How to Measure Your Backsplash

Installing a backsplash in your kitchen can add visual interest, protect your walls from splatters and spills, and tie your space together. However, precisely measuring your backsplash area is crucial for getting the right amount of tile and other materials. Follow these steps for measuring your backsplash properly before installation.

Determine the Area to Cover

The first step is deciding exactly what area you want to cover with the new backsplash. In most kitchens, the backsplash goes on the wall between the countertops and upper cabinets. Measure the length and height of this space to get your total coverage area.

If you have a focal point like a stove or sink, you may want the backsplash to extend beyond the standard area. Make sure to factor in any extended spaces. Also consider if you want the backsplash to wrap around corners or cover any additional walls.

Measure Length

Start by measuring the length of the backsplash area. Stand in front of your countertop and stretch a tape measure horizontally across the wall from one end to the other. This will give you the full length.

Remember to measure any spaces like windows, outlets, or appliances separately, so you can subtract them later. For an accurate read, do several lengthwise measurements along the top and bottom of the backsplash area and average them.

Measure Height

Next, determine the height. Measure vertically from the top of the countertops up to the bottom of the wall cabinets. For the most accurate results, take several height measurements along the length of the backsplash and average.

If your backsplash will extend beyond the standard height, measure the full area. Use a level to ensure your measurements are straight.

Account for Irregularities

Most kitchen walls have some irregularities that must be accounted for. Inside corners where two walls meet often recede, requiring more tile to cover.

Measure the inside edges separately to add any necessary inches. Also measure any protrusions like power outlets that jut out from the wall. A few extra inches here and there can make a difference.

Calculate Square Footage

With the length and height measurements, you can now calculate the total coverage area. Multiply the average length by the average height to get the square footage. Having the precise square footage will allow you to purchase the right tile amounts.

Add up any additional spaces like focal walls or wrapping corners that go beyond the basic backsplash area. Remember to subtract spaces like windows and appliances where tile won’t go.

Double Check Your Work

It’s always smart to double check your measurements before installing tile. Re-measure the length and height in a few spots to ensure accuracy. Use a calculator to go over the square footage math.

Having someone else review and verify your work is wise. It’s better to spend a few extra minutes measuring than to end up with the wrong amount of tile.

With the square footage calculated, you can now purchase tile knowing you have the precise area measured. Carefully planning the backsplash design and layout ahead of time is also recommended. Taking these steps will help ensure your project goes smoothly from start to finish.

Frequently Asked Questions About Measuring Backsplashes

How do I calculate how much tile I need?

Once you have the total square footage, divide by the size of your tile. This will tell you roughly how many tiles are needed. Get at least 10% extra to account for uneven walls, cuts, and waste.

What tools do I need to measure my backsplash?

A metal measuring tape, a ruler or straight edge, a pencil, and a calculator are the basic tools. A level is also useful to check for straight lines. Have paper and a camera on hand to sketch and photograph the space.

Should I measure in inches or centimeters?

Inches are the standard measurement for backsplash tile in the United States. All tile is sold in square feet measurements based on inches.

What about outlets and switches?

Make sure to measure around any outlets, switches, sconces, or other fixtures. These are deducted from the total backsplash measurement.

How do I account for uneven walls?

Inside corners, textured walls, and imperfect angles need a few extra inches. Make detailed notes on any irregular areas and include extras square footage to be safe.

Can apps or 3D scanners measure my backsplash?

Apps and 3D scanners can provide general measurements but may miss nuances. Precisely hand measuring typically gives the most accurate tile count.

Key Takeaways on Measuring Backsplashes

  • Meticulously measure length, height, and inside corners
  • Account for irregularities like windows, outlets, and switches
  • Calculate total square footage of the space
  • Have multiple people double check measurements
  • Use square footage to determine tile amounts needed
  • Careful measurement prevents tile ordering mistakes

Precisely measuring your backsplash area takes effort but is crucial for success. With attention to detail and diligent math, you’ll get the measurements right the first time. A perfectly fitted backsplash starts with accurate measurements well before the tile goes up.