Can You Install Floor Tiles on a Wall?

by Roger

Yup.

End of post.

Fine, I’ll elaborate . . .

To understand this you should understand what designates a particular tile as a ‘floor’ tile. A couple of different things determine this including the PEI Rating and Static Coefficient of Friction (that’s just fancy ass talk for how slippery a tile’s surface is).

Manufacturers do not necessarily determine the arbitrary term assigned to a certain tile, things such as a ‘floor’ tile. All they do is rate any particular tile following industry guidelines determined by the different institutions. In English that just means that the manufacturer doesn’t really call any particular tile a floor tile, they simply assign their tile the ratings.

Certain tiles are only called floor tiles because they meet certain criteria set forth by the different guidelines. For instance: if a tile has a PEI rating of 1 it is only suitable for walls and areas which do not receive foot traffic. This tile would not be called a floor tile.

If the same manufacturer creates a tile with a PEI rating of 3 along with a C.O.F. of 5 and a suitable Mohs scale number, etc., it may be ‘called’ a floor tile.

You can still put it on a wall. It will just be an extra durable wall.

Just about any 12 x 12 inch tile is commonly referred to as a ‘floor tile’ simply because of the size without taking any of the above into consideration. This is simply another example of misinformed dealers, stores, and installers. They don’t do it on purpose, it just happens to be common practice and they don’t know any better. Just because someone calls it a floor tile doesn’t mean that it is suitable for installation on a floor.  But I digress . . .

As long as a tile, no matter the size, meets a set criteria it will be suitable for your floor. It will also be suitable for your wall. This is also why you do not want to do it the other way around. You can use ‘floor’ tile on a wall but you cannot use ‘wall’ tile on a floor – it won’t last. It is simply not durable enough.

Previous post:

Next post:

Candace

Hi,
I want to install 12 x 12 Carrara marble tiles in my shower. Will they be too heavy?

Reply

Mary

Hi bought 60×60 porcelain tiles for my kitchen but think they are more suited to my bathroom can I use these tiles on the bathroom wall ?

Reply

Donna

I want to tile my walls is it done the same way as u do the floors and what do you recommend because I have big tiles already on floor so should I go with small or medium or large and should I go with a neutral color because the floor has gray grout and gray and burgundy on the tile very light colors thanks

Reply

Roger

Hi Donna,

You’ve asked three questions that don’t have a definitive answer – they are all subjective. I like large tiles everywhere, but that’s me, not you. Color is the same deal. :D

Reply

amanda humble

I have bought some natural river stone pebble mosaic tiles for a shower wall (2.6 x.2.5m). The existing wall is a stud wall covered in plaster board and a plastic sheet. Will the wall need to be re-enforced or will a stronger board be required to take this extra load ( I had hoped that vertical loading would be OK)

many thanks Elf dude

s-l140

Reply

Roger

Hi Amanda,

Vertical loading is just fine. It still needs to be waterproofed. :)

Reply

Lisa Azbill

Hi Roger,
Im interested in knowing if we can use floor tiles on our shower stall wall. It currently has a cheaper paneling type stuff thats supposed to be waterproof. I’d like something better but don’t have a lot of cash at the moment. Thanks!

Reply

Roger

Hi Lisa,

Yes you can.

Reply

Teresa Bekker

Hi Roger
you talk about the rating in south africa advertised as a floor tile. Glenwood grey ceramic floor tile 430x430MM A-Grade UGL209218A.
is this a proper floor tile?
Thanks
Teresa

Reply

Roger

Hi Teresa,

If it is graded according to industry scales yes, it is a proper floor tile.

Reply

Teresa Bekker

Thanks so much
Teresa

Reply

Kari

Hi Roger,

Are there any building/construction codes to enforce these tile specifications? We are interested in a new construction home in which we are 100% confident they installed 12×24 glossy wall tiles on the floor of 2 large bathrooms.

This is unsafe and slippery as well as poor workmanship when they crack and break. However, do we have any grounds to demand they replace the tiles or get a credit? Will wall tiles on the floor pass an inspection? or do we just need to suck it up and pay full price for a new construction unit that was done improperly?

