Floor and wall tiles: the big differences

Floor and wall tiles

Discover two key concepts in the world of ceramics and interior design

Do you know what the differences are between floor and wall tiles? Before starting any work or renovation, it is very important to know the answer to this question in order to choose the most suitable products for your project and not regret your decision later on.

Having a clear idea of what we are going to use each material for is fundamental to guarantee good use and perfect maintenance.

Why? Because, although they may initially seem the same, there are substantial differences in their use, in what we expect from the material and in their manufacturing process.

Roughly speaking, we can say that floor tiles are for the floors and wall tiles are for the walls, but there are many differences that make them two very different materials at times.

What are the similarities and differences?

  1. The use:

    As we have already said, floor tiles are used to cover floors and wall tiles are used to cover walls. Within this broad categorisation, we can find a lot of nuances.

    We have floor tiles designed for indoor and outdoor spaces, there are floor tiles for wet areas with anti-slip treatment, as well as floor tiles designed for extreme climates that withstand frost, and so on.

  2. What that use demands:

    A floor needs a much more resistant material because it is going to be walked on continuously. Public space floors such as those in shopping centres or airports will be walked on even more intensively and therefore require even more resistance.

    A frost-resistant flooring must have special characteristics that prevent it from cracking with temperature changes. The differences in the use of the material, therefore, go far beyond aesthetics.

  3. The material:

    If each type of tile has a specific use and requires a specific performance, it must be made with different materials.

    This is why wall tiles, which do not need as much resistance, are generally made with a red body, which offers great versatility, excellent value for money and lower resistance.

    The floor tiles, on the other hand, are made either thicker or in porcelain to guarantee the extra durability and resistance required by the material.

  4. Finishes:

    Basic finishes such as matt, gloss or satin can be available on both floor and wall tiles and in this case it is more of an aesthetic matter.

    There are other finishes, such as different types of anti-slip treatment, which can only be applied to floors.

  5. Formats:

    Generally, wall tiles are much smaller in format and have many decorated pieces, even in other formats, which can allow us to extend their versatility.

    Floor tiles, especially porcelain tiles, can be manufactured in large formats that give a greater sense of continuity and maximise architectural and interior design projects.

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