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Sure, home improvement shows are inspiring. But we all know that renovating floors isn't a piece of cake. Especially if you're the one doing the renovation. So, what can you do?

Before you start tearing out your floors (or your hair) it's best to do a little research. You need to know about tiles, their sizes, and the required tools. A good tile calculator is also essential to use before starting your project to gauge the materials you'll need.

For a fantastic resource, look no further. Here's your ultimate guide to tiles.


Why use a tile calculator?

A tile calculator is your best friend when it comes to renovation. Why?

Because accidents happen -- a broken tile (or several broken tiles) can put your project to a screeching halt. That's why a tile calculator is useful.

A tile calculator will help you determine how many tiles you need, and will also recommend how many extra tiles to get in case any accidents happen.

To use the tile calculator, simply input how much area you need to cover, the tile size, and the gap between each tile. Then, voila. You know the exact amount of tiles you need for your renovation.

If you find this tool useful, bookmark it on your smartphone for fast access when you need it.

What tile should I choose?

The tile you choose can stick with you for a very, very long time. So, it's important you choose a tile you're going to love. With so many options out there, the choice may seem overwhelming.

Don't worry though, we're here to help. Check out this handy list to get an idea of how to pick out the perfect tile.


Depending on the area you're tiling, you need to consider how well it'll hold up over time. Kitchens, for instance, experience high traffic daily. You're going to want a strong tile that withstands heavy foot traffic and the occasional spill.

Porcelain and ceramic tiles use the PEI scale to determine tile strength. So for that kitchen area, a Class 3 or more is best to use. For other types of tile, ask your retailer to find out which one is best for specific areas.


Of all things about your tile, the first thing anyone will notice is the color. That's why it's important to commit to a color you'll love.

If you want to make your space look larger, pick a lighter color tile. It'll bounce more light around the room, giving the effect of a more open space.

For a cozier look, choose a darker color tile. It'll give the space a sleek and modern feel. Plus, dark-colored tiles will hide dirt much better than light colored tiles.

For a look that's totally unique, add a splash of color. Blue, copper, and metallic tiles are some colors that are trending. Just keep in mind, non-neutral colors are a little more difficult to decorate with.


The "feel" of your tile is your personal preference, but there are still a few things to keep in mind.

For starters, you'll want to consider what are you're going to tile. For kitchens and bathrooms, you might want to consider tiles that have more texture. That's because these areas are prone to moisture, so you're less likely to slip if the tile has a textured finish.

But, if you want to maintain a more formal look, a shiny marble tile may be the way to go.

Why are there so many sizes?

After you've picked the kind of tile you want, you're going to want to pick the size.

With all of the variety out there, you might scratch your head and wonder "why so many tile sizes?" Turns out, there's a reason.

Intricate Designs

Different sizes of tiles will produce different effects. Mosaics, which are typically 3/8 of an inch, give an intricate design to generate interest in whatever area they are placed.

Large Tiles

Larger tiles are in style because they make any space appear larger. Larger floor tiles can range from 16" x 16" to even 12" x 24", a departure from the average 12" x 12" tile size.

Creating Patterns

Tiles also come in various sizes so that you're able to generate an interesting pattern.

Differing sizes allow you the flexibility to get creative. Using the same color of tile in different sizes will break up the monotony while using different colors and sizes can make your floor a focal point.

How many tiles should I get?

The amount of tiles you need depends on the size of your project and the size of the tile that you will use.

Generally, if you have a lot of area to cover but you're using smaller tiles, you'll need to use more tiles to fill the area. If you were covering the same-sized area with larger tiles, then you'll need less.

To get a better idea of how many tiles you should use, try out a tile calculator.

What other materials do I need?

Now that you've rounded up the perfect number of tiles, you're going to need more supplies to lay it. Here's a helpful list of all the things you need to get started on your journey to a new floor.

  • Grout
  • Mortar
  • Spacers
  • Mixing paddle
  • Soft sponge
  • Safety glasses
  • Knee pads
  • Buckets
  • Rubber gloves
  • Tile cutter
  • Sealer
  • Tape measure
  • Rubber mallet

What's next?

Let's recap. Before you begin your new floor renovation, you're going to need a few things.

First, you have to know what kind of tile you want. Then, find out how many tiles you need by using a tile calculator. After that, grab a few more supplies, and you'll be set!

Now that you know the basics of tiling, you're well on your way to renovating just like the experts on television.

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