How to Calculate Tiles Needed for a Floor, Shower, or Any Project

Last Edited: 9/15/23

laying floor tiles

You can see the result in your head: a newly tiled floor or a beautiful tile mosaic for your shower wall. But before ripping out the old material and installing new tile, you’ll have to answer the age-old question: How much tile do I need?  

To help make this process easier we’ve organized a few different tile calculation formulas that should help you figure out how much tile you’ll need to get the job done.  

How to Calculate Tiles Needed for a Floor 

To calculate the number of tiles needed for any room’s floor, you’ll need to find the total area of the floor. This can get tricky if there are elements in the space that negate the need for tile.  

Multiply the length of the room by the width of a room.  

  • 10 ft long x 10 ft wide = 100 ft2  

To calculate your tile needs for an odd-shaped area, divide the space into squares or rectangles, calculate the area of those squares, and add them together. This is especially important if you’re trying to calculate the number of tiles needed for a bathroom that has a shower or tub. Here’s an example of adding two areas together to get the whole area: 

  • (3 ft long x 5 ft wide = 15 ft2 ) + (5 ft long x 9 ft wide = 45 ft2) 
  • 15 ft2 + 45 ft2  = 60 ft2  

Now that you know how much area you need to cover, you can calculate exactly how many tiles you’ll need for your project. But don’t put that calculator away just yet!  

First, measure the length and width of the individual tiles you’re planning to use for your floor.  

Multiply a single tile’s length and width to determine how much area it covers.  

  • 6 in long x 6 in wide = 36 in2 

Then divide that number by 144 to convert it to feet.  

  • 36 in2  / 144 = 0.25 ft2 

Finally, divide the total square footage of the space by the single tile square footage. 

  • 60 ft2 / .25 ft2 = 240 tiles to cover the area of our odd-shaped room   

Just remember: You don’t have to do this math alone—or the backbreaking work that follows—a local tile expert can help with the measurements and get the job done! 

How Much Tile Do I Need for My Shower? 

Just as you did for your floor math, divide your shower into multiple rectangles to add up the square footage of the surfaces. You can use a pencil and paper to keep track of the various dimensions. In most cases, you’ll need to account for three walls, plus the dimensions of any small niches or ledges.  

Measure the length and width of each of your designated rectangles and multiply those measurements. Here’s an example: 

  1. Back wall: 6 ft x 6 ft = 36 ft2 

  1. Showerhead wall: 3 ft x 6 ft = 18 ft2 

  1. Side wall: 3 ft x 6 ft = 18 ft2  

  1. All walls combined: 36 ft2 + 18 ft2 + 18 ft2 = 72 ft2 

If we plan on using the same 6-inch square tiles for this shower project, we’ll need to do just one more equation.  

  1. 6 in x 6 in = 36 in2 per tile 

  1. 36 / 144 = 0.25 ft2 per tile 

  1. 72 ft2 / 0.25 ft2 = 288 tiles 

Related Topic: How to Install Tile Over Existing Tile 

How Much Extra Tile Do I Need? 

We recommend ordering 10% to 20% more tile than your equation calls for. This will be handy for several reasons: 

  1. You may break or crack a tile while transporting or laying them.  

  1. You may need to cut tiles to fit neatly around corners.  

  1. You may need to replace a loose tile shortly after installation. (We all make mistakes!) 

  1. You may need to replace a tile that breaks in the future.  

Tackle Your Next Tile Project with Confidence 

The first step of a successful home improvement project is doing the planning, measuring, and material calculations correctly. The second step? It might be calling Mr. Handyman! Our professionals can repair, replace, or install tile in your home and take one item off your to-do list. Call or request service today.