Dear Doug, I am remodeling my bathroom, how much tile do I need to order?

Summer is a great time to do a remodeling project, as a matter of fact most building and remodeling takes place between April and June.

Here are 4 simple steps to follow for figuring out the amount of tile you will need for your project, but we suggest you order 10-20% more in case of breakage. Any unused tiles can be saved for repairs in the future in case your style of tile is discontinued.

1. Tile is measured in square feet. It is easiest if you break tiled spaces into squares or rectangles then add all the spaces where you will be using one style of tile together. You will need to measure the height of each space and the width. Then multiply the height by the width. Say you are doing a shower that is four feet wide, three feet deep, and eight feet high. You will have three walls to measure. Your first wall will be three feet by eight feet, or 24 square feet. Your second wall will be four by eight feet, or 32 square feet. And the last wall will be the same as the first.
2. Add the total of each square space together. In the case of this example, 24 + 32 + 24, or 80 square feet of tile.
3. Next you need to figure out the size of your tiles. If you are working with a 12×12 tile, you will need 80 tiles, because these tiles are one square foot. If you are working with 6×6 tiles, you will need four times as many tiles because it takes four 6×6 tiles to make one 12×12. When you are working with odd sized tiles, like a 7.5×7.5, then things get a little more interesting. The easiest way to figure out the number of tiles is to multiply 7.5 by 7.5, getting 56.25. Then divide 56.25 into 144 (which is 12 times 12, or one square foot). This gives you 2.56. You will need 2.56 times more tile than if you are using a 12×12 tile, or 2.56 times 80. This gives you 204.8 pieces of tile. But with odd sizes, then there is often more cutting that needs to be done, so that extra 10% will come in handy.
4. It is not unusual for 3-5% of tile in a case to be chipped or broken. Manufactures accept up to 10%. Multiply your total number of tiles needed by 1.1 if you want 10% more or 1.2 if you want 20% more. In our example, an additional 10% of each of our examples are 88 (12×12), 352 (6×6) and 225.28 (7.5×7.5).

Repeat this for each style of tile you will be using. If you are just using one style, then it is easy. If you are using more than one style, you will need to complete these measurements for each style. Blocking it on graph paper is a huge help when working with complicated designs.