Four steps to calculate how much tile you need

When taking on any tiling project it’s important to first calculate how many tiles you’re going to need to complete the job. Whether it’s for walls or floors, large or small spaces, it’s a quick and easy way to determine the cost and help you stay within your budget. Jamie, National Flooring Buyer at Bunnings, shares a few hints and tips on how to do this.

Before you start

You should have a clear idea of the size and shape of the area you want to tile and how it’s going to be used. It’s helpful to first draw your area on paper. For example, two walls and one floor. Then, determine if the tiles are to cover the whole area or part of the area and mark the area to be covered.

Make sure you settle on a tiling pattern early like straight, pin wheel or herringbone, and your grout width. Remember to take out the spaces for windows but add in any sills or skirting you plan to tile. Also think about the fixed accessories you want incorporated with your tiling. Plus, you should always order an extra 10 to 15% because even if you don’t use them for the project, they may come in handy at a later date.

1. Take area measurements

If it’s a floor you’re tiling, use a measuring tape to measure the length of one side of the room and then the width of another side of the room. For walls, measure the length of the wall up and down and the width left to right.

2. Multiply your measurements

Multiply the length and width measurements you obtained, which will give you the total square meterage of the wall and/or floor areas. So, if the wall or floor measures 5m long by 4m wide, multiply 5 by 4 and your calculation will be 20 square metres. Do this for each wall or floor area you need tiled, and then add all of the numbers together.

3. Calculate the coverage

So now you have the square meterage, but it’s important to buy more tiles than you need to cover the space as you should factor in cuts, waste and breaks. The extra tiles will also help if your supplier runs out of stock mid-project. 

Multiply the square meterage you have by 15%, this will be the actual amount of square meterage you should buy tiles for.

4. Work out the amount of tiles

Tiles usually come in boxes with their amount labelled, so divide the total square meterage required by the total square meterage of the tiles in the box. For example, if the room is 120 square metres and each box has 10 square metres of tile inside, then you’ll need 12 boxes.

Get tiling

Check out the full range of tiles available at your local Bunnings or see the D.I.Y. Advice section for more hints and tips.

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint Test.
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