Calculating Square Footage of a Room for Your Flooring Project

How to calculate square feet

To calculate an area in square feet, you will need measurements for the width and length (for a square shape) or the diameter (for a circular area). It may be that the area you're looking to measure is a strange shape (such as a room or garden). In this case, dividing it up into smaller parts and doing individual calculations is a good way to calculate the overall square footage.

Let's say you have a rectangular-shaped room and you want to calculate the square footage area for flooring or carpet. The easiest method for calculating the square footage is to measure the length and width in feet and then multiply the two figures together to give you a result in ft2. If you're measuring a room for flooring, take a look at our article on how to measure for a new floor.

Should you find yourself needing to calculate an area of square feet in an 'L' shape, consider dividing the shape up into rectangular sections and treating them as separate areas for calculation (adding them together at the end). For more instructions, see our full article: how to calculate square footage.

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How to calculate the square footage of a house

When preparing to measure the square footage of a home, be it a house, condo, or townhouse, start with a few simple supplies:

  • Paper and pencil
  • Calculator
  • Measuring tape and/or laser measuring tool

If the property is a perfect rectangle, simply measure the length and width and multiply those two numbers together. For example, if your one-story house is 60 feet wide by 40 feet long, then your property is 2,400 square feet (60 x 40 = 2,400).

However, most properties have more complex floor plans. When this is the case, it’s helpful to follow these simple steps to measure square footage.

  1. Draw a rough sketch of your entire space, labeling all of the rooms you need to measure. Include hallways and vestibules as their own “room.”
  2. Measure the length and width, in feet, of each room. Then, multiply the length by the width to calculate that room’s square footage. For example: If a bedroom is 12 feet by 20 feet, it is 240 square feet (12 x 20 = 240). For each room, write the total square footage in the corresponding space on your sketch.
  3. Once each room is measured, add up all the measurements to determine your home’s total square footage.

Note If you live in a tract home, condo or townhome community, you may be able to get architectural drawings or master builder plans of your floor plan. These may already have your square footage calculated.

Different Units of Measurement

Using square feet is the most common unit of measurement in American real estate. But it’s not your only option. For small projects, you might want to work in square inches. For big projects, like landscaping, square yards might make more sense. And in international real estate markets, square meters are the standard for home measurements. 

Whatever your unit of measurement, the formula is the same. Multiply the length times the width to calculate the area of square and rectangular surfaces. Just make sure you’re using the same unit of measurement for your length and width. If you’re looking for square feet, measure both distances in feet; if you’re looking for square meters, measure both distances in meters.

How do I figure out square feet from inches?

It might be the case that your room is not built to exact feet. In this case, you may want to calculate in inches instead. This can help you to be more accurate with your measurements. There are 12 inches in a foot. To convert your square footage measurement to inches, simply multiply your measurements by 12. To convert your square inches measurement to feet, divide by 12.

Calculating the sq ft
Calculating the sq ft

How many square feet is a 12×12 room?

The square footage of a room measuring 12 feet wide by 12 feet long is 144 square feet. To calculate this you simply multiply the width by the height. 12ft × 12ft = 144 sq ft.

Calculate the square footage of a room with closets

Some closets are built into the shape of the room. If there are closets in a room which can’t be moved, you will have to install flooring around them. To do this you should split the room into separate areas.

Consider closets and other fixtures which cannot be moved as separate from the floor and measure them individually. Keep a note of the individual measurements of each closet. Next, measure the area of the overall room (width x length). Subtract the measurements of your closets from the overall measurement of the room – this is how to convert room measurements to square feet.

How to measure for bullnose?

Measure the length of any outside edge where your tile edge would be exposed or you want framed out.  Bullnose (also called trim pieces and decorative tiles) are typically sold by the piece. To figure the quantity you have to establish the length of the trim piece (i.e. 6″ bullnose, 8″ decorative liner), then the rule is:  Your total linear length divided by the length of each piece equals your quantity needed.  

Convert among square inch, square foot, square yard and square meter

You could, for example, perform all of your measurements in inches or centimeters, calculate area in square inches or square centimeters then convert your final answer to the unit you need such as square feet or square meters.

To convert among square feet, yards and meters use the following conversion factors.  For other units use our calculator for area conversions.

