By the Square: How Tile is Measured and Sold

Legend has it, any member of the Brush family can walk into a room and instantly calculate exactly how much tile you’re going to need. Since we can’t always travel to everyone’s house (though we may if you ask nicely), we wanted to provided with a few of the basic measurements we are going to need to make sure you don’t run out of tile, or have way too much. This is particularly important for some of our more unique products where obtaining a certain amount of material from the same “batch” could mean just one chance to land the perfect match. So, let’s get to measuring that room.

The measurement we are trying to obtain in fixing up your project is the “square footage.” It is the best number we can obtain in trying to figure out exactly how much tile we need to have ready for a project.

It’s all about the rectangles

So, we need to find the square footage of the area you need tiled. To do this you only need a few things: a tape measure, a writing utensil and something to write it on (calculator optional).

Now imagine your looking at the area you want to tile from above. Let’s take a look at a very simple example room:

Spaces marked by the letters “A,” “B,” and “C'” represent areas of a room that will not be tiled. This may include cabinet areas, bath fixtures or other items where tile is not laid.

Now, let’s divide that room into manageable rectangles so that we can easily calculate the necessary square footage for your project. There is more than one way to do this for every project, but here is an example.

Now, you can see, we have seven rectangles. Rectangles 1-6 are very simple and obvious rectangles. Because of the unique shape of this room, rectangles 6 and 7 will require some special treatment. Let’s take a look at the simple rectangles first.

The area, in square feet of each your rectangles is the length of the rectangle (inches), multiplied by the width of the rectangle (inches), divided by 144. For example, a rectangle 20 inches by 30 inches would be: 20 times 30 = 600 then divided by 144 would be about 4.17 square feet.

Once you have calculated the area of each of your rectangles, simply add them all together for the total square footage of tile needed. In rectangles 6 and 7, we will simply add only half of the calculated area.

Not all spaces will be perfectly divided into rectangles. For any job, we welcome you to bring in the floorplan and let us take a look at what you need. Of course, in completing the project there will typically be some “wiggle room” added to most orders to accommodate any problems that may come up. Extra tile is also sometimes needed to fit aesthetic needs of the tile as well.

So to summarize, the square footage of our room above will be the combined areas of all of the rectangles we drew, each of which was obtained by multiplying their individual lengths and widths. Of course, two of our rectangles were divided in half to accommodate an unusual shape in our room.

If you know your square footage of the room, and the size of the tile you are interested in, here is a nice tool for determining the quantity of tile needed to fill your project. 

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