How to Compute the Number of Tiles in Simple Words

Computing the total number of tiles may be frustrating to a typical person. With the rule of arithmetic, you’ll use more number of tiles if you use smaller tile size compared to that with bigger tile size.

Here are the things to remember when computing the number of tiles you’ll use for your bathroom, shower room, or comfort rooms, or just any flat surface you want to be tiled.

• Use the Same Unit of Measurement

In simple words, if you use square-meter [sq.m.] when computing the area to be tiled, use square-meter [sq.m.] in calculating the area of the tile.

To get the correct total number of pieces of the tile, get the Area of the tile size and divide the area to be tiled by it. For simplicity, below are simple calculations.

The area of 0.20m x 0.20m is 0.04 sq.m. [0.2m x 0.2m = 0.04 sq.m. Area of the tile]

The area of 0.40m x  0.40m is 0.16 sq.m. [0.4m x 0.4m = 0.16 sq.m.Area of the tile]

If 0.20m x 0.20m is used, for the 10 sq.m. area of to be tiled, the total no. of pieces is:

If 0.40m x 0.40m is used, for the 10 sq.m. area of to be tiled, the total no. of pieces is:

Always check the unit of measurement. Suppliers in the Philippines sometimes use inches, feet, or cm. If the area to be tiled is in square-foot (sq.ft.) then calculate the Area of the Tile in sq.ft. The key is to use the SAME unit of measure for both of your calculations to be accurate.

In the example below, we’ll use a standard 1.5m height for the bathroom wall tile. The sizes are reflected in the example below. This is a typical Filipino bathroom with toilet and corresponding dimensions. The walls are flattened to be understood easily.

As you can see, the smaller the size of the tile is, the greater number of tiles you’ll use. It is because of the Area of the tiles as discussed above.

Tile with smaller size can be installed easily rather than the bigger ones. But since you’re going to use more of it, it sometimes wouldn’t matter much in actual. The bigger tiles are heavier and thicker compared to the smaller ones. Since, you cover more area with the bigger tiles, your tiler may complete the work faster compared to the smaller tile. This falls down again on how experienced the worker is. Ask your local tiler about these things.

• Provide Wastage Allowance, but Not Too Much

Tile is brittle in nature. Depending on how skilled your hired installer is, he or she may break a tile or so. Also, wall corners with columns which may not be included in the area calculation is included in actual like the one in the picture below.  Provide a wastage allowance for these. Better yet, incorporate them in your tiling area computations.

Assuming you’ve calculated the Area to be Tiled accurately, a good wastage factor is 3%-5%. 10% is normally too much. If you need 100 pcs of tile, add around 3-5 pieces for wastage allowances.

Remember to not add too much allowance. If wastage factor is too high, or Area to be Tiled calculated is too high, there will be extra tiles that will be unused, thus, a waste of money. You may already have added allowances when you calculated the area to be tiled so use lower percentage factor when adding wastage allowance.

• Don’t Forget to Subtract the Openings

Openings like doors and windows and vents, of course, won’t get tiled. Do not forget to subtract these openings in your calculations. Other people tend to factor out the openings which leads to excessive ordering of tiles.

For the tile adhesive, cement, sand and tile grout, just multiply the factors below with your estimated Area (sq.m.) to be Tiled. You may use this as your guide (but not as your sole basis) in determining how much tile grout is needed, or how many bags of tile adhesive you need. Hire a professional tiler to do this calculations for you if in doubt.

[Disclaimer! Use these factors like a grain of salt, as these are calculated with too high wastage factors].

Cement [bag] : 0.325

Sand [cu.m.] : 0.026

Tile Grout [bag] : 0.12

The condition of your floor also matters. If the flooring is not leveled, you may need additional or less mortars for your tiling works, thus, those factors above for the tile adhesive, cement, and sand may be inaccurate.

For the labor cost, it depends on how skilled the tiler is. Hire the ones with proven tracks records rather than the unskilled ones. It would just cost you a pain in the head if you penny-pinch the labor cost. Skilled workers normally do it per tile piece (depending on the tile size) or per area (sq.m. / sq.ft.). Prepare to spend around PhP300-500 per sq.m. for labor alone. [May be higher or lower depending on the location or how skilled the persons are].

We’ve found a hand tools and hardware site with good customers review so we are sharing them with you. Check them here.

With these, a typical person should be able to calculate the materials needed to tile their floor or wall. But, a friendly advice, hire a professional so you can ask them directly. They can always give you a better explanation on how this stuff are conceived. You can never go wrong hiring one.

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