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What’s the Difference Between a Wall Tile and a Floor Tile?

Not every tile is suitable for every surface – that’s why it’s important to know the difference between a wall tile and floor tile. In America, the PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute Wear) rating system is used to determine the durability of tiles. Typically, a floor tile should have a rating of 3-5. A wall tile usually has a rating of 0-2.

 

tilesDifferent Finishes

A wall tile is usually slicker and smoother than a floor tile, especially when it’s wet. A floor tile will often be textured to make it slip-resistant and safer to walk on. A wall tile often has an uneven finish, so it would not be suitable for use on the floor.

 

Different Thicknesses

A floor tile is usually much thicker than a wall tile. A floor tile needs to be thick enough to stand up to heavy furniture, foot traffic and the impact from falling objects. A wall tile is not subjected to any of these stresses, so it can be more fragile and thinner.

 

Different Glazing

A floor tile is either manufactured with a glaze, or it must be able to absorb a glaze to make it water-resistant. A wall tile is typically glazed with a matte or semi-gloss finish, and it may also be porous.

 

Different Sizes

Wall tiles and floor tiles are available in many sizes. Decorative tiles can be as tiny as 1 X 1 inch, while bigger ones could be 3 X 3 ft or even larger. In most cases, regular tile adhesive can’t hold tiles bigger than 1 X 1 ft on a wall. Anything larger will require a specially formulated adhesive.

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