can floor tiles be used on walls – Latest trends in tile design

Photo of author

Written by: Mohammad Sameer

Updated on:

Picking the best tile for your area can seem tricky, especially when you’re torn between floor and wall tiles. You may ask, “Can floor tiles be used on walls?” Indeed, you can, but there are things you need to think about.

In this article, we’ll delve into the world of tiles, exploring their types, designs, and the all-important PEI rating. We’ll also discuss the advantages and considerations of using floor tiles on walls.

So, if you’re planning a home renovation or simply curious, keep reading! This is your ultimate guide to understanding the versatility of floor tiles.

Let’s embark on this informative journey together.

Understanding Tiles

can floor tiles be used on walls

Tiles are a versatile and durable choice for various applications in your home or office. They come in a variety of types, each with its unique characteristics and uses.

Definition and Types of Tiles

Tiles are thin objects, usually square or rectangular in shape, made from hard-wearing materials such as ceramic, stone, metal, or even glass. They are commonly used for covering roofs, floors, walls, or other objects such as tabletops. Here are some common types of tiles:

  • Ceramic Tiles: These are made from clay materials that are quarried, prepared, and then formed into a mould. They are perfect for areas with high moisture like bathrooms and kitchens due to their high water resistance.
  • Porcelain Tiles: A type of ceramic tile that is much harder and more scratch-resistant than others. It’s also more resistant to temperature changes and can be used both indoors and outdoors.
  • Natural Stone Tiles: These include marble, granite, slate, and limestone. They are known for their rich, natural beauty and can be a bit more expensive.
  • Glass Tiles: These are great for creating a beautiful, reflective surface and are often used for backsplashes, shower walls, and even for decorative accents.

Difference Between Floor Tiles and Wall Tiles

Floor tiles and wall tiles, while similar in many ways, have key differences that make them suited for their respective applications.

  • Floor Tiles: These are typically thicker and more durable to withstand foot traffic. They often have a higher PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) rating, indicating their resistance to abrasion.
  • Wall Tiles: These are generally thinner and lighter as they don’t need to bear any weight. They often have a lower PEI rating and may have more decorative designs.

PEI Rating and Its Significance

The PEI rating is a measure of the surface wear resistance of a tile. It ranges from PEI 1 (suitable for no foot traffic) to PEI 5 (heavy to extra heavy traffic). The higher the PEI rating, the more durable the tile. This rating is crucial when choosing tiles for high-traffic areas like kitchens and hallways.

Coefficient of Friction (COF) and Its Role in Tile Selection

The Coefficient of Friction (COF) is a measure of a tile’s natural resistance to slip. It’s an important factor to consider, especially for floor tiles in wet areas like bathrooms and outdoor patios. A higher COF means the tile is less likely to be slippery when wet.

can floor tiles be used on walls?

Remodelling a house often prompts a query: Is it possible to put floor tiles on walls? The response is affirmative, but some aspects need weighing, like the heft, dimensions, pattern, and sturdiness of the tiles.

Weight of the Tiles

Floor tiles are generally heavier than wall tiles. This is because they are designed to withstand the weight of foot traffic. Thinking about using floor tiles on walls? It’s key to check if the wall can hold up the weight of these tiles.

The weight of the tile, adhesive, and grout combined should not exceed the maximum weight that the wall substrate can handle.

Size of the Tiles

Floor tiles come in various sizes, from small mosaic tiles to large format tiles. Putting tiles on walls can change how a room feels, and the tile’s size plays a role in that.

Large format tiles can make a small space appear larger, while smaller tiles can add detail and interest to a large wall.

Design and Aesthetic

Floor tiles offer a wide range of designs, colours, and textures, providing more design possibilities when used on walls. They can be used to create a modern design aesthetic, follow the trend for larger tiles, or simply add a unique touch to the space.

However, it’s important to consider the overall design of the room and ensure that the floor tiles complement the existing decor when used on walls.

The durability of the Tiles

Floor tiles are designed to be durable and withstand heavy foot traffic, making them a suitable choice for walls in high-traffic areas or rooms where the walls may be subject to wear and tear.

Tiles with a high Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) rating are particularly durable and can be used on both floors and walls.

Advantages of Using Floor Tiles on Walls

Advantages of Using Floor Tiles on Walls

The trend for larger tiles and a modern design aesthetic has led to a surge in the use of floor tiles on walls. This practice offers a plethora of design possibilities, and the durability and ease of maintenance of floor tiles make them an attractive option for wall coverings.

Why Choose Floor Tiles for Walls?

