Flooring  from National Floors Direct

How to Measure for Flooring

The amount spent on home improvement is rising by 20% per year. When combined with a global housing boom, homeowners across the country are busy renovating and updating their properties. One of the most popular upgrades is to install new flooring, but do you know how to get the right amount?

If not, we can help you calculate even the most tricky of room shapes. Read on as we discuss how to measure for flooring. 

1. Gather Your Tools

Before you start, it helps to have your tools at hand. The most important ones are listed below. 

  • Tape Measure
  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Calculator
Make sure you have a long tape measure that rolls out for DIY jobs, not a small one used for textiles. If you have a measure that is too short, it can lead to estimations and incorrect measurements. 

2. How to Measure for Flooring

Very few rooms are just a straight square or rectangle shape. They are often L-shaped with alcoves, bay windows, and extra sections. If your room is one of the lucky ones, then you just need to start by measuring the length and width of the room from wall to wall.

Most people will have different shapes, making it harder to get the correct square footage. Break the room down into square and rectangle areas. This should include any alcoves or bays. 

If it helps, roughly sketch the shapes out beforehand. You then need to measure the length and width of each section. Do this twice so you can double-check you have the exact measurements.  

3. Calculations

Once you have the measurements, take all areas and multiply each area's length by its width. Add them together, and this should give you the correct square footage or meter squared, depending on how you choose to measure.

For example, imagine you have two sections. One of them is 5 feet in width and 10 feet in length. The other is 2 feet in width and 4 feet in length. 

Multiply the 5 by 10 to get 50 square feet. Multiply the second area, 2 by 4 feet, and you will get 8 squared feet. This gives a combined total of 50 and 8, meaning you have 58 square feet. 

4. Deduct Permanent Objects

Your room may have permanent objects in it that don't need to be included in the flooring calculation. Kitchen islands are a prime example, though staircases and other objects may be included. 

You can calculate the total area of the object in the same way you did the room. Get the length and width of the object, then multiply them together. This amount should then be deducted from the overall calculation for the room. 

5. Account For Wastage

Even the most adept floor installation experts will have waste. Edges may get damaged, or planks of wood may have shades and colorations you don't like. 

To compensate, add 10% to all of your measurements. This won't bump up your costs too much but will ensure you have enough flooring to get the job done. 

6. Add up All Your Rooms

Follow this process for all the rooms you will be installing the same type of flooring in. Take the total for each room, then add them together. You will then have a final total which will be your overall amount. 

7. Converting Imperial to Metric

If you want to turn your square footage calculation into meters, then take your overall square footage. Divide the overall amount by 10.76. This will get you the amount you need in meters squared. 

8. Measuring Circular Areas

Circular areas get a little bit more complicated. Start in the middle of the circle, running your tape measure from one wall to the other, so it goes directly through the center of the room. This is the diameter of the circle. 

Half of this amount, from the center to the furthest wall, is the radius. You will need this number to calculate your amount. 

Take your radius and round it up to the nearest inch. You then need to multiply the radius by pi, which is 3.14. Round it up once again to get your number in square feet. 

9. Measuring Walls

The method above can just as easily be used to measure walls if you are papering or want to tile. In this instance, take the height of the room and multiply it by the width of each wall. Add 10% to account for wastage as you did with the floor. 

Add the total coverage from each wall together to get your amount. You should then deduct any windows in the same way you would do with permanent objects. Take their surface area using height and width, then deduct them from the total. 

10. Calculating How Much Material You Need

Once you have your measurement, it is very easy to work out how much material you need to cover your floor. It depends upon if you are using tiles or planks of wood to cover the floor. 

Find the area of each item, be it an individual plank or tile. When unsure, then multiply the object by its width and length. Divide your overall surface area for the room by the size of the item, and you will get the number of individual items you need to cover the floor. 

We are using the term individual item because most goods are sold in packs, and this is not the pack number. For example, you may need 100 tiles to cover a floor. However, if they come in packs of 10 then you would need 10 packs. 

Buying Your Flooring

Now you know how to measure for flooring, get your calculations. Visit a local stockist or online retailer and shop for the perfect floor covering. Make sure you get the right look and material for your home. 

National Floors Direct should be your first stop for quality floor coverings. We have everything from carpet to hardwoods. Click here and get a free in-home estimate.