Tiles have been used as a decorative covering in houses for millennia, and their popularity continues to grow to this day. Owing to their durability, costs, and designs, tiles are a crowd favorite among home renovators. However, despite this popularity, many remain unaware of the difference between floor tile and wall tile.
Whether you are part of the construction industry or simply thinking about renovating your home, understanding the differences between these tiles is essential. To help you know more, Graana.com – Pakistan’s smartest property portal, features an in-depth analysis of the difference between floor tile and wall tile.
COF Rating (Friction)
|0.50 or higher||Any rating|
PEI Rating (Strength)
|Floors, stairs, counters||
Floor Tiles vs Wall Tiles: Major Differences
Several aspects distinguish the two types of tiles from each other. However, the major factors that serve as a distinction are the Coefficient of Friction (COF) rating and the Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) rating.
PEI Rating – The PEI rating is used to determine the durability of tiles, based on which their uses are specified.
COF Rating – COF rating determines the level of friction of the tiles. Friction is necessary to determine if the tiles can be used for floors or not.
A combination of both ratings is used to determine the use of tiles. Moreover, the following factors serve as major differences between floor tiles and wall tiles.
Durability and Strength
The foremost difference between floor tiles and wall tiles is their durability and strength. To determine the strength of a tile, the Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) rating is used. The rating divides tiles into six classes based on strength and sturdiness. There are six categories, ranging from Class 0 to Class 5.
Class 0 tiles are the weakest tiles, while Class 5 tiles are the strongest. Tiles in any category can be used as wall tiles. However, classes 3-5 can only be used as floor tiles. Since tiles can suffer damage quite easily due to heavy foot traffic, the strongest tile classes are generally recommended for floor tiles.
Since tiles often come in contact with moisture, having water-resistant tiles is essential to reduce damage. However, since floor tiles come in contact with water more often due to cleaning or spillage, their water absorption rate is around 1 percent.
Wall tiles, on the other hand, have a slightly higher absorption rate of around 10 percent. Since wall tiles are less prone to coming in contact with water, they have a slightly higher water absorption rate.
Slip resistance is one of the most crucial differences between floor tile and wall tile. Slip resistance refers to the friction of the tiles, and how they fare under contact with moisture. The Coefficient of Friction (COF) rating is employed here to determine which tiles are fit for flooring.
A tile with a COF rating of 0.50 or higher is suitable for flooring, as it has enough friction to maintain proper grip. For wall tiles, a tile with any COF rating can be used, since slipperiness is not an issue with wall tiles.
A major difference between the two types of tiles is the material used for manufacturing. Porcelain is used for making floor tiles, owing to the material’s sturdiness and longevity. This material is known for its moisture resistance and thickness, making it perfect for heavy-duty uses.
Wall tiles, on the other hand, are made from ceramic. Ceramic tiles tend to be lighter and softer compared to their porcelain counterparts, making their uses limited to decorative purposes and wall tiling.
Size and Thickness
The most obvious difference between floor tile and wall tile is their size. Despite being manufactured in a variety of shapes and sizes, smaller tiles are mostly restricted for walls, since larger sizes would make it difficult for the tiles to stick. Moreover, wall tiles are much thinner and lighter when compared to other types of tiles.
Since floor tiles have to bear immense weight and traction, their thickness and size are quite large.
Both types of tiles have a similar lifespan, and a well-maintained tile job should be able to last more than 75 years. However, since floor tiles are much stronger and thicker than their wall counterparts, they should be able to last longer, in theory at least.
Wall tiles can last just as long, if well-maintained. However, due to lighter and softer materials, wall tiles are at a disadvantage when it comes to lifespan.
With tiles becoming increasingly popular among home renovators and designers, understanding the difference between floor tile and wall tile has become quite essential. In general, the main differences between these two types boil down to durability, friction, materials, and thickness. Next time you are out tile shopping, keep these factors in mind. For more information, visit Graana blog – Pakistan’s first online real estate marketplace.