How to Measure Square Footage for Kitchen Backsplash

Installing a kitchen backsplash can greatly enhance the look and feel of your kitchen. But before you start shopping for tiles or materials, you’ll need to accurately measure the square footage of the area you plan to cover. Measuring the backsplash area correctly allows you to purchase the right amount of materials and avoid costly mistakes or product shortages during installation. Follow these simple steps to measure your kitchen backsplash square footage like a pro.

Prepare Your Space

Before taking measurements, clear the countertops and walls where you plan to install the backsplash. Remove everything from the counters, taking out appliances if necessary. Take down decor, pictures, or anything else attached to the walls. This gives you a blank slate to work with and ensures your measurements will be accurate.

Measure Wall Length

Use a tape measure to measure the length of each backsplash wall in inches. Start at one end and measure horizontally across to the other end. For the most accuracy, take measurements directly on the wall at countertop height. Record the length of each wall section.

If the wall has indentations like a window or soffit, take separate measurements for each straight section and record them individually. You will add all the sections together later to calculate the total square footage.

Measure Wall Height

Measure the height of each backsplash wall section from the countertop to where you want the backsplash to end. Often backsplashes end where the wall cabinets begin. Record these height measurements in inches for each section.

For the most precise measurements, use a level placed vertically against the wall to mark the height points before measuring. This ensures your measurements are exactly perpendicular to the countertop.

Multiply Length Times Height

Take your length and height measurements for each section and multiply them together to get the square footage.

For example:

  • Wall section 1 – Length: 48″, Height: 18″
  • 48 x 18 = 864 square inches
  • Wall section 2 – Length: 25″, Height: 18″
  • 25 x 18 = 450 square inches

Repeat this for every section, writing down the individual square inch measurements.

Convert to Total Square Footage

Add all the individual square inch measurements together. Then, divide this total by 144 to convert to square feet (144 square inches = 1 square foot).

For example:

  • Section 1: 864 square inches
  • Section 2: 450 square inches
  • Total: 1,314 square inches
  • 1,314 / 144 = 9.12 square feet

This final number is the total square footage of your kitchen backsplash area. Use this to determine how much tile, grout, adhesive, and other backsplash materials to purchase for the project.

Tips for Accurate Measurements

  • Use a steel tape measure for best accuracy. Extend the tape across full sections and avoid overlapping measurements.
  • Laser measuring tools can capture room dimensions quickly but may be less precise.
  • For height, use a level and mark the wall to ensure you measure vertically.
  • Measure in multiple spots and average results for the most precision.
  • Confirm measurements in inches; converting beforehand can create errors.
  • Photograph each section and double-check math calculations.
  • Round up square footage slightly to have extras, if desired.

With the right tools and careful approach, you can measure your kitchen backsplash area correctly on the first try. Accurate square footage allows you to buy the exact amount of materials for a smooth installation that transforms the look and functionality of your kitchen.

Frequently Asked Questions About Measuring Backsplash Square Footage

How do I calculate square feet for an L-shaped backsplash?

For an L-shaped backsplash, take separate measurements for each section as if they were individual walls. Measure length, height, and calculate square inches for each section. Then add together the total square inches and divide by 144 to get the total square footage.

What if my backsplash includes an irregular shape or angle?

Break an irregular shaped backsplash into rectangular segments. Measure and calculate each rectangle individually, then add together for the total. Use triangles or trace outlines on grid paper to calculate angles.

Should I include the area behind the stove in my measurements?

Yes, be sure to measure the backsplash area behind and around the stove for complete coverage. This prevents gaps and provides full protection for the wall from cooking splatters.

How can I estimate backsplash square footage without measuring?

If you know the linear feet of countertops receiving backsplash, multiply by the backsplash height in feet to estimate total square footage. Or multiply the total sink and stove width by backsplash height. These methods provide rougher estimates.

What’s the best height for a kitchen backsplash?

The most common backsplash height is 4 inches, covering the wall from countertops to where base cabinets begin. Full height backsplashes that extend up to 30 inches are also popular. Choose what best suits your kitchen aesthetics and layout.

How much extra tile should I buy?

Order 10-15% extra tile than your square footage calculation to account for broken tiles and pattern matching. If using natural stone tile with wide variability, order 20% extra. Buy extra grout and adhesive too. Saving leftover materials allows for easy repairs.


Measuring square footage for kitchen backsplash tile or any backsplash material is easy with some simple tools and calculations. Accurately measuring backsplash wall length, height, and multiplying to find total area ensures you get the right amount of materials for a flawless installation. Use a tape measure, level, pencil, paper, and calculator to measure each section and get your kitchen ready for a stunning new backsplash.