How To Calculate Square Footage of a Room

How To Calculate Square Footage of a Room

Calculating Cost Per Square Foot

When painting a house, installing flooring, or building a home, the square footage of the property is often used to determine the cost or materials to be used.

Painting a house:

Professional house painters often base price quotations on the square footage of a property. Alternatively, even if a person plans to paint their house themselves, measuring square footage can yield accurate estimates of the amount of paint required.

Total cost encompasses more factors than the just amount of paint required, including the cost of materials such as brushes, turpentine, and any materials necessary for preparing, mixing, applying, and cleaning up paint. These considerations are typically included in a quote from a professional painter, in addition to labor costs. Accordingly, the larger the size of a property or area, the higher the cost required to paint it.

Depending on the surface being painted, whether wood, metal, plastic, or something else, paint primer, which helps the paint adhere more effectively to a given surface, can be used. While the amount of coverage provided by primer or paint depends heavily on the method of application, type, and brand of paint, primer generally covers less area than paint, and estimated coverage amounts can range from anywhere between 200-400 square feet per gallon.

Flooring installation:

There are a number of materials commonly used for flooring, including wood, laminate, and tile. Flooring costs can vary significantly depending on the quality and choice of materials.

Wood Flooring

Wood flooring includes woods such as hardwood, engineered wood (also known as composite or man-made wood), and bamboo, though bamboo is actually classified as grass.

Hardwood flooring is highly durable, easy to clean, and can be found in a variety of different appearances. As such, it is fairly versatile in terms of interior design, but does require some maintenance such as sanding and refinishing over time.

Engineered wood flooring is made from several layers of wood, with a thin outermost layer of the desired hardwood, and inner layers such as plywood and high-density fiberboard. Engineered hardwood has a higher heat and moisture resistance than solid hardwoods, is easy to maintain, and is generally cheaper to purchase and install than hardwood flooring.

Bamboo flooring is easy to maintain, moisture resistant, easy to install, and is available in many different styles. It is often cheaper than traditional hardwood options, but does have the disadvantage of scratching easily as a result of furniture, high heels, claws, or even debris.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is typically made with plywood or fiberboard with a plastic laminate top layer, and can have a similar look like hardwood. It is less costly than traditional wood flooring, is highly durable, difficult to scratch, stain, or dent, and requires little maintenance. Laminate flooring can even be installed over existing flooring, which can save time as well as the cost of removing old flooring. However, laminate flooring often feels too hard on the feet, cannot be finished or stained – meaning that the owner is stuck with what they choose and will have to entirely replace the floor if they change their mind – and also results in a lower resale value for a home than traditional hardwoods.

Tile flooring

Tile flooring includes concrete or cement, ceramic tiles, glass tiles, and natural stone products among many others. Due to the numerous varieties of tile, there is an incredibly large price range, from 60 cents per square foot, to hundreds of dollars, or even $100,000 per square foot. The many options of tile allow a person to choose a cost and style that best fits their needs. Tile is also easy to maintain, clean, and is suitable for all locations. However, without heating, tile can be cold in the winter. It also does not dampen sound, can be slippery when wet, can break if heavy objects are dropped on them, and cannot easily be repaired. Tile installation is also difficult, and installation costs can be more expensive than the cost of the materials.

Building a home:

When building a home, using building plans and visiting different homes as a reference can help a person to gain a better understanding of what square footages work for their preferences.

The cost of building a home varies largely based on a number of factors, including materials, the type of foundation, the pitch of the roof, and many other characteristics that are not necessarily directly related to the size of the house. Unlike the cost per square foot of installing flooring, which can be estimated based on material, quality, and installation costs, the multitude of factors involved in building a house makes it more difficult to estimate cost per square foot. As such, cost per square foot is often estimated based on averages, and depending on a person’s specific project, it may not be an accurate estimate of the cost. Instead, it may be more helpful to get an estimate from a builder based on some given specifications, and divide that estimate by the number of square feet the house will occupy.

