Measuring to Buy Resilient Floor Tiles

Resilient flooring comes in vinyl, rubber, linoleum, VCT, cork, and slip-resistant materials. Buying floor tile requires measuring and math. Estimate how many tiles to buy by calculating the total floor area you plan to cover and dividing that number by the size of one tile. Resilient floor tiles typically come in 9- and 12-inch squares, but are sometimes found in squares as large as 18 and 24 inches.

  1. Estimate the square footage of the floor (don’t forget the closets!).

    [length of floor] × [width of floor] = Floor Area, or total square footage

  2. Divide by tile size.

    If you’re using 9-inch-square tiles, here’s the formula for figuring out how many tiles to buy:

    Floor Area ÷ 0.5625 = Number of 9" tiles

    The math for 12-inch-square tiles is easier — after all, you’ve measured your room in square feet, and a 12-inch tile is 1 square foot:

    Floor Area = Number of 12-inch tiles

  3. Add 15 percent to cover mistakes, waste, and future repairs.

Tiles vary slightly from one tile run to another; buy enough tiles to complete the job and have some leftovers for later repairs. If you have lots of unopened boxes left over, you might be able to return them for a refund. Check the store policy and keep your receipts.

Because resilient floor tiles have joints at all four sides, they’re not suitable for installation on floors that are exposed to water, such as a bathroom or laundry room floors.

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