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Wall & Floor Tiles, Should They Match?

Updated on December 17, 2012

In my seven years working in the tile industry I often wonder how many times I have heard customers say “my floor tiles don't match exactly to my wall tiles!”

This is a common niggle amongst homeowners worldwide when looking to renovate their kitchen or bathroom. So need we be concerned about getting the perfect match?

Bathroom with Matching Wall and Floor Tiles
Bathroom with Matching Wall and Floor Tiles | Source

When talking about one’s home it is obviously a very personal subject and in many respects the popular phrase “each to their own” is very relevant here. But from the tile manufactures point of view in many cases the floor tiles in a range are designed to complement the wall tiles in the same range but this does not mean that they should match.

There are a number of reasons for shade or texture variances between wall and floor tiles. Firstly, many believe that complementing colours on the wall and floor add a certain dimension to a room that matching tiles just can not achieve. A room that is identical from the floor right up to the walls, in my opinion is rather two dimensional as it can appear a bit “box like” with no contrast between either. From an aesthetics point of view it can be beneficial for there to be a contrast in colours perhaps with a beige wall tile and a chocolate brown floor tile as this creates a differential contrast whilst still maintaining the “natural” colour spectrum. Alternatively, you could consider working with different shades of the same colour, perhaps a light beige on the walls and a beige that is at least two shades darker on the floor. This brings that depth, hence moving away from the “box like” room.

Another point to be aware of if you do decide to go down the route of matching wall and floor tiles is the natural shade variance that can occur within the manufacturing process. Wall tiles are seldom made during the same production as floor tiles in the same range (there are the odd exceptions). The reason for this is that floor tiles tend to be larger, thicker tiles with a much stronger body than wall tiles. For this reason they will be made within separate productions and as they are made of natural materials there is always scope for differences within the manufacturing process, even within the same factory and no matter how slight it can cause minor or sometimes major shade variances between the two products.

In my opinion there is great merit in using complementing colours in your home, it provides depth, character and style. I am not saying for one moment that it is wrong to match your tiles carefully but it may just be worth experimenting with some samples and seeing what works for you, remember “each to their own!”.


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    • Tileclick profile image

      Tileclick 5 years ago from Liphook, Hants

      Hi, thank you very much for your comment. I completely agree with you, it is very hard to visualize the tiles in your room until they are fixed which is why ordering sample tiles is so important to help in the decision making process. It certainly is worth investing some extra time in getting it right as, like you say, you could be stuck with what you choose for some time. Thanks again.

    • loveofnight profile image

      loveofnight 5 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      Very useful and interesting info...... We do have to look at the whole picture when making final decisions about things that we may be stuck with for a long time. The job can be harder than it looks at first glance.Thanks much

    • roxygurl464 profile image

      roxygurl464 5 years ago from New Jersey

      I agree with you. I have also been in the flooring, tile, & natural stone industry for several years and I have seen so many people obsess about their floor and wall tiles matching perfectly. Personally, when I see a bathroom with the same exact tile running from floor to ceiling, I automatically think "gas station restroom". There are so many beautiful tiles and stones to choose from in millions of colors. My bathroom floor is a 12x12 light natural stone looking porcelain and my walls are a silkstone 12x24 porcelain tile in similar complimenting colors. We get so many compliments on our bathroom!