How to Calculate Wood Floor Measurements

Written by david robinson
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How to Calculate Wood Floor Measurements
The first step when laying a new floor is knowing how much wood you need. (Felipe Dupouy/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Establishing the measurements of a new wooden floor enables you to find the surface area of the floor, and thus the quantity of wood needed for the floor. Rooms are usually rectangular, making the process straightforward, but calculating the floor measurements of L-shaped rooms is straightforward, too. Doing your own calculations helps with estimating costs and may save you the expense of hiring a surveyor. Anyone with basic math skills and access to a calculator can calculate floor measurements.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Calculator
  • Pencil and paper

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  1. 1

    Divide the room into rectangles. Most rooms are rectangular, but if the room has alcoves or an L-shape, break it into a number of simple rectangles. For example, treat a 12-foot by 15-foot room with a 2-foot by 6-foot alcove as two rectangles of 12 feet by 15 feet and 2 feet by 6 feet.

  2. 2

    Measure the length and width of each rectangle, and then record the measurements on a scrap of paper. Measure the room again and make sure your measurements agree with the first set. If they do not, repeat taking measurements until you are certain of the correct length and width.

  3. 3

    Find the area of each rectangle by multiplying the length by the width. Combine the areas of all the rectangles to find the total floor area. Repeat the calculations to make sure your total is correct. Wooden flooring is expensive, and mistakes can cost you money.

  4. 4

    Divide the total floor area by the size of the flooring packs you intend to use. For example, if your floor measurement is 19.5 square yards and the wooden flooring comes in 1-square-yard packs, you'll need 19.5 packs. Round up to the next whole number, so buy 20 packs of flooring.

Tips and warnings

  • Using metric measurements is much easier than working with feet and inches to calculate surface areas.
  • Allow a little extra wood for fitting mistakes and future repairs.
  • Wood expands and contracts as its temperature changes. Allow for this when laying the floor.
  • Always double-check your measurements. Measure twice.

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