Obtaining an estimate of the cost per square foot for a person’s specific project can allow comparison to a different house of similar size as a reference. As previously mentioned, houses of the same size do vary significantly in building cost. Thus, having a reference can help a prospective owner decide whether or not to include an elegant master bath, marble tiles, curved staircases, or any other more extravagant features. There are also a number of costs outside of building the house that should be considered, such as fees to local authorities, labor, special requirements from building codes, and insurance.


How much to allow for waste?

To allow for waste, you must consider the installation.  For most standard installations, 10% extra for waste is sufficient.  Percentage of waste for more elaborate patterns like running tile on a 45 degree angle, herringbone or cross hatch, consult with your installer. Add 15% for tile being installed in a room with lots of jogs and corners. These installations will require more cuts and thus more waste.

Length x Width + Waste = Amount Needed

Calculate the square footage of an oddly-shaped room

Rooms with complex shapes can be difficult to figure out. Some people try to figure out the square footage with a single calculation. This is where problems begin! The easiest way to calculate the square footage of an odd-shaped room is to divide it into even shapes, like squares or rectangles. You should then measure each of these shapes and multiply their lengths by their widths. Each of these multiplications can then be added together to give you the overall square footage of your room.

Consider waste

When installing a new floor, you should always consider the waste factor. When ordering flooring materials, you should add around 10% to your total square footage. This is because some materials will become damaged due to errors, accidents and additional cuts. There’s nothing more frustrating than running out of materials during installation. Avoid this by adding an additional 10% for waste onto your flooring order.

Consider asking a professional

If you are not confident with your calculation skills, you may want to hire an expert. A construction expert skilled in floor installations should be able to help work out square footage easily. It can also be worthwhile hiring a flooring installation worker if you have an odd-shaped room. If you are uncertain of how to correctly calculate, you may want to contact us. We can help you understand how to work out square footage of a house.

How to measure square footage of a room

It is very easy to compute square footage of a room of standard widths/lengths. All you need to do is multiply the length of the room by the width of the room. From example, if a room is 10 feet wide and 15 feet long, you would multiply 10 x 15. This would mean you would require 150 square feet of flooring to renovate the room.

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. 

How to Find the Square Footage of a Room with Four Corners

If your room has straight walls and four corners, the way to figure square footage is simple. You can use a tape measure to measure the length and width of the room in feet. Then, you can multiply those two numbers together. The resulting number is the square footage of your room.

How to Calculate Square Footage

Square footage is area expressed in square feet. Likewise, square yardage is area expressed in square yards.  Square meters is also a common measure of area.

Assume you have a rectangular area such as a room and, for example, you want to calculate the square footage area for flooring or carpet.

The way to calculate a rectangular area is by measuring the length and width of your area then multiplying those two numbers together to get the area in feet squared (ft2). If you have on oddly shaped area, such as an L-shape, split it into square or rectanglualar sections and treat them as two separate areas. Calculate the area of each section then add them together for your total. If your measurements are in different units, say feet and inches, you can first convert those values to feet, then multiply them together to get the square footage of the area.

Convert all of your measurements to feet

  • If you measured in feet skip to “Calculate the Area as Square Footage”
  • If you measured in feet & inches, divide inches by 12 and add that to your feet measure to get total feet
  • If you measured in another unit of measure, do the following to convert to feet – inches: divide by 12 and that is your measurement in feet – yards: multiply by 3 and that is your measurement in feet – centimeters: multiply by 0.03281 to convert to feet – meters: multiply by 3.281 to convert to feet

Calculate the Area as Square Footage

  • If you are measuring a square or rectangle area, multiply length times width; Length x Width = Area.
  • For other area shapes, see formulas below to calculate Area (ft2) = Square Footage.

Square feet to cubic feet

If you would like to convert your square footage into cubic feet, take a look at the square feet to cubic feet calculator.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.