Skip to main content

Wall tile vs floor tile: Which is the best investment?

If you’re looking for a remodeling project that will boost your home’s value and give you the greatest return on your investment, look no further. Tiling your walls or floor is a sophisticated and sensible update that makes for a modern, clean-looking space. However, while tile is a classic look for both floors and walls, there are key differences when it comes to cost and return on investment. Keep reading to learn more about which project better suits your home: wall tile, floor tile, or both.

checkered living room floor tile
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Floor tile

Higher overall project cost

Floor tiles tend to be pricier per square foot since they are more durable than wall tiles. Aside from the cost of materials, floor tiles also tend to be large and dense, making them more challenging to install. Unless you’re very experienced, tile flooring may not be a DIY project. Likely, you’ll need to hire a professional, which can put a large dent in your overall budget.

Great return on investment

Updating your flooring to ceramic or porcelain tiling generally carries a return on investment of 55-70 percent. This means you can expect your home’s value to increase by at least half the cost of the remodel. If you have the means to complete the installation yourself, you can expect a greater return on your investment since you’re reducing the labor costs.

Intensive project

Regardless of the material, changing the flooring in the home is an intensive project. The preparation process is very time-consuming, as you’ll need to move furniture, remove existing flooring, and close off other areas to prevent dust and dirt from migrating elsewhere in the home. From beginning to end, the project will usually take between one to three days, and, depending on which room you’re updating, you may need to be out of the house for this time period to give the installers ample space to work.

Additionally, the cost, time, and energy required for this project can vary wildly from room to room. For example, updating the floors of a small bathroom is a much lighter undertaking than tiling the kitchen or living room. When setting your budget, we recommend scheduling a time for an installer to walk through the home and provide a personalized estimate. Online estimates and project calculators may not take into account all the small details that affect the cost of the service.

Cavan Images / Cavan / Getty Images

Wall tile

Lower project cost

Wall tiles are light and thin, so the cost per square foot tends to be much less than that of floor tiles. For avid DIYers, tiling a wall is also a much more manageable project than tiling the floor, so you can also save money by limiting labor costs.

In addition to saving money on professional installers, tiling the walls yourself means you have total control over when to start your project, how long it will take, and how it will look. Whether you want to speed through the project throughout a weekend or work section by section over the span of a week, it’s entirely up to you!

High return on investment

The return on investment of your wall tiling project, like that of floor tiling, depends on the cost of materials and labor. However, because both of these costs are relatively low, there is potential to see an ROI of over 100 percent.

Kitchen and bathroom updates are two of the best ways to add value to your home, so when you get the remodeling bug, we recommend starting with either of these rooms. Instead of switching out appliances and bringing in heavy, expensive new counters, consider upgrading the space by installing new tiling on the walls or floors. Whether you want to update your backsplash or replace the old tiling in your shower, these updates are certainly worth the expense.

In the debate between wall and tile flooring, there isn’t a winner. While flooring is a great investment in the long run, it is a more intensive and costly project, whereas smaller wall tiling projects quickly add value, which is a great benefit to those looking to sell soon. It all comes down to personal preference.

Editors' Recommendations

Veronica Sparks
Veronica Sparks is a writer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who loves writing about gardening, home décor, and DIY life. She’s…
Sanding, primer, or both? This is how to prepare a wall for painting
Don't skip these important steps before you start your next paint job
Two people painting an interior wall

Painting is the easiest way to transform any room in your home. A simple coat of paint is all it takes to make a drab space become a vibrant, bright room that everyone will love hanging out in. However, when it comes to actually getting the painting job done, there are some preparation steps that you need to consider.

Painting requires a bit of prep work, regardless of what condition your walls are in. Walls with holes and dents may take longer to prep than walls that just need a coat of paint. Additionally, you may need to consider sanding, priming, and other prepping methods that'll help your painting project go smoothly and ultimately result in a stunning, finished look.

Read more
These are the best shower plants for your bathroom (and why you really need one)
Shower plants have design and health benefits: Here are the best ones
Bathroom lowlight plants

Keeping indoor plants has been popular in interior design for years, but this nature-inspired decor has gone to a whole new level in recent years. From green being the "it" paint color of the year to design styles adopting a "friluftsliv" appeal, designers and DIYers alike are finding new and interesting ways to incorporate nature into the modern home. What's one of our favorite green design trends? The shower plant.

Whether you have a bathroom with a green palette or a super luxurious, modern bathroom design, keeping a plant inside your shower is a unique and fun design approach. Did you know that it's also incredibly beneficial for your health? These are the benefits of a shower plant — and the best ones you can get.

Read more
Are PVC kitchen cabinets a good buy? What to know before you spend any money
Considering PVC kitchen cabinets? Here are the pros and cons you need to know before you remodel
White and blue kitchen cabinets

Are your kitchen cabinets looking dated or worn? Maybe you're just tired of the style or color and need a change. If so, you've probably been researching all the different materials that you can use for cabinets. We're going to dive into one option that may be worth considering: PVC kitchen cabinets. A quick remodeling project, particularly in the kitchen, gives the space an immediate facelift, adds to your home's value, and could even make your daily life a bit more pleasant.

Let's dive into what you need to know about PVC kitchen cabinets and whether they're a good buy for your home.
How are PVC kitchen cabinets different from other cabinet materials?
You've probably heard of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, in connection to water and drain pipes. The material is used for pipes because of its durability and waterproof construction. What you may not know is that the material has actually become quite popular for kitchen cabinet construction for the same reasons. While kitchen cabinets are often made from plywood or natural wood materials, PVC cabinets don't contain any wood. Instead, they're made from plastic composite.

Read more