Floor tiles offer a number of advantages when used on walls:

  • Versatility: Floor tiles come in a wide variety of colours, textures, and designs, providing endless possibilities for customizing your space. Whether you prefer a sleek, modern look or a more traditional style, there’s a floor tile that can achieve it.
  • Durability: Floor tiles are designed to withstand heavy foot traffic, making them incredibly durable. When used on walls, this durability translates to a surface that can resist knocks and scrapes and will stay looking great for years to come.
  • Easy Maintenance: Floor tiles are easy to clean and maintain. They stand up to water and messes, so they’re a top pick for spots like the kitchen or bathroom where wetness and spillages often happen.
  • Cost-Effective: Despite their high-end look, floor tiles can be quite affordable. They offer a cost-effective way to achieve a luxurious aesthetic in your home.

The Trend for Larger Tiles

The trend for larger tiles has been gaining momentum in recent years. Larger tiles can make a space appear bigger and more open, as there are fewer grout lines breaking up the space. This can be particularly beneficial in smaller rooms or rooms with low ceilings.

Modern Design Aesthetic

Floor tiles can contribute to a modern design aesthetic in a number of ways. Their clean lines and wide range of finishes can complement a minimalist design scheme, while their durability and ease of maintenance align with the modern preference for functional, fuss-free materials.

More Design Possibilities

Using floor tiles on walls opens up a whole new world of design possibilities. You can create a cohesive look by using the same tiles on the floor and walls, or add interest by mixing and matching different tiles. You can also use floor tiles to create feature walls or to add texture and depth to a room.

Durability and Maintenance

Floor tiles are known for their durability and ease of maintenance. These can stand up to water, stains, and lots of use. That’s why they’re good for places with lots of people. If you put them on walls, they’re simple to keep clean. they’ll keep looking nice for a long time.

Considerations When Using Floor Tiles on Walls

Considerations When Using Floor Tiles on Walls

When considering the use of floor tiles on walls, there are several key factors to take into account. This article will delve into the weight restrictions and the strength of the surface being tiled, the role of tile backing boards, and the installation process and challenges.

Weight Restrictions and the Strength of the Surface Being Tiled

Floor tiles are typically heavier than wall tiles, which can pose a challenge when they are installed on walls. The surface being tiled must be strong enough to support the weight of the tiles. This is particularly important when tiling over drywall or plaster, which may not be able to support the weight of heavy floor tiles.

  • Weight restrictions: Floor tiles can be significantly heavier than wall tiles. It’s crucial to ensure that the wall can support the weight of the tiles.
  • Surface strength: The strength of the surface being tiled is also a critical factor. If the surface isn’t strong enough, the tiles may not adhere properly, leading to potential issues down the line.

The Role of Tile Backing Boards

Tile backing boards play a crucial role in the successful installation of floor tiles on walls. They provide a sturdy, water-resistant surface for the tiles to adhere to.

  • Sturdiness: Tile backing boards provide a sturdy surface for the tiles to adhere to, which is particularly important when using heavy floor tiles.
  • Water resistance: Many tile backing boards are water-resistant, making them an excellent choice for areas that are exposed to moisture, such as bathrooms and kitchens.

Installation Process for Floor Tiles on Walls

If you’re looking to add a unique touch to your walls, installing floor tiles can be a fantastic way to do it. But before you start, you’ll need to know the right way to do it. So, let’s dive into the step-by-step guide for installing floor tiles on walls.

A. Step-by-step guide for installing floor tiles on walls

  1. Prepare the Wall: First things first, you need to prepare your wall. Make sure it’s clean, dry, and flat. Any dust or debris can interfere with the adhesive, so give it a good clean.
  2. Measure and Mark: Next, measure your wall and mark where each tile will go. This step is crucial to ensure your tiles line up perfectly.
  3. Apply Adhesive: Now, it’s time to apply your adhesive. Use a notched trowel to spread it evenly on the wall. Remember, too much adhesive can cause the tiles to slide, and too little won’t hold the tiles in place.
  4. Place the Tiles: Start placing your tiles on the wall, pressing firmly to ensure they stick to the adhesive. Use spacers to keep your tiles evenly spaced.
  5. Cut Tiles as Needed: You’ll likely need to cut some tiles to fit your wall perfectly. Use a tile cutter or a wet saw to do this.
  6. Grout the Tiles: Once your tiles are in place and the adhesive has dried, apply grout to the spaces between the tiles. Wipe away any excess with a damp sponge.
  7. Seal the Grout: Finally, seal the grout to protect it from moisture and stains. And voila, you’ve got yourself a beautifully tiled wall!

B. Necessary tools and materials

To get this job done, you’ll need a few key tools and materials:

  • Floor tiles
  • Tile adhesive
  • Notched trowel
  • Tile spacers
  • Tile cutter or wet saw
  • Grout
  • Grout sealer
  • Sponge

C. Techniques for ensuring proper adhesion and durability

To ensure your tiles stick to the wall and last for years to come, follow these tips:

  • Use the Right Adhesive: Not all adhesives are created equal. Make sure you use one that’s specifically designed for wall tiles.
  • Don’t Rush: Allow the adhesive to dry fully before grouting. Rushing this process can cause your tiles to shift or fall off the wall.
  • Seal the Grout: Sealing the grout is an extra step that can extend the life of your tiles. It protects the grout from moisture and stains, keeping your wall looking great for longer.

