How to calculate how much tile you need for a room

Written by andrea hermitt
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How to calculate how much tile you need for a room
Calculate how much tile you need before you get started. (Measuring tape image by Corneliu C from

Calculating floor tiles can be a tricky job. Many people find themselves running to the hardware store for more tiles before the job is complete, which can slow down the job considerably. Save yourself the trouble by calculating how much tile you need before you get started.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Graph paper
  • Measuring tape
  • Calculator

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  1. 1

    Measure the floor or wall area to be tiled. For each flat surface, measure the width and length of the area in feet, and then multiply the numbers to get the square footage. Measure an L-shaped room in two rectangles, finding the square footage of each, and then add the results. If you are measuring a shower, measure the floor and each of the walls separately, and then add the results.

  2. 2

    Determine the area of each tile. This will tell you how many tiles you need to cover. A 12-inch-by-12-inch tile will cover 1 square foot. Likewise four 6-inch-by-6-inch tiles will cover 1 square foot.

  3. 3

    Calculate how many tiles you will need to cover the total area. If your area to be tiled is 100 square feet, you will need 100 12-inch-by-12-inch tiles. If your tiles are 6 inches by 6 inches, you will need 400 tiles to cover the same area.

  4. 4

    Purchase 10 per cent more tiles than the number you expect to use. If you will tile the room yourself, but lack experience, purchase 20 per cent more tiles. This will cut down on return trips to the store to buy extra tile. Return unused tile when finished.

Tips and warnings

  • If you purchase tiles by the case, you only need to know your square footage area. The area the tiles will cover will be printed on the box, in square feet.

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