How to calculate square footage

Updated February 21, 2017

So you want to upgrade the appearance of your room by putting in new flooring. Whether it's for vinyl flooring, hardwood or laminates you will need to need to know the square footage of your room. Even if it;s been a while since you were in school, that won;t be a problem. Calculating the square footage of any room in your home is easy. All you need is a tape measure, pen, paper and a calculator.

Measure the length of the area in question with a tape measure. Jot this down on a piece of paper. Label this measurement "length."

Get the width of the area. Write this down, and label it "width."

Multiply the length by the width.

You now have the square footage.

Measure the base of the triangle.

Get the height of the triangle.

Multiply the base by the height.

Divide this amount by two.

You have the area of a triangle.


Split complex shapes into simple squares, rectangles and triangles. Calculate the separate areas and then add all of them together. Convert measurements of feet and inches into inches before you multiply. After you have found the area in square inches, you can divide this number by 144 to get the square footage. Double-check your measurements before multiplying.


If you are calculating for flooring it's best to increase your total square footage calculation by about 10% to ensure you have enough material. If you are measuring for flooring, you need to leave a ΒΌ-inch gap between the edge of the flooring surface and the wall. Plus to be sure you have enough material it's best to increase your total square footage calculation by about 10%.

Things You'll Need

  • tape measure
  • calculator
  • pen
  • paper
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