Measuring up for Bathroom Tiles

So you are planning some DIY home improvements in your new house and the first task is re-tiling the bathroom. But if you are tiling your bathroom yourself then you will need to accurately measure how many ceramic or porcelain tiles to buy or, more specifically, how many square metres of tiling to buy. But calculating how many square metres you need is never quite as easy at it sounds – you perhaps already know that you should round up any figures to the nearest square metre but you should also add 10% for breakages and waste. Clearly you need to try and balance having enough tiles to do the job well, but not having so many left over that you feel you have wasted your money.

In a typical bathroom there are very few large rectangular areas that can be measured easily. Most bathrooms have awkwardly shaped areas and you will probably find yourself crawling under the sink and behind the loo to get the right measurements. So arm yourself with a notepad, a pen and a metal extendable (and lockable) tape measure.

First of all measure the largest rectangular spaces – measure the height and width in metres and make a note of these measurements for each area that you have measured (I sometimes put a sticky yellow note on the actual space) so you don’t re-measure any space twice. Next measure the remaining space by dividing it up into smaller rectangles.

Now multiply each set of height and width measurements together and then add them all up. Your notepad will probably look something like this:

Over the bath             1.70m x 1.70m             = 2.89 sq m
Between bath and door             2.85m x 0.75m             = 2.1375 sq m
Over the door             0.20m x 0.80m             = 0.16 sq m
Over the sink             1.35m x 0.75m             = 1.0125 sq m


If the bathroom is comprised of lots of small areas you will need to use your judgement on rounding up and adding a 10% contingency – if you do this for lots of small individual areas you are likely to end up with far too many tiles. If in doubt, take the advice of an expert.


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1 Response

  1. Millie says:

    Hello! Jan D. told me about this site so I came to look it over. Definitely loving the information – practical as well as good pics – keep up the good work Olivia…

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