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.

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  • Derek

    Hello! Thanks for all the great info here. I was thinking about putting some glazed ceramic floor tile in the kitchen as a backsplash. Do I need to worry about the heat from the stove/oven with that product or do anything extra behind it when installing? I appreciate it!

    • Roger

      Hi Derek,

      Nope, no worry at all. Heat from a kitchen isn’t going to affect any ceramic tile.

      • Derek Togerson

        Awesome, thank you!

  • Kevin Smith

    Shower stall project…..5/8 quartz to be placed as door jam. I want my 3/8 porcelan tile to be flush with the quartz. Can i build it out 1/4 with LFT mortar, if so should it be mixed as per instrutions, or more on the dry side? Thank you in advance

    • Roger

      Hi Kevin,

      I can’t really visualize what you have going on here. A door jam for the bathroom floor to the hall (or whatever), or the door jam for the shower?
      If for the floor, yes, you can use lft to raise it, but it’s REALLY not the best option. What is your floor substrate?
      If for the shower, I need a little more detail of what you are trying to do.

      • Kevin Smith

        Sorry for the the lack of clarity. It is an existing 7 ft shower stall, the base is a pre formed acrylic receptor (very solid, not the flexy kind).
        Where the glass door ( and glass panel) screw into the wall, I plan on placing 3.5″ x 7 ft quartz jamb, and then the 12×24 porcelan tile. Just was wondering how to make up the 1/4 ” difference so they end of flush. Thought of useing LFT mortar, unless this is a really bad idea……Thanks again, Kevin.

        • Roger

          Ah, gotcha,

          It would be MUCH better to either shim those side walls out with the cardboard drywall shims over the studs so they stand 1/4″ proud of where you’re putting the jamb. You can also install 1/4″ backer over those side walls where the tile goes.
          While using the LFT behind it will work, you have the additional 1/4″ plus the initial 3/16″-1/4″ of mortar behind the tile. It retains water much more than just 1/4″ of backer with the regular mortar behind the tile. Also, depending on the type of tile you’re using, it may lead to inconsistent shading in the tile after every shower due to the amount of water the mortar retains. So it’ll work, it’s just not the best way.

          • Kevin Smith

            Ok thanks…I’ll do what you suggest.

          • Kevin Smith

            So if i have the one tile area ‘bumped’ out 1/4″ from the other, would that transition also needed to be mesh taped/ thinset, as with all other corners within the shower?

            • Roger

              Yes, that needs to be taped as well.

              EDIT: Let me clarify, the corner needs to be mesh taped. the transition from the thicker to the thinner on the same plane doesn’t have to be.

  • steve schillinberg

    Hi Roger hope all is well ! I bought your manuals years ago when doing my basement bathroom shower . Still looks great !
    Now its time for upstairs bathroom tear out and redo.
    Wife just changed everything ! Now she wants a free standing tub where old tub in alcove is currently.
    Here is my question. We are not having a shower . Just free standing tub. Back wall in alcove is going to be tile 6 INCH X 24 Doing vertical Floor tile 12×24 all tile porcelain . I will put hardi cement board over plywood floor . DO i need to water proof walls ? Since no shower will I be ok with just green board and tile over on back wall of alcove. .. Also this is second floor bathroom once i gut room how thick of plywood should i use on floor under the hardi cement board
    Wow i rambled on to long sorry Thanks

    • Stephen Schillinberg

      Sorry read what I wrote. The back alcove wall is going to be 6×24 and wife wants those run vertical. The floor tiles are 12×24.

      • Roger

        Hi Stephen,

        Sorry, somehow your comment got lost in the shuffle. Pretty sure the elves are drunk again! :D

        No, there is really no reason to waterproof the walls in the alcove with a free-standing tub unless you’re gonna put a diving board above the tub.
        I would use a minimum 1/2″ ply under that, 3/4″ would be better. Make sure you have thinset beneath the backerboard.

  • Christine

    I have some floor tiles that are 8″x24″ they are pretty thick originally floor tile would like to use them for backsplash in the kitchen what is the best adhesive they are pretty heavy and it’s a mobile home thanks for any help you can give

    • Roger

      Hi Christine,

      Any modified thinset will work just fine. On vertical applications you are concerned with sheer force. Any modified thinset on the market can actually support ME hanging off of a tile attached to the wall once it’s cured.

      And I’m a very big elf… :)