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Tiling Problem

  • Difficulty Level : Easy
  • Last Updated : 20 Dec, 2021

Given a “2 x n” board and tiles of size “2 x 1”, count the number of ways to tile the given board using the 2 x 1 tiles. A tile can either be placed horizontally i.e., as a 1 x 2 tile or vertically i.e., as 2 x 1 tile. 


Input: n = 4

Output: 5


For a 2 x 4 board, there are 3 ways

  • All 4 vertical (1 way)
  • All 4 horizontal (1 way)
  • 2 vertical and 2 horizontal (3 ways)

Input: n = 3

Output: 3


We need 2 tiles to tile the board of size  2 x 3.

We can tile the board using following ways

  • Place all 3 tiles vertically.
  • Place 1 tile vertically and remaining 2 tiles horizontally (2 ways)




Implementation – 

Let “count(n)” be the count of ways to place tiles on a “2 x n” grid, we have following two ways to place first tile. 
1) If we place first tile vertically, the problem reduces to “count(n-1)” 
2) If we place first tile horizontally, we have to place second tile also horizontally. So the problem reduces to “count(n-2)” 
Therefore, count(n) can be written as below. 

   count(n) = n if n = 1 or n = 2
   count(n) = count(n-1) + count(n-2)

Here’s the code for the above approach:


// C++ program to count the
// no. of ways to place 2*1 size
// tiles in 2*n size board.
#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
int getNoOfWays(int n)
    // Base case
    if (n <= 2)
      return n;
    return getNoOfWays(n - 1) + getNoOfWays(n - 2);
// Driver Function
int main()
    cout << getNoOfWays(4) << endl;
    cout << getNoOfWays(3);
    return 0;


# Python3 program to count the
# no. of ways to place 2*1 size
# tiles in 2*n size board.
def getNoOfWays(n):
    # Base case
    if n <= 2:
        return n
    return getNoOfWays(n - 1) + getNoOfWays(n - 2)
# Driver Code
# This code is contributed by Kevin Joshi



The above recurrence is nothing but Fibonacci Number expression. We can find n’th Fibonacci number in O(Log n) time, see below for all method to find n’th Fibonacci Number. 
Different methods for n’th Fibonacci Number
Count the number of ways to tile the floor of size n x m using 1 x m size tiles 
This article is contributed by Saurabh Jain. Please write comments if you find anything incorrect, or you want to share more information about the topic discussed above

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