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Step 1: Draw a diagram of the rooms receiving carpet. It doesn't have to be pretty, but it should be clear to avoid mistakes
Step 2: Measure each direction all the way to the walls carefully recording your results.
Step 3: Multiple out each room to obtain square footage. Add these figures (carefully)!
Step 4: Add 10% (multiply the total square footage by 1.1)

Step 5: Divide this final result by 9 (3 feet by 3 feet=9 square feet per yard) to get a final square yard amount.
Note: For smaller areas, the results can be misleading. For example in the method above, a 9' by 20' room yields 180 square feet. Add 10 % (198 sq. ft) and divide by 9- You will get 22 yards exact.
In reality, you would need a 12' x 20 foot carpet which equals 26.66 yards. If the material is 13'6 wide, you would need 30 yards! So, if this method is used to figure the yardage for one or two rooms, expect that your figure for yardage might be low. It is best to bring the measurements in so that we can figure the yardage, and explain the results.
Step 1: Draw a diagram of the rooms receiving carpet.

Step 2: Measure each direction all the way to the walls, and go halfway into any doorways. Figure the carpet running in one direction, and make sure
that you do not put the any measurements running perpendicular to that direction.
This is the more complicated, but more realistic way to figure for carpet. Running full sheets in the same direction, we need to figure out how many lineal feet of material is needed from the roll of carpet.
Step 4: Enter all of the room dimensions, and notate which direction the carpet is running.
Use any extra (falloff) in any places that it can be used to fill areas that are missing. You might not be able to, and this material may be waste. You also might need to add a couple of extra feet to a room so that you can make an extra piece fit somewhere else. Do not figure this tightly.

Take additional cuts that you might need for areas that you were not able to cover with fall off from other rooms.

Now add the total amount of lineal feet of carpet needed, and multiply by 12 (the width of the
carpet). Then divide it by 9 to get the amount of square yards. That's it!
Step 5: Picture the carpet being unrolled into each of the rooms in the direction that you designated. You would need to know the width of the carpet roll, but most common is 12 feet wide (carpets can also come as wide as 13'2", 13'6", 15', and 16'4") Notate overlap causing extra material along any widths (indicated in green), and any missing areas for rooms wider than the roll (indicated in red).
Note: While being used for this example, "T" seams, or "cross" seams are not usually recommended, and are impossible to perform with some types of carpet.
(fuzzy picture, but you get the point)
Bed 1
Bed 2
Bed 3
LR 

Fill  
= 12 x 12'4"
= 12 x 15'7"
= 12 x 13'0"
= 12 x 23'6"
+ 12 x 11'0"
= 12 x 13'3"
+ 12 x 12' 
           100'8"

12 x 100'8" = 1208 square feet

1208 / 9=

135 square yards

(Using method 1 with this diagram, we would get 1134 square feet, mutiplied by 1.1, and the divided by 9):

138 square yards
Note: Measuring for flooring isn't an exact science. There are variables that affect how the measuring is done. There are different roll widths, exact square feet per box, pattern match, waste factor, seam layouts affecting direction, and other factors. The following methods below should give you an idea for how to measure for flooring. Remember, the total square footage (or yardage) that you buy is how much you need to purchase to cover the floor space, not the square footage (or yardage) of your floor.
Follow steps 1-4 above to obtain the square footage of all of the rooms plus the additional 10 %. In the example above, we have 960 square feet with the additional 10%.

Now, we need to know how many feet per box/carton there are for the product that you are considering. Divide the total square footage by this number. For this example, we will assume that you ae looking at a laminate that comes 22 square feet per box.

Step 5: 960 / 22 = 43.64 (so you will need to get 44 whole boxes/cartons)

Step 6: 44 boxes times 22 square feet per box is 968 ft total. So you would be purchasing 968 square feet for the room.
Note: The ten percent overage, is general. Depending on the material, some installations only require an additional 5%, while other types of installation result in more waste, and can require more than ten percent. It is usually best to consult with the person installing to see how much material they suggest that you purchase based on materials, and installation type.
(Large rugs, full room rugs)
(Small rugs, rugs for specific spaces within a room)
Step 1: Decide what area you want to cover with the area rug. Is it going under a table, sitting area, under the bed, in the middle of the foyer?



Step 3: When you have the markers in place (and you like the positioning), measure all the way across ignoring the furniture.
Step 2: If it is specifically going to be placed under furniture, figure how many feet (and/or inches) you want the rug to protrude from the furniture in all directions, and mark the space with painters tape, or an object that wont move when the tape measure pushes against it.

If the rug is sitting in an open space without furniture, simply place your markers where you are envisioning the rug.
For this example, you would want a custom size rug that is 9'0" width and 10'6" length, or a premade rug that is close to this size.
Note #1: Make sure to look for potential issues such as the corner of the rug interferring with a common traffic path through a room. This can create a tripping hazard.
Note #2: When measuring under a table, it is usually a good idea to pull all of the chairs back as if people are sitting in them, and count the back legs of the chairs as the outer edge of the furniture. This will help insure that nobody catches the rug, or tips backwards when sitting at the table.
Note #3: A common question is "How far away from the furniture should I measure?" This is completely determined by how much of an accent you want to make, and if there is any interferrence from the other aspects of the room.
Step 1: Measure the room wall to wall. Ignore doorways, or sections of the wall that extend further out than the main dimensions of the room.
Step 2:  Decide how far away from the walls you want the rug to reach. In this example, we are going to bring the rug in six inches from the walls. Full room rugs are usually between two inches to two feet away from the wall. This is determined by how much floor you want to show around the edge of the room, and if there is any furniture along the walls that can have an issue with the height difference between the rug and the floor beneath.
Step 3: Subtract the amount you are coming in from the wall on both sides of the room. In our example, the six inches from each wall translates to one foot less in both directions.
For this example, you would want a custom size rug that is 11'8" width and 13'6" length.
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This is the simple, but less effective method for figuring how many yards of carpet are needed. The larger the amount of square footage, the more accurate this method typically is.
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