How to Measure Square Feet for Kitchen Backsplash

Measuring the square footage of your kitchen backsplash is an important step in planning and budgeting for your kitchen remodeling project. Having an accurate measurement allows you to purchase the right amount of tile, grout, and other materials needed to complete the job. Follow these simple steps to measure and calculate the square footage of your kitchen backsplash.

Determine the Area to be Tiled

Typically, the backsplash area covers the wall space between the countertops and upper cabinets. Measure the length and height of each section to be tiled. For example, if you have a 4 foot section between the countertops and bottom of the cabinets, and the cabinets are 3 feet high, that section is 4 x 3 = 12 square feet.

Measure each section and write down the length x height. Add together the square footage of each section to get the total.

Account for Elements Within the Backsplash

Be sure to subtract areas that will not be tiled, such as the area behind the stove/range, windows, or other appliances mounted on the wall. Measure and calculate the square footage of these areas and subtract from your total.

For example, if you have a 30 inch range hood that takes up 21 inches of vertical backsplash space, that section is 21 x 30 = 630 square inches which equals 4.38 square feet to deduct.

Measure Irregular Areas

For angled sections, backsplashes around corners, or anything non-rectangular, you will need to take extra measurements. Divide these sections into smaller rectangles or triangles to get accurate measurements.

For example, if you have a triangular space in the corner, measure the height and base length, then use the formula:

Area = 1/2 x Base x Height

Add at Least 10% Extra

It’s a good idea to add at least 10% onto your final square footage calculation to have extras available. Between cuts, waste, and breakage, you’ll likely need more materials than precisely measured.

If your calculated area is 50 square feet, add 10% (5 square feet) for a total of 55 square feet. Round up to simplify planning – in this case, you would plan and purchase materials for 60 square feet.

Measure Carefully Around Obstacles

Pay close attention when measuring around sinks, outlets, corners, or other obstacles. Plan for the detailed cuts and spacing needed in those areas.

For example, measure the amount of space the outlets and switches occupy, rather than including the whole section they are on. Make notes on your measurements for each obstacle.

Consider Backsplashes on Multiple Walls

Your backsplash may extend onto multiple walls, such as wrapping around from behind the sink. Make sure to measure all walls and sections that will be tiled.

Also measure any backsplash areas separated by walls, like behind a freestanding range or around a window on the adjacent wall.

Tools Needed

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil & paper or notebook
  • Calculator

A laser distance measurer can also be handy for quick, precise measurements.


  • Measure heights from the countertop up to the bottom of the wall cabinets.
  • Note measurements and areas for each section.
  • Photograph the process for reference.
  • Round up your final square footage to plan for extra materials.
  • Carefully measure around obstacles and irregular shapes.

Common Questions about Measuring Backsplash Square Footage

How high should the backsplash be?

Typically 4-6 inches is standard, measured up from the counter surface. But this can vary based on your style, wall cabinets, etc. Measure what will look best in your kitchen.

What about the area behind the range or stove?

This is often not tiled, but left as drywall and painted to allow clearance for rear stove ventilation. But a tile backsplash can be brought up around the sides.

What if I have an outlet in the backsplash area?

Carefully measure the space the outlet occupies, not the whole wall section. Make detailed notes on your measurements around all obstacles.

What if part of the wall is uneven?

Take measurements at several points along uneven sections to get the most accurate average length and height measurements. Make notes of any problem areas.

How do I calculate for a backsplash that wraps a corner?

Treat each section separately – measure each length and height, then add them together. Remember to deduct for edges joined at the corner with no tile.


Accurately measuring your kitchen backsplash area is a key first step for a tiling project. Carefully measure all length and height dimensions, accounting for irregular areas, obstacles, and openings. Add at least 10% extra to your total square footage calculation. Use a tape measure, laser measuring tool, pencil and paper to note all details. With some time invested up front in precise measurements, you’ll be ready to choose styles and purchase the right amount of backsplash tile and grout.