When tiling a room, it’s important to purchase the right amount of tile to complete the job. Buying too little tile can lead to having an incomplete floor, while purchasing too much tile results in wasted materials and money. So how do you determine the exact number of tiles needed for a tiling project? There’s a simple formula that can be used to calculate the quantity of tile for any sized room.

## Calculate the Room’s Square Footage

The first step is to find the total square footage of the floor space you want to tile. For a rectangular or square room, simply multiply the length by the width to get the area.

So for example, for a 10×10 room:

- Length: 10 feet
- Width: 10 feet
- To calculate: 10 x 10 = 100 square feet

So the total area of a 10×10 room is 100 square feet.

## Determine the Tile Size

Next, you need to know the dimensions of the tile you plan to use. Tile sizes are usually expressed in inches.

For this example, let’s say the tiles are 12×12 inches.

## Calculate the Number of Tiles

To determine the number of tiles required, divide the room’s square footage by the square footage of each tile.

The square footage of each 12×12 inch tile is:

- 12 inches x 12 inches = 144 square inches

To convert to square feet, divide by 144 (there are 144 square inches in 1 square foot):

- 144 square inches / 144 = 1 square foot

So each 12×12 inch tile covers 1 square foot.

Now take the total square footage of the room calculated earlier, and divide by the square footage of each tile:

- Total area: 100 square feet
- Square feet per tile: 1 square foot
- 100 square feet / 1 square foot = 100 tiles

Therefore, 100 tiles of size 12×12 inches will be needed to tile a 10×10 room.

## Add at Least 10% Extra

When purchasing tile, it’s a good idea to add about 10% more tiles than the calculated amount. This provides extras in case some tiles get damaged during installation, or if mistakes are made that require tiles to be cut. It’s better to have too many than not enough!

So for a 10×10 room requiring 100 tiles, you would want to purchase 110 tiles (100 tiles x 1.10 = 110 tiles). The extras can be kept for future repairs or replacements.

## Use a Tile Calculator for Other Room Sizes

The same process can be followed to determine the number of tiles needed for any other room layout. Just multiply the length by the width to get the area in square feet, then divide by the square footage per tile. Increase the total by 10% for extras.

For other room dimensions or tile sizes, a tile calculator can simplify the math. There are easy online tile calculators that you can input the room and tile dimensions into, and it will automatically provide the quantity of tiles needed.

## Account for Non-Square Spaces

The tile calculations get a bit more complex if you are tiling non-rectangular areas, or if there are cutouts in the floor for fixtures. In those cases, divide the space into smaller rectangular sections, calculate each section separately, then add them together. Having an extra tile buffer is especially important for rooms with irregular layouts.

You may also need to do some manual measurements and sketching to map out the floorplan with the tile dimensions accounted for. Planning ahead is key for complicated floorplans to minimize wasted tiles.

## Purchase Extra Tile for Future Repairs

Aside from purchasing 10% extra tiles initially, it can also be smart to buy some additional tiles for future repairs or replacements. Tiles can become damaged or stained over time. Having spare tiles allows you to easily swap out individual tiles as needed to maintain your floor’s look. Left over tile is inexpensive when purchasing for a large project. Buying 5-10% extra to have on hand can save you money and headaches later.

## Consider Other Supplies Needed

When budgeting for a tiling project, be sure to account for all the materials needed beyond just the tile itself. Other supplies like backerboard, thinset adhesive, grout, and tools will also need to be purchased. Read guides or consult with knowledgeable tile store associates to understand everything required for your particular installation.

## Hire a Professional for Large or Complicated Jobs

While DIY tiling projects are feasible for small, straightforward rooms, larger or more complex tile jobs are best left to professionals. Experienced tilers have the skills to perfectly measure and cut challenging tile layouts, properly level and prepare the substrate, and neatly finish the installation. The costs of having tile professionally installed will pay off for difficult spaces.

## In Summary

Here are the key steps in determining how many tiles are needed for tiling a room:

- Calculate the total square footage of the floor space.
- Determine the dimensions and square foot coverage of the tiles you plan to use.
- Divide the room’s area by the tile’s area to get the number of tiles needed.
- Add 10% extra for waste and future repairs.
- Use a tile calculator for non-square rooms or different tile sizes.
- Account for additional supplies like backerboard, thinset, and grout.
- Consider hiring a professional for large or intricate tile layouts.

With some simple math and planning, you can calculate the perfect quantity of tile for your tiling project. Carefully measuring the room space, understanding the tile dimensions, and adding a buffer will help ensure you end up with a beautifully tiled floor.

## Frequently Asked Questions

### What size tile is best for a small bathroom?

For a small bathroom, a good tile size is often 2×2 inches, 4×4 inches, or 6×6 inches. The small tile size helps make the space appear larger and more expansive. Larger tiles like 12×12 inches can overwhelm a tiny bathroom.

### How much extra tile should I get?

It’s recommended to purchase 10-15% more tile than your measurements or tile calculator estimate. This provides extra tiles in case some get damaged, or if cuts need to be re-done. Extras are useful for future repairs too.

### Should tile go all the way to the walls?

It’s generally best practice to tile up to the walls, cabinets, and other fixtures in a room. Stopping the tile short of the walls can leave an unfinished appearance with exposed thinset or subfloor visible. Tiling to the walls gives a more seamless, built-in look.

### Can I mix different tile sizes?

Mixing different sized tiles in one room is possible, but can be tricky. It takes careful planning of the layout to keep the overall pattern looking cohesive. Keeping the tiles in similar colors and textures will help blend them together more seamlessly.

### How do I calculate tile for a shower?

Tiling a shower follows the same process. Measure each wall surface area, then divide by the tile size to determine quantities needed. Include the shower floor area as well. Factor in 10% extra tile for these wet areas where tiles are more prone to damage over time.

## Conclusion

Figuring out the right amount of tile for a room floor or wall can seem complicated, but simply taking some measurements and following a tile math formula makes it easy. Carefully calculate the total area, understand your tile dimensions, add a 10% buffer, and use a tile calculator for non-square layouts. With a few easy steps, you can determine the perfect tile quantity and create a beautiful finished space.