How to Calculate Your Tile Needs for a Shower Wall

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Shower enclosures can be finished in a number of types of tile, from natural stone tiles such as marble or granite to glazed or unglazed ceramic and porcelain tiles. Regardless of the tile size or material chosen, calculating the amount of tile needed for the walls insures proper ordering of materials and supplies needed to complete the work. The method of estimating the tile needed for the shower requires some general measurements and the application of a basic math formula.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Calculator
  • Measure the shower wall width. Measure horizontally from inside corner to inside corner of the shower wall or from the inside corner to the proposed outer vertical edge of the area to be tiled. Note this measurement as dimension "W."

  • Measure the shower wall height. Measure from the top surface of the tub or shower pan to the ceiling or the proposed height of the tiled area. Note this measurement as dimension "H."

  • Define the shower wall area by multiplying dimension "W" times dimension "H" to determine the wall area in square feet.

  • Repeat these steps for each wall of the shower being tiled to determine the overall square footage of the proposed tiled area.

  • Quantify the number of tiles needed for the shower walls. The tile size chosen for the shower wall will have an area coverage listed on the packaging. Multiply the number of tiles required per square foot times the overall wall area. Example: For 3 1/2-inch to 3 3/4-inch square ceramic tiles, nine tiles are needed per square foot. Multiply the wall area square footage times nine for the tile quantity needed for the wall surface.

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