And there you have it! With a little patience and the right techniques, you can install floor tiles on your walls like a pro. Happy tiling!

Pros and Cons of Using Floor Tiles on Walls

When it comes to home design, the use of tiles can make a significant impact. One trend that has been gaining popularity is the use of floor tiles on walls. This practice offers unique aesthetic and functional benefits, but it also comes with its own set of challenges.

In this article, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of using floor tiles on walls, and how this option compares to other wall tile options.

Advantages of Using Floor Tiles on Walls

  • Versatility: Floor tiles come in a wide variety of designs, colors, and sizes, offering endless possibilities for customization. Whether you prefer a traditional look or a modern design aesthetic, you can find floor tiles that suit your taste.
  • Durability: Floor tiles are designed to withstand high foot traffic, making them more durable than most wall tiles. When used on walls, they can resist wear and tear, making them a long-lasting option.
  • Easy Maintenance: Floor tiles are generally easy to clean and maintain. They are resistant to stains and water damage, which is particularly beneficial in areas like the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Cost-Effective: In many cases, using floor tiles on walls can be a more affordable option than using wall-specific tiles. This is especially true if you are using the same tiles on both the floor and walls, as it can reduce the number of different materials you need to purchase.

Disadvantages and Potential Risks of Using Floor Tiles on Walls

  • Weight: Floor tiles are typically heavier than wall tiles. This can pose a challenge during installation, as the wall surface and adhesive must be strong enough to support the weight of the tiles.
  • Installation Difficulty: Due to their weight and size, floor tiles can be more difficult to install on walls than lighter, smaller wall tiles. This might increase the installation time and cost.
  • Aesthetic Considerations: While floor tiles can be used on walls for a unique look, they might not always achieve the desired aesthetic. For example, some floor tiles might look too bulky or out of place when used on walls.

Comparison with Other Wall Tile Options

When compared to other wall tile options, using floor tiles on walls can offer a unique blend of durability and design versatility. However, it’s important to consider other factors such as installation difficulty and aesthetic outcome.

Other wall tile options, such as ceramic or porcelain tiles designed specifically for walls, might offer a better balance of ease of installation, weight, and design options.

FAQs for Can floor tiles be used on walls

Is there a difference between wall tile and floor tile?

Absolutely! Wall tiles and floor tiles are designed differently based on where they’re meant to be used. Wall tiles are generally lighter and thinner, while floor tiles are more durable and resistant to wear and tear due to their Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) rating.

Can vitrified tiles be used on walls?

Yes, they can! Vitrified tiles are known for their low porosity and high durability, making them suitable for both floor and wall applications. They’re a great choice if you’re looking for a glossy finish on your walls.

Can I use floor tile on kitchen wall?

Sure thing! Floor tiles can be used on kitchen walls. They’re often more durable and can withstand the heat and humidity in a kitchen environment. However, do consider the weight and adhesive used to ensure a secure installation.

Which tile is mainly used on walls?

Ceramic tiles are commonly used on walls due to their lighter weight and vast design options. They’re perfect for adding a decorative touch to your space.

Which tiles are used on walls?

Wall tiles can be made from a variety of materials, including ceramic, porcelain, glass, and natural stone. The choice depends on the aesthetic and functional requirements of your space.

What weight tiles can go on a wall?

The weight of tiles that can be installed on a wall depends on the strength of the wall and the adhesive used. As a rule of thumb, lighter tiles are recommended for wall installations to ensure safety and longevity.

What is the difference between wall tiles and vitrified tiles?

Wall tiles are typically ceramic and are designed for wall installations. Vitrified tiles, on the other hand, are made using a vitrification process that makes them more durable and resistant to scratches and stains. They can be used on both floors and walls.

What are the disadvantages of vitrified tiles?

While vitrified tiles are highly durable and low maintenance, they can be more expensive than other tile types. They can also be slippery when wet, and their glossy finish may show scratches over time.


You might think, why not use floor tiles on walls? It can give a special look and there are plenty of design choices.

But, keep in mind things like how heavy or big the tiles are, and how tough the wall you’re tiling is.

Thinking about doing this? Talk to an expert first to make sure everything goes smoothly and safely.

See, your room is like a blank sheet of paper, and with the best tiles, you can paint real beauty.

Eager to change up your room? Check out our selection of floor tiles and kick off your new project today!

Sharing Is Caring:

About Mohammad Sameer

My name is Mohammad Sameer, the founder of SoundproofGears. My hypersensitive hearing turned me into a lifelong seeker of silence. After years of research, I've become an expert on soundproofing techniques and materials. In November 2022 I launched this site to share my knowledge and help others find acoustic sanctuary. About More