Home Renovation: 5 tips on how to measure your room(s) for wood flooring or tiles

If you don’t have a professional installer to help measure your space, don’t be afraid to set a budget with your own measuring tape.  Here are 5 tips to help you complete your measurements so that you can order the correct amount of material for your project.

1.  Rectangular rooms are the easiest – just measure Length x Width and treat additional sections (ie closets etc) separately.  Don’t forget to subtract any area that doesn’t require material (ie. islands or space that will be covered with a different material).

  • Right angle triangle spaces are (Length x Width)/2 – you will need to calculate more waste for rooms with angles – see #3
  • Circular spaces are more complicated – the area of a half circle is (3.14 x Radius x Radius)/2  (or Π R²)/2 – see #3

2.  Proceed room by room and group your measurements by material type.  Don’t forget to include horizontal (floors) space and vertical (walls, showers, back splashes) materials required.

3.  As a baseline, add 5% to your calculation to ensure you have enough material to cover breakage, mistakes, alignment or any material that needs to be cut to fit.  Oddly shaped rooms or more complicated installations can increase waste factor to 10% and running materials diagonally can increase waste to up to 15%.  It is better to order too much and have left over material (that can be used for repairs later on) than order to little and have to scramble to find the same material to finish your installation later on.

  • Note:  a professional should be able to order within 3%-5% or required material to help keep waste at a minimum.
  • Note:  if you are buying utility grade material expect to purchase >20% extra material for waste and defects.
  • Note:  when you are ordering, be sure to ask the sales representative about what other materials you will need to complete your installation (underlay, grout, glue, nails, trim, molding etc.)

4.  While a pen, piece of paper and a calculator can go a long way, there are a couple of online floor plan calculators that might help you out:

  • AutoDesk has a RoomDesigner that allows you to layout floor plans (for Free).  Just use the interface to draw your room, ensure that you show the dimensions and use the “View Shopping List” tab to see the flooring calculation.  ***  This calculator doesn’t factor in waste so review #3 above to confirm your total.
  • BuildDirect.com has a calculator that you can use on any device to add up requirements room x room (for up to 10 rooms)
  • Findanyfloors.com has a more interactive calculator that works very well on desktops (but it is flash based so won’t work on tablets or mobile devices)
  • Somerset Flooring has a handy calculator that figures out the amount you should order if you are using up to 3 different widths of wood flooring product (including 5% waste factor))

5.  When your material arrives, be sure to check:

  • dimensions and product description on the box
  • number of boxes ordered have all arrived
  • check materials for breakage, damage and quality.   Document any issues with your camera and contact your supplier to resolve.  They should have a claims process that will allow them to deal with the shipping company / insurance / manufacturer when necessary.

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If you would rather have a professional to come out and measure your space, please go to TopInstallers.com and search our network of installers in your area.  Be sure to check out our articles on How to Choose a TopInstaller and Who is Responsible for Renovation Issues for more information.  Note:  We are not directly affiliated with the installers on our site (and ratings are crowd-sourced) so conduct your due diligence before hiring any pro.


  1. my boss refuse to teach me how to give qoutation of work,please help me out?

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