch.

White Quartz Countertop Gray Cabinet Herringbone Marble Look Mosaic Backsplash Tile BA5503

ID# 180411 – Product BA5503 – Marble Look White Glass Herringbone Backsplash Tile

Herringbone Subway Tile Patterns with Gray Cabinets

Even though white glass herringbone tiles have a glamorous allure, you can still enhance this appeal with some textures. As you can see in this transitional kitchen, the white herringbone tiles are adorned with marble-like textures to add a touch of opulence. For the rest, the white quartz countertops seamlessly blend with the white tiles while the gray shaker cabinets provide a sleek and elegant foundation.

Chevron Subway Tile Pattern

Even though looks like a herringbone pattern, chevron tiles have big differences from herringbone. Creating an eye-catching zig-zag pattern, the chevron is an inverted V pattern, with each side meeting at the point without interruption. While herringbone tiles form a 90-degree angle, chevron tiles come at a 45-degree angle. Whether you want to create a seamless white backdrop or add a pop of color, a chevron backsplash provides sophisticated looks that go well with any kitchen design.

Transitional Kitchen Gray Marble Countertop White Chevron Backsplash Tile

ID# 180412 – Product BA631613 – Gray Marble Chevron Mosaic Backsplash Tile

Chevron Subway Tile Patterns for White Shaker Cabinets

If you have a contrasting color palette which consists of white cabinets and a dark wood floor finish, a statement backsplash could make a big difference! Here, for example, the gray marble chevron backsplash stands out between the white shaker cabinets and injects a healthy dose of luxury into the space. The rest is complemented with stainless steel appliances, marble countertops, and chrome cabinet hardware.

Brown Cabinet Granite Countertop With Chevron Slate Mosaic Tile BA1065

ID# 180413 – Product BA1065 – Rusty Brown & Gray Slate Chevron Backsplash Tile

Natural Wood Cabinets with Chevron Tiles and Gray Countertops

This rustic-modern transitional kitchen is filled with statement materials. Ranging from natural wood cabinets to slate backsplash and gray countertops, with each component, the kitchen feels like a study of a juxtaposition of different textures and materials! With their richly stained finish, the wood cabinets dominate the space, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Between the cabinets, the slate chevron mosaic tile backsplash draws a rustic profile. The gray granite countertops perfectly complete the neutral shades of the cabinets and backsplash. The glass pendant lights, stainless steel range hood, and dark wood kitchen island enrich this repertoire.

Black Cabinet Countertop White Chevron Marble Look Glass Mosaic Tile

ID# 180414 – Product BA5506 – Marble Look White Glass Chevron Backsplash Tile

Transitional Kitchen with Black Shaker Cabinets

This transitional kitchen exposes a striking contrast to its users. The black shaker cabinets provide a sleek and sophisticated foundation for the kitchen. Contrasting with the black cabinets, the white countertops and white chevron backsplash tiles enlighten the black-dominated atmosphere. With their marble-like textures, these white glass backsplash tiles enhance the visual interest with a touch of luxury. The brass cabinet hardware makes a warm final touch.

Vertical Running Bond

This pattern is nearly identical to a classical running bond and in this case, the tiles lay vertically. Using the vertical running bond pattern is an excellent way to play tricks with your eye to achieve space illusion to make it look taller. In that case, they will be an ideal pick if you tend to liven up your area.

white cabinet black granite countertop subway marble backsplash tile

ID# 180415 – Product BA1034 – Gray Marble Subway Backsplash Tile

Vertical Subway Tile Patterns with Black Countertops

To match the timeless elegance of the marble subway tiles, this transitional kitchen sticks to a basic palette that consists of 3 major colors: gray, black, and white. These three shades perfectly come together and provide a harmonious all. The vertical installation of the subway tiles makes a modern spin on the classic layout. Around the modern subway tiles, the white shaker cabinets and black countertops draw a traditional profile. The marble tiles also provide a smooth transition between the black and white colors.

Horizontal Stacked

As the name suggests, horizontally stacked tiles are stacked directly on top of each other and create a grid pattern. Tile joints in one row perfectly align with the other rows below and above. This grid pattern is perfect to give a more modern look to spaces. It offers a minimal and clean aesthetic. Also, stacked layouts are one of the easiest treatments to install. So, they are very DIY-friendly!

Two Tones Cabinet White Brown With Modern Backsplash Tile BA4502

ID# 180417 – Product BA4502 – Modern Light Gray Long Porcelain Backsplash Tile

Contemporary Kitchen with Two-tone Cabinets and Gray Floor Tile

Lover of clean lines, streamlined and sleek looks? Then you will love contemporary kitchens. Balancing the warm and cool shades, this contemporary kitchen consists of white and wood two-tone cabinets, white countertops and light gray porcelain subway backsplash. The sleek white countertops merge seamlessly with the backsplash while the wood base cabinets add a warm sense. The floor features dark gray concrete tiles that create a contrasting look and bring depth to the space!

White Quartz Countertop Modern Long Marble Rosewood Gray Backsplash Mosaic Tile BA1080

ID# 180418 – Product BA1080 – Modern Rosewood & Gray Marble Backsplash Tile

Modern Subway Tile Patterns with White Shaker Cabinets

All-white looks are still very popular for their clean look which suggests cleanliness, elegance, and timelessness. In this transitional kitchen, white color surrounds all the cabinet and countertop surfaces, providing a bright and airy atmosphere. Apart from those, the modern marble backsplash tiles provide a slight shade derivation, coordinating with the stainless steel appliances. Between the white shaker-style cabinets, the horizontal tiles create a focal point with a touch of opulence.

