How to Determine the Right Tile Quantity for Your Project

When embarking on a tiling project, one of the essential steps is accurately determining the correct tile quantity. Our recommendation will always be to have your installer tell you how much tile they will need for the project, especially if it is a special order tile. (Special orders are not returnable.) However, if you are doing the project yourself, it is important to measure carefully. This task can be a bit daunting, especially for those new to home improvement projects. Fear not! In this beginner’s guide, we’ll walk you through calculating the precise tile quantity, helping your project go smoothly and without unexpected setbacks.

Measure the Space

The first step in determining the correct tile quantity is to measure the space where the tiles will be installed. Using a tape measure, get accurate dimensions of the length and width of the area. For irregularly shaped spaces, divide the area into smaller rectangular sections, measure them individually, and then add the total. For this calculation, use this equation: length (in inches) multiplied by width (in inches) divided by 144 = square feet. L x W / 144 = Sq. Ft.

Consider Wastage

Tile projects will always involve cuts. Factor in your waste when calculating the quantity to accommodate cuts, tile design, type of tile, and the overall shape of the tiled area. A general rule is to add:

  • 5% for a square tile, straight-lay porcelain, or ceramic (10% for natural stone)
  • 7-10% for a rectangular ceramic or porcelain to offset joint (15% for stone)
  • 10%-20% for a herringbone or Versailles-type pattern.

Mosaic tiles will also incur waste, but how much waste will depend on the repeat of the mosaic pattern and the area in which it will go. It’s better to have a few extra tiles than run out mid-project.

Tile Size and Pattern

The size of the tiles you choose can affect the quantity required. Larger tiles cover more area, but unless they fit the space exactly, you can have more waste than if you were using a smaller tile. For example, if your area is five feet wide by six feet long and you are using a 24″ x24″ tile, it will have more waste than if you used a 12×24 tile. Additionally, consider the pattern you want to create. Intricate patterns may require more tiles due to increased cutting and fitting. Be mindful of these factors when calculating your tile needs. Most field tiles will be sold by the box, so your calculations will also consider how much each box will cover.

Grout Spaces

The width of modern grout lines typically ranges from 1/16 inch to 1/8 inch. Grout joints are not typically considered when calculating how many tiles you will need in a project, but they may be a consideration when plotting out your design. You can use these links to help calculate how much grout you need: an online calculator and an online estimator.

Get The Right Tile Quantity The First Time

With the right approach, determining the right tile quantity for your project becomes a manageable task. By carefully measuring the space and considering waste, tile size, and patterns, you’ll ensure your tiling project proceeds smoothly and stays on track. Remember, having extra tiles is always better than facing unnecessary delays due to insufficient supplies. Besides, it is important to have leftover tile in case you ever need to make a repair. We call that ’tile insurance’ because the chances of finding precisely the same tile years from now will be difficult, if not impossible.

So, follow this guide and embark on your tiling journey with confidence! Before finalizing your order, consult with your tile supplier (us!) and your tile installer to double-check your calculations. We can provide valuable insights and help ensure you have the correct tile quantity for your project. You also benefit from having one of the largest in-stock selections around. Come by our showroom today!

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