How to Calculate Carpet Area

You're hoping to get new carpet, but you're not sure how much it will cost.

Because carpet is typically sold by the square foot, the key to figuring this out is to determine the square footage of the room you wish to carpet. This is a fairly basic math problem, and with a few measurements you can calculate carpet area in just a few minutes.

Measure the width and length of the room you wish to carpet. If the room is an "L" or other odd shape or has a closet, break the room up into imaginary squares or rectangles and figure each section separately.

Multiply the length times the width of the room. For example, if the room is 17 feet wide by 21 feet long, 17 x 21 = 357 square feet of floor space.

Add the square feet of any extra sections, such as an "L" corner or closet. For our example, there is a 10 foot area on the 17 foot side of the room; 10 x 17 = 170, and 170 + 357 (main room area) = a total carpet area of 527 square feet.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure

Tip

  • Adjust for waste that will occur during the cutting and installation process by adding 10 percent to the total area. Here, 10 percent of 527 equals 52.7; 527 plus 53 equals 580 square feet of carpet needed to purchase.

About the Author

Robin Hewitt began her writing career in 2008. She is the coauthor of several books, including "The Joyous Gift of Grandparenting," which covers the nutritional and fitness needs of both grandchildren and grandparents.