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Porcelain tiles are a versatile building material, with a wide range of applications on both walls and floors. But are there differences between porcelain wall and floor tiles?

It turns out that there are many.

With their wide array of uses, considerable confusion is to be expected. For instance, can porcelain wall and floor tiles be employed interchangeably? Or are they just that: for exclusive use on walls and floors, respectively?

The Reno Superstore sells porcelain wall and floor tiles in both its Toronto and Mississauga locations. But we always urge our customers to choose the right products for their project.

So, let’s find out what factors you need to consider when shopping for wall or floor tiles in Toronto and Mississauga.

Let’s get started.


Porcelain Wall and Floor Tiles: Learn the Key Differences

Porcelain Wall and Floor Tiles

It pays to be informed when it comes to shopping for flooring. We have canvassed tile suppliers and manufacturers in Toronto to offer you this guide.


1. Coefficient of Friction (COF) Rating

This rating essentially decides which porcelain tiles are meant for walls and which for floors. All porcelain tiles come with a COF rating that tile suppliers in Toronto or elsewhere will provide.

Each porcelain tile has a minimum level of friction they need to possess in order for them to be considered fit for floors. Slip & fall injuries are quite common and can even prove fatal. That is why it’s so important that your floors offer enough friction to walk upon them safely and why the COF rating is so significant. For obvious reasons, a high COF rating is not essential for wall tiles, since traction isn’t an issue. The higher the COF rating, the greater the friction.

If you are planning to install tiles in spaces such as swimming pools, check the COF rating provided by the tile supplier. Usually, a COF rating of 0.50 or greater is best for interior floor applications.

Have questions? Ask the flooring experts at The Reno Superstore to help you find the right fit for your space.


2. PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) Rating

Porcelain tiles are preferred for their strength, but they are not all built alike. The PEI rating determines their hardness and durability.

Since they can be installed in a wide range of spaces, it is good to know these tips for installing porcelain tiles. Understanding the PEI rating is one of the key aspects of installation.

The rating range is as follows:

Class 0: Light duty tiles; meant for walls exclusively.

Class 1: These wall tiles can be used in both residential and commercial spaces.

Class 2: Wall tiles and light duty floors; maybe used in residential bathrooms.

Class 3: These can be used extensively on walls, floors, and countertops; meant for residential applications only.

Class 4: These can be used on walls and floors; light commercial applications and heavy residential use.

Class 5: These are floor tiles that can be used in both heavy-duty residential and commercial situations. They are not meant for walls.

When shopping for flooring, ensure that the tile you choose is PEI-rated between 3 and 5 for it to be durable in the long-term.

If you are a data conscious shopper, you may look for such information on product websites or in brochures. Brands like Anatolia (available in our stores) offer information that can help you understand the best place to install their tiles.

Porcelain tiles are a significant investment, so take time to understand each aspect of the product carefully before you buy. Installing the wrong products in the wrong places will cause damage and increase how much you spend.

At The Reno Superstore, we can answer your frequently asked questions or specific project-related queries.


Aspects of Porcelain Wall and Floor Tiles

Let’s have a quick look at a few attributes of each and which is better for your project.


1. Visual Aspect

Visual Aspect

Whether you install them on your walls or floors, porcelain tiles come in a hundred choices. In terms of looks, wall tiles tend to be thinner, but there is no difference otherwise.

Verdict: Tie


2. Cost

Budget is an important consideration for every project. High-quality porcelain tiles are actually a cost-effective solution but can seem expensive at first. This is the same for wall and floor tiles.

Also, make sure to factor in the cost of installation. Tiles are heavy and require expertise to install correctly, so it’s best to hire flooring installers for the best results.

Fortunately, The Reno Superstore offers quick and easy financing that starts at purchases as low as $50.

Verdict: Tie, as both wall and floor tiles cost almost the same on a per-square-foot basis


3. Durability


Wall tiles are thinner but quite long-lasting, provided they are installed properly. However, if they are installed on floors, they will crack quickly.

Floor tiles are extremely durable and when properly installed can easily last a lifetime. Note: it is best to install porcelain tiles based on their PEI rating for best performance.

Verdict: Floor tiles win


4. Water and Heat Resistance

All porcelain tiles are waterproof and heat-resistant, but wall tiles offer less protection when exposed to heat. That is why they should never be used on countertops.

Verdict: Floor tiles win


5. Ease of Installation

For the best outcome, porcelain tiles require expert installation. Floor tiles tend to be heavy and are more difficult to install; wall tiles are thinner and lighter for easier installation.

At The Reno Superstore, we offer affordable tile installation for homes across the GTA. Get in touch with us to discuss your project.

Verdict: Wall tiles


Quick Look at the Best Porcelain Tile Brands

Choosing high-quality tiles is essential to longer-lasting floors. So, if you are looking for a long-term solution, it is best to invest in reputable floor tile manufacturers.

  1. Anatolia Tile +Stone: This renowned brand has a global reputation for producing stunning and uniquely-designed porcelain tiles.
  2. Olympia Tile + Stone: This fast-growing brand has a global reputation for producing stunning tiles. Available in our retail as well as online store.
  3. Marazzi Tile: They offer exceptional designs and stylish floor and wall tiles.

Check out all the flooring brands we carry.

These are the differences between porcelain wall and floor tiles. Understanding the material you are buying is key to choosing the right product for your project. Factors like size, thickness, where they are to be installed and how play key roles in the durability of your walls and floors. Speak with the flooring experts in our Mississauga or Toronto stores to help you make the best choice for your home.

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