How many 12×12 tiles in 1 square meter?

When laying tile, it is important to know how much tile is needed to cover a given area. This allows you to purchase the right amount of tile and avoid wastage or coming up short. Understanding tile coverage also helps when pricing jobs and estimating materials. One common question that arises is how many 12×12 inch tiles are needed to cover 1 square meter?

Quick Answer

There are approximately 6.94 twelve-inch by twelve-inch (12″ x 12″) tiles in one square meter.

Calculating Tiles Needed for 1 Square Meter

To find out how many 12″ x 12″ tiles are needed for 1 square meter, we first need to understand the size of a square meter and the size of the tiles.

Size of a Square Meter

A square meter (m2) is a metric unit of area equal to 100 centimeters by 100 centimeters, or approximately 39.37 inches by 39.37 inches.

To be more precise:

  • 1 meter = 100 centimeters = 1000 millimeters = 39.37 inches
  • 1 square meter = (100 cm) x (100 cm) = 10,000 cm2
  • 1 square meter = 3.61 square yards

Size of a 12″ x 12″ Tile

A 12″ x 12″ tile has sides of 12 inches each. So its area is:

  • Length = 12 inches
  • Width = 12 inches
  • Area = Length x Width = 12 x 12 = 144 square inches

Converting Square Inches to Square Meters

To figure out how many 12″ x 12″ tiles fit in 1 square meter, we need to convert their area in square inches to square meters:

1 square meter = 10,000 cm2

1 cm2 = 0.155 square inches

So, 10,000 cm2 x (0.155 in2/cm2) = 1550 square inches

In other words, 1 square meter = 1550 square inches


Now we can calculate how many 12″ x 12″ tiles with an area of 144 square inches fit into 1 square meter, which is 1550 square inches:

1550 square inches ÷ 144 square inches per tile = 10.76 tiles

Rounding to the nearest whole number gives us approximately 11 twelve-inch by twelve-inch tiles per square meter.

Visualizing Tile Coverage

It can be helpful to visualize how the 12″ x 12″ tiles will fit in a 1 meter by 1 meter square. Here is a representation:

Tile Tile Tile
Tile Tile Tile
Tile Tile Tile

As shown, the 1 square meter area can hold 9 full tiles, with a partial tile remainder. The partial tile represents the 0.76 tiles left over from the 10.76 tiles calculation.

Tile Layout Options

When laying tile, the layout and orientation matters. With 12″ x 12″ tiles, there are two main options for tiling a square meter:

Option 1: Tiles in Straight Rows

Laying the tiles in straight rows with the edges aligned is the most straightforward option. This results in 11 full tiles per square meter, plus a narrow rectangle of 0.28 square meters uncovered.

Tile Tile Tile Tile Tile Tile
Tile Tile Tile Tile Tile Tile
Tile Tile Tile Tile Uncovered area

Option 2: Offset Rows

Another option is to offset the rows, so the tiles interlock in a brickwork pattern. This covers more area and results in less waste. With offset rows, you can fit 12 full tiles per square meter.

Tile    Tile    Tile    Tile
   Tile    Tile    Tile   
Tile    Tile    Tile    Tile

The offset pattern leaves only a small 0.06 square meter remainder. This helps reduce wastage.

Purchasing 12″ x 12″ Tiles for 1 Square Meter

When purchasing 12″ x 12″ tiles to cover 1 square meter, the safest option is to get 12 tiles. This provides full coverage with either layout pattern, while keeping wastage minimal. Getting 11 tiles may result in an uncovered section, while 13 tiles will produce leftover material.

Some other tips for purchasing tile include:

  • Have some extra tiles on hand in case of breakage during installation.
  • If tiling a larger area, calculate the total space and purchase accordingly.
  • For rooms with interrupted areas like alcoves, purchase tiles based on the full dimensions.

How Many Tiles for Larger Areas

For larger areas, simply multiply the number of tiles needed per square meter by the total number of square meters being tiled.

For example, for a bathroom floor measuring 5 meters by 3 meters (15 square meters total):

  • 12 tiles are needed per square meter
  • 15 square meters in the floor space
  • 12 tiles x 15 square meters = 180 tiles

So you would need to purchase around 180 twelve-inch by twelve-inch tiles to complete this bathroom floor.

Tile Calculator

For easy calculation, you can use the following tile calculator:

Total area (square meters)
Tiles needed per square meter
Total tiles needed

Enter the total area in square meters and the number of tiles needed per square meter (12 for 12″x12″ tiles). The calculator will automatically show the total tile count.

Considerations for Other Tile Sizes

The same calculation process applies for other tile sizes:

  1. Determine the area of each tile in square inches or cm
  2. Convert the tile area to square meters
  3. Divide the area being tiled (in m2) by the individual tile area

Smaller tiles will require more per square meter while larger tiles will need less. Just adjust the measurements accordingly.

Here are some examples for other standard tile sizes:

Tile Size Tiles per m2
12″ x 24″ 5 to 6 tiles
16″ x 16″ 8 tiles
18″ x 18″ 7 tiles
20″ x 20″ 6 tiles
24″ x 24″ 4 to 5 tiles
36″ x 36″ 2 to 3 tiles

Calculate each precisely based on the actual tile dimensions in inches or cm.


Finding how many 12″ x 12″ tiles are needed per square meter is useful for planning tile purchasing and installation. On average, 12 tiles with offset rows will cover a 1 square meter floor area.

The full calculation involves:

  • Finding the area of a 12″ x 12″ tile in square inches
  • Converting to square meters based on the ratio of square inches to square meters
  • Dividing the 1 square meter area by the individual tile area

This tile measurement knowledge helps ensure you buy the right quantity of tiles for the job. It also allows tilers to accurately quote labor and material costs for flooring, wall, or counter jobs using various standard tile sizes.

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