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Calculating Flooring Needs

To know how much flooring to buy, all you really need to know is the square footage of the space to be covered. And that's easy to calculate— it's just length times width, right? Well, maybe not, if your room isn't a simple square or rectangle.
For complicated shapes, draw a plan like the one at right. Divide the room into sections based on simple shapes like squares, triangles, and circles. Then measure each separately, write your results in the box, and add them up. Add 10 percent for installation errors and to have a few planks left over for future repairs.
Write a list of any new trim pieces you want and mark on your plan where they'll go.
Calculating Square Footage

Take all measurements in inches; calculate the area as follows:
  1. Rectangles (A): Multiply length by width.
  2. Right triangles (B and C): Multiply length by width and divide the answer by 2.
  3. Circles (D): For full circles, multiply 3.14 by the radius squared (r2). Divide this by 2 for half circles, by 4 for quarter circles, etc.
  4. Total everything and divide by 144 to convert to square feet. Add 10% for waste. Round up to the next whole number.


Related Article: Measuring for Molding/Trim


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