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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  • 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.

  • 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… :)