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By Alan Fletcher - 30 Yr Carpet Expert / Consumer Advocate - I do not sell carpet. ABC

 

 

Carpet Measuring in 4 Simple Steps

 

 

Some carpet salespeople are not good at the art of measuring for carpet and may try to sell you more carpet and padding than you actually need. Some salespeople measure very well and can help save you money by utilizing waste more efficiently.

 

To protect yourself from being overcharged for materials and labor, you need to figure out approximately how much carpet you need to buy for your project.

 

Measuring for carpet can be easy to do if your home has a simple floor plan or if you are just doing a room or two. 

 

If your home has three levels and has a complex floor plan, then measuring for carpet should be performed by a professional. 

 

Some folks hire a carpet installer to measure their home. You will have to pay a fee for the service but gaining peace of mind is worth quite a bit. 

 

 

"You can learn how to measure your home for carpet in four simple steps. 

This can help you avoid being overcharged for carpet, pad and installation." 

 

After you perform all four steps, you can take your diagrams to any local carpet retailer and they can determine how much carpet you need to order from your diagram. This will help you confirm how much carpet you actually need and can prevent you from being overcharged for materials and labor.

 

 

Measuring for Carpet

Step One

 

Draw a simple diagram of your home. I did this drawing on my computer using a simple " paint" program, you have a paint program on your computer too, look in "accessories" in your program files. The drawing doesn't have to be perfect but the measurements need to be accurate.  Just a simple drawing with all the rooms shown is all you need. If you have a two story home, then do two drawings, one for upper, one for lower. Your drawing should look something like this:

 

 

  

 

 

 

Measuring for Carpet

Step Two

 

Now you need to measure each room and write down the measurements on your diagram. We will round up each measurement to the nearest 1/2 foot mark. if your room is 15 feet 3 inches long, round it up to 15 feet 6 inches or 15.5. (We will use the decimal .5 instead of 6"inches) 

 

This little bit of extra carpet will help make sure you have enough. What's worse than not having enough carpet to finish the job? Being charged for more material than you actually need!

 

If your room is 15 feet 8 inches long round it up to 16 feet or 16.0 

Always mark the length first, then the width to make thing uniform. (example 15 x 10.5) 

How do I know which is length and which is width? It doesn't matter, just choose a direction and measure each room the same way.

 

Here is how it should look after you measure. 

 

 

 

Notice I made the vinyl flooring areas yellow. The white areas have carpet.

 

 

 

 

Measuring for Carpet

Step Three

 

Make a list of your measurements and multiply the length by the width of each room. Then add them up for a total square footage. It should look like this:

 

Living room      27.5  x 15.0  = 412.5

Hall                 16.0  x   4.5  =   72.0

Bedroom 1      16.0  x   9.5  = 152.0

Bedroom 2      16.0  x   9.5  = 152.0

 

                                         788.5 square feet

 

 

 

Measuring for Carpet

Step Four

 

Add 5% to the total. This makes allowances for seams and extra carpet needed to complete the job. 

 

788

+39  (5%)

827 square feet

 

To get the total square yardage, divide the square footage by 9.

 

827sf divided by 9 = 91.88 square yards.

 

That's it! If your home is larger or has a difficult floor plan it will be more difficult to measure. If you have stairs to measure you can access my free Stair Yardage Chart here 

 

 

Possible money-saving Option:

Most Carpet styles are 12 feet wide. Wider widths may be available (i.e. 13.5 and 15 feet). These are not common and may or may not be a good choice for you depending on your room sizes. A competent installer can determine if purchasing a carpet wider than 12 feet would be cost effective for you. 

 

 

Remember:

 

  • There will be some material waste, especially if your rooms are less than 12 ft wide. 

  • You must have seams if your rooms are wider than 12 feet. (unless you order carpet that is wider than 12 feet)

  • All similar carpet in connecting rooms must lay down in the same direction. The carpet nap naturally lays down one way and stands up the other way. (kind of like petting a cat) The carpet tends to look darker one way and lighter the other way depending on the direction of view. It will not look right if you don't have every carpet nap running in the same direction from room to room.

 

To calculate your total square footage for a room, just multiply your room width and length together.

 

Example 1: 

 

Here is what a 10 x 10 room would add up to 13.33 yards: (Remember, carpet comes 12 feet wide) That is 12' width x 10' length = 120 square feet divided by 9 = 13.33 yards. 

  • In this case, there would be 2 feet x 10 feet of carpet waste because the room is less than 12 feet wide.

 

Example 2

 

A simple 15 x 20 room would add up to 33.33 yards. That is 15 x 20 = 300 divided by 9 = 33.33 yards. 

  • In this case, there would need to be a  3' ft. x 20' ft.  seam along one wall in this size of a room because the carpet width is only 12 feet wide, but this extra material is already figured into the total yardage of 33.33 yards.

 

 

Remember, you are just getting a basic estimate of your material needs, you will most likely need a few more or less yards than you figure here, so don't be surprised if you are quoted 5 to 10% more or less than you calculated here and using my yardage chart. It is always wise to get a professional to measure your home accurately before ordering carpet. 

 

 

Take a look at my free Carpet Yardage Chart. This will give you a basic estimate so you can know how much carpet you will need to buy before you begin shopping for carpet. 

 

See my Room Yardage Chart

 

When you take all this information into consideration, then you take a good hard look at the logistics of your lifestyle, needs, goals and budget to come up with a good estimate as to what it will cost you to buy the right grade of carpet for you. 

 

You might need to adjust a few things a little bit to make it all work. Most people are surprised at how much a good quality carpet costs. This means you might have to sacrifice longevity to keep the carpet within your budget, or you may have to do half of the house now and do the other half after you save a little more money. 

 

 

Q. How Much Does Carpet Cost?

 

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