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How to calculate square footage {backsplash}

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Dad, “how do I calculate square footage for a backsplash?” I am going to confess, prior to installing our removable kitchen backsplash, I was not sure how to calculate how much tile I needed or how to measure a backsplash square footage. Measuring for a tile backsplash is as easy as a simple math equation.

Would you believe me if I told you that I had my painters tape out to measure the area and trying to determine how much tile I needed? Oh yes, my dad came home from lunch one afternoon to find me taping off our backsplash in the kitchen. Needless to say, I learned fairly quickly how to measure for kitchen backsplash tiles.

How to calculate square footage for backsplash

How to calculate square footage blue glass kitchen tiles, red coffee pot and stove top with silver hood

I knew I was in trouble when the tile guy said, “what is the backsplash square feet and total area?” Umm, I’ll call you right back on that.

Whether you are measuring square feet for a tile backsplash or a countertop, this method will work. You can also find a backsplash measurement calculator on google as well.

how to calculate square footage for a kitchen backsplash

How to Calculate Square Feet

How to calculate square feet isn’t difficult as long as you know this tip.

  • Measure length x width (in inches) and take that total number and divide it by 144. That gives you the square footage of your area.
  • Once you have your calculation, be sure to order extra tile – 10-15% more tile for waste and cutting tile mistakes!
  • If the tile is on clearance or being discontinued, I would suggest you order maybe 20% extra to ensure you have the correct amount of tile for the project.
how to calculate square footage kitchen countertop, white sheet rock, blue glass tile, white kitchen cabinets

If you are interested in installing a backsplash that you can remove (great for a rental), click through this post, how to install a kitchen subway tile backsplash tutorial.

How to measure for backsplash tile

In my case, this particular backsplash wall was 13 feet (156″)  in length and 1 foot (12 inches) in width for a total of 1872 inches (156×12). Divide total inches 1872 by 144 (total square inches in a foot) = 13 (square feet).

Math was not my strong suit in school and “144” threw me off!

My dad said, “all that money I spent on college and you can’t remember how many square inches in a foot?”.

Nope, I think I skipped that day.

I am happy to say, I know how to calculate square feet now.

If you google, “how to measure for backsplash tile, ” a lot of tutorials will come up as well.

White kitchen cabinets, gray speckled countertop, blue glass tile backsplash, red blender, red kitchenaid mixer, wood bread box, glass canisters

Woman’s Day 

White kitchen cabinets, gray speckled countertop, blue glass tile backsplash, red blender, red kitchenaid mixer, wood bread box, glass canisters

UPDATE: This kitchen has been fully gutted, walls torn down and an additional 400 square feet added. See new DIY kitchen renovation reveal or click image below to see the amazing new kitchen.

Tearing down walls in white kitchen renovation

What is a typical backsplash area?

A typical backsplash area is roughly 30-40 square feet depending on the kitchen layout.

We updated this kitchen two times, once where we painted the old cabinets and then a big overhaul, tearing down a wall, adding new kitchen cabinets and an island. Here is a peek below at the new island. You can see the entire new DIY kitchen reveal here.

white kitchen island, brown x back bar stools, nickel dome light pendants, white tile floor, rainwash blue walls


These barstools look great in a kitchen especially with white cabinets X Back Stools. They are a great price and very comfortable!

If you are anything like me, math makes my brain hurt and that’s why I hang my pictures and shelves with painters tape.

Be sure to check out that painters tape post if you struggle with measurements. ha.  Measuring for a kitchen backsplash is very simple and how to calculate square feet really isn’t that difficult once you do it a couple times. Hopefully for those of you with simple math brains like me, this helps you move forward with your backsplash project and how to calculate sq footage for tile.

About The Author

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.

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  1. Ha, I too have a college degree and have to google “how do I calculate square feet” every so often. What’s up with the “144” anyway? My dad told me to “look it up” just like the time when I was little and wanted to know how to spell pneumonia. Some of these rules just hurt your brain! Could you please ask gramps what’s up with the “144”? ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Awesome tip! The 144 is because there’s 144″ in a sq ft (12″ length x 12″ width). I always remember this by the size of 1 floor traditional floor tile (like in schools, which is where I learned that).

      1. See, you were paying attention in school! Thanks, now I will not ever have to google or ask pops again…haha!

    2. Anonymous says:

      A Square foot is 12 in by 12 in. Thus to find square inches in a sugared foot you multiply 12 by 12= 144

  2. Thank you for the tip! Now my husband will think I’m so smart because I won’t have to ask him :-). Love the blue back splash.

  3. Can I tell you…..my head hurt just looking at that title! Good thing you were around to help me figure it all out!


  4. It the same for measuring floors.

  5. This is why I became a hairstylist! :-/ This really brought back the memories of why I disliked math so much. Thank you for posting this because it completed my measuring backsplash experience. Now I can order my tile.

  6. Where did you get your blue tile from?

  7. Thank you! This is exactly what I needed! I did a Google search about measuring sq. ft. and this was one of the first things to pop up. So helpful, thanks!

  8. wow the backsplash looks great