Installing a tile backsplash in your kitchen can add visual interest and protect your walls from splashes and spills. Before starting your project, it’s important to calculate the square footage of your backsplash area to determine how much tile and grout you’ll need. Following some simple steps will help you accurately measure your backsplash space.

## Measure the Length and Height

The first step is measuring the length and height of the backsplash area.

- Use a tape measure to measure the length of the backsplash area in inches. Measure along the bottom edge from one end to the other.
- For the height, measure from the countertop to the bottom edge of the upper cabinets.
- Record these measurements.

If you have an outlet in the backsplash area, measure the height to the bottom of the outlet box, then add the outlet height.

## Calculate the Total Square Footage

With the length and height measurements, you can now calculate the total square footage:

- Multiply the length by the height. This gives you the square footage.
- Round up to the nearest whole number.
- For example, if the length is 120 inches and the height is 20 inches, multiply 120 by 20 to get 2,400. Round up to 2,401 square inches.

To convert to square feet, divide the total square inches by 144 (the number of square inches in a square foot).

In our example, 2,401 square inches divided by 144 equals 16.66 square feet. Round up to 17 square feet.

## Account for Edges and Obstacles

If the backsplash has inside corners or edges around windows and appliances, you’ll need to measure these edges and add them to the total.

- Measure the length of any inside corners or edges that require tile.
- Multiply the length by the height to get the square inches.
- Add the extra square inches to your total.

For example, if you have a 24 inch inside corner that is 20 inches high, that’s 24 x 20 = 480 extra square inches.

Convert to square feet (480 divided by 144 = 3.33 square feet) and add to the total footage.

## Order 10-15% Extra Tile

It’s smart to order 10-15% more tile than your measurements indicate. This provides extras in case some tiles crack or have defects during installation.

For our example of 17 square feet, order 18-20 square feet of tile to have extras on hand.

Order accordingly for specialty tiles like borders or accents.

## Tips

- For very small backsplashes like behind a stove, convert measurements to square inches instead of square feet.
- Snap photos of the backsplash area before measuring for reference.
- Consider the tile size and pattern layout when calculating square footage.
- Use a tile measuring grid to calculate irregularly shaped backsplash areas.

Accurately measuring and calculating the square footage of your backsplash area will ensure you get the right amount of tile for a successful project.

## Frequently Asked Questions

### How do I calculate square feet for a tile backsplash?

Measure the length and height of the backsplash area in inches. Multiply the length by the height to get the total square inches. Convert square inches to square feet by dividing by 144. Round up to the nearest whole number.

### Do I need to account for outlet areas in the backsplash?

Yes, measure the height to the bottom of any outlets in the backsplash area and add that to the overall height measurement. This ensures you have enough tile to cover around outlets.

### What if my backsplash has an irregular shape?

For unusually shaped backsplashes, use a grid to divide the area into smaller squares and rectangles. Calculate each section’s square footage, then add together for the total.

### How much extra tile should I order?

Order 10-15% more tile than your measurements indicate. This provides extra tiles in case some break or have defects during installation.

### Should I calculate backsplash square footage differently for small areas?

For very small backsplashes like behind a stove, it’s best to convert measurements to square inches instead of square feet. Just multiply length by height.

## Conclusion

Measuring backsplash areas carefully and calculating the correct square footage for tile ensures your project goes smoothly. Accurately determine the length, height, and any specialty edges or obstacles. Convert measurements to square feet, adding 10-15% extra for contingencies. With some simple math and these helpful steps, you’ll find the perfect amount of tile for your kitchen backsplash.