measuring a rooms floor for laminate

How To Measure A Room For Laminate Flooring

In this article, we will discuss how to calculate how much laminate flooring you will need for your flooring project. While this process is relatively simple and the mathematics involved
The easiest rooms to measure are those that are perfectly square or rectangle in shape
straightforward it is always best to remember just how important it is to make sure that you have calculated this correctly.

The last thing you want to get halfway through your project and run out of laminate flooring, or alternatively purchase too much and waste budget that could have been spent elsewhere.

Tools You Will Need To Accurately Measure and Record The Area of your Room

To accurately measure your room you will need a measuring tape. Most households will have a measuring tape easily accessible but if you don’t be sure to borrow one or alternatively purchase one – I recently bought this tape from Amazon (no review required as really any measuring tape will do)

You should also have a notepad, pencil, and ideally a calculator (again a simple calculator such as this one from Amazon). Alternatively many modern mobile phones now have a calculator built into them. As long as you can multiply without error there won’t be any issues.

Measuring Tips

There are a number of things you can do to improve the accuracy of your measurements and ensure that the final calculations are correct.

  • Ask a friend or family member to help you measure the room, it’s much easier to get a correct measurement when the measuring tape is held in position by a person at either end.
  • Measure both the width and length of the room twice. Not all rooms are perfectly square or rectangular, each measurement should be taken at different points along each wall. Use the largest measurement taken for both the width and length to ensure you order enough materials.
  • Make sure there are no obstacles in the room. To get the most precise measurements remove large pieces of furniture that may otherwise get in the way.
  • Make sure you are measuring the room using the correct scale of measurement. (In the US laminate is normally sold as feet squared, whereas in Europe meter squared is the norm)

Measuring a Perfectly Rectangle or Square Room

The easiest of rooms to measure are those that are perfectly square or rectangle in shape. Rooms with no recesses, chimney breasts, alcoves, or other nooks and crannies.

A rectangular or square room’s square foot or square metre area can be calculated by simply measuring the width of the room and multiplying this by the length.

For example: if your room was 7 foot wide by 10 foot in length the area of your room would be 70 foot squared.

(7’ x 10’ = 70 foot squared)

If you are measuring in metres, the calculation is the same, simply measure the width and length in metres and multiply to give you the area in metres squared.

Whatever the final figure we strongly suggest rounding up to the nearest foot (or half a meter), before taking wastage into account (more on this below)

Measuring a Room That Is Not Perfectly Square Or Rectangular In Shape

Some rooms are not perfectly square or triangular, many are ‘L’ shaped, ‘T’ shaped, and may include recesses, wardrobes, recesses as well as other weird and wonderful shapes. While oddly shaped rooms are a little more complicated, the process remains almost the same.

First measure the width and length of the main area of the room, discounting any areas that you have considered for all intent and purposes as an extra area.

Sometimes it helps to roughly sketch the room, crevices and all, and break the room down into squares and rectangles starting first with the main area of the room. Within each square or rectangle on your sketch calculate and write down the square footage of each rectangle in the middle of the diagram.

Once you have measured the main portion that makes up the room, you can then measure each ‘extra’ square or rectangle using the same method. At the end of this task, once you have measured each and every additional crevice you can simply add up the figures to give you a total figure. This will be the total square footage, or square meters of laminate flooring you will need to order (not taking into account wastage, more on this below).

Allowing For Wastage

It is prudent to add an extra 5% to your total area to account for any wastage that won’t be able to be reused. This wastage figure is the recommended percentage when laminating a room’s floor.

If you have a large number of smaller square spaces, such as alcoves, fireplaces, etc you may want to increase this percentage to 8%.

If you plan on installing the floor diagonally or have lots of awkward cutting angles you may want to consider increasing this wastage amount to as high as 15%.

Laminating Multiple Rooms – Wastage

When fitting laminate flooring in multiple rooms you should measure each room individually, add the areas of the rooms together, and finally add the wastage percentage to the total figure.

Left Over Laminate Flooring

When ordering your laminate it is a good idea to err on the side of caution, and there is a good argument for intentionally ordering more than is required to complete the job. Running out of boards before you complete the project can prove costly, and if not exceptionally inconvenient.

Spare laminate can prove useful in case of damage in the future. Laminate floorings click technology often means that replacing boards is not as cumbersome as it may be to replace hardwood planks.

An additional argument for keeping some boards spare is that quite regularly these companies change designs, colors, or shades which can mean that sourcing the exact same laminate for repairs can sometimes prove more difficult than you may expect.

Measured and ready to go! What’s next?

Once you have measured the areas you are looking to lay the laminate flooring it is important to keep these measurements somewhere safe. You will likely need to look at these measurements again at some point during the project.

You will require these measurements when ordering your underlay. Read our next guide on choosing the right underlay for your laminate flooring.

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Scott Patterson