White subway tile. You would think finding some decent white subway tile would be an easy feat. Something that you could just walk into any old home improvement store and easily pick up. Maybe it’s just my extremely particular nature or it’s just the lack of inventory in our local stores, but finding the perfect white subway tile was more difficult than we thought! Hopefully, by sharing the information we collected along the way, you’ll be able to find the perfect tile for your space quicker than we did!
Tips and Tricks for Find the Perfect White Subway Tile:
1. Set your budget
What type of budget do you have? Are you willing to spend a little more than average? Or are you looking for some run-of-the-mill white subway tile?
Our Decision: We were willing to spend up to $300 on the subway tile
2. What color undertone does your tile need to have?
I kid you not, we brought home tiles from 5 different stores and they all had different undertones: yellow, pink, blue, grey, true white.
Our Decision: We wanted a “true white” color. If we couldn’t find a true white, we’d go for more of a blue-toned tile. We have white cabinets and nearly-white countertops and wanted something that blended very well.
3. How quickly do you need the tile?
Same day? Or are you willing to wait? You may be able to get a cheaper price if you are willing to wait for a sale or order online and ship-to-store.
Our Decision: Timing was only moderately important to us, if we needed to order from an online store, that would have been fine.
4. What size of tile do you need?
Believe it or not – some 3×6 subway tiles aren’t really 3×6! We were definitely surprised to find this out.
Our Decision: We wanted the classic 3×6 size.
Where to find the perfect white subway tile
With the above questions answered, our next step was to go shopping online and see which store have white subway tile. We focused in on our local home improvement stores: Menards, Home Depot, The Tile Shop, Floor & Decor, and Lowe’s.
Our first stop was The Tile Shop. We thought it would be our only stop, it was named THE Tile Shop lol. But, we were wrong. The tile we picked up there seemed great on the surface but after we brought it home, we were surprised to see some oddities. The name “Bright White” was definitely on pointe. It made our cabinets look YELLOW! Our cabinets never look yellow, mind you. And the tile itself measured less than 3×6. This means you would potentially need more product to finish your backsplash than with a normal sized 3×6 subway tile. We kept looking.
On the weekend, we decided to go to the 4 other stores and compare tiles.
First, we grabbed one from Menards. Sizing was correct, but the color seemed off. It was pink tinted!
The second one was from Home Depot. Sizing was also correct, but it seemed to be the same color as Menards – pink tinted!
Thirdly, we picked up one from Floor & Decor. Sizing was correct but it was yellow tinted. At this point, we were a bit frustrated. Why on earth couldn’t we find some “true white” subway tile?
Lastly, we ventured the furthest out to visit Lowe’s. And ding, ding, ding! We knew RIGHT away that the tile I picked up was perfect. It was the correct size and the color just felt right. I grabbed the other tile samples out of my bag and sure enough – it was exactly what we were looking for! Of course, that type of “perfection” comes with a price. At $0.49 a piece, they were much more than the other tiles we found which ranged from $0.12 to $0.30 a piece. But honestly, at that point, it didn’t matter… we finally found our tile!
One important thing to note is that you should definitely buy extra tile than what you calculate for. A rule of thumb would be anywhere from 15-20% more. This is because there could be color variations and/or flawed tiles, and you want to make sure you have enough product to tile your project completely! Feel free to return any excess afterward!
Thankfully, we were able to look through every piece of tile in the box before we purchased! We switched out a decent amount of bad tiles (chipped or cracked) and ended up returning a decent amount after the project was complete!