Subway Tile Secrets: 3 Expert Tips For DIY Installation

subway wall tile

Most homeowners love white subway tiles, especially in the kitchen or bathroom. The effect has a mildly industrial feel, but it’s so clean, crisp, and inviting that it can adapt to virtually any style. Subway wall tile is unique in that it can serve as a neutral background to highlight other features or can be a total stand-out on its own. If you’re looking to install decorative subway tiles without help from a professional contractor, the idea of going the DIY route can be a bit daunting for some. But even if you’re a novice, subway ceramic tile installation is totally doable. Here are three tips from the experts to keep in mind when you’re installing subway wall tile in your home.

    1. Plan out your design
      With tile installation, you can’t just wing it. You need to carefully plan out the number of tiles you need based on the size you need to cover. In many cases, you’ll have to cut tiles to fit. If you don’t plan it out, the end result will look sloppy and may even require help from a professional. There are a few different subway tile sizes, but remember that eight 3×6 inch subway wall tiles will fit in one square foot. You’ll need to measure the space, round that number up to the next highest square foot, and then add 10-15% to make sure you’ll have enough tiles if they should break or you need to make cuts.
    2. Quarter your tiles
      Generally speaking, you should start your installation from the middle to ensure your design will be even on the ends. Each row should be slightly offset from the one above and below it. To accomplish this, the end of every other row should start with part of a tile. Some people start with a half, but this may create problems in the ends of rows or if you need to wrap around a corner. Instead of having the rows alternate from a half tile to a whole tile to start, you can install your subway wall tiles in alternating rows of 1/4 followed by 3/4 cuts. This will ensure that your corners look good and that you can avoid tiny fractions of tiles in weird spots.
    3. Seal your grout
      White subway tiles are appealing because they look fresh and clean. But if the grout you use for your installation stains over time, you’ll end up with gross, dirty grout between those white tiles. That’s not a good look for any home! If you’re using white or light-colored grout in your kitchen, you should consider sealing it to avoid staining. Accidents are bound to happen in the kitchen, and since it’s one of the areas in your home that gets the messiest, you should protect your handiwork in any way you can. However, certain grouts need not be sealed, such as epoxy.

From backsplashes to pool mosaics, Thomas Avenue Ceramics has you covered. If you’re seeking subway tile for sale, contact us today! We’d love to help you make your dream home a reality.

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