How much tile do you need? Calculate Your Tile Square Footage [Super Easy How To]

PWF TILE 101 - 2021

How many tiles should I order?

If you're planning to install some tiles, with the help of a pro or not, knowing how much you need and what you'll be spending is very important. Tiles are usually sold not by pieces but by square footage. If you’re planning to install your own tiles or just calculating to budget your materials, here is the super easy way to calculate how much tile you need.
SF web

What you’ll need:

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Measuring tape
  • Calculator

First, let’s discuss the importance of knowing the square footage of the area you need tiling. Tiles come in different shapes and sizes. With that said, learning how to measure the area and calculating how much tile you need is the first step to achieving what you envision for your space.

tile SF

a = length in feet
b = width in feet

a x b = total FT2

Vendors show the approximate square foot a box of tile would cover. The number of tiles you will be purchasing will depend on the number of boxes you need to cover the area you want tiling.

Measuring an area of your house using “inches” is easier; however, you must convert them to feet.

Conversion – One thing to remember is that units should be consistent. If measuring in inches, you’ll have to divide each measurement by 12 before multiplying to get the square footage.

Formula: 12×12 inches = 144 square inches = 1 square foot
Example: 25×150 inches = 3750 square inches = 3750/144 square inches = 26 ft2

Steps For Square Footage

basic SF

Find length and width with measuring tool.

  • Set one side to be measured as “length”.
  • Place tape measure on one end of the length and extend it to the other end.
  • Record the measurement in inches.
  • Set the other side as “width”.
  • Place tape measure on one end of the length and extend it to the other end.
  • Record the measurement in inches.
  • Apply square footage formula:

Length (inches) X Width (inches) = Area (square inches)
Square inches / 144 = FT2 

For Complex Shapes

Break it down into basic shapes and set a “length” and “width” for each. Proceed to do the steps above.

AB ft2 + CD ft2 = total FT2 

After finding the square foot of each area, add it all together for the total FT2.

Calculating Waste

Calculating waste is a crucial part of ordering tiles. It’s never a bad thing to have more, especially if you’re doing it yourself. Purchasing enough to cover the area of installation and then some to keep someplace as spare is essential. For tile installer amateurs, it is best to be prepared for mistakes and mishaps here and there. Purchasing more materials than what you need is more than okay. If something unexpected happens to your tile in the future, you’ll be glad you have some replacement tiles. The recommended amount of waste purchase is 15% of your total square footage.

In conclusion, the recommended formula for ordering tile is:

Total FT2 + Waste = Amount of Tiles

And that’s it! You are now able to know how much tile you need! Online square footage calculators are available for help in multiplication and conversion.


5 Steps to Calculate How Much Tile You Need
How to Calculate Square Footage For Tile
Tile Calculation

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