# How Many Tiles Do I Need?

Laying ceramic or linoleum tile requires skill and patience to create a smooth surface with a flawless pattern. If are resurfacing a kitchen, bathroom, or basement with tiles, you must calculate the number of tiles needed to complete the project. The steps below will show you how to do the math, or you can use the convenient tile calculator on the left.

First, determine the area of your room in square feet. If your room is a rectangle, the area is width times length. If the room is an L-shape, divide it into rectangles, compute the area of each rectangle, then add them together to find the total square footage. Call the total area **A**.

Next, find the effective area of a square tile. If the tile has a width of **W** inches, and they are spaced by **S** inches, then the effective area is (**W** + **S**)^{2} square inches.

Now, the total number of tile needed is given by the formula

144A/(W + S)^{2}

If you are laying the tiles straight, figure about 4% extra. If you are laying them diagonally, figure about 8% extra.

**Example Calculation:** A hall is 17 feet long by 5 feet wide. Tiles are 3 inches wide with 0.25 inches between each tile. Then the total number of tiles needed is

144(17)(5)/(3.25)^{2}

= 12240/10.5625

= 1159

To be on the safe side, purchase about 1206 tiles if laying them straight, or 1252 if laying them diagonally.

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