Reasons one should not put wall tiles as floor tiles



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Wall Tiles should not be used on the Floor

Tiles are used to decorate walls and floors. Wall tiles and floor tiles also acts as a seal to prevent moisture getting inside the surface. And thus increases the life of the construction.

Bureau of Indian Standard suggests the best practices, which is followed by Indian Ceramic Industries to manufacture the wall tiles and floor tiles considering Indian conditions.

IS: 15622, defines specification and various parameters of the wall tiles and floor tiles which are manufactured in Indian market.

However, we have tiles for both floor and wall separately with different specification and it should not get interchanged because of following reasons:

 

1. Water Absorption of the Wall Tile

Water AbsorptionOne of the parameter defined by BIS (Bureau of Indian Standard) is Water Absorption of the tile

As per IS: 15622 any ceramic tile which has water absorption in the range of 10% to 20% is suitable to be put on wall. Since, Wall comes in lesser contact with water there is very less chance of water getting inside the wall and the seal is maintained.

If we put the same tile on floor and since the floor tile will be in frequent contact with water there is a chance of water getting inside the floor and cause seepage.

Water absorption chart of various categories of Tiles

Ceramic wall Tile Ceramic Floor Tile Vitrified Tiles (Soluble Salt / Double Charge) Glazed Vitrified Tiles VC Shield Tiles
10 % to 20% 3% to 6% Less or Equal to 0.08% Less or Equal to 3% Average 0.3%

 

Please follow the link for getting information on Water Absorption Test Method

 

2. Physical Strength of Wall Tiles

Physical Strength of the tiles which include, Modulus of Rupture, Breaking Strength and Scratch Hardness are other parameters which suggests not to use wall tiles on floor.

Modulus of Rupture (M.O.R.)

Modulus of ruptureis defined as the force which a tile can withstand before a deformation or bend takes place. This could be defined in terms of N/mm2. Relatively M.O.R. value of Ceramic Wall tiles is much lower than Ceramic Floor Tiles. Since, on the wall there won’t be any applied force, it can be easily put the wall only. If the same tile is put on the floor because of the various degrees of applied forces tiles can be bent.

 

M.O.R. chart of various categories of Tiles

Ceramic wall Tile Ceramic Floor Tile Vitrified Tiles (Soluble Salt / Double Charge) Glazed Vitrified Tiles VC Shield Tiles
Avg. 12 to 15 N/MM2 Avg. 30, Individual 28 N/MM2Min. Min. 35, Individual 32 N/MM2 Min. Avg. 38, Individual 35 N/MMMin. Min. 40 N/MM2

 

Breaking Strength

Breaking StrengthBreaking Strength is defined as the maximum amount of stress that a tile can withstand before it breaks.

Breaking strength of a ceramic wall tile is much lower than Ceramic floor tile. Since, on the wall there won’t be any applied force, it can be easily put on the wall. If the same wall tile is put on the floor because of the low Breaking strength and traffic on the floor wall tiles can break easily.

 

Breaking Strength chart of various categories of Tiles

Ceramic wall Tile Ceramic Floor Tile Vitrified Tiles (Soluble Salt / Double Charge) Glazed Vitrified Tiles VC Shield Tiles
200 to 500 N Min. 1000 N Min. 1300 N 1200 N Min. 1500 N

 

Scratch Hardness

of a tile is defined on Mohs Scale. This test is used to compares the resistance of a mineral to being scratched by ten reference minerals known as the Mohs Hardness Scale.

 

Mohs Hardness Scale

Mineral Hardness Scale
Talc 1
Gypsum 2
Calcite 3
Fluorite 4
Apatite 5
Orthoclase 6
Quartz 7
Topaz 8
Corundum 9
Diamon 10


Scratch Hardness chart of various categories of Tiles

Ceramic wall Tile Ceramic Floor Tile Vitrified Tiles (Soluble Salt / Double Charge) Glazed Vitrified Tiles VC Shield Tiles
Min. 3 Min. 7 for Commercial and 5 for Home Min. 6 Min. 6 for Commercial and 5 for Home Min. 6

 

Following are the other parameters which suggest not putting wall tile on the floor.

  1. Thickness of wall tile: Thickness of the wall tiles is relatively lesser than Floor tiles and thus strength of the tile is also less.
  1. Weight of the Tile: Weight of the wall tile is relatively less to make it ideal to put on wall against the gravity.

 

Today we also have software to visualize our space with the selected tiles prior to actual installation.

3D Tile Visualizer

Somany Ceramics Limited one of the pioneer in Tiles Manufacturing Industry in the world have recently launched tiles visualizer wherein we can virtually lay the tiles on the wall or floor with other accessories and can actually visualize the appearance prior to actual installation.

This is definitely going to help us in having a better aesthetic and look of our wall and floor.

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