How to calculate your bathroom tile needs

Written by sarabeth asaff
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How to calculate your bathroom tile needs
Bathrooms can include multiple tile types in one design. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Before purchasing tile for your bathroom, or even determining your final tile design, you will need to calculate your tile needs. You can install tile on the walls and floor, as well as the shower walls, floor and ceiling. Because each of these areas may contain different tiles, heights, edging or patterns, you must measure and calculate each space separately. This will help ensure no areas or speciality tiles, like bullnose edge pieces, are overlooked.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Calculator

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  1. 1

    Measure the height on the walls where you want the tiles to end. Measure each wall to this height and width in inches. Multiply these figures to get the total number of square inches required for each wall. Divide this number by 144 to get the total amount of square footage for each wall. Add 5 per cent to this figure for waste.

  2. 2

    Measure the width of each wall in inches and divide by 12 to get the number of linear edge tiles needed, if the tiles do not go all the way to the ceiling. Use this measurement for border tiles, if desired. Add 1 additional foot to this number for breakage and waste.

  3. 3

    Measure each shower wall separately in inches. Multiply the height and width and divide by 144. Add 5 per cent to this figure for waste. Measure the height of any exposed edges at the sides of the shower and divide by 12 to get the number of feet of edge tiles needed to finish the shower stall.

  4. 4

    Measure the shower floor's width and depth in inches. Multiply these numbers and divide by 144 to get the square footage of the shower floor. Add 1 square foot for waste. Measure the shower ceiling the same way, if desired. Take the measurement across the opening of the ceiling and divide by 12 to get the linear footage of edge tiles to finish the front of the ceiling.

  5. 5

    Break the bathroom floor into square or rectangular sections. Measure the length and width of each section, multiply, then divide by 144. Add the sections together and add 5 per cent for waste for a basic floor pattern and 20 per cent for waste for a diagonal or intricate floor pattern.

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