How To Measure Square Footage For A Backsplash

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The easiest way ever to measure square feet when tiling a backsplash!

Today, I’m sharing our recent removable kitchen backsplash project and practical tips on measuring for a backsplash. Accurate measurement of your wall’s square footage is essential for acquiring the right amount of tile. 

This was the first time I had attempted a tiling project so measuring the wall to determine how many kitchen backsplash tiles I needed stumped me! Thankfully my dad reminded me of the simple math equation to get accurate measurements!

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

How to Calculate Square Footage for Backsplash

To get accurate measurements, you will need a measuring tape, pencil and piece of paper to take notes.

The tile guy asked me to draw on paper the actual kitchen layout and total are of my backsplash. Getting the right measurements the first time will save you money in the long run so having a tile associate from the store double check your math is a great way to avoid ordering too much material.

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

Whether you’re measuring square feet for a tile backsplash, ceramic tiles, or a glass tile installation, this method works like a charm. You can also find a backsplash calculator online, there are so many if you search google. 

The first step is to determine the number of tiles and trim pieces to order.

How to Calculate Square Feet

Calculating square footage is straightforward and with a tape measure and these simple steps, you can measure how many square feet of tile in under 10 minutes.

1. Measure the length and width of the area (in inches). In my case, it was the entire wall under the upper cabinets

2. Divide the total by 144 to get the square footage

how to calculate square footage for a kitchen backsplash

This square footage of backsplash tile is crucial in determining the right amount of tile you’ll need. Don’t forget to account for any waste allowance – it’s always a good idea to order a bit extra for trim pieces and unexpected mishaps.

In my case, the entire backsplash wall was 13 feet (156 inches) in length and 1 foot (12 inches) in width, totaling 1872 square inches (156×12). Divide that by 144 (the total square inches in a square foot), and you get 13 square feet as your final number.

how to calculate square footage kitchen countertop, white sheet rock, blue glass tile, white kitchen cabinets

Average Backsplash Square Footage

A typical average backsplash square footage usually falls in the range of 20-40 square feet, depending on your kitchen’s layout. 

This figure can vary widely from one home to another based on several factors.

The size and layout of the kitchen, the extent of countertop space and the design preferences of the homeowner are all key components. Larger kitchens with extensive countertops may naturally require more backsplash coverage.

Common Questions About How Much Tile To Order For a New Backsplash

How many square feet is 12×12?

A 12×12-inch area is equal to 1 square foot. So, if your backsplash area measures 12×12 inches, you’ll need 1 square foot of tile.

How much is backsplash per square foot?

Backsplash material can range from $1 a square foot to hundreds of dollars a square foot. The cost of a backsplash per square foot can vary widely depending on the type material you purchase and its quality. 

Once you have your final number on how large your kitchen backsplash is, you can then go shopping for tile! 

Choosing the right type of tile can be overwhelming but honestly, your budget will play a big role in determining what type of material you pick.

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

Ceramic tiles are a popular choice due to their durability and variety of designs.  They come in various colors, sizes, and patterns, making them suitable for various kitchen styles. They are easy to maintain making them them a top choice.

For our kitchen, we picked glass tile mostly because it was trendy (I love trends) and I wanted the coastal color blue.

​Our kitchen backsplash cost was under $2 a square foot making the material cost very affordable and that was even with ordering extra tiles!

Kitchen backsplashes are the focal point of many kitchens so be sure to choose something you like but also keep in mind the style of the home and kitchen.

More Of This Kitchen Renovation You Will Love

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Meet Jessica

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.


  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”? 🙂

    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

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