Estimating Tile Quantities

When measuring for floor tile the rule is:
Length x Width + Waste = Amount Needed

Waste Factor will vary based upon tile size, layout, configuration of room, patterns, etc. Typical waste factor is about 10%. Add 15% for tile being installed diagonally or for a room with lots of jogs and corners. These installations will require more cuts and thus more waste.

Example:

Actual room size 8ft 7 in x 5 ft 2 in

If you convert to inches:
Actual room size: 103 in x 62 in 103" x 62"= 6386 inches / 144 (1 sf) = 44.50sf + waste factor (44.50 x 1.10) = 49 sf

The same method is used when measuring walls. Measure the area to be tiled on each wall. Add them together and figure the square footage. Add your waste factor and this is the amount needed.

Most vertical applications will require trim pieces which have finished edges, this requires a linear measurement. Trim pieces will be used:

  1. Where a tiled surface ends on an open wall leaving an exposed tile edge.

  2. Where a vertical surface meets a horizontal, like on the edge of a countertop,

  3. Where a vertical surface turns a corner, like on the outside corner of a wall.

Trim pieces and decoratives are typically sold by the piece. To figure the quantity you have to establish the length of the trim piece (i.e. 6" bullnose, 8" decorative liner), then the rule is:
Linear Inches/Piece Length = Quantity

Example:

Ten foot exposed edge that needs bullnose = 120 inches.
Using 6" Trim piece = 120 inches / 6 inches = 20 pieces of bullnose needed
Using 8" decorative liner = 120 inches / 8 inches = 15 pieces of liner needed

These formulas will help you estimate the quantities you'll need. We recommend you have a professional tile installer view the job to check for the suitability of your substrate and to measure and plan for any special conditions that may exist.