Subway tile has been a staple since 1904 when designers La Farge and Heins used it in the New York City subway in an effort to create pristine, bright stations. It originally gained popularity because subway tile is easy to clean and stain-resistant. It became popular in public bathrooms and commercial kitchens. Before long, the utility of subway tile was recognized by homeowners and began appearing in homes as well. Over the years, subway tile backsplash has become a style standard.