How to Figure Square Feet for Flooring

Charlotte Johnson

Whether you add carpet, hardwood, tile or laminate flooring, one of the first steps in the process is to measure the area that you plan to cover. Figuring the square footage is critical in terms of planning the amount of materials that you will need as well as the total cost of the project.

You will need a tape measure to measure square footage.

You can calculate square footage easily by taking some measurements and following a few simple mathematical formulas.

  1. Sketch a simple drawing of the room or rooms in which you will be installing flooring.

  2. Measure the dimensions of each room with a tape measure.

  3. Write in the measurements on your drawing.

  4. Multiply the length times the width for most rooms, which are shaped like a square or a rectangle. If you have a triangular shaped area, measure the height and base of the triangle. Multiply these two measurements and divide by 2 to find the area of this particular shape.

  5. Separate the room into regular geometric shapes if it is not one shape. Add the areas of each shape for the total square footage.

  6. Order your materials based on your square footage, but allow 5 to 10 percent extra material as a waste factor. This applies to any type of flooring material. It's also a good idea to have a supply of material for future repair needs.