How to Figure the Number of Hexagonal Tiles Needed

Hexagonal Tile Calculator
Tile Side Length
Tile Spacing
Project Width   
Project Length   

Tiles and bricks are usually rectangular or square in shape, but many manufacturers also make hexagonal tiles for outdoor and indoor remodeling projects. Though it may seem more difficult to compute how many regular hexagons are needed to cover a given area, all it takes is some simple arithmetic once you know the length of one side of a tile, the width and length of the area to be tiled, and the spacing between tiles.

You can use the calculator on the left to quickly figure the number of tiles required to complete a paving/tiling project, or use the steps below to calculate the number by hand.

Step 1: First compute the approximate amount of 2-dimensional space each tile occupies, accounting for the spacing between tiles. If the side length of a regular hexagonal tile is T inches and the spacing between the tiles is S inches, then each tile takes up

(3√3/2)[T + S/√3]² square inches.

The expression above can be approximated by the simpler formula

Tile Area = 2.59(T + 0.57S)² in².

Step 2: Compute the area of the space you are going to tile, in square inches. You can do this by calculating the square footage and then multiplying that number by 144. For a rectangular region with a length of L feet and a width of W feet, the area is

144LW square inches.

Step 3: Divide the number you obtained in Step 2 by the number you obtained in Step 1. This is the exact number of tiles you would need to cover the area, including any tiles that need to be cut, without any waste.

However, for a more realistic estimate of the number of hexagonal tiles you will need, you should add about 5%-7% to this figure.

Alternatively, to generate a more practical estimate, add two tile lengths to both the width and length in Step 2. For example, suppose the area to be tiled has a width of 20 feet and a length of 30 feet, and the side length of one tile is 6 inches. Then the adjusted values of L and W are

L = 30' + 6" + 6" = 31'
W = 20' + 6" + 6" = 21'

This is the method employed by the calculator above.

Example: You are tiling a floor space that is 15'6" wide and 23' long. You are using regular hexagonal tiles that have a side length of 4" and a spacing of 1/4" (0.25") between tiles.

First use Step 1 to figure the amount of space each tile needs:

2.59(4 + 0.57*0.25)² = 44.44 in²

Next, compute the total square inches of the floor area to be tiled. Multiplying 144*15.5*23 gives us 51336 in².

Now divide the first number into the second to compute the exact number of tiles needed: 51336/44.44 = 1156.

Finally, add about 6% more to this figure: 1156 + 0.06*1156 = 1226 tiles.

© Had2Know 2010