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How to Calculate Square Footage of a Room

How to Calculate Square Footage of a Room

Knowing how to calculate the square footage of a room is essential when you are planning to buy new flooring. To measure the total square footage you will need, you must find the square footage of all areas in the room you are going to install your new floor in, including little nooks and crannies. When you’ve done that, you then just add all of those measurements together. Planning a new flooring project takes time and countless measurements. Be sure to double and triple check your measurements, especially when ordering an item that you cannot find locally. Knowing the exact amount or ordering a little more will help prevent you from paying double shipping costs down the road.

Before you order, you will need to ask yourself, “How do I know how many boxes of wood flooring I need for my room?” In order to answer this question, you have to know several things such as how many square feet are in each box of flooring you plan to purchase and the square footage of your space.

How do I calculate the square footage of a room?

Depending on the layout of your space, you may use one of the methods below to calculate your square footage. Regardless, the base equation is the length of your room multiplied by the width of your room. It is not complicated at all, but it could get seem tricky when your room isn’t a perfect rectangle. Below, we will walk you through several room scenarios and describe the process of calculating the square footage of each.

To start, you will need:

  • Tape measure
  • Calculator
  • Notepad
  • Pencil

Next, follow our steps that apply to your room layout.

1. How to measure and calculate the square footage of a simple, rectangular room?

Calculating square footage of a rectangular room is a very simple equation. To calculate square footage, you will multiply the length of the room by the width of the room. You will measure this from the inside of the room. We will use a room that is 10 ft x 15 ft as an example in all of our room scenarios:

  • This is the simple equation: Length (ft) x Width (ft) = Square Footage

Example:
10 ft x 15 ft = 150 sq. ft
Simple room measurement guide

2. How to measure and calculate the square footage of a room that has closets?

Do you have closets in the room and are you going to install floors there as well? Here is how to properly measure and calculate total square footage of the  space.

  • Split the room into separate areas
    • In the diagram below they’re listed as “Room”, “Closet 1”, and “Closet 2”
  • Measure each area of the room separately
  • Calculate the square footage of the each space by multiplying length by width.
    • Room: Length (ft) x Width (ft) = Room SQFT (Square Footage)
    • Closet# 1: Length (ft) x Width (ft) = Closet #1 SQFT
    • Closet# 2: Length (ft) x Width (ft) = Closet #2 SQFT
  • Add the calculations of each space to equal a total square footage.
    • Formula: Room SQFT + Closet #1 SQFT + Closet #2 SQFT = Total square footage of the room

Simple room with closets measurement guide

3. How to measure and calculate the square footage of an odd shaped room?

Based on our experience, most of the customers who are having trouble figuring out the square footage of a complex space try to measure the entire space all at once. This is where the problems start. It is not uncommon to deal with a room that may have an open floor plan with several closets, nooks, or odd shaped spaces. The solution is simple, and all you need to do is to divide your space into even shapes, (squares or rectangles) and be able to use the simple calculation formula of length multiplied by width. After you are done with this step, the only thing to do is to add all individual spaces you just calculated together.

  • Separate the room into squares or rectangles
    • In the diagram below they’re listed as “Area 1”, “Area 2”, and “Area 3”
  • Measure each rectangle or square area separately
  • Calculate the square footage of the each space by multiplying length by width.
    • Area 1: A (length) x B (width) = Area 1 SQFT
    • Area 2: A (length) x B (width) = Area 2 SQFT
    • Area 3: A (length) x B (width) = Area 3 SQFT
  • Add the calculations of each space to equal a total square footage.
    • Formula: Area 1 SQFT + Area 2 SQFT + Area 3 SQFT = Total square footage of the roomOdd shaped room measurement guide

Don’t forget to calculate and add the waste factor!

When buying new floors, don’t forget to add the waste factor. You will want to add 5-10% extra to your total square footage, this will factor in any waste that may occur during the installation process, such as errors, damage, or extra cuts. You don’t want to end up in the middle of the installation a be a few boxes short. Calculating waste is also a simple, two step equation.

To Calculate for 5% Waste:

  1. Calculate the Waste Amount with the following equation: Total Room SQFT x 0.05 = Waste Amount
  2. Add the Waste Amount to your Total Room SQFT to find the final amount of flooring you need to purchase: Waste Amount + Total Room SQFT = Final Square Footage

Example:
150 sqft x 0.05= 7.5 sqft
150 sq.ft + 7.5 sq.ft = 157.5 sq.ft

To Calculate for 10% Waste:

  1. Calculate the Waste Amount with the following equation: Total Room SQFT x 0.10 = Waste Amount
  2. Add the Waste Amount to your Total Room SQFT to find the final amount of flooring you need to purchase: Waste Amount + Total Room SQFT = Final Square Footage

Example:
150 sqft x 0.10 = 15 sqft
150 sq.ft + 15 sq.ft = 165 sq.ft

Keep in mind, when you will be placing your flooring order your final square footage will be rounded up or down depending on what flooring content is in the box.

Do you have any questions or comments related to square footage or room measurement? Please share with us below.

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2 comments

  1. Hello,
    You have done very interesting work. All tricks and calculation is very useful. Especially, calculate the square footage of an odd shaped room is an interesting method.

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