Is it Okay to Use Wall Tiles on the Floor?

Tiles are very flexible when it comes to their usage. They are also aesthetic with their designs. This leads to people choosing designs over quality, hence, people select any type of tile as long as it’s pretty.

When it comes to tiles, quality should be the top priority. This lessens unnecessary expenses in the long run when it gets destroyed due to functionality mismatch.

There are two types of tiles: one for the floor, and the other for the wall. There are different characteristics of wall and floor tiles which depend on their use. Usually, we stick to using the object according to its name.

But when is it okay to use wall tiles on the floor? In this article, let’s study the pros and cons when interchanging the function of your wall and floor tiles.

Pro: Wall Tiles Have More Beautiful Designs

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If you recently bought a house, or you’re into interior design, you’ll always choose a design that is beautiful. Wall tiles have more exotic and vibrant designs compared to floor tiles.

They also have better texture than floor tiles. This is the main reason why some consumers like to match their wall tiles with wall tiles.

Con: Functionality Mismatchimage3 5

Most people have actually asked employees from home depots or in forums, “Is it okay to use wall tiles on the floor?” The answer is no. Objects have primary functions, which is why they’re created in the first place.

Their primary function defines their quality by how they’re made and the materials used. People usually choose wall tiles for the floor when they could not find the perfect match to their interior design.

They think that wall and floor tiles are the same. The truth is, they’re not. Remember, the primary function defines their quality. Floor tiles are much stronger and durable because it’s made to resist weight pressing down on it.

Wall tiles tend to be more fragile since its function is more on aesthetics rather than bearing weight.

Apart from weight resistance, wall tiles usually have a smooth, glossy design. Floor tiles have a rougher texture because it helps in preventing accidents when it is wet.

It is not okay to use wall tiles on the floor, especially when it’s the bathroom. Grave accidents can occur because of this mismatch.

Pro: Floor Tiles Have a Dual Function

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Generally, we follow the simple rule that floor tiles are for floors whereas wall tiles are for walls. Actually, you can use floor tiles for walls but never – I repeat – never wall tiles for floors. Floor tiles are stronger and more durable, it’s more resistant to stress and chipping.

They also have a stronger glaze which means that its color won’t wear easily. These are plus factors once you decide to use floor tiles for your walls.

Con: COF and PEI Define the Tiles’ Functionality

Coefficient of Friction (COF) determines if the tiles are safe to walk on. Indoor floor tiles have a COF level of at least 0.5 or greater. Outdoor floor tiles have 0.60. Wall tiles have lesser COF ratings which explain their slippery texture like glass.

Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) ratings are the only true determinants of tile function. They have six ratings that ranges from 0 to 5. This gives the customer an idea on where these tiles should be placed.

Wall tiles have a lower PEI rating compared to floor tiles. We’ll go through each rating.

  • PEI 0 – These are the tiles that are considered as wall tiles only. They are not supposed to be on any type of floors because they are very slippery.
  • PEI 1 – These are floor tiles that are rarely stepped on. Suggested installation of these floor tiles are in bedrooms or in areas where not much people dwell in.
  • PEI 2 – This type of tile is usually used for bedrooms or anywhere in the house except hallways and the kitchen area. Refrain from using heavy footwear to allow this type of floor tile to last longer.
  • PEI 3 – These floor tiles can be used anywhere in the house. But if more people step on this type of tile, it tends to wear out quick, which is why you should consider another floor tile with a higher PEI rating.
  • PEI 4 – Higher than what we normally use in the house, floor tiles with this rating can handle much foot traffic. The downside to this is that you have lesser designs to choose from.
  • PEI 5 – Floor tiles with these ratings are intended for public areas where there are a lot of people. This type of floor tile can handle heavier weight.

Let’s review, wall tiles are exclusively for walls. If they are used as floor tiles, two things would most likely happen to it. One, you’ll be prone to accidents. Always remember the favorite sign of our friendly school janitor: “Slippery when wet”.

Two, you’ll be spending too much money and effort in replacing when the tile chips off because it’s fragile.

Floor tiles are both used for floors and walls. The harder and more durable the object, the better. So, when someone asks you, “Is it okay to use wall tiles on the floor?” you’re already equipped with the right reasons to answer the question.