When embarking upon a flooring installation project, the use of floor plan measurements will help you to determine the cost of your project for whichever type of flooring you choose to install. This how to measure flooring guide will provide information about how to measure the coverage area properly. Having correct floor measurements will enable you to arrive at the approximate amount of flooring materials to purchase at your local flooring store or through your contractor.
The first floor installation tools you will need include a drawing pad, pencil, ruler, eraser, a handheld calculator and a 25-foot tape measure. These first tools will allow you to take accurate floor measurements for your project. If you plan to do the installation yourself, you will require other floor installation tools, most of which will depend upon the type of flooring you install. Additional tools include items such as trowels, scrapers and tile cutters for tile installations or carpet kickers and utility knives for installing carpet, to name just a few.
Using the drawing tools, create a rough sketch of the room in question. As an example, in figure one below, we have drawn a basic kitchen layout with cabinetry and appliances labeled.
Figure 1 - Basic kitchen layout
In a normal flooring upgrade, we would not remove cabinets to install flooring in those areas. We will not measure the cabinet areas. We will have flooring installed in the appliance locations, so we will include those areas in our measurements. The red areas marked in figure two represent the sections to measure for our flooring calculations.
Figure 2 - Floor area
In this example, the kitchen easily divides into four areas. Section one lies on the far left with the narrowest run between cabinets and section two adjoins but does not include the stove area. The third section includes the space for the fridge with the fourth section consisting of the stove area. These numbered areas appear in figure three below.
Figure 3 - Floor sections
Now that we have created our floor plan and have decided which area or areas we need to measure, we can begin the measurement process. These measurements require accuracy, as these will determine how much flooring material you will need to purchase to complete the job. We will also need to add in a wastage factor of five percent to include things like cutting and pattern matching. The more accurate your measurements, the less material you will need to purchase to complete the job.
Measure each area individually for length and width, noting the measurements on your drawing. Once you have all areas measured, convert any feet and inch measurements into total inches, rounding up to the nearest inch, and then divide by 12 to get the decimal equivalents for use with a calculator. For example, if section one in figure three measures 5'3'' x 7', the 5'3" would convert to 63 inches or 5.25 feet in decimal equivalent. Make note of 5.25' as one of the measurements for section one and 7' as the other measurement. In our example layout, let us assume that section two measures 9'x9', that section three measures 12'x12' and that section four equals 3'6"x3'6". Using the procedure above, sections two and three would remain as written while section four would convert to 3.5'x3.5'.
Using a handheld calculator, determine the square footage by multiplying the width and length of each individual section. Then add the square footage of each section together to arrive at the total area square footage. In our example, section one measures 5.25'x7' = 36.75 square feet, section two measures 9'x9' = 81 square feet, section three measures 12'x12' = 144 square feet and section four measures 3.5'x3.5' = 12.25 square feet. Adding these results, we get a total of 274 square feet of floor space in our example. To account for wastage add five percent to this figure, which gives us a total flooring requirement of 287.7 square feet. You can also arrive at this same figure using the Flooring Calculator available on this site. Our flooring calculator offers additional features such as having approximate costs built in for various types of flooring materials, while also allowing you to insert your own cost per square foot pricing. It will also allow you to calculate the amount of baseboard or molding required for your project, as well as the approximate cost of removing any old flooring.
Following this guide on how to measure flooring and create floor plan measurements will make your flooring installation project go smoothly, with minimum waste and expense and maximum benefit.