Before you go shopping for supplies, consider your tile requirements. Determining how many tiles you’ll need is a crucial first step, whether you’re installing it in your foyer floor or your kitchen or bathroom walls. If you want an easier way to calculate the amount of tiles required for a project, you can also jump over to House of Mosaics.
Let’s start with your floor measurements. You can usually reduce the amount of tiles you need by calculating how many square feet are covered in each pass. The length and width of the room plus half its height should give you a good idea of how much area you’ll need, but this calculation may help ensure adequate tile coverage, budget appropriately for the project
Measure the area you plan to tile.
Take precise measurements of the surface to be tiled. Make sure you measure it based on how it looks rather than on its shape.
To find the area of a wall or floor in square feet, divide the length by the width.
If the dimensions aren’t a whole number, divide the number of inches by 12 to get feet, add the resulting decimal to the number of feet, and complete the rest of the calculation as described above to obtain square feet. Always round off your total when the area contains a decimal.
The area of a 10-foot by 10-foot wall would be 100 square feet (10 x 10).
When you’re adding a new room or extending an existing one, it’s important to know how much space the ceiling will take up. A 6-foot-9-inch by 11-foot floor would have a volume of 74.25 square feet (6.75 x 11), which is rounded up to 75 square feet.
For circular regions, such as the floor, square the radius (half of the space’s diameter) and multiply by 3.14.
The volume of the space within a 20-foot diameter round floor is 314 square feet (3.14 x 10 x 10).
Treat irregularly shaped areas, such as an L-shaped floor, as two parts. Calculate the areas of the individual components and combine them.
Let’s assume that your L-shaped floor can be divided into two 6-by-3-foot rectangles. The floor area would be 36 feet (6x3x2).
Determine how many tile boxes or individual tiles you’ll need depending on the size of the area.
What you need to know now is the area over which the tile should cover. To cover that space, you’ll need to buy a certain number of tiles. The calculation relies on whether you want to buy boxes of tile with multiple tiles (more popular for standard-sized walls or floors) or single tiles (for small floors or walls.
Divide the total square footage of the space by the box’s stated square footage when buying tile boxes. The box will tell you how much area each tile in the kit covers. There’s no need to keep track of how big the tiles are. If it’s a decimal, round up to the next whole number.
If the entire surface is 100 square feet and each container gives 12.5 square feet of tile, you’ll need eight boxes of tile (100 / 12.5).
You must know the square footage of each tile you purchase (or the fraction of) to understand how much material will be needed.
Inch measurements on the packaging will indicate whether tiles are sold individually or in a set. Multiply the length of the tile by its width to calculate how much surface area one tile would cover in square inches. To convert square feet to square meters, divide the total by 144. Then divide the space you’re tiling by the size of one
If you opt for six-by-six-inch tiles, each one would cover 0.25 square feet (36 / 144). If your wall or floor area is 50 square feet, you’ll need at least 200 tiles to cover it (50 / 0.25).
Finally, allow for a 10- to 20-per cent overage.
Even for a tiling professional, buying only the necessary amount of tile to cover the wall or floor isn’t sufficient. Many situations require a little more than what is required.
- Extra tiles may be required to build tile fragments to cover gaps in the wall or floor where a full tile would not fit.
- When you buy tiles, some of them may be broken. (It’s not unusual for about two to three per cent of the tiles sold in boxes to be damaged or chipped!)
- You may snap a tile while cutting or laying one down, or mend one that has cracked.
- You could need a fresh tile to replace one that loosens after installation.
- If you don’t install new tile, your current tile may be discontinued in the future. If the colour or design of the tiles you want to use is discontinued later, you’ll be glad to have some matching tiles on hand to use as replacements; otherwise, you may be required to retile the whole floor.
Buying at least 10% more tile than you thought is a good idea. If the number, you obtained in
the previous step is a decimal, round it up. So, if you figured you’d need eight boxes of tile, buy nine instead (8 x 1.1). Buy 220 tiles if you calculated the requirement for 200 tiles (200 x
If you’re using a more unusual pattern like herringbone or a diagonal offset, budget up to 20% of the buffer. Tile diagonally rather than horizontally (where the tile’s edge meets the wall or floor) in these patterns generally leaves more tile fragments on the ground. If you want an easier way to calculate the amount of tiles required for a project, you can also jump over to House of Mosaics.