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Avoid the Top 4 Subway Tile Mistakes

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Subway tiles are available in an endless range of colours, styles and materials, ensuring there is a perfect solution for any style of design scheme. These exceptionally versatile options can be used in a variety of ways, allowing you to experiment with colour, shape and pattern in the home. As with all tiling projects however, one must pay close attention to certain details during the selection and installation process to ensure a quality end result. From a lack of planning to an improperly prepared surface, these are the top subway tile mistakes to avoid!


A lack of planning is perhaps one of the most common mistakes made when laying subway tiles in the home. Thanks to the simple rectangular shape of these tiles, there are many different layout or pattern options that can be achieved so it is important to be very specific when communicating your preferences to your Tiler. Ideally, a tile layout is included in your new design’s drawings and documentation, prepared by an Interior Designer, Architect or Draftsperson. These drawings should clearly show the pattern of your selected tiles’ layout, whether you are using subway floor tiles to create a feature floor pattern or subway wall tiles to create a feature wall in the home. 

Subway Tile Layouts

There are many different subway tile layouts that can be achieved, allowing you the opportunity to get creative with your design style in the home. Accurately communicating your preferences with your Design Professional and Tiler is crucial in ensuring your creative vision is understood and applied to your project. 

Confirming and accurately communicating your tile pattern preferences is a crucial step in the design process as once they are laid on your floors or walls, the process of removing them to start again can of course be very costly and cause unnecessary delays to your project.


Aside from a lack of planning your tile layout, incorrect installation or preparation techniques are another common mistake made when laying subway tiles. As with any floor or wall tile, a level surface is required to ensure a perfect finish. The area must be properly cleaned and levelled to ensure a quality and even application. Tile adhesives can have trouble applying to surfaces that have not been thoroughly cleaned or prepared first and any unevenness in your flooring for example, can lead to the floor tiles cracking later on so it is crucial to ensure all surfaces that are being tiled are properly prepared first. Using tile spacers is another crucial step in ensuring a high quality finish as traditional subway tiles are most often rectangular in shape with sharp, crisp edges. Any unevenness in their layout will likely stand out and be quite obvious so once again, ensuring your tiles are being properly spaced out is crucial in achieving a quality finish. 

Metro Subway Tile

Proper preparation of the surfaces to be tiled is a crucial step that should never be avoided! This will ensure a high quality finish in your project that will also keep your new tiles from being damaged due to any unevenness in the surface. Our Metro Porcelain Tiles can be used throughout the home as a floor or wall solution, offering an earthy touch to your interiors.


When selecting your new subway tiles, paying attention to the grout type and colour options is important in ensuring you achieve the exact look you are after. Your grout colour will play an important role in the overall look of your finished project, especially when using subway tiles. A grout colour that is in contrast with your tile’s colour for example, will create a bold feature that emphasises the line-work and pattern of your tiles. If instead you prefer to make more of a discrete statement of your grout, selecting a colour that complements or matches the tile’s colour will allow for a softer touch.

Splice Subway Tile

Due to their smaller size and shape, subway tiles can make a bold design statement when paired with the right tile grout. Our wonderfully textured Splice subway wall tiles offer a luscious representation of rustic masonry using glazed terracotta. Paired with a deep charcoal toned grout, these colourful tiles can make a striking statement in the home.


When creating a space such as a home kitchen where fire safety is a concern, using the correct materials and finishes is a must in ensuring your family’s safety. Australian Standards include a range of guidelines and laws that must be adhered to when designing these spaces one of which refers to the types of materials that are permissible for use in the kitchen, with particular attention to gas cooktop surrounds. Should a gas cooktop be installed that does not meet a minimum clearance of 200mm from the gas burner to the splashback, the splashback must be of a non-combustible material. Porcelain subway tiles are a perfect fit in this situation as their impressive fire resistant qualities ensure a safe solution. Your Kitchen Designer will offer their best advice and recommendations when making your material selections to ensure a safe outcome in the home.

Chrysos Subway Tile

Paying close attention to your selected materials and finishes in a new kitchen design is crucial in ensuring the safety of your family. Induction cooktops for example, allow you more freedom when selecting your kitchen splashback tiles allowing you to use a range of luxurious options such as our metallic glazed Chrysos subway tiles as shown in this contemporary styled kitchen design scheme. 

When selecting new floor tiles, once again paying close attention to the tile’s material is crucial in ensuring the best and safest solution. Ceramic tiles for example are usually restricted to wall applications only as they are often thinner and often feature more decorative elements on their surface, making them unsuitable for floor use. Most porcelain, natural stone, terrazzo or terracotta tiles however, can be used as a flooring solution as these options are thicker and more resistant to wear, making them a suitable choice as a flooring solution. 

There are many things to consider when selecting and laying your new subway tiles, from your preferred layout and style preferences to grout colours, materials and more. Our team at Perini Tiles can offer their expert insight and tips to ensure the best quality finish in your next project. Visit our tiles showroom in Richmond or schedule a free online design consultation to view our collection and start working on your next interior design project.