Installing a gorgeous backsplash that transforms your kitchen or bathroom doesn’t have to be complicated. With some simple planning and math, you can determine precisely how much tile is needed for your next backsplash project. Let’s break it down step-by-step so you can shop for materials with confidence.
Calculate the Area to be Tiled
The first step is measuring the space where the backsplash will be installed. Be sure to measure the entire height and width of the area, including inside corners and around windows or other openings. Multiply the length times the width to get the total square footage.
For example, if your backsplash area is 8 feet high by 10 feet wide, the math would be:
8 ft x 10 ft = 80 sq ft
Make sure to calculate and add up separate sections like behind the stove or around a window separately, then add them together for the total square footage.
Determine Tile Size
Next, you’ll need to know the size of the tile you plan to use. Standard backsplash tile sizes are:
Metro tiles and mosaics are commonly 1”x1”.
Larger tiles like 8”x8” or 12”x12” are becoming trendy for backsplashes too. Decide which size best suits your design.
Calculate Tiles Needed
Take the total square footage calculated already and divide it by the square footage of your tile size.
Total area = 80 sq ft
Tile size = 4”x4” (0.11 sq ft each)
80 sq ft / 0.11 sq ft per tile = 727 tiles
The math gives you the minimum number of tiles needed to cover the space. It’s smart to add at least 10% extra to allow for cutting losses and to have extras in case of breakage.
Don’t Forget Grout and Adhesive!
Be sure to account for the grout lines when determining how much tile to purchase. The wider the grout lines, the fewer tiles that will fit.
It’s also important to buy the recommended adhesive for your tile and substrate. Check manufacturer specifications.
Now comes the fun part—selecting gorgeous tiles! Bring your measurements and tile count to the store to find the right amount. Keep extra tiles for repairs or replacements down the road.
Also don’t forget spacers for consistent grout lines and any specialized installation tools.
Hiring a Pro? Provide Your Measurements
If hiring a professional installer, provide them with your measurements and tile selections so they can verify quantities and pricing for you.
Knowing exactly how much tile is needed takes the guesswork out of shopping and prep. With a little bit of planning, you’ll purchase the right materials for a stunning new backsplash the first time.
Frequently Asked Questions About Backsplash Tile Quantity
Still have questions about how to calculate backsplash tile requirements? Here are some commonly asked questions and answers:
How much extra tile should I get?
It’s smart to add at least 10% more tiles than the minimum quantity needed. This provides extras in case some tiles crack or break during installation. Leftover tiles are useful for future repairs too.
Does the tile size really matter?
Tile dimensions have a direct impact on the total number of tiles required. Large tiles require fewer overall, while small mosaics need many more individual pieces. Evaluate your design, space, and budget when selecting size.
Should I include the backsplash area under upper cabinets?
It depends on your preference, but tiling under upper cabinets creates a finished look. If not tiling all the way up, remember to subtract the hidden area when calculating square footage.
How do I calculate for an uneven backsplash area?
For irregular spaces, divide the area into sections and calculate each individually. Add small sections separately like around windows. Add all sections together for the final tile count.
Should I use the actual or nominal tile size for math?
Use the manufacturer’s stated exact tile dimensions for your calculations. Nominal sizes like 6″x6″ may not account for the grout joint size. Check the specs.
What about tiling the vertical area between countertops and cabinets?
Yes, be sure to include the vertical sections in your measurements too. Make each section’s dimensions easy to visualize. Tile can transform these often underutilized areas.
- Accurately measure the entire backsplash installation area’s square footage
- Divide total square footage by the size of the tiles you’ve selected
- Add 10% or more to the minimum quantity as extras
- Carefully review manufacturer tile dimensions and grout joint size
- Purchase recommended thinset mortar and grout for the project
- Provide measurements and quantities to tile installer if hiring a professional
- Enjoy your stunning new backsplash!
With the techniques above, calculating how much tile is required for any size backsplash project is easy. Take the time to measure correctly and do the tile math before purchasing materials. Having the right quantity of tiles on hand will make installation smooth and efficient. The end result will be an eye-catching backsplash you’ll love seeing every day!