Can I Use Backsplash Tile on Floor?

Using backsplash tile on the floor can add an eye-catching detail to any room. Backsplashes are commonly used in kitchens and bathrooms to protect the walls behind sinks, stoves, and other fixtures. But creative designers have found ways to use backsplash tiles on floors for unique style.

There are some important considerations when deciding whether backsplash tile is suitable for flooring. Factors like tile durability, slip resistance, and moisture resistance should be evaluated. With proper tile selection and installation methods, backsplash tiles can make a stylish floor covering in the right applications.

What Is Backsplash Tile?

Backsplash tile refers to any type of tile used on the backsplash wall in a kitchen or bathroom. Backsplash areas are prone to splashes, condensation, and stains. So backsplashes are typically covered in tile for an easy-to-clean, water-resistant surface.

Common types of backsplash tiles include:

  • Ceramic tile – A classic option made from clay that is fired at high temperatures. Offered in a huge range of colors, styles, and finishes.
  • Porcelain tile – Made from refined clay and fired at higher temperatures than ceramic. Porcelain is more dense and water-resistant.
  • Glass tile – Tile made from glass and available in glossy or matte finishes. Provides a transparent, luminous effect.
  • Stone tile – Backsplash tile made from natural stone like marble, travertine, slate, or granite. More expensive but has unique natural patterns.
  • Metal tile – Tile made from metals like stainless steel, copper, tin, or aluminum. Adds reflective, industrial vibe.
  • Mosaic tile – Tiles under 2 inches square, typically mounted in mesh sheets. Allows creative geometric patterns.

Backsplash tiles are usually installed in a thin-set mortar and grouted. Small tile sizes like mosaics or decorative patterns are commonly used. The goals are easy cleaning, moisture resistance, and decorative visual impact.

Factors to Consider When Using Backsplash Tiles on Floors

Backsplash tile can make a gorgeous floor covering with the right considerations:


Floor tiles endure more wear and tear than wall tiles. Foot traffic and dragging furniture can scratch, chip, or crack fragile tile. Small mosaic tiles or unglazed tiles may not stand up to floor use.

Look for tiles rated for high durability and resistance to abrasion. Porcelain is highly durable for flooring. Ceramic floor grades are harder than wall tile. Certain natural stones like granite are quite durable. Larger format tiles hold up better than intricate mosaic patterns.

Slip Resistance

Tile floors must provide traction to prevent slips and falls. The surface texture and finish impacts slip resistance.

Mosaic backsplash tiles often have a very smooth glass surface. This can become slippery when wet. Unglazed porcelain, ceramic, or stone is better for slip resistance. You can also use floor sealers to add traction to glossy backsplash tiles.

A drainage mat under the tile can also improve slip resistance.

Moisture Resistance

Backsplash tiles in wet areas must be waterproof. Prolonged moisture can damage the tiles or allow mold and mildew growth. Verify the tile has a water absorption rate of less than 0.5% for floor installations.

Porcelain, glass, and metal backsplash tiles tend to rate higher for water resistance. Check the manufacturer specs as some decorative glazes or finishes can be less moisture resistant.

Tile Strength

Floor tiles must withstand more weight than wall tile. Ensure the backsplash tiles are rated for flooring or have adequate breaking strength.

Mosaic sheets may not be strong enough for floors in high traffic areas. Larger format tiles, porcelain, and thicker glass or stone tiles are better choices.


Small backsplash tiles can look busy or overwhelming on large floor areas. Larger tiles or coordinating accent patterns work better.

Consider how the grout lines will look. Matching or contrasting grout color impacts the visual effect. Dark grout highlights intricate mosaic patterns but shows dirt easily.

Mixing different tiles or mosaic sheets together takes skill to avoid a haphazard effect. Carefully plan the layout and design.


Backsplash tile can have a higher price point than basic floor tile. Decorative mosaics, mixed patterns, or premium materials drive up costs. Factor this into your budget if using backsplash tile on the floor.

Professional Installation

Most backsplash tiles require careful installation with precise grout spacing and alignment. Using backsplash tile on floors increases this need for precision and workmanship.

Hiring a qualified tile setter is advisable for backsplash floor projects. Do not take shortcuts or rush the job. Careful prep and high-quality installation is crucial for success.

With proper consideration of these factors, backsplash tile can make an exceptional floor covering in bathrooms, kitchens, foyers, accent walls, patios, or other areas.

Where to Use Backsplash Tiles on Floors

Certain rooms and application are better suited for backsplash tile floors:

Small Spaces

Backsplash-sized tiles work well in powder rooms, laundry rooms, and other small spaces. The smaller scale suits modest floor dimensions. Intricate mosaics or multiple tile patterns can make a design statement without overwhelming.

