Discuss Guide To Tile Weights And Wall Limitations in the Wall Tiles area at TilersForums.com


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Following a few past threads there seems to be some confusion on what tiles can go onto what walls. Most of you here are professional tilers so apologies if any of this is old news. This is for those who are unsure how to gauge tile weights and for what is a suitable surface for your specific tiles.

The first thing is the limitations of the various different substrates. This is guided by British Standards but other wall subrates may be present. If you are unsure, speak to the manufactures of the surface or speak to any of the adhesive manufacturers technical departments for their recommendations. I've lost track of how many times this has been posted somewhere on the forum, so here it is once again for good measure.

Wall Substrate Maximum Weight of tiling per m2
Gypsum Plaster 20Kg/m2
Gypsum Plasterboard Direct (without a plaster skim) 32Kg/m2
Plywood (WBP) Up to 30Kg/m2
Lightweight Tilebacking Boards Up to 40Kg/m2. Dependant on the type and thickness of the board.
Glass reinforced Cement Sheets Up to 50Kg/m2. Dependant on the type and thickness of the board.
Gypsum Fibre Boards Approximately 35-40Kg/m2

If you are tiling on top of a tanking system, please also check with the manfacturer about its weight limitations. As an example, the BAL WP1 can only hold a maximum of 32kg m2 depending on the background its applied to. (so for instance, if it was tanked plaster, this would drop to 20kg m2)

When it comes to tile weight, we need to bare in mind for all the different tile types, there are different qualities, thicknesses and densities. This is a "rough" guide as to working out how much a tile weighs without having to go weigh each tile individually.

These weights are the "approximate" weight of the material type per 1mm thickness. All you need to do is multiply the weight by the thickness of the tile to get the square metre weight:

Ceramic 1.75 kg m2 per mm
Porcelain 2.403 kg m2 per mm
Granite 2.691 kg m2 per mm
Limestone 2.611 kg m2 per mm
Marble 2.563 kg m2 per mm
Quartz 2.173 kg m2 per mm
Sandstone 2.323 kg m2 per mm
Travertine dependant on grade, between 2.08 and 2.534 kg m2 per mm
Terracotta dependent on grade, between 1.362 and 1.75 kg m2 per mm (I know, you're asking "who the hell would put terracotta on a wall?" right? - been done a few times!)

In addition to the tile weight for wall tiling, you also need to allow the maximum possible weight of the adhesive to account for water content when applied, and possible moisture intake in the future.
Cement based adhesive per mm (solid bed after compression) = 2.162kg m2 per mm

9mm Porcelain (2.403 x 9 = 21.627 kg m2) +2mm Adhesive (4.324kg) = 25.95 kg m2
12mm Quartz (2.173 x 12 = 26.076 kg m2) +3mm Adhesive (6.486kg) = 32.562 kg m2

Remember this is an approximate guide only and can be affected by a number of factors, but may help you out if you need to do a quick calculation on the fly. You should be able to find an order weight on you suppliers despatch note, but if in doubt, speak to the tile suppliers for the exact sqm weight.

Hope this helps. If anything is missing that might be slightly out of the ordinary, please let me know.


It's a good post to have for reference. I've learnt a lot myself this week about tile weights, it seems a lot of people aren't aware, including people selling tiles and especially builders and other accompanying trades.

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