How Important Is the Thickness of Floor Tile?

When renovating the floor in your home, note the thickness of the flooring you are removing and the flooring you plan to install. While no strict rules about the proper thickness of flooring tiles exist, selecting a similar thickness of tile to your previous floor prevents several issues.

  1. Thickness

    • Although tiles vary in thickness according to style and manufacturer, flooring tile is typically about one-third of an inch thick, although is available as thin as one-quarter inch and as thick as three-quarters inch. At this thickness, tile is thinner than hardwood flooring and carpet and comparable to some types of laminate flooring. The tile’s thickness is relatively unimportant because to lay the tile, you must apply a layer of concrete and grout, depending on the job.


    • For the new tile to have a finished, clean appearance, it must sit under the trim at the bottom of the walls. This rule does not mean the new tile has to be the same height as the old tile. During installation, remove the trim and replace it upon laying the new tile. If the new tile is taller, mount the trim slightly higher than it was previously. If the new tile is lower, mount the trim lower but paint the wall above the trim if a mark shows.


    • It is important that the new tile is a comparable height to the old tile if the tile floor runs through doorways. If the new tile is taller, the doors might not easily close, which would require rehanging each door. Although rehanging a door is not a difficult task, the process is time consuming, especially if you have to do the work on several doors. For this reason, always check the clearance under the door before purchasing new tile.

    Tile Strength

    • Floor tile has more strength when it is thicker, while thinner floor file is more likely to break under pressure. Consider thicker tile for high-traffic areas. While dropping a sharp or heavy object on any thickness of tile can result in a chip or a crack, thicker tiles are typically more resilient.

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