An image of vintage, patterned tiles in situ in a drawing room

What is the Difference Between Floor and Wall Tiles?

Wall and floor tiles may look interchangeable, but there’s an important difference you should be aware of when updating the tiles in your home.

  • Tiles that may only be used on walls are typically thinner and lighter than floor tiles.
  • Tiles made for walls are not made to be load-bearing.
  • Tile glazes used on wall tiles are not the same as those used on floor tiles and are, consequently, more susceptible to damage.
  • Floor tiles may be used on walls, but wall tiles should never be used on floors.

 

An image of blue and grey tiles on a kitchen wall.

How Are Tiles Rated?

Tiles are rated using a standardised test carried out by the manufacturer. Following the test, a PEI (porcelain enamel institute) rating will be given to the tile, based on the hardness of the glaze. Any tiles that do not feature a glaze, such as natural stone products will not be rated.

Tiles will be put into one of five categories, depending on their intended use;

Group 1 – Only suitable for use on a wall, and not intended for foot traffic

Group 2 – Suitable for very light traffic, and may be used in places such as an ensuite bathroom. These tiles are not suitable for main living areas or hallways.

Group 3 – Can be used in residential areas or commercial areas where there will be light foot traffic. Tiles in this group will not be suitable

Group 4 – Suitable for all residential areas or commercial areas such as restaurants or showrooms with significant traffic.

Group 5 – Suitable for heavy traffic in both residential and commercial areas.

An image wavy patterned tile floor in white and yellow.

Thrapston Tiling

If you’re looking to update the tiles in your home, we welcome you to pop down to our local showroom. Alternatively, make arrangements with our mobile showroom and we’ll come to you, giving you the oppourtunity to see the tiles in your own home.

To book your appointment and get started on updating your home, please call 01832 735 633.

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