Calculating how much backsplash tile you need for your kitchen or bathroom remodel is an important part of the planning process. With some simple measurements and math, you can figure out the square footage of your backsplash area and determine how many tiles to purchase. Having this information before you start tiling will ensure you buy enough material and avoid frustrations down the road.

## Measure the Backsplash Area

The first step in calculating backsplash tile is to accurately measure the area you plan to cover. Here are some tips for getting precise measurements:

### Gather Measuring Tools

You’ll need a tape measure and something to write with to record the measurements. A laser distance measure can also come in handy for hard-to-reach spots.

### Map Out the Space

Sketch a rough outline of the backsplash area including all corners, outlets, windows, etc. This helps visualize the space and ensures you don’t miss any sections when measuring.

### Measure Length and Height

Starting at one end, measure the length and height of each section of the backsplash. For inside corners or outlets, measure each side separately. Record all measurements.

### Measure Irregular Areas

For curved sections or uneven surfaces, take several height and width measurements and average them. This gives a more accurate estimate of the space.

### Convert Inches to Feet

To make the math easier later, convert inches to feet by dividing inch measurements by 12. Record both inch and foot measurements.

By carefully measuring and mapping out the backsplash area you’ll have the information needed to calculate how many tiles you need.

## Determine Your Tile Size

Before you can calculate how many tiles are needed, you need to know the size of the tiles you plan to use. Tile sizes can vary:

**Standard tiles**are usually 4 1⁄4” x 4 1⁄4” or 6” x 6”.**Mosaic tiles**are small, usually 1” x 1” or 2” x 2”.- ** ledger or subway tiles** are rectangular at 3” x 6” or 4 1⁄2” x 6”.
**Large format tiles**may be 12” x 24” or larger.

Check the packaging of your tiles or consult with a tile retailer if you are unsure about the size. Make sure to measure accurately in inches. Recording both the length and width is important for the calculations.

Knowing your exact tile size is key to figuring how many you need to purchase.

## Calculate the Square Footage

To determine how many tiles you need, you first need to calculate the total square footage of the backsplash area. Here is how:

### Multiply Length x Width

Take each length x width measurement you recorded earlier and multiply them together to get the square footage of each section.

For example:

- Section 1 – 36 inches (length) x 42 inches (width) = 1,512 square inches
- Section 2 – 48 inches (length) x 36 inches (width) = 1,728 square inches

Repeat this for every measured section.

### Convert to Square Feet

Next, convert the square inch measurements to square feet by dividing by 144 (the number of square inches in a square foot).

Using the example above:

- Section 1 – 1,512 square inches / 144 = 10.5 square feet
- Section 2 – 1,728 square inches / 144 = 12 square feet

Do this conversion for each section measured.

### Add up All Sections

Finally, add up the square footage of all sections to get the total backsplash area.

From our example:

- Section 1 = 10.5 sq ft
- Section 2 = 12 sq ft
**Total = 22.5 square feet**

Once you know the total square footage of the backsplash, you can calculate how many tiles are needed.

## Determine Number of Tiles

To find out how many tiles you need to purchase, divide the total backsplash area by the square foot coverage of one tile. Here is the formula:

Total square feet of backsplash / Tile size in square feet = Number of tiles needed

Using our example above with a backsplash of 22.5 sq ft:

For 4 1⁄4” x 4 1⁄4” (0.09 sq ft) tiles:

- 22.5 sq ft / 0.09 sq ft per tile =
**250 tiles**

For 12” x 24” (2 sq ft) tiles:

- 22.5 sq ft / 2 sq ft per tile =
**11 tiles**

Make sure to use the actual size of your tiles. The number of tiles needed depends on the size and coverage area of each tile.

Knowing exactly how many tiles to get ensures you purchase the right quantity to completely cover your backsplash area with a small buffer added in.

## Add a Buffer

It’s a good idea to add a buffer of extra tiles—about 5-10% more than the calculated amount. This accounts for:

- Tile cuts – Borders or edges often require cutting tiles to fit.
- Waste – Tiles can break or get damaged during installation.
- Future repairs – Having spare tiles allows for easy repairs if tiles get cracked or damaged down the road.

To add a 10% buffer to our example:

- 250 tiles x 0.10 = 25 extra tiles
**Total tiles needed = 250 + 25 = 275 tiles**

Adding a few extra tiles can save you from headaches later on. Purchase more if you anticipate making lots of intricate cuts.

## Consider Other Supplies

In addition to the tile itself, be sure to calculate and purchase any other supplies you’ll need:

**Mortar or adhesive**– Pick an appropriate type for the tile and project. Calculate the amount needed based on square footage.**Grout**– Grout quantity depends on the grout line width and total square footage. Add 10% extra.**Trowels, spacers, etc.**– Stock up on any tools needed for installation.**Sealer**– Protect your grout lines after installation with a sealant.

Having all necessary tile setting supplies on hand will make your installation process go smoothly.

## Double Check Your Math

Now that you’ve measured, calculated, and added in extras, double check the tile quantity against your total backsplash area as a final confirmation.

For our example backsplash:

- Total area = 22.5 sq ft
- 275 tiles at 0.09 sq ft per tile = 24.75 sq ft coverage

This aligns well with the total area, so 275 tiles should be sufficient. Do this quick sanity check as a final step.

Carefully calculating how much backsplash tile you need takes the guesswork out of purchasing and leads to a successful tiling project. With the right prep, you can buy just what you need.

## Frequently Asked Questions About Calculating Backsplash Tile

Calculating how much backsplash tile you need comes with many questions. Here are answers to some of the most common queries:

### How do I calculate tile for a kitchen backsplash?

For a kitchen, measure the length and height of all backsplash areas behind the countertops, stove, and sinks. Get the square footage of each section then add them together for the total. Divide by the tile size to get the number needed.

### What size tile is best for kitchen backsplash?

Smaller tile sizes like 4 1⁄4” x 4 1⁄4” or 3” x 6” are commonly used. The small scale gives versatility in design. But larger or mosaic tiles can also look great and may involve less cutting.

### How much extra tile should I get?

Order at least 5-10% more tiles than what is calculated to have extras on hand. More may be needed for intricate patterns requiring extensive cutting.

### How do I calculate tile layout?

Make a grid pattern to map out the tile layout. Start in the center and work outward. Adjust as needed to avoid narrow cut pieces on the edges. Planning the layout will result in less tile waste.

### Should I include the window area in the backsplash tile count?

Yes, be sure to include the area below and around any windows in your measurements, then subtract these sections from the total tile count later.

### What if I calculated wrong or don’t have enough tile?

If you end up short on tile, keep any remaining extras to use for repairs later. Finish tiling the most visible areas first, then switch to a different decorative tile, trim, or paint on any remaining space.

### How do I calculate tile for a bathroom backsplash?

Use the same process as a kitchen. Measure the area behind sinks, mirrors, bathtubs and showers. Many bathrooms have multiple short sections to add together versus one large area.

Carefully calculating and planning tile usage is key for any backsplash project. Following these tips will help ensure you know exactly how much tile is needed before starting.

## Conclusion

Figuring out the right amount of backsplash tile for your project doesn’t need to be complicated. By carefully measuring your backsplash area, determining the tile size, calculating the coverage, and adding in extras, you can find the perfect tile count to purchase. Ordering the right quantity means no shortages or wasted leftovers.

Approaching backsplash tiling with accurate measurements and math makes for a smooth installation. Knowing precisely how much tile you need reduces headaches and frustration down the road. With the right planning using the steps outlined here, you can confidently tackle your backsplash project and enjoy the finished look knowing it is fully covered with tile.