Best 8 Pro Tips for Laying Subway Tiles

Best 8 Pro Tips for Laying Subway Tiles

Subway tiles are easy to install. No one can gainsay that. But, I could remember the time I was installing subway tiles in my tiny bathroom; it was not a sweet experience as supposed. Though, that day, I just finished installing the floor tiles in the same bathroom. And as you would also assume, I was drained and tired. So, it took me more than expected to finish setting the wall tiles of a mini bathroom. You can learn more about Laying Subway Tiles by clicking here.

At first, I felt it was because I have lost all my energy to the first phase of the installation. But, I later realized that the waste of time was much of a lack of experience and techniques to handle subway tiles. 

So what happened? 

I was installing like a workhorse. Because I had many grounds to cover, I pushed harder to complete the work before night came. My determination soared, and I was ready to finish everything in no time. 

I started from the shower, and as I was moving higher, it looked as if I was climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Sincerely, that was not an exaggeration. I don’t have a better word to express exactly how I felt. It would surprise you to know that I started feeling discouraged after the first two lines of tiles. When I looked up to the topmost edge of the bathroom wall, I felt there was no way I could ever climb to that place. 

Of course, I had an initial plan to go all that way up, but right there, I knew it would take my last courage. And, indeed, it did. After the whole drama, I finished it! Well, that may sound like good news, but it took me three weekends and several nights after work before I could sail through. 

Having gone through all that, I had to visit an expert tile installer who gave some professional tips that showed me what I would have done better to save my precious time and energy. Now, I am going to the pro tips to help maximize your time and effort in your next renovation project.

Best eight professional tips to install subway tiles 

1. Use Ledgers 

Ledgers are an essential tool in tiling. But as a novice, I didn’t know it could ever be helpful while installing tiles. And if you are a newbie like me, now you know. To be 100% sure that your subway tiles are level, you will have to install a level piece of wood at the first line of tiles. If you do, you will be sure that all the subway tiles you install above the board will be even and straight. 

2. Wear Gloves

I consider this tip as one of the best pieces of advice for anyone who wants to tile. I know the importance of wearing gloves while tiling by experience. When I finished installing the floor tiles, all my fingers were wrecked, contributing to the painful experience.

Do you know that thinset dries out skin? I can say that again. And one thing that is certain in the whole story is that you cannot install tile and keep your hands clean. So, to avoid having the same negative experience, get disposable gloves as much as you can. These leathers can be lifesaving tools.

3. Use a Tile Cutter

Tiling without a tile cutter is like driving a wheel without tyres. As much as I know, it is one of the most efficient tools for your subway tiles installation. Though it may look complicated, the tile cutter is very simple to use. Not only that, it is very affordable. These unique features make it an essential tool for professional tile installers, but what made me fall in love with this equipment is that you can easily use it at night without noise.    

4. Make a Solid Plan for the Installation 

If you followed my story at the beginning of this article, you would remember how I felt when I was tilling my small bathroom. I know you might be eager to cover the whole space with tiles already. I know how it feels. 

Now, as much as you are eager to set the cart off, you need to make a solid plan concerning how you will navigate through before you start at all. Proper preparation prevents poor performance. And in the case of tiles, it contains a waste of time and effort.

5. Know Your Spacing 

You can also consider this as part of the whole plan. Ensure that you get all your calculations right to achieve the perfect spacing to make the job look charming. That will also save you from the waste of materials.

So, you ought to make a plan for spacers. They can make a lot of difference in the tiling activities.

6. Protect Your Floors 

You might be wondering if that is in any way a professional tip. Of course, it is general advice, but it counts a lot. Still, if you know how much it can save you, you will agree with me that it worth being on any professional tip list. 

I will advise you to ensure that you protect your floors. Indeed, if you had covered your floor with expensive materials, you wouldn’t want to argue.

7. Plan the Edges 

Sometimes the edges of the subway tiles you purchased might not be perfect for your intended design. Subway tiles come with different edges, so you need to plan for that before you order your tiles. But, if you had planned as you would make it flow with the design, you might not encounter any problem in the process.

8. Clean As You Go

This set is not your friend. I say that because often, it would have to ooze between your tiles. While it might be tiring to keep cleaning when you are tiling, you need to do all your best possible to scrape it out as you tile. The reason is that it is hard to scrape it out when it dries.  

You can also keep a handy sponge to clean the subway tiles as you go to ensure that the thinset doesn’t stay on your tiles.


You can have a smooth tiling experience if you have the correct information to guide you along the way. These professional tips are based on first and experience. They will guide you through the installation process, making you feel like a pro.