How to measure & buy laminate wood flooring

Updated April 17, 2017

Laminate flooring is popular in Europe and the United States. It is a type of flooring that can imitate wood, stone, tile and other materials. The surface of the flooring is a photographic image of the material it is imitating. The flooring is actually made of durable laminate plastic. Laminate flooring is considerably cheaper than buying real hardwood, tile or stone flooring. Measuring and buying the flooring is the first step in installing your new floors.

Measure the length and width of the room.

Multiply these two numbers together to get the square footage. Add 10 per cent to this number to count for waste. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 for each room.

Add together all of the square footage plus 10 per cent for each room.

Divide the total square feet by the number of square feet in each box of flooring. Depending on where you purchase your flooring from, this number will differ.

Use just the square footage number, not including the 10 per cent, to determine how much padding you will need.

Measure the width of doorways or any places where you will need transition pieces. Depending on where you purchase your flooring from, you will know how many pieces to order. Keep in mind these pieces can be cut to fit.

Measure the perimeter of each room to know how many skirting boards or beading you will need to go around the outside of each room to fill the gap between the flooring and the walls. Add 10 per cent t this number to count for waste.

Determine where you would like to purchase flooring. Research prices online and in home improvement stores. Discount flooring stores are also an option. Once you have decided on a location, ask if they offer bulk discounts. Buying more than you need is highly recommended.


Use the flooring calculators in Resources to help measure your home.


Make sure you buy extra flooring encase some of the planks need to be replaced in the future, especially if you bought your flooring because it was discontinued or on clearance. Chances are it will not be available for purchase in the future.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
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About the Author

Bailey Granger has been a military journalist since 2006. She also has an extensive professional background in computer repair, performing arts and social sciences. Granger holds a Master of Science in strategic intelligence from American Military University and a Bachelor of Arts in international relations from Bridgewater State College.