Secondary Spaces

Use backsplash floor tile in spaces with lighter traffic, like dining rooms or studies. The tile can handle occasional foot traffic but may not hold up to constant wear.

Wet Areas

Bathrooms and laundry rooms benefit from backsplash tiles’ water resistance. Moisture-prone spaces require tiles with low water absorption and resistance to alkalis found in common cleaners.

Kitchen Backsplashes

For visual cohesion, extend the kitchen backsplash tile onto the floor behind sinks or stoves. Use the same tile on the 6-12 inch backsplash area and floor. This can flowing tie the spaces together.

Accent Areas

Install backsplash tiles in borders, geometric patterns, or strips to accentuate specific areas. For example, a different tile under kitchen islands or bathroom vanities draws attention.

Patios and Entryways

Exterior areas like covered patios or entryways can mimic interior backsplash floors. Look for frost-proof tiles rated for outdoor use.

Tips for Installing Backsplash Tiles on Floors

Proper installation is crucial to create a lasting backsplash floor:

  • Prepare the subfloor – Any surface imperfections will show through. The subfloor must be smooth, clean, and level.
  • Use a high quality setting material – Look for polymer modified thin-set mortars to prevent cracking and adhesion issues.
  • Follow all manufacturer instructions – Don’t take shortcuts on setting materials or grout.
  • Use spacers for consistent grout lines – Even 1/16 inch discrepancies in grout lines are noticeable.
  • Avoid walking on tile until cured – Give tile time to adhere and grout to cure before use, typically 24 hours.
  • Seal and protect floors – Seal grout and use floor protectants to guard against stains and slippage.

With meticulous installation and proper tile choice, backsplash tiles can create a stunning and unique floor.

Inspiring Examples of Backsplash Tiles Used on Floors

Backsplash tiles on floors provide eye-catching style possibilities. Here are some gorgeous examples and ideas:

Bold Bathroom Floor

This dramatic bathroom floor combines colorful glass mosaic backsplash sheets. The mosaic tile covers the floor, backsplash, and shower walls for a cohesive effect. The small tile scale suits the modest room size.

Blue and green mosaic glass tile bathroom floor and walls

Image from The Spruce

Sophisticated Metallic Tiles

These copper and silver mosaic backsplash tiles create visual impact on the bathroom floor. Metallic tiles mimic vintage penny rounds for a retro, artsy look.

Copper penny round mosaic tile floor

Image from Pinterest

Geometric Kitchen Backsplash and Floor

This kitchen backsplash extends to the floor in a geometric zig-zag stripe motif. The modern, eye-catching pattern combines marble mosaic, elongated hexagons, and metallic strips.

Geometric patterned backsplash extending to kitchen floor

Image from Pinterest

Vibrant Entryway

This entryway floor combines colorful handmade encaustic cement tiles. The bold patterns and hues make a lively first impression. The unfinished edges provide an organic, artistic look.

Bright multicolored entryway floor with encaustic cement tile

Image from Pinterest

Rustic Kitchen Backsplash Extending to Floor

A natural stone mosaic backsplash wraps under the bar area in this kitchen for rustic cohesion. The stone tiles contrast beautifully with the sleek cabinets and stainless steel accents.

Stone mosaic kitchen backsplash continuing onto floor under bar

Image from Pinterest

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are backsplash tiles really durable enough for floors?

A: It depends on the specific tile. Porcelain, ceramic, stone, and glass backsplash tiles made for floors can withstand reasonable foot traffic. Avoid fragile mosaics in heavy use areas.

Q: Should backsplash floor tile go all the way to the baseboards?

A: It can, but leaving a small gap for expansion is recommended. Use quarter-round edging along the baseboards if needed.

Q: How slippery do backsplash tiles get when wet?

A: Unglazed tiles have more traction. But smooth glass mosaics can get dangerously slick, requiring sealants and drainage mats.

Q: Can I put backsplash tile directly over plywood or concrete?

A: No, proper tile prep and substrates are essential. Backerboards, decoupling membranes, or cement levelers provide the right surface.

Q: Is it okay to use different grout colors in backsplash floor patterns?

A: Yes, contrasting grout lines can beautifully define intricate mosaics or geometric designs. Dark grout shows dirt easily though.


Backsplash tiles allow gorgeous options to elevate floors with creative patterns, colors, and textures. Small-scale intricate mosaics or bold mixes of metal, glass, and stone can make unique style statements. With careful tile selection for durability and moisture resistance, backsplashes and accent tiles can make artistic, contemporary floors. Pay attention to prep work, proper installation, and sealants to ensure your backsplash floor retains its beauty.