Tile is a part of building material which is usually square or rectangular. Tiles are pieces manufactured from hard, hardwearing materials such as ceramic, stone, metal, baked clay, or even glass, which are generally used to cover or coat roofs, floors, walls, or other objects such as tabletops.
When it comes to wall tiles and floor tiles, many people believe that the main difference between the two tiles is the size. There is also belief that porcelain tiles are meant for floors while ceramic tiles are used for walls. As it turned out, neither of those statements was true. So, can you use the same tiles on the floor and walls? Unfortunately, the answer is not as simple as you might think.
When it comes to wall tiles VS floor tiles, the difference between the two is far more distinct than the dimensions and appearance. Of course, innovations in design trends and technological advances may have blurred the lines between these two types of tiles to some extent, making it a little confusing the decorators and homeowners alike to choose the right tile option for their home. This time we will discuss the main differences between floor tiles and wall tiles.
Floor tiles Vs wall tiles, what’s the difference?
Here are some of the main differences between floor and wall tiles that you should know in order to properly assess the two.
Floor and wall tiles come in variety of designs, colors, shapes and sizes. That means there’s no significant difference between the two except that one is stylistically smaller and thinner than the other. Generally, floor tiles are larger and thicker while wall tiles are small and light. This not only makes installation easier, but also affects the aesthetics of your home. Since the average porcelain or ceramic tile measures 18×18 inches, it will not only look flashy and out of date when it applied on a wall, but will also overpower your decor.
Each type of tile has a coefficient of friction or COF rating that determines its smoothness. Tiles with higher COF have greater level of friction making it easier and safer to walk without slipping. Therefore, floor tiles usually have higher COF rating. Whereas tiles with lower COFs are slippery, so this is not a problem for wall tiles.
Strength and Hardness
The Porcelain Enamel Institute or PEI rating is another important factor in the wall tile versus floor tile debate. This rating determines the strength and stiffness of the tile. The Porcelain Enamel Institute classifies tiles into five categories to measure how much wear and tear they can withstand without chipping or cracking.
Durability and Maintenance
Wall tiles are stylistically thinner than floor tiles. This means wall tiles are easier to crack than floor tiles, which are usually stronger and thicker. However, despite less dense and lighter than floor tiles, wall tiles can last for decades if treated well. In other words, these two types of walls are very durable to install on the wall. But if you are looking for a new floor, it is advisable to choose floor tiles. Maintenance also plays a big role in this.
Heat and Humidity Resistant
Whether you choose ceramic or porcelain wall tiles, they are almost equally resistant to heat and moisture. This is because your walls have not any contact with water and hot objects as often as the floor. Since floor tiles are thicker than others, they exhibit higher heat resistance.
Age of Tiles
If properly cared for, good quality tiles can last up to 50 years or more. In practice, wall and floor tiles have the same lifespan. However, because the wall tiles are thinner, they are easy to break if installed on the floor. Thick floor tiles can also crack if something very heavy falls on them.
The process of installing floor tiles and wall tiles is very similar, you have to start with a cement base. Next, apply a thin layer of adhesive with a notched trowel on the floor and walls to attach the floor tiles and wall tiles. Once the tiles are dry, fill the joints between them with grout and seal the surface once the material has hardened. It is important to mention that there is a small difference between wall and floor grout. Traditionally, floor grout contains more grit because it reduces cracking and shrinkage in larger joints. You can also use this type of grout on wall tiles that have wider joints. Similarly, wall grout can be used on floors with smaller joints.