Can I Use Wall Tile on Floor?

djdoggoneOctober 27, 2013

I like this mosaic tile that is billed as a wall tile. I've been all over the internet and to the two tile stores within driving distance and can not find this tile anywhere else -- wall or floor. At the last store the gentleman explained that the mosaic is probably made in China from remnants (It is a Lowe's item.) and is not likely to last.

Is that so? Is it unsafe to use wall tile on the floor?

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Wall tiles could be more slippery when wet. That alone makes it dangerous.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 9:51PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

It all depends on the tile. I had textured ceramic on walls and floors. No problem. Looks like enough grout lines to keep feet from slipping. If you like it, do it. You can always plop down a shower mat to keep feet from slipping.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 11:31PM
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I always thought the issue was that wall tiles could be thinner than floor tiles and therefore were prone to breakage on the floor.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 11:45PM
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The finish and strength of clay is an issue that contributes to the durability of wall tiles vs floor tiles. Friction when wet is also and issue. With small tiles it isn't a problem because of all the traction grout lines.

Some marbles are weaker than others and that may be the reason for the recommendation for walls. I used marble mosaic on my wall wainscot and I recognized the tile weakness and thought that it would not be very durable for a floor as occasionally a tile would sort of crumble as I worked with it.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 7:38AM
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The tile is carrara marble except for the white dot. A Lowe's reviewer said the marble was thinner than other wall tile he'd worked with, so thinness might be an issue. How thick is floor tile supposed to be? If the pinwheel is made of remnants will that mean it is weak?

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 9:38AM
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I found this description of the tile. Does that tell me enough to know if it will be a problem or not?

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 12:16PM
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Do you see where it says "coefficient of friction"? That is the issue. I know in some areas, tile has to have a certain COF to be used on a bathroom floor, by code. I don't know if all the grout would make up for it, or if anyone really checks COF during inspection.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 1:36PM
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Thanks, we will inquire of Lowe's the COF to make sure it is up to code. Appreciate the help.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 1:24PM
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The PEI rating is a rating of durability of glazed finish. The Grade is a rating of suitibility for floors and walls. I was looking for this link when you first posted but couldn't find it in my searches. I came up in my search today.

Here is a link that might be useful: Houzz article on tile characteristics

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 6:36PM
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Thanks, enduring. I have printed the article and will take it with me when I go to the store.

The article makes me nervous about using marble. We live in the country. Dogs and people with boots in from the barn tramp through our single bathroom. But it is just the old-fashioned look and color that will go with our ancient pedestal sink etc. in our tiny cottage.

If I could find this pattern/color in porcelain tile, that would be my first choice but I haven't found marble-look-alike tile in mosaic.

Thanks again for the assistance.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 1:23PM
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I live on a farm too. I have the rare need to warm a newborn hypothermic calf in my house. The bathroom is off the kitchen and back door. I planned that I could use this room for utility purposes if needed. Although, now that I have my beautiful vanity in there, I don't think I will let a calf in there. The floor is slate and epoxy grout is used. I am not saying slate is the way to go, but I think epoxy is :) I think you should use a glazed porcelain and epoxy grout. With a quality porcelain, you get a consistent product, very little moisture is absorbed, and it is stronger than marble.

The floor joist system needs to meet a flexion standard too with all tile. Stone has a much higher stiffness requirement. Ceramics (including porcelains) not as rigid. I had to reenforce my joist to accommodate the stone. I could do this because I connivence my DH to crawl into the crawl space (thats what its for ain't it?) and add extra joists. That was because the joists were 21" on center and 2x8s.

Never again :) My second bathroom remodel is porcelain.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 6:45PM
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Here is a basketweave in glazed porcelain that is suitable for floors. Good price, too.

Here is a link that might be useful: porcelain basketweave

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 7:32AM
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