This depends on whether you are doing your maths homework or actually going to do the tiling.

In essence you must find the area of the floor (or wall) you intend to tile; then find the area of a single tile. The number-of-tiles is the area-of-the-floor divided by the area-of-a-tile.

If this is your homework, then it is likely that whoever set the question made sure that you would need an exact number of tiles. It's probably worth the risk!

For a real life situation, be aware that hexagons may not cut in as versatile a way as rectangular tiles. Buy some extras and take the surplus back when you've finished. The spacing between tiles for grouting can be ignored. Here's a worked example:

Firstly let's look at one of your tiles. It may or may not be a regular hexagon - but I'll at least assume that the tile is symmetric about a vertical line drawn from the top point to the bottom (almost certainly the case with real life tiles):

In this case, the easiest way to find its area is to take the 3 measurements shown: A, B and C

The area of the tile will then be: {A x (B + C)}/2

Use either centimeters (eg 12.3cm), millimeters (eg 123mm) or inches and tenths (eg 4.8 inches) to measure.

For example, if A is 20.0cm, B is 16.0cm and C is 30.0cm, the tile area is {20.0 x (16.0+30.0)}/2, which is {20.0 x (46.0)}/2, which is {920.0}/2, which is 460.0 square cms.

Secondly let's look at the floor. Say it is a rectangular floor, 140cm by 230cm. We must use the same measurement system as for the tile. So, in this example we used centimetres (cm). The floor's area is 140 x 230, which is 32,200 square cms. Be careful to write down the figure correctly - with the right number of zeroes at the end.

Thirdly we calculate the number of tiles we need, dividing the area-of-the-floor by the area-of-a-single-tile. In this case that is 32,200 / 460.0 which is 70 tiles exactly. Wasn't that lucky (OK, I cheated and made it come out to a nice number; in a real life situation expect it not to).

One way the tiles will fit on the floor is like this:

but there are many other ways. The key is to plan ahead, to save you having to make too many awkward cuts.

page date: 23Oct05.      I enjoy correspondence stimulated by this site. You can contact me here.