Measuring for Wall Tiles

A lot of people think that measuring a wall for tiling is an easy job, yet there are a number of things that people may not take into account while doing it. This step by step guide should put your mind at ease and make this task as easy as possible.

What you will need

  • Your choice of bathroom wall tiles
  • Measuring tape


Be sure that you know which tiles you are buying before going through this process, as their size is what you need to base your calculations on. Ensure that the wall is flat and well prepared before measuring; if you need to apply a new coat of cement or backboard to flatten the surface, this may end up changing the size of the area that needs to be covered. Also be wary of any fittings that may get in the way, as you will need to measure these up too.

1) Measure the area vertically and horizontally

To find out how many tiles you need to buy for the job, you need to measure the height of the wall and calculate how many of your chosen tile size fits from floor to ceiling, or at least the area that you need to cover (if it is a partial coverage job), before doing the same for the width of the wall or tiling area. Any half or part-tiles must be counted as a whole. Multiply the number required for the height by the total for the width, giving you the total number of tiles needed.

2) Make adjustments for any wall-based hurdles

If it is necessary, you must allow for extra tiles should you have to navigate doors, windows and plug sockets. These will require more tile cutting, which itself increases the likelihood of broken tiles or miscalculations. Take down the measurements of any non-tiled areas such as these aforementioned fittings and where they are placed in relation to the wall.

3) Make a diagram

As an optional step, it may be worth doing a scale drawing of your wall to see how the tiles will fit into place, as well as how many you may have to cut.

4) Buy your tiles

When you are happy with your calculations and you're willing to move forward with your DIY project, ensure that you multiply the estimated number of tiles by at least five per cent (preferably ten per cent, if you can afford it); this will take breakages and miscalculations into account. After all, you don't want to have a couple of smashed tiles and then realise you can no longer get hold of the range to complete the job!