White Mosaic Tiles

The elegant glass and marble mix rhomboid design backsplash tile

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White ceramic arabesque shaped mesh-mounted mosaic tile.

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Large size white chevron marble mosaic tile for kitchen and bathroom projects.

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White Glass Herringbone Marble Look Mosaic Tile

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Contemporary Kitchen Gray Cabinet Backsplash And Countertop

ID# 180419 – Product BA1038 – Modern Gray Limestone Backsplash Tile

Modern Industrial Kitchen with Gray Cabinets and Circular Range Hoods

This modern industrial kitchen starts the design with variegated shades of gray that serve as the protagonist of this kitchen. To start with cabinets, the dark gray base cabinets with their matte finish provide a sleek and elegant foundation for the space. The vertically stacked limestone backsplash and gray countertops create a cohesive look with the cabinets, adding a nice textural look. And to downplay the intensity of the gray shades, the rose gold circular range hoods are used.

Vertical Stacked

Vertical subway tile backsplash is the latest and coolest method to update your kitchen by infusing it with a modern touch. This design is inspired by the horizontal subway tile appearance and turns it upside down creating a sleek and long look that takes the space to the next level. While the horizontal stack creates a feeling of spreading space, the vertical stack is better in order to take advantage of height.

Gray Kitchen Cabinet White Countertop Long Modern Backsplash Tile BA4503

ID# 180420 – Product BA4503 – Modern Long Gray Porcelain Backsplash Tile

Scandinavian Kitchen with Gray Cabinets and Full-height Backsplash

In this Scandinavian kitchen, the light pours in from the window, keeping the inside airy and bright. The gray cabinets provide ample storage, topped by thin white countertops that add sleek and clean lines. The vertically stacked gray porcelain tiles reach through the ceiling to create a seamless backdrop. The black cabinet hardware complements the modern lines of the cabinets and vertical tiles with dark grout, adding a nice contrast. For a final touch, the wood floating shelves break the gray dominance and add a warm sense.

Marble Mosaic Tiles

Modern white gray color polished subway made out of skyline marble

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White & gray marble flower pattern floor wall mosaic tile

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Multi Color Marble Diamond Mosaic Backsplash Tile

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White Gray Marble Leaf Mosaic Backsplash Tile

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White Gray Gold Chevron Marble Mosaic Backsplash Tile

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White Beige Marble Elegant Mosaic Backsplash Tile

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White Marble Small Picket Design Backsplash Mosaic Tile

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Luxury marble and mother of pearl mixed mosaic tile

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Modern look, slim white marble mosaic tile, for kitchen backsplash and bathroom projects.

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White Gray Dot Marble Mosaic Backsplash Tile

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Luxury Waterjet Gray & White Marble Mosaic Backsplash Tile

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Shimmery Textured Black and White Glass Backsplash Tile BA8024

ID# 180421 – Product BA8024 – Black & Gray Textured Glass Backsplash Tile

Black and Gray Textured Glass Backsplash with Wood Cabinets

In this contemporary kitchen, the vertically stacked glass backsplash tiles create a chessboard-like look with their gray and black color combination. This eye-catching appeal is further emphasized by a textured finish. Below, the black granite countertops complement the dramatic appeal of the tiles while the natural wood cabinets soften the dark colors and bring warmth to the atmosphere without breaking the neutral color scheme.

How to install subway tile backsplash?


Installation of the subway tiles is one of the easiest treatments. Before the installation process, sand the roughness and patch the holes on the wall, and clean it with an all-purpose cleaner to create a uniform surface for installation. Define the boundaries of the backsplash with painter’s tape, and remove the electrical outlets.

Also, it is important to define the layout before laying the tiles. You can lay the tiles on the counter to define the layout. This way you can avoid the unmatching pieces or blanks between the tiles. Stacked layouts are easier to install than other options but for a perfect installation, don’t miss this step. If you need to cut some of the tiles, you need to use a proper cutting tool for your material. For example, if you are using ceramic subway tiles, you can use a simple tile cutter. On the other hand, you will need a more professional tool like a wet saw for natural stone tiles.


Once the preparation is done, it is time to lay subway tile. Prepare the adhesive according to the manufacturer’s instructions and apply it with a notched trowel in small sections. Applying the adhesive in small sections will prevent drying. Starting with the first row, lay the tiles on the adhesive. Most of the subway tiles have grooves on the sides so you don’t need to use spacers because it’s an automatic 1/16 inch grout line. But if your tiles don’t have grooves, place the spacers between the tiles to secure them. Do these steps until all surfaces are covered. Wait at least overnight to set the tiles in place.

If you are using natural stone tiles, you may need to seal them. If you need to seal the tiles, seal them before the grouting and after the tiles have fully dried. You can apply the sealer with a cloth. If you don’t have to seal the tiles, you can start grouting after the tiles are dried. Apply the grout with a grout trowel. While applying the grout use Once, the grout is dried, clean the tile surfaces with a cloth to remove the haze. Then seal the grout lines. And for a final step of this tile job, caulk the area where the backsplash meets with the counter to reduce staining.45-degree motions to fill the gaps.

Gray Kitchen Cabinets Modern Long Marble Carrara Gray Backsplash Mosaic Tile BA1077

ID# 180422 – Product BA1077 – Modern Long Marble Mosaic Backsplash Tile

Two-tone Cabinets with Marble Backsplash

If you are looking for a timeless and fail-safe color scheme, gray and white will never let you down! As you can see in this transitional kitchen, the white upper cabinets enhance the space feel and provide a bright and spacious atmosphere. The dark gray base cabinets contrast with the light-colored features, bringing depth to the space. Last but not least, the marble backsplash tiles adorned with a long and slim shape create a sleek and modern focal point between the cabinets.

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