What is the point of all these tile specifications if there is no enforcement?

Thanks,
Kari

Reply

Roger

Hi Kari,

Building codes vary wildly from area to area. Enforcement is up to the local building department – you’ll need to contact yours. There are specifications set forth by the TCA, what they do is tell professionals the proper methods for tile installation. Local codes determine whether or not they are enforced, but in a court of law they are always the last say. Unfortunately, in many areas, it needs to get there before they are even brought up.

Reply

karin

ok, thanks for the response Roger!

Reply

JOHN

Can I install sheet vinyl on my bathroom shower floor in my basement. Stall has been built directly beside floor drain and I want to avoid digging a drain in the stall. It won’t be a high usage shower.

Reply

Joseph Doyle

Ayo Roger,
You mention in your “Kerdi shower waterproofing” download that Kerdi will not adhere to green board. Why is this? I have green board currently installed in my tub surround (planning to use Kerdi method) and would very much like to keep the green board in place.
Thanks,
Joe

Reply

Roger

Hi Joseph,

You may want to re-read that. I never said it won’t bond to greenboard. I said greenboard should not be used anywhere near a shower, it feeds mold. However, you can use kerdi over greenboard if it’s already installed.

Reply

Michele

Hi Roger,
Do you recommend using pebble tile to finish your shower floor? If so, do you basically install it the same way you would regular floor tile?
Thanks a bunch!

Reply

Roger

Hi Michele,

I do not recommend them. I actually HATE them. They are also very uncomfortable on bare feet, which is what you will be stomping all over them with. But yes, you install it the same way.

Reply

Joe F

Hey Roger,

I made the mistake of putting 2″ x 2″ tiles on my shower floor of a tile that is hard to match. This being my first tile job, I didn’t plan properly. Finally, I’ve found the floor/wall tile from the same series, but it’s at a store 1.5 hours from my home in NYC(I’ll make the trip if I can use them). Yet they only have them in tile in sizes of 8×16 and 8×32. Problem is the widths of my shower walls are 39.5″ by 35.5″ by 39.5″. Is there any way I could arrange those tiles on the walls so they would look ok? Or can I cut them into 8×8 tiles and then put them on the walls. The manufacturer says it’s a “porcelain tile that looks like marble.”

The tile is: Gardenia Orchidea Varenna beige.

Thanks!
Joe

Reply

Roger

Hi Joe,

You can cut them down to any size you want and use them. I once cut 12×24 tiles down to 2×2 for a shower floor (True story). Not saying it doesn’t suck, just saying it can be done. :D

Reply

Mark

Hi Roger,
Selecting a heavy floor tile (encaustic/cement tile) that’s 5/8″ thick but to be used on a 4′ x 9′ (wxh) wall section. Can special order same pattern in 3/8″ thickness instead, if necessary. I know ‘normal’ floor tile can be set on walls, but this is really beefy stuff (8×8″ tile = 2-1/2#). Any feedback, precautions, particular thinset?
Thanks, Mark

Reply

Roger

Hi Mark,

While it would likely be fine, I would order the thinner stuff for that application.

Reply

Janelle

Hi Roger,
The flooring in my bathroom doesnt go all the way to the wall, it leaves about 1″ is there something to fix this,like a trim flooring tile that is self adhesive, and what would that be called and where can it be purchased?
And my counter by the sink is wood, and I wanted to use vinyl tile to make it more durable to being wet, so wall tile and floor tile only differ by their durability? Would it then be ok to use floor vinyl tile or wall vinyl tile for the counter?

Reply

Roger

Hi Janelle,

Vinyl tiles are completely different than regular ceramic or porcelain tile. I don’t really know if it would work for what you intend. And you didn’t say what type of flooring you have. There are self-adhesive vinyl tiles sold in home depot and the like in the flooring section.

Reply

Leave a Comment

;) :wtf: :wink: :whistle: :twisted: :suspect: :shades: :roll: :rockon: :oops: :lol: :lol2: :lol1: :idea: :guedo: :evilb: :evil: :eek: :dance: :cry: :corn: :cool: :censored: :bonk: :arrow: :D :?: :-| :-o :-P :-D :-? :) :( :!: 8)