Measuring for Your Kitchen Tile Backsplash

how to measure for kitchen backsplash // kitchen backsplash ideas // tile backsplash patterns // www.tantrumsandtools.com

Are you asking how to measure for kitchen backsplash?

If you’re installing a new backsplash and wondering about the amount of tile you need for your backsplash project, keep reading! 

If you’re installing a new kitchen backsplash or have a backsplash area that you’re redoing, you’ll need to know the square feet of tile to get the job done. 

Measuring for your kitchen tile backsplash is super easy. Don’t let the jargon scare you! All you need to figure out the total square inches, which really comes down to simple multiplication of two numbers and I’m going to show you how easy it can be. So, let’s get to the good stuff!


Just a friendly reminder: This tutorial and any opinions or recommendations are genuinely mine, but this is not a substitute for consulting a professional. I also use affiliate links to earn a commission.


Kitchen Backsplash Designs

Before you can measure and plan for your kitchen backsplash, you need to know your plan for your design. There are many options for kitchen backsplashes, and the right look will depend on your personal style and the overall look you are going for in your kitchen. 

Looking at your kitchen wall area, you need to decide if you want your backsplash to stop at the bottom of the upper cabinets or if you want to go up the entire wall.

If you have a small kitchen taking the tile all the way to the ceiling is a really great way to make your small space, look larger. I used this trick in my 60’s kitchen reno using basic white 3 x 6 white subway tile, and the results were so amazing. Having the tile go from countertop to ceiling tricks the eye into thinking the ceiling is much taller than they are.

>> Go to this post I did about my kitchen renovation to see more beautiful pictures of this incredible transformation!

Stopping the backsplash tile under the upper cabinet is the more commonly used kitchen backsplash tile design, so if you’re looking to play it safe, you can’t go wrong with this backsplash design.

Kitchen Backsplash Tile Types

The different types of backsplash tiles will affect your bottom line, so this can make or break your budget!

Ceramic tile is not only the most affordable type but also the easiest to install, all without compromising durability. 

Glass tile is a little trickier to install and a little more expensive, but they are a great option if you want to add a little color because they are translucent, meaning the color won’t be so in-your-face bold. 

Natural stone will be the hardest to install, maintain, and the most expensive option, but don’t let this deter you! Something to consider is this is all relative to the size of your backsplash. If you’re doing a smaller area, then even if the cost per tile or cost per square foot will be fairly low in the end. Sometimes people will do the same stone they used for their countertops as their backsplash.

Kitchen Backsplash Ideas: Tile Size

how to measure for kitchen backsplash // kitchen backsplash ideas // tile backsplash patterns // www.tantrumsandtools.com

The size of your individual tiles will factor into how much tile you need for your backsplash. Personal preferences will determine your tile size; there are smaller mosaic tiles, traditional subway tiles, or oversized tiles. 

The first step is to figure out what design and look fit you and your kitchen space best, and Pinterest is always a good idea when trying to figure this out.

Small tiles measure approximately 1 x 1 inch, and I’d recommend steering away from these because they are so busy, especially if you have a patterned countertop such as granite.

Classic sizes are 3 x 6 or 4 x 4 inches. These are a more common size backsplash tile, and if you use the 3 x 6, there are many different layouts you can do to take this affordable classic tile and turn it into a more modern look. Herringbone or off-setting these are tiles are common ways to modernize this traditional tile. 

Elongated tiles have also become more popular, and the beauty of these is they create the perception of more space. An elongated tile is something that measures longer then wide, such as a 2 x 8, 3 x 12, 4 x 12 etc.

Backsplash Installation Process

Installing a kitchen backsplash is easier than you think, and my best advice is to work in smaller sections. And if this is your first tiling attempt, just make sure you buy extra tiles. Not only is this standard practice when working on any DIY project that involves this type of material, but it’ll also take some pressure off you to make perfect cuts knowing you have extra materials.

There are plenty of resources available for teaching yourself how to tile. I find the process to be fairly straight forward, and if you’ve ever used a saw then this will be easy for you. Honestly, the most challenging part about installing tile is the washing process after the grout.

Kitchen Backsplash Material Cost

Backsplash material cost of the total area of your backsplash depends on the type of tile and the type of tile you go with. Also, you’re tiling design matters, so tiling the entire space will be the more expensive option for obvious reasons. 

The cost of tile, starting with the most affordable and going to the most expensive, are:

  • ceramic
  • porcelain tile
  • glass backsplash tiles
  • natural stone tiles
  • handmade tile

Other material costs that come with tiling a backsplash are mortar, tile spacers, tile trim pieces, and grout. Plus, if you’re DIY-ing this project, the tools necessary to get the job done.

How to Measure for Kitchen Backsplash

To measure for your kitchen backsplash, you’ll need a few supplies; a measuring tape, a piece of paper (or whatever you prefer to jot a few numbers down), and something to do a little math. The first thing you need to do to determine your backsplash’s total square footage is to use your tape measure and take down an accurate measurement of the width of your backsplash and then the total length. 

If you have different-sized areas, like under your hood, where the tiled area goes higher than under the cabinets, then the best way to get an accurate measurement is to break these down into smaller sections and measure the length and width of each of these sections. 

Add the numbers of these different sections to get a final number of your backsplash square inches. Finally, divide this number by 144 to get your kitchen backsplash square footage. Round up to the next whole number if needed.

Kitchen Backsplash Pro Tips

  1. The standard overage amounts is 10%
  2. Slightly higher for intricate patterns
  3. Plan your overall design of the entire backsplash before you attach anything to the wall
  4. Complete the entire first row before moving upward
  5. Work in small sections started from the bottom and working your way up
  6. Mix tiles from different boxes as you go

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