Floor vs Wall Tiles


Although wall and floor tiles can look similar at times, there are important differences that distinguish each, and understanding these differences can help towards the plan of your next project renovation or build.

Distinguishing between floor tiles and wall tiles

Floor tiles are generally thicker and stronger to account for the additional foot traffic and loading that they are likely to be subjected to, and floor tiles can be used as both wall and floor tiles for this reason.


For wall tiles on the other hand, as they are also predominately thinner and lighter than floor tiles, they should not be used for flooring applications, although exceptions are possible in soft use areas such as ensuite floors, but such use is not recommended.

Usage and manufacture differences

Water absorption in wall and floor tiles – In relation to the technical specification of the two tile products, the water absorption of wall tiles is generally higher than that of floor tiles, with floor tiles likely being exposed to a large amount of water more often. 

Firing temperatures – Wall tiles are usually fired at lower temperatures, and floor tiles are also more dense and generally heavier than wall tiles to endure heavy traffic. 

The Coefficient of Friction – this is a measure of the level of friction that a floor has, is an important characteristic when designing floor tiles. Essentially, with a higher coefficient will correspond with a rougher surface, making it safer to walk on, which is especially important for floor tiles reducing slippage. Conversely, a lower coefficient is suitable for wall tiles, owing to the fact that they aren’t treaded on.

Aesthetics – Increasingly, floor tiles are now also being used in traditional wall tile applications, and many customers are using both the same tile for floor and part of a wall. Wall tiles are also typically more decorative than floor tiles, with a greater diversity of materials and shapes, which can be used as feature wall tile for a point of difference in a space.


With these differences in mind, both wall and floor tiles compare favourably with other surface coverings, being more economical and durable in the long run.


Searching for some inspiration for floor and wall tiles? Current style trends can be used to help guide your decision:

·     The rise of earthy tones is a trending style; this natural inspired palette can create an organic and warm feeling in both traditional and the more contemporary of designs. For this purpose, both stone look and timber look tiles work wonders.

·     Terrazzo is very much on trend, bringing an elegant and distinctive touch to your space. With its beautiful aggregate speckled look, our Terrazzo range is a stunning example of this style.

·     Linear patterns are also an exciting trend that is currently in vogue. With repetition of long, slim lines, these patterns work well as eye catching feature wall tiles. Take a look at our exciting ranges, Opal and Oyster for some inspiration for your tile selection.

Johnson Tiles’ has an extensive range of both wall and floor tiles, offering many colours, sizes, designs and finishes.

Whichever your design style, Johnson Tiles has a tile to suit your needs.