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How much flooring do I need?

Stuck when it comes to figuring out just how much flooring you need to buy to cover your floor? Don't be daunted! We've got the lowdown on calculating that won't leave you feeling floored.

When it comes to calculating the amount of flooring needed for your room, the first tools you will need are a pen, piece of paper and a measuring tape. Oh and a calculator, unless you're pretty nifty with sums.

Start by drawing out a rough outline of your room on a piece of paper. Annotate this as you go to make things easy.

Rectangular rooms

If you've got a rectangular (or even a square) room then you should be very happy - this is really the simplest shape room to calculate. Simply measure the length by the width, make a note of it and then multiply these lengths by each other to get the area.

L-shaped rooms

When it comes to L-shaped rooms or spaces with alcoves, stairs and other awkward features, don't panic. The easiest thing to do is break down the room into two easy-to-measure areas (or more if necessary). Do this by drawing on your sketch of the room to divide it up. Hint - you may find it easier to label the sections A, B etc. 

When you have several rectangles, measure as for the rectangular room method. Once you have the square calculations for all the rectangles, add them together to get the total.

Bay Windows

Whatever the exact shape of your bay window area the simplest and most effective method for calculating the flooring needed is to square off the area and calculate as for the rectangle. This should provide enough space, with a little left over if the window is rounded at the edges.

Ensure to take into account fireplaces, alcoves, recesses and cupboards. These can be calculated in a similar way to the bay window and either added or subtracted from the final calculation. Make sure to measure into doorways as flooring will generally be expected to end underneath for a neat finish.

Skirting boards and scotia

Measuring for these is much easier as there's no multiplication needed! This time you'll be using the linear metres you gained when making your initial measurements. Simply add all of these together - however don't forget to subtract any doorways or fireplaces from this! Once you have the amount then look at the lengths that the skirting is sold in, for example 2.7m lengths, and divide the linear metres of the room by this amount.

Don't forget wastage

Wastage is a bit like insurance, there's surely nothing worse than having a new floor fitted and realising you've run out when it's almost done - particularly if you're paying someone else to fit it.

Each board is cut to specifically fit your room, meaning the leftovers can become wastage. Natural products by their definition may also have certain character flaws which might not be to your taste. Having a little extra on hand means you can be picky when laying your perfect floor.

For these reasons, always allow wastage on top of your calculation. We would recommend allowing for 10 per cent. This means adding an extra tenth to the total square metre of the room when ordering.


If you can work in metric (metres/cm) then you will find it much easier, as flooring in the UK is sold in this format. However if you prefer to work in Imperial then this can be easily converted to Metric. To do this simply follow the steps above using feet and inches, then divide the total by 10.76 to convert from square feet into square metres.

Pack sizes

Flooring like  wood, laminate, vinyl and carpet tiles is most often sold in a fixed pack size. This may seem confusing as different products will contain different quantities, due to thicknesses, widths, weight etc. Most retailers will advertise the cost per square metre, but what you need to take a look at is how many square metres are included in each box. This should be fairly obvious as most are also priced per pack.

So for example, if you need 12 square metres, but the flooring is sold in 2.5 square metre packs, you will need to buy 5 boxes, which will be a total of 12.5 square metres. Once you have that, simply divide the area squared that you have calculated by the pack size. Remember, though, to add in the wastage.

It's always worth checking the returns policy as some retailers won't return unused boxes or may incur a restocking fee. Here at Flooring Megastore we will happily refund any unused boxes with just a 25 per cent restocking fee. However if you find yourself just a couple of boxes extra, it's worth hanging on to them, as it's useful to have matches on hand. This way you can easily make repairs at no extra cost. It's also helpful later down the line if the manufacturer has discontinued your particular flooring and you need to make a quick fix.