When starting a new tiling project, the very first step has to be to work out how many tiles you’re going to need. No-one wants to overestimate, spend more money than they need to and end up with a lot of excess tiles, or even worse, buy too few tiles and not be able to finish off their project.

So, short of counting all the tiles you already have on the walls to get the right figure, or doing something incredibly complicated with spreadsheets and geometry, how do you work out how many tiles you need?

Tip: Keep your measurement units consistent throughout as it’ll be much easier to calculate the final area and the number of tiles if you stick with either metres or feet, rather than mixing them.

What you need to find is the total area of the surface you want to cover in tiles. To do that:

  1. Measure the width of the area (W)

  2. Measure the height of the area (H), if it’s a wall, or the depth of the area for the floor (D)

  3. Multiply the width by the height or depth, which will give you the area of the surface – W X H (or D) = Area

    Example: If your kitchen wall is 6 metres wide and 2.4 metres high, your total area would be 6m X 2.4m, which is 14.4m2.

    If it’s a blank wall with no obstructions, such as doors, windows or built in units, then you’re all set to work out the number of tiles, and you can skip to step 6.

  4. If you do have any obstructions, such as a door, on that wall, you’ll obviously not need to buy tiles for that area.

    So, the next step is exactly the same as the first. You need to work out the area of the obstruction, by measuring the width and height, and then multiplying them to find the area.

  5. To get the area you want to tile, you need to minus the obstruction area from the area of the surface you want to tile:

    Tiling area - Obstruction area = Final tiling area.

  6. Once you have your final area, and you’ve picked the tiles you want to use, then you can work out how many tiles to buy.

You can work it out by hand if you want to, by dividing the tiling area by the area of one tile:

Tiling Area divided by Tile Area = Number of Tiles

Or, if you prefer, you can use the handy calculator here

Just plug in the width and height of your wall or floor, and the size of your tiles, press calculate, and you’re done!

Tip: Don’t forget to allow around 10% extra tiles for breakages.

Then you can move onto the fun bit of getting those shiny new tiles on the wall and enjoying your new and fresh look.

If measuring up for tiles is not your strong suit, and you’d prefer a professional to help you out, check out the Appleby Tilers site, for a gorgeous range of tiles, supplied and fitted by expert tilers for a quality finish.