Floor tiles on walls: Is That Possible?
Things being used interchangeably is a common thing throughout designing anything. There are materials or elements that can be altered and the use for something else aside from the intended function. But when it comes to tiles, is it even possible to use floor tiles for walls?

First, let's categorize what makes a floor tile a floor tile, which is based on their ratings for hardness and slipperiness. The hardness, based on the Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) rating, is classified from Group or Class 1, areas of the house without foot traffic, to Class 5, areas of the house that have heavy foot traffic (50 Floor). Therefore, floor tiles should be rated at least a Class 3 to 5 for it to be qualified for floor usage to avoid breaks and cracks. As for the slipperiness, based on the Coefficient of Friction (COF) rating, floor tiles need to have at least a rating of 0.5 or higher to avoid slip ups (Safety Direct America, 2018).

Based on that, tiles that have a higher class of hardness and a high friction rating can be considered as floor tiles. However, in the case of wall tiles, their PEI and COF ratings need not matter since they have no traffic on them.

What matters to wall tiles is the wall substrate maximum weight of tiling per m2. Since we’re adding weight to the walls, it is important to gauge how much weight the wall can carry before it cracks or caves in, since most floor tiles are thicker compared to actual floor tiles. This is a guide to use in case floor tiles are used as tiles for the walls (Bal, 2018).
  • Plywood (WBP) Up to 30Kg/m2
  • Gypsum Plaster 20Kg/m2

Though it may pose some calculations on one end plus a little bit of research on the others, using floor tiles for the walls is a definite yes.