One of the first steps you take when you are deciding on new flooring is estimating how big the space is that you have to cover. Having an accurate estimate of the square footage of the space you have to cover will help set you off on the right foot. If you know how much space you have, you can more accurately estimate material costs and installation times which will help you avoid surprises during the whole process. Estimating your costs can be slightly more complicated than just breaking out the tape measure, so in this article we will help you make sure you include everything in your flooring calculations and how to use a flooring calculator.
Using a flooring calculator isn’t difficult and you can start by checking out this flooring calculator. The goal is to get the most accurate estimation of the space you have to cover as possible. If you are putting new flooring in a square or rectangular room this can be a simple measurement of length and width multiplied together to get the square feet. To make sure it is an accurate measurement you should use a tape measure that is long enough to measure the entire length and width in one stretch. If you have a lot of measuring to do, you might consider getting an ultrasonic or laser measuring tool to avoid lengthy tapes and possible errors.
If you are measuring the square footage of a room that is irregular shaped or has protrusions you can split the space up into squares and rectangles and add the area of each space together to get the total area. Consider measuring when you’re the only one home to minimize errors and use string lines on the floor to help you visualize the different sections that you split the room into and to help with accuracy. Also remember to include your closets! Lastly, if you are measuring a kitchen, remember that you won’t have to put new flooring under your cabinets but you should add new flooring under your appliances so be sure to add that area to your total. For more information about estimating the amount of material you need, check out this article about measuring for hard wood floors.
Once you’ve calculated the raw square footage of your space, don’t forget to account for necessary wasted materials. As you add your new flooring, some of the material you purchase will be discarded after the job is complete. This waste is necessary because the flooring material you choose will not fit your space perfectly. To ensure the pattern of the wood or tile matches and to accommodate irregular shapes, flooring pieces will have to trimmed and cut to fit and match. The more complicated your space, the more waste you should account for. Also if you are working with extremely wide wood or large tile that can increase the amount of material wasted. In general, you will have 5%-10% of your material wasted during installation so make sure you add that to your estimations.
Lastly don’t forget to budget for molding, transition pieces and installation hardware like nails or glue. If you have an oversized opening that will require a special transition piece, or plan on replacing all of your molding, it will be important to measure the perimeter of the room as well as the span of any openings. Again, depending on the shape or size of your space, the transition pieces may be special order items and can add significant cost or lead time.
After you’ve considered having to buy a fancy measuring tool or extra-long tape measure and think through the time you’ll have to spend on your hands and knees measuring, it may be worth having a professional measure your space to help you more accurately estimate your square footage. Carolina Flooring Services offers FREE in-home measurements so you can purchase the right amount of material and minimize waste. Our free measurements not only save you waste, but can save you time and frustration. Then you can take advantage of our Cash and Carry service if you plan on installing your own flooring, or allow Carolina Flooring Services to provide you professional fast installation. For more information, check out our website to learn about our flooring services or give us a call at 843-225-0700 to set up an appointment!
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