Have you ever watched a floor tile that you like so much and thought whether can floor tiles be used on walls? Tiles are specially made for walls and floors separately. You must be thinking, why necessarily? Well, the answer is simple. The reason is, floor tiles usually tend to receive more weight and pressure on them because they are walked on – while walls tiles do not meet any such condition.
Therefore, if you are asking if we can use floor tile for the wall? Yes, you can, but the reverse process will be different. Unlike floor tiles, wall tiles are smaller and softer in size and do not need to withstand any traffic weight, so they have zero tendencies for that.
It is advised not to do that because it will ultimately result in cracking your expensive and beautiful tiles.
Before doing it, the main thing you should consider is that you should get to know the weight of your tiles per meter square. Then, estimate 2-4 kg additional weight of adhesives and grout.
There is a limit to your maximum weight per meter square. If that goes up than the maximum limit, you should avoid those tiles because they are most likely to cause you problems.
Table of Contents
- 1 Important Differences Between Floor and Wall Tiles
- 2 Are Floor Tiles Too Heavy for Walls?
- 3 Do You Tile the Wall or Floor First?
- 4 When Tiling a Wall Where Do You Start?
- 5 Check Weight and Dimensions Before You Stick Floor Tiles to the Wall
Important Differences Between Floor and Wall Tiles
The first and most important difference is the long life and durability. Floor tiles tend to receive more pressure, and that leads to wear and tear of tiles. Where as wall tiles are also designed to be durable but do not necessarily face any such weight on them, softer and more delicate.
Who rates them softer and durable? How can you find out which one is for what purpose? For that, we have the Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI). This institute is responsible for telling us about the durability and long life of tiles. For the wall tiles, they are either not rated or rate as group-1. The reason is that they have no such difference and face any exceptional pressure.
On the other hand, the floor tiles are rated differently. That usually depends on the usage. If you are using them at home or personal residence, they will rate differently from those we use in heavy commercial areas.
The third important difference is in the manufacturing process. Floor tiles have the hard final layer that makes it impenetrable to water. Wall tiles are finished glossier because, in floor tiles, there is a risk of slipping.
Wall tiles tend to be more decorative and attractive because they do not have any such pressure, holding the quality and floor tiles should not be slippery.
Are Floor Tiles Too Heavy for Walls?
For direct bond installation on commercial projects, International Building Code limits tile on exterior walls to less than 24″ on one side, less than 3 square feet total area and less than 9 lbs. per square foot.
There are no interior walls restrictions, but some suggest that maximum weight should not exceed 15 lbs. per square foot. Larger and heavier tiles will require anchoring with mechanical fasteners. Be sure to consult your local building code or other authorities having jurisdiction for tile size and weight limits on your specific project.
In technical terms, wall tiles have a rating of 0 on the PEI scale. It’s ideal to call these suitable for wall only tiles as they can’t bear a lot of weight and unquestionably can’t be utilized on floors. But since floor tiles already generally have a higher PEI rating. They can be suitable for walls as well.
While wall tiles may not be used on the floor, it can be the other way around. It all comes down to choosing the right kind of tile. There is no hard and fast rule against using floor tiles on walls. Mainly dependent on personal choices. However, as an advisory, best use to purpose-built materials.
Do You Tile the Wall or Floor First?
Tiling seems easy and satisfying, but it can be a daunting task. Tiles’ measurement and cutting is a big task; in fact, it is a responsibility. If you are running short and have a limited number of tiles, you should be careful about using every tile in the right way. Tiling is not that easy as it looks. It all starts with a plan.
Starting from the wall or the floor is your choice to come up with. You can either start with the floor or wall. The most popular opinion about this discussion is that you should start with the wall and then come to the floor if you are tiling both in the same room. It is because after tiling the floor, you should leave it without doing any work on them.
How can you fix the tiles of the wall if you do not stand on the floor?
The most appropriate suggestion is that you should do the walls first and then you come from the top to the bottom and leave the last tile row. Then, you start doing the floor.
As you get done with the floor, paste the last row of the wall after that so you do not have to wait for long or you would not be having any problem with the mis fitting spaces. Doing the floor first will benefit you in adjusting the finishing gaps where the floor and wall join.
When Tiling a Wall Where Do You Start?
If you are having printed and decorative tiles, you should start it from the centre. The perk in doing that is you will get a clear picture of whether your tiles are in symmetry or not. Although, we all know that it is OCD satisfaction to start from the corners!
Doing that will leave you the uneven and odd shape of finishing in the last rows.
You should find the horizontal and verticals by simply measuring the distance from the centre. Usually, vertical tiles of the walls tend to be more visible than the horizontal ones.
We can also slide the vertical tiles easily before the adhesives come into action. The same is not that easy with horizontal tiles. Make sure you are working according to the obstacles and position of the doors, windows, button switches and other things. These things can be a catastrophe to your design of tiling.
For their even spacing, use the spacers and when the gap occurs, cut a tile according to size and fix it there. When you are done with the first row, take the baton and start doing the next ones.
After drying the adhesives, use the spacers between the tiles and then use grout float and clean it with some sponge before it gets dry. Wait for the grout to dry, and then the wall will be ready to get decorated with hanging pictures or more.
Check Weight and Dimensions Before You Stick Floor Tiles to the Wall
The floor tiles can be used for the walls, but vice versa is not a good idea. Secondly, the tiles’ weight and measurements make you able to know whether any tile is good for you or not because floor tiles are usually heavier.
It is not advisable to use glossy finished floor tiles if you do not want to slip. There are different styles and designs, along with suitable colours, are available in the market. Make the right choice as per your taste.