Tile sizes and quantities

How do I work out the size of the space?
Should I buy extra in case of breakages?
Can I cut them?
Scroll down for more info
Tile sizes are astonishingly varied;  one maker's 15cm tile may be 14.85cm, or 15.2cm. Tile depths also vary widely.

These are my current sizes, depths, and a rough estimate of how many you'll need per square metre, square foot, or square yard. 

For practial reasons, all sizes won't always be available.

Actual quantities required will depend on grouting, cutting and breakages.
 

10.0cm / 4 inch square

Depth = 7mm

Tiles per square metre

100
Tiles per square foot
Tiles per square yard

81

 

10.8cm / 4.25 inch square

Depth = 5.7mm

Tiles per square metre

85
Tiles per square foot 8
Tiles per square yard 72

 

15.0cm / 6 inch square

Depth =  7.3mm

Tiles per square metre

44
Tiles per square foot

4

Tiles per square yard 36

 

15.2cm / 6 inch square
Depth = 6.5mm
Tiles per square metre
44
Tiles per square foot
4
Tiles per square yard
36

 

20.0cm / 8 inch square

Depth = 6.5mm

Tiles per square metre

25
Tiles per square foot 3
Tiles per square yard 20

 

Fired Ink tiles are likely to be different to the above, and are available in a very wide range of sizes. For more info Contact me 

How do I work out how many tiles to order?

As a rough guide, first work out how many square feet or square metres you need to cover.

To do this, measure the length and width of the area.

If you work in Metric (centimetres and metres) 

  1. measure the height and width of the area to be tiled in centimetres
  2. multiply the length by the height
  3. divide by 10,000
  4. this will give you the area in square metres.
  5. decide which tile size you'd like (see table above)
  6. Check how many tiles of your chosen size you need for one square metre (see table above)
  7. Multiply the square metre figure, by this number of tiles = total number of tiles required.
  8. So to cover 2 square metres with 15cm tiles is 2x44 =88 tiles

If you work in Imperial (inches and feet)

  1. measure the height and width of your area in inches.
  2. multiply the length by the height.
  3. divide by 144
  4. this will give you the area in square feet
  5. decide which tile size you'd like (see table above)
  6. Check how many tiles of your chosen size you need for one square foot (see table above)
  7. Multiply the square feet, by this number of tiles = total number of tiles required.
  8. So to cover 4 square feet with 15cm tiles is 4x4 =16 tiles

For a complex area, the easiest way is to draw a diagram, and then divide the area up into rectangles. You can then calculate the area of each rectangle (using the method above) and add them together to give your total area.

Should I buy more than I need?

That depends on what you’re tiling.

If the area to be tiled is straightforward (eg a straight run above a worktop or a small inset panel) or you’re not expecting to have to do any cutting, you can safely order exactly the amount you need. Just try not to drop any!

If your area is complicated or an odd shape, and is going to mean cutting tiles to fit (eg a chimney breast / bends or funny angles / pipework coming into the room etc), then having some extra tiles for cutting and breakages is an really good idea.

It will make your tiling job easier, as you'll have extra cut pieces to play with / fill gaps etc. But it also avoids having to order emergency extras which may take a long time to arrive, or be slightly different in colour.

The normal allowance is 10% extra – so if you’re ordering 10 tiles, order one more than you think you’re going to need. If you’re ordering 100, order an extra 10. 

I need to cut the tiles, is this possible? Yes – cutting tiles is perfectly normal and any tiler should be able to do it easily. If you’re a DIYer, tile cutters to cut straight lines are cheap and readily available. If you have bends or awkward shapes to cut, you may need a more specialist tool such as a Dremel.

However breakages are not uncommon when cutting. If your area is likely to need a lot of cut tiles, always order some extras just to be on the safe side.

This is particularly true of Fired Ink tiles, which are porcelain and therefore quite a lot harder to cut than the standard ceramic tile – and because of the firing process, if you end up needing more, they will take weeks to arrive.

Disclaimer: I'm not a professional tiler (just a competent amateur) so this advice is purely from my own meandering experience. Double check your figures and do your own maths.