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Measuring floors for tile

West Coast Flooring: a San Diego Flooring Company

What to know when measuring your floor for tile

Dilemma: I want to install tile myself but I do not know how much tile I will need

The first important fact that everyone should know is that tile is sold per square foot, not by the piece. Regarding the tiles, please see below for the most common measurement conversions of inches into square feet:

Inches . . . . . . Square Feet
12X12 . . . . . .  1.0
13X13 . . . . . . 1.17
16X16 . . . . . . 1.77
18X18 . . . . . . 2.25
24X24 . . . . . . 4

When measuring the square footage of your room correctly, you will measure the length and the width of the space and note down these figures. Next, you will multiply the width of the room by the length. Be sure to subtract the square footage of any areas that are occupied by cabinets, fireplace hearths, or any other such features. However, be sure to include areas that have movable appliances such as your refrigerator and stove, and partially under your dishwasher should you have one.

If you have a room that has a square layout, it will be quite straight forward to take the measurements. However, if your room has a more complicated layout, try dividing the room into sections of rectangles and/or squares, measuring these individually, then adding the totals together to create the sum of the room. This will give you the correct square footage. We would stress taking your time when carrying out these measurements, and also repeating the process, to ensure the best possible accuracy. Furthermore, using a calculator will make this easier, and more accurate.

It is imperative that you add an extra 10% to the total square footage, so that when breakage, cuts mistakes or defect of tile occurs, you will have enough tile to complete the job, and have some extra left over for any repairs that may need to be made later on down the road. We say 10% because it is a realistic figure. To purchase an extra 20% or so would result in tiles being wasted, and money being spent that really is not necessary. Please also note, that not many manufaturers would accept this left over tile as a return.

Now that the good estimate of square footage of tile has been made, you will need to calculate how many tile pieces you will need. In order to do this, simply divide your total square footage, by the square foot of the desired tile size you will be using, in order to find out the amount of tile pieces to purchase. For example, if you wanted to use 18X18 inch tile pieces, which equals 2.25 ft, and the total square footage of your room is 300sq ft, then you would divide 300 by 2.25, which would equal 133.3 pieces. We would advise rounding up, so in this case it would be 134 pieces. Please use the table above for your reference.

When installing tile yourself, not only are you responsible for accurately calculating the square footage of the room, but you are also responsible for laying it out. Ensuring proper layouts can save you money on materials and avoiding an eyesore. For example, you would not want full tiles all around your room and at the far wall a needle thin cut piece. In this case, it would be more aesthetically pleasing to choose a different layout, or a different sized tile, as even the slightest change in grout joint width can greatly impact the appearance of the room.

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West Coast Flooring Center is a family owned and operated store with more than 30 years of quality flooring experience. Our professional flooring consultants work with you to deliver quality San Diego flooring, hardwood, countertops and more, matching your taste and lifestyle.

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West Coast Flooring Center
1617 Capalina Road
San Marcos, CA 92069-1207
(760) 736-4222
info@westcoastflooring.com