How to Measure Square Footage for a Backsplash

Installing a backsplash is a great way to add personality and visual interest to your kitchen. When planning your backsplash project, one of the most important steps is accurately measuring the square footage of the area you want to cover. Having the right measurements will ensure you purchase enough tile and materials. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to measure square footage for a backsplash.

What You’ll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pen and paper
  • Calculator (optional)

Measure Wall Length

Start by measuring the length of the wall (or walls) you want to install the backsplash on.

  • Stand facing the wall and extend your measuring tape across the full length of the wall from one end to the other.
  • Note down the length in inches or feet.
  • Repeat this process for all other walls you plan to install backsplash on.

For example, if your backsplash will go on one 8 ft wall and one 6 ft wall, your total length would be 8 ft + 6 ft = 14 ft.

Measure Wall Height

Next, measure the height of each wall from the countertop to where you want the backsplash to end.

  • Place the measuring tape at the countertop and extend it vertically until your desired height.
  • Standard backsplash height is 4-6 inches above the countertop, but this may vary depending on your preference.
  • Record the height for each wall.

For example, if you want a 4 inch backsplash on your 8 ft and 6 ft walls, the height would be 4 inches for both walls.

Calculate Total Square Footage

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

Square Footage = Wall Length x Wall Height

For our example with an 8 ft wall and 6 ft wall, both with 4 inch (0.33 ft) height:

  • Wall 1: 8 ft x 0.33 ft = 2.64 sq ft
  • Wall 2: 6 ft x 0.33 ft = 1.98 sq ft
  • Total square footage = 2.64 sq ft + 1.98 sq ft = 4.62 sq ft

Round up final square footage to the nearest whole number – so for this example, you would need 5 square feet of backsplash tile.

Tips for Accurate Measuring

  • Measure to the nearest 1/8th of an inch forprecision.
  • Use a laser measuring tool for extra accuracy.
  • Account for outlets, windows, or other areas that will not be tiled by deducting their square footage.
  • Add a 10-15% overage to your final square footage to account for tile cuts and waste.


How do I measure for a full wall backsplash?

For a full wall backsplash from countertop to ceiling, simply measure from the countertop to the ceiling for the wall height.

What if I have an uneven backsplash area?

If the backsplash area has multiple heights or uneven surfaces, take measurements in small sections and add them together to get the total square footage.

How do I calculate square footage for a backsplash with multiple focal points?

Measure and calculate each focal point separately, then add together for the total. For example, a 4×2 ft focal tile area above the stove plus a 2×2 ft focal area behind the sink.

What’s the best way to measure for outlets and windows?

Deduct the square inch measurements of any outlets, windows, or non-tiled areas from your total square footage. Measure the dimensions or use outlet covers/tiles to estimate size.

How much extra tile should I buy?

It’s smart to add 10-15% overage to your total tile square footage needed to account for tile cuts and waste.


Measuring square footage for a backsplash is easy with a few simple steps – measure wall lengths and heights, multiply to get square footage of each wall section, add totals, and include overage. Accurate measurements ensure you get the right amount of tile you need to complete your project. Follow these tips for measuring success! Let us know if you have any other backsplash measuring questions.