How to Use a Tile Calculator for Your Home Projects

Tile work in process
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For a job as simple as installing a kitchen backsplash or laying bathroom tile, you can practically calculate tiles, grout, and thinset in your head. But that is as long as the area happens to be square or rectangular and the tiles conveniently happen to be 1-foot square.

In the real world, though, there are complicating factors: tiles of different size and thickness; grout lines of different width; a variety of tile patterns, and more.

Because tiles are increasingly being bought online, you do not want to over-purchase those tiles, as returns are difficult. This is why a reliable tile calculator is important.

How It Works

Most online tile calculators are pretty weak. You input room width and room length and it will tell you that your room area is 120 square feet.

Nicolas Mottet (formerly with Warmly Yours) hired software programmers to develop a turbo-charged, Flash-based tile calculator that accounts for all of these persnickety details.

Not only that, it is totally graphic. You drag wall lines to their intended places, select tile layout configurations with a click of the mouse, drag wall angles around, and even subtract tile cutouts from the tile area (i.e., a kitchen island or counter).

At the end of the tool, you get a neat little report that not only estimates tile but gives you estimated thinset and grout amounts.

Description

  • Visual tile calculator
  • Drag walls (no need to plug in numbers)
  • Automatic report at the end that estimates tile, thinset, and grout
  • Generates estimate for radiant heating (still in development)

Pros

  • Visual representation of your tiling plans

  • Drag and drop (no need to plug in numbers)

  • Lets you account for non-tile areas within the main tile area

  • Multiple arrangements of tile available (diagonal, brick-like, etc.)

  • Report at the end gives you a number of tiles and amount of grout and thinset

Cons

  • As this is intended as a selling vehicle for Warmly Yours (radiant heating), there's a discreet plug for the company.

  • The technology is outdated and the calculator does not work well on smart phones.

Bottom Line

This is a great tile calculator. In a world filled with calculators that do essentially what you can do with paper and pencil, the Tile Estimator, by Warmly Yours, offers a free, visual, Flash-based calculator that truly is helpful, as long as you are on a desktop or laptop computer.