I came across ceramic wall tiles that I really want to use for my bathroom, but I can't find the perfect floor tile that matches. Can I use the wall tile as a floor tile? Here's a link (might be a blurry) picture of it: https://i.stack.imgur.com/K08ie.jpg

I want to use the grey one (top one) on the floor. The tiles are not smooth, so I don't think they'll be slippery. Are there other factors? Can wall tiles generally be used as floor tiles?

3 Answers 3


ONLY IF... the floor surface is well-prepared (1/2" cement board minimum), the tiles have a thick enough body (some wall tiles have a very thin body, and are unsuitable for floor tiles because they're so fragile), and are made up of a material (my favorite is red clay) suitable for compressive loading (your heeled shoes, or high heels), your mortaring work is IMPECCABLE, and your tile-laying technique is excellent.


Maybe not, but not for the reason you think! Wall tiles on the floor would certainly be considered an alternative material. In some jurisdictions it is illegal to install building materials for other than their intended purpose without approval.

 "The provisions of this code are not intended to prevent the
 installation of any material or to prohibit any design or method 
 of construction not specifically prescribed by this code, provided
 that any such alternative has been approved. An alternative material,
 design or method of construction shall be approved where the building
 official finds that the proposed design is satisfactory and complies
 with the intent of the provisions of this code, and that the
 material, method or work offered is, for the purpose intended, at  
 least the equivalent of that prescribed in this code. Compliance with 
 the specific performance-based provisions of the International Codes 
 in lieu of specific requirements of this code shall also be permitted 
 as an alternate."

I once asked for approval and they wanted result from a testing lab showing equivalency.

Please don't shoot the messenger! I think you know who to shoot.


A few problems, wall tiles aren't built to withstand weight like floor tiles, so they are more prone to breaking. (my floor tiles already started breaking too after many years, so you're probably going to see breakage much sooner)

Also while the tiles may be 'not slippery', it's really hard to say until you have walked on them. they don't seem that rough or porous so I think you may have issues there.

Lastly if you're talking about those large rectangles at the very top-- I think those look ugly due to the rectangle shape; and if your'e talking about the little squares, imho that looks worse still

Neglecting the possibility of breakage, it all comes down to personal preference. I would peruse for some more floor tiles before you make a decision, though.

Good luck!

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