  • Square Feet to Square Inches
    • multiply ft2 by 144 to get in2
  • Square Feet to Square Yards
    • multiply ft2 by 0.11111 to get yd2
  • Square Feet to Square Meters
    • multiply ft2 by 0.092903 to get m2
  • Square Yards to Square Feet
    • multiply yd2 by 9 to get ft2
  • Square Yards to Square Meters
    • multiply yd2 by 0.836127 to get m2
  • Square Meters to Square Inches
    • multiply m2 by 1,550 to get in2
  • Square Meters to Square Feet
    • multiply m2 by 10.7639 to get ft2
  • Square Meters to Square Yards
    • multiply m2 by 1.19599 to get yd2

How to Find Square Footage: Measuring the Room

After countless hours of going back and forth between the Ambient® samples you ordered (and maybe sending out too many “which one do you like better?” texts to friends and family), you’ve FINALLY made your decision. You’ve found the perfect floor and – before you decide to change your mind for the tenth time – there’s only one thing left to do: determine how much square footage you need to order. To figure that out, it may or may not involve your least favorite school subject. Want to take any guesses? That’s right, it’s math! I can tell you can hardly contain your excitement, so let’s jump right into figuring out how much flooring you’ll need to purchase.

When in doubt, ask the pros

If calculating the square feet of your particular property feels overwhelming, consider hiring a professional appraiser to do it. The average appraisal cost for a single-family home typically runs about $350. A condo appraisal fee is generally between $300 and $500, and multi-family home appraisals can run anywhere from $600 to $1,500.

While two different professional appraisers could evaluate the same home and come up with slightly different square footage figures, they do all aim for scientific accuracy. “We’re always shooting for somewhere between 1 to 3 percent variance,” Day says.

What is Usable Square Footage?

If you’re involved in commercial real estate in an

If you’re involved in commercial real estate in any way, you may have heard the term “usable square footage”. This term describes the total amount of square footage that a tenant is able to use, which excludes areas like hallways, stairwells, and lobbies. When it comes to residential real estate, the usable square footage in your home refers to the amount of space that would count as your personal space.

Common areas like kitchens, living rooms, hallways, and storage closets wouldn’t count as usable square footage. With this information in hand, you should be able to calculate the actual square footage of your home as well as the usable square footage of your home.

Being able to calculate the square footage of you home can be very helpful when you’re attempting to sell your property or would like to complete a renovation. If you’re getting ready to renovate your entire kitchen, knowing the square footage of the floor will allow you to purchase the right amount of materials. Keep in mind that most flooring materials are priced by square feet.

Let’s say that hardwood flooring has a price of $10 per square foot. If your kitchen has a floor space of 175 square feet, the flooring would likely cost around $1,750. In the event that you work as an architect or structural engineer, knowing how to calculate the square footage of a space can be invaluable for your work.

Jason Somers, President & Founder of Crest Real Estate With over 15 years of professional experience in the Los Angeles luxury real estate market, Jason Somers has the background, judgement and track record to provide an unparalleled level of real estate services. His widespread knowledge helps clients identify and acquire income producing properties and value-ad development opportunities. Learn more about Jason Somers or contact us.

Why Tenants, Homeowners, and Landlords Need to Know Square Footage

There are several reasons why tenants, homeowners, and landlords should all know how to calculate square feet:

  • Knowing the square footage of a room can help you confirm if your furniture will fit.
  • Knowing the square footage of a specific surface can help you estimate renovation costs. If you’re replacing a kitchen countertop, for example, you need to calculate the square footage of the countertop so you can get accurate quotes for the cost of the job.
  • When you know how to calculate square feet, you can make sure you order the right amount of supplies and materials. If, for example, you plan to paint a wall that’s 12 feet long by 10 feet tall, you need to find the total square footage so you know how much paint to buy.
  • Perhaps most importantly, knowing the square footage of homes and apartments helps you compare prices to find the best value. Let’s say you’re deciding between two similar apartments: Apartment A is $1,500 per month and Apartment B is $1,800 per month. Which is the better deal? Well, it depends on the square footage. If Apartment A is 500 square feet and Apartment B is 1,000 square feet, you’re getting more space for your money with Apartment B. 

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