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how much tile do i need?

The rule-of-thumb industry approach:  Knowing how much tile to order can be a little tricky.

We hope that the below estimation considerations will assist you in ordering the right amount for your project. The topics covered in this article are:


Estimating the overage for your order

There are 2 things that you need to consider when placing your order - tiles are fragile when in transit (breakages) and installers need to cut them to install them propoerly (wastage). In order to ensure that you have enough tiles for your project it is highly recommended to order additional tiles. The industry standard for tile overage (fancy word for ordering additional tiles to cover breakages and wastage) is approximately 10% more than your total area of installation (see below for calculating the total area.) To help you estimate the overage (extra) tile that you should order, please consider the following,


Offset-Tile-Pattern Pattern-Tile-Installation Alternate-Tile-Installation
Rectangular-shaped room with square tile installation, consider ordering between 5%-10% more than your total project area Rectangular-shaped room with pattern tile installation, consider ordering between 10%-15% more than your total project area Alternative-shaped room with square or pattern tile installation, consider ordering between 15%-20% more than your total project area


By doing this you will ensure that you have enough tiles for your installation project AND that you have a few extra in case you need to replace a single tile in the future.

Floors: calculating the area size (in sq.ft)

To calculate the tiling area for a floor, follow the below instructions

PLAN: Make a drawing of the floorplan in the room you are planning to tile

It doesn't have to be to scale, but the more accurate that it is, the more useful it will be for recording purposes. In the below example, there is a living room with a bay window, hallway entrance and doors leading to an outside sitting area. Plan-your-tile-installation

CALCULATE: Divide the area into logical areas

Measure the shortest width and length in the room. If you're measuring a room with no recesses or foyers, there will be only one width and only one length. But in this example, there are 3 areas that need to be calculated. The main area of the living room, the hallway and the bay window area.


Blue Area Measurement (main living area): Multiply the width and the length to get the main area measurement (if the room has no recesses or foyers or other areas that are included in your tiling project, stop here as this is the measurement of the total floor area.) Record this in the center of your drawing. Red Area Measurement (recess or entrance area): Measure the width and length (shown in red) of the recess as if it was a small room. Multiply the width and length to find the area of the entrance. Record it in the recess area of your drawing. Green Area Measurement (bay window or round room area): This is a little more complicated but not hard to do. The bay window area is approximately a half circle in shape and therefore we should calculate the area of a full circle (Area of a circle = r2 x Pi (π) and half the result (or divide by 2.)) To calculate the area of the bay window (in the example above) we need to measure the longest width and length of the recess (usually through the center) up until the edge of the main area, which you already measured. In this example, the length is shown by ‘E’ and the width is shown by ‘F’. Now comes the calculation, Firstly, r2 = ((E x 0.5) x F) Pi (π) = 3.14 Therefore, the area of the bay window is (r2 x 3.14) x 0.5 Record the area in the recess area of your drawing. Total area = blue area + red area + green area

Walls: calculating the area size (in sq.ft)

Walls are easier as they are mostly rectangular with the exception of spaces for windows, doors and other fixed fittings. Remember that in the long run, it is better to temporarily remove fixtures (like cupboards etc) from the wall and to tile the entire wall, then simply tile around these. This will help to ‘future-proof’ the tile project if you decide to buy new furntiure or fixtures. 1. Make a drawing of the wall roughly to scale, including doors and windows. 2. Measure the width and height of the wall. 3. Multiply these together to get the total wall area. Wall area = height x width 4. Subtract the area of windows and doors (again, simply height x width) from the total wall area 5. And of course if you want to be fancy, subtract the area of attached fixtures (i.e. sinks etc.) from the total wall area.