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How to Measure a Room for Flooring and Install Tiles Correctly

Tile installation isn’t something that can be done by just anyone. Well, anyone can lay the tiles, but we’re talking about getting the job done the right way. A proper tile job means even lines, leveled flooring, and so much more, so let’s take a look at how to measure a room for flooring.

how to measure a room for flooring

Tile installation is a big task to complete so before you begin, you’ll first need to know how to measure a room for flooring. This is one of the most important steps. Once you have this aspect down, no one can stop you from doing some amazing tile work!

As a contractor, construction worker, or tiling expert, it’s important that you maximize your tiling resources. That is where this guide comes in handy. Everything you need to know about how to measure a room for flooring is right here in this guide. 

Ready to polish your skills? Continue reading below to find out more!

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Taking Measurements

Take the area that you want to tile and measure the length and width in inches. Be sure to measure each wall separately and take any irregularly-shaped floors and break them down into smaller sections for measurements. This will give you a more accurate result.

how to measure a room for flooring

Take the width and the length measurements and multiply them together. This gives you the total number of square inches per each area. Take the number of square inches and divide it by 144 to get the number of square feet. 

All separately measured areas should be then added together. Round up to the nearest square foot if needed. Measure the border in inches as well.

Add together border measurements taken from all sections for the total number of linear inches you need for border tile. Again, round this number up to the nearest foot.

You can measure in feet, just take one side and multiply by the other side running perpendicular and you will get your square footage (ie I have a 12ftx15ft room 12×15=180 square feet).

Translate Square Footage into Amount of Tiles Needed

Before you buy your tiles, you’ll need to know how many boxes you need because tile is sold in boxes. To determine this, you’ll need to take the square footage of the room and divide it by the square footage of tile in a box. 

Don’t make the mistake of only buying exactly what you need. You’re going to need extra tiles for mistakes, breaks, and cuts. 

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Draw Reference Line to Measure Area

It might seem awkward to think about at first but to get the best tile installation results, you’ll need to start from the center of the room. This is true for all tile types, even those with irregular edges or patterns. The best way to start this process is to create two perpendicular lines of chalk that meet directly in the center of the room. 

You’ll then have four equal sections and you’ll begin laying the tile down in the center, working your way out in all directions. 

Mark the Wall Centers

Measure the length of one wall and divide it in half. Use this measurement as the center of the wall. Make a mark on this point near the floor. 

Turn to the wall opposite this one and repeat. Even if the walls measure different lengths, the center points of each wall should be the same. Now, take a nail and place it at one end of the room. 

Snap First Chalk Line

Take a chalk line and place it on the nail. Have someone hold this in place while you extend the chalk line directly across to the other center point. Hold it down on the mark with one hand and with the other hand pull up on the line allowing it to snap back down, hitting the floor quickly, and creating a clear line of chalk. 

Create Second Reference Line

Measure the length of your chalk line and then divide it in half. Now take this halfway point and mark it on your chalk line. Take a T-square and place it on the chalk line so that the shorter edge is aligned with the chalk line with the center point in the corner of the square. 

Starting at the center mark, trace along the square. Be sure to press down hard so that it doesn’t move while you’re tracing. Now use the T-square to bring this pencil line to the other side of the chalk line. 

Next, take your chalk line and align it with the pencil line, extending it to opposite sides of the room. Be sure that it is perfectly aligned and use the snap action as you did before to create a new chalk line on the floor. This will create the two perpendicular lines and the four separate but equal sections. 

A helpful trick that a lot of people, even experienced professionals, don’t know is that once you snap your chalk lines, you can spray the line(s) with hair spray to ensure that the chalk line won’t wash away with water as you’re setting or disappear when you sweep. 

Lay Tile Using Reference Lines

To lay the tile correctly, start in the center and work outwards. Place your first tile down against the intersection of your two chalk lines. Complete one whole section out of the four first. This will give you a good idea of how much material you’ll need to finish the other sections. You might also find that some tiles will need to be cut to fit the design.

You’ll also need to use a level system to ensure that the tiles are leveled and evenly placed. At RUBI Tools USA we have developed 3 different systems: TILE LEVEL, TILE LEVEL QUICK and the ultimate DELTA LEVEL SYSTEM, which are available nationwide. 

how to measure a room for flooring

The best way to fill the rest of the sections is to always leave the section where the room’s door is for last. This way, you’re able to walk in and out of the room without ruining the adhesive under the tiles. 

Determine Your Spacer/Gap Size

Even though all of the tiles in a box look the same to the naked eye, this isn’t the case. Not all tiles are exactly the same with cuts that line up flawlessly. This is why tiles are installed with spacing between them. 

how to measure a room for flooring

Before installing the tiles, determine your RUBI spacer or gap size. These gaps are what will eventually be filled with grout. Depending on the design, the size of the tiles, and the materials being used, the gap size may change.

how to measure a room for flooring

Using rectified tiles means that you’ll have the ability to place the tiles close together. If you’re not using these processed tiles, then it’s best to keep them a bit more spaced out. 

Here is how to determine your gap size. Tiles with irregular edges should be 1/4 inch apart. Tiles that have smoother edges can be placed closer together with gap sizes of 1/8 of an inch or 1/16 of an inch. Keep in mind that tiles placed on a wall need less gap space than tiles placed on a floor. 

Always Purchase More

The most important thing to remember before beginning a tile installation project is to always have extra tiles. We can’t stress this enough. Don’t wait until halfway through the installation job to get more tiles.

Although it might seem easy to just go to the store and buy another box of tiles, it’s not always that simple. You might learn that the store no longer has that tile in stock or does not enough for what you need. If you buy more than enough boxes ahead of time, then you’ll know for a fact that you have enough of that tile for the job. 

The best way to determine how many tiles you’ll need for a room (including the extra ones) is to take the room’s square footage and multiply it by 10%. Take this number and add it to the total square footage of the room. This gives you the number for amount of tiles that you need to buy. 

Do You Know How to Measure a Room for Flooring?

If you’re not sure if you know how to measure a room for flooring in the correct way, then it’s important that you keep this guide handy. Following the tips listed in here is a sure way to install tile properly. And while you’re completing tile installation jobs, remember that RUBI is here to help with any products you need to get the job done.

Download your RUBI catalogue today and head over to our products section to check out what tools and equipment we offer.  RUBI products range from grout cleaning tools to tile saws to drill bits and so much more. Be sure you have everything necessary to do a great job before you begin your installation process!

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