How to measure for flooring

Once you have chosen flooring that you like, the next step is to measure how much you’ll need to ensure you’re ordering the right amount to cover your room. This guide includes advice on how to measure for carpets, laminate, wood flooring and vinyl, so whichever flooring you have chosen, you can make sure it’s the perfect fit.

What you’ll need to measure your flooring

Before you get started make sure to follow our handy equipment checklist for everything you’ll need:

  • Pen & paper – to jot down your measurements
  • A metal tape measure – an essential for accurate measurements
  • A calculator – to multiply and add various measurements together
What measurement is used for measuring flooring?

Generally, flooring is bought in meters squared (m2) so you’ll need to convert your room’s measurements using this unit of measure to know how much you’ll need. This is easily done by multiplying the length of the space (in metres) by with the width of the space (in metres), for example a room of 4m x 3m = 12m2.


How much should you add for wastage?

When taking down your measurements, we recommend you add 10% to your calculated figure to allow for wastage. The simplest way to do this is to multiply the total m2 area of your room by 1.10 to ensure you’ve accounted for the excess. 

Why is it important to allow for wastage in flooring?

There are several reasons why it’s important to allow for wastage. Firstly, when your fitter comes to install your new floor, they may find that they need off-cuts to finish off one row where a full plank wouldn’t quite fit. This also covers you for needing to fit around any awkward obstacles, such as pipes or alcoves. In the future, you may find you need to replace one of the floorboards for one reason or another, so it’s best to have some spares just in case. After all, it’s better to have too much than too little.


How much should you add for wastage?

When taking down your measurements, remember to add 10% to your calculated figure to allow for wastage.

The simplest way to do this is to multiply the total m2 area of your room by 1.10 to ensure you’ve accounted for the excess.

Why is it important to allow for wastage in flooring?

There are several reasons why it’s important to allow for wastage. Firstly, when your fitter comes to install your new floor, they may find that they need off-cuts to finish off one row where a full plank wouldn’t quite fit. This also covers you for needing to fit around any awkward obstacles, such as pipes or alcoves. In the future, you may find you need to replace one of the floorboards for one reason or another, so it’s best to have some spares just in case. After all, it’s better to have too much than too little.

How to measure a rectangular room

Measuring for a rectangular room is one of the quickest and easiest room shapes to measure as it only requires two measurements. All you’ll need to do is to measure the width and length of your room (in metres) using your tape measure. For the most accurate measurement aim to measure at exact right angles to the walls, laying the measuring tape flat adjacent to the wall, so you’re sure to cover the whole area. Then to get your final measurement simply multiply the length and width together.


How to measure an L shaped room

Not all rooms are a straight-forward shape, you may have an L shaped room which is much more common than you may think.

The easiest way to take this measurement is by dividing your space into two rectangles.

Measure each rectangle as you would a standard-shaped room then once you have both sets of figures, multiply the length by the width of both rectangles and add them together to give you your total m2 – see, it’s a lot simpler than it may seem! 

How to measure an odd shaped room

If your room is oddly shaped then you may be wondering how best to measure it.

Unlike rectangular rooms and L shaped rooms which are a little easier to navigate, though there’s no need to worry as we’ve got all the steps you’ll need to follow. 


The easiest way to do this is to:

  1. Draw out your room shape as best you can on your pad as this will help you visualise your space
  2. Next, similarly to how you measure for an L shaped room, you’ll need to divide your room layout down into smaller rectangles
  3. Once you’ve partitioned out the whole of your room, we recommend you number all of these rectangles to help you separate your measurement calculations
  4. Then measure the length and width of each rectangle (in metres) and multiply them together separately e.g. rectangle 1: 4m x 4m = 16m2, rectangle 2: 1m x 2m = 2m2 etc.
  5. Once you’ve calculated each rectangle individually, now it’s time to add up all your figures together to give you the total floor area 
Flooring accessory options

Once you’ve chosen your carpet or flooring and determined the size you will need for your room, your thoughts will probably turn to carpet accessories and at ScS, we’ve got all of your flooring needs covered.


What are gripper rods used for?

Gripper rods are used to hold your flooring in place by helping to tension the carpet. They prevent the carpet from moving around once fitted and must be used all around the room, except in doorways where door trims are used.


What are door trims used for?

Door trims are used to separate and hold your carpet in place, as well as finishing the end of the carpet in the doorway to separate your rooms. Available in aluminium or brass, these are the options available;

  • Cover strip – holds soft-backed carpets i.e. rubber or foam providing a neat joining solution between two floors similar in thickness. They also work to protect the edge of the floor covering from inevitable daily wear and tear. 
  • Single edge – holds carpet to floor or vinyl as single edge bar trims are specifically designed to join carpet to a lower floor surface, in order to protect the edge of the carpet fraying. 
  • Double edge – holds two carpets together. Also known as "double bar", these cover strips are usually nailed or stuck down to the subfloor. Can also be easily cut to size depending on your doorway measurements. 
  • Z edge – holds carpet to laminate or ceramic tiles, which typically have different heights. They’re shaped like the letter ‘Z’, which is where they get their name from. This slick design allows one side to grip the carpet, whilst the other side sits flush against your flooring. 

Measuring for your new flooring should hopefully be a doddle as long as you follow our handy guide. Plus now you know how much wastage to account for, you certainly won’t be caught short. Now all that’s left to do is order your new flooring and enjoy your room makeover.

ScS measuring service

We understand that not everyone is confident measuring their room for new carpet or flooring, and it can be expensive if your new flooring isn’t an exact fit.

That’s why at ScS we offer a free measuring service so we can do the hard work for you.

Simply call our online sales team on 0800 731 0048 to book an appointment with one of our experts.

Published: 18th May 2022