How to Measure Floor for Carpet | Easy Methods to Apply For Various Floors and Stairs and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

How do you determine what carpet size you need?

Measuring the size of your room is the first step to installing carpet flooring in your office or home. Once you learn how to measure floor for carpet, installing a new carpet will be half done.

When buying a new carpet, you want to buy just enough material and not overestimate. You also do not want to underestimate. So how do you ensure you get it right?

Measuring the floor is a simple task that involves simple calculations. This article explains how to measure your floor, including rooms, stairs, and hallways. Want to know how to do it on your own? Read on.

A person in black measuring floorHow to Measure Floor for Carpet- How Do I Calculate My Floor?

If you are thinking of getting a new carpet for your room, you first need to measure your room to know how many feet of carpet you will need. So as you save money, how do you know whether you are saving for enough material?

Measure the area of the rooms and closets separately. Always take measurements to the middle of the doorway. The measurement will increase the total square feet to two or three inches.

Before you start measuring your floor for carpet installation, you need specific tools and equipment to help in the process. These are:

  • Tape Measure 
  • Calculator
  • Pen or pencil
  • A notepad

Each of the tools will play a part in calculating the room measurements to determine how much carpet you need.

After assembling the tools, you can now start the actual measuring.

Step 1. Draw a Simple Diagram of the Room

The idea is to get the shape and outlay of the room. Using a pencil or pen, draw the diagram on paper. For instance, it could be square, rectangular, or trapezoid. If the room has cloves, include them in the drawing. Also, indicate doorways.

Diagram of the room

Step 2. Measure the Length of Your Room

Using your tape measure, establish the length of your room and note it on your diagram. Draw a line in the center of your drawing so that it is parallel to the two lines representing your room.

Indicate the length on the line you have drawn in the middle. For instance, if you measured 10.00 meters, indicate 10.00 meters. If there are any doorways along the length, add about 10cm for each.

Step 3. Measure the Room Width

Once through with measuring the length, repeat the same procedure for the width of the room. Using your tape measure, measure from one wall to the other.

Take note of the readings and indicate them on the drawing. Remember to add about 10cm extra if there is a

Man measuring a room

 doorway along the width.

The 10cm you add to the length and width allow for fitting since the carpet cannot fit exactly to the area of the room.

To get the square footage, multiply the length by the width measurements. You can also change the measurements to square yards if you wish to use yards. To change to yards, divide the square footage by nine.

When buying the carpet, the retailer will use the diagram as the guide to determine how much carpet you require.

How Do You Measure Carpet for Stairs and Landing?

When it comes to carpeting stairs, it is better to leave the task to a professional. Carpeting stairs involves some technicalities that only a professional can handle. Measuring stairs to get the total square footage is complicated since stairs are different.

However, if you want to know how many square feet of carpet you might need, consider the type of stairs you have.

Bullnose Stair

It is the stair at the bottom of the staircase and usually wider than the rest. It is also curved on both sides. To measure, you should establish the widest edge of the stair, then add about two to three inches to cover the outer edge.

Open Stair

They require about twenty inches of carpet and two times the height of the step to cover the stair fully. However, open stairs are sometimes left uncarpeted.

Cutting carpet on stairs

Pie Stair

They are triangular and wrapped around a corner. Pie stairs are not measured in their shape; instead, they measure an approximation per stair, e.g., 30″ x 48″. The installer will fit the carpet around the winder.

Cap Stair

Cap stairs have about a combined length of eighteen inches. Add an extra ten centimeters for each stair or a foot in total.

Stairs that are U shapedBox Stair

Box stairs are the most common types of stairs. It has a riser and a tread that combine to make eighteen inches per stair. To calculate the total, multiply eighteen inches by the total number of inches plus an additional riser is the simplest version. It simply has a tread and a riser for a combined 18 inches of surface per stair.

When measuring a landing or a hallway, ensure you measure around the ledge at the top of the stairs. Place your tape measure against the opposite wall on the landing or the hallway, then wrap it around the nosing until it reaches the rise of the stair below the nose.

To measure the stairs, you will need to consider the pattern motifs, the configuration of the stairs, size, and shape. Some complicated designs will require the input of a professional.

How Do I Measure Staircases for Carpet?

To measure stairs area for carpeting, use the following steps: 

Step 1: Measure the width and depth of the tread.   

Step 2: Measure the width and height of the rise.

Step 3: Add the two measurements for steps one and two above, then multiply by the number of stairs in the stairwell. Remember to add about ten to twenty percent of the total for precautionary purposes.

How Carpet is Sold

When buying a new carpet, consider the following factors:

Carpet Width

Carpets are mostly available in precut widths on rolls of 12 feet. You can also find widths of 13.5 and 15 feet. So if your room measures ten feet by ten feet, twelve feet by ten feet carpet will be suitable.

Measuring tape on blue background

Carpet Tile Sizes

If you do not want lots of carpet waste, consider buying carpet tiles. Carpet tiles are mostly available in (24”x 24”) or (12”x 12”) inches square. Carpet tiles minimize waste and are easy to do small sections replacements. Carpet tiles are commonly used for high-traffic commercial spaces.

When buying carpet, remember the following:

Carpet Ratings

Do not fall for carpet ratings. Ratings are assigned by manufacturers for marketing purposes and may not reflect the actual value of your carpet.

Hiding Carpet Seams

Measure the carpet so that the seam will be in the doorway. Carpets are measured to standard sizes, so measure each of your rooms to the midpoint of the doorway or door frame. When laying the carpet, roll it to the end to hide the seams in the doorway.

Carpet Remnants 

How do you use your extra carpet? After laying your carpet, you will be left with about 10% of the piece you bought. You can use the remnants in places like closets.

Carpet Remnants 

Professional Help

When buying a carpet, a professional carpet installer will guide you on measuring so that you only buy enough carpet. On a related note, you can ask them for advice when it comes to the best vacuum for thick carpets, for example.

Be prepared to buy most carpets in square feet. However, some retailers still use square yards to measure. You can divide your square foot by 9 to convert to a square yard.

Long-term Value

Avoid buying cheap carpets. The lower the cost, the more likely it will wear or tear out faster. Luxurious carpets are expensive and last longer, up to several years. Low-cost rugs will need to be replaced after a year or months, depending on where you have installed them.

Tips to Remember When Measuring Floor

  • Ensure you include closets and chimneys in the measurement.
  • When measuring, measure from wall to wall through the door transition. Otherwise, do not do it from one wall to another.
  • Once you have measured, remember to make a drawing illustration that you will present to the carpet retailer or flooring professional. Your drawing does not have to be actual; a sketch is okay.
  • Indicate your measurements in feet and round off to the nearest foot. A few retailers use a square yard as their measuring standard.
  • When you measure stairs, provide the size of the landing, the width of the staircase, and the number separately.
  • High-traffic areas require high-quality carpets because of tear and wear since they are likely to wear out faster.
  • Include extra measurements for precautionary purposes for each room measurements.
  • Be conventional in your measurements.

When measuring, remember where rooms are connected; the carpet is installed in the same direction. Most carpets have 12′ widths.

Measuring carpet

Final Thoughts

When you embark on a new carpet project – see also how to make carpet fluffier –  the above tips can help calculate the amount of carpet you need for your rooms. If you adhere to them, you will get accurate measurements and estimates. They will help you stick to your budget, not underestimate or overestimate. However, some parts of your house, like the staircase, are better left to a profession.

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