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How Much Porcelain & Ceramic Tile to Buy

How to Calculate Square Footage for Tile

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Measuring and calculating a space for tiles can be tricky, but it can be made simpler if you follow these steps. You’ll need an accurate measuring tape and a calculator to get the numbers right.

Step One: Measure the Area You Want to Tile

For each area that you want to tile, measure the width and length of the area in feet, and then multiply those two numbers to get the square footage. If you have an oddly shaped room, complete the task in segments. For example, you can take the square footage an L-shaped room in two rectangles and then add the results to come up with the total area. If you are measuring a counter or a shower for tiles that span both vertical and horizontal surfaces, measure both separately and then add the results.

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Step Two: Figure Out How Many Tiles Per Square Foot

Take a look at the measurements of the tiles you want to place in your chosen area. A 12-by-12-inch tile will cover one square foot, but four 6-by-6-inch tiles will cover one square foot. Once you know how many tiles you need per square foot, multiply that number by the number of square feet you need, as determined in Step One.

For example, If your area to be tiled is 50 square feet, you will need 50 12-by-12-inch tiles, but you will need 200 6-by-6-inch tiles to cover the same area.

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Ordering the Right Amount of Tile

It is not unusual to find two to three percent of boxed tile to be broken or chipped, and manufacturers consider up to 10 percent acceptable. While you can use damaged tiles for smaller areas where they can be cut to size, it’s worth buying a few extra in case you make mistakes or break a few in the process.

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How Much Tile Do I Need?

Purchase 10 percent more tiles than you expect to use as a rule of thumb. You made need 20 percent more tiles if you lack experience and know-how. Store your extra tile in case you need to replace damaged tile in the future.

(3) Comments

  1. My husband wants to put in some porcelain tiles. One thing I’m worried about is him buying too much. Measuring is something I think someone else should work on for him. How big is usually one tile?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Jessie,

      Thank you for your inquiry! Tile size can vary depending on the specific tile and the look you are going for. I always suggest taking the full square footage of the bathroom and adding 10% extra to that amount to ensure you have enough for cuts. Make sure to buy tile based on the square footage amount you need, not the number of tiles. If you have any other questions please feel free to give us a call at 1-877-631-2845 and one of our customer service representatives would be happy to help out!

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