Installing new flooring is an exciting home improvement project, but it requires careful planning, especially when it comes to measuring the space accurately. Taking precise measurements ensures that you purchase the right amount of flooring material and helps avoid costly mistakes.

In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of measuring a room for flooring to help you achieve a successful installation.

Gathering the Necessary Tools

Before you begin measuring, gather the following tools:

  • Measuring Tape: A retractable measuring tape is essential for accurate measurements. Choose one that is at least 25 feet long to accommodate larger rooms.

  • Paper and Pencil: Keep paper and a pencil handy to jot down measurements and make notes.

  • Calculator: A calculator will help you perform calculations quickly and accurately, especially when determining square footage and making adjustments.

  • Graph Paper or Floor Plan: If you have a floor plan or graph paper, it can be helpful to sketch out the room and record measurements on it.

Measuring the Room

Follow these steps to measure the dimensions of the room:

  1. Start at one corner of the room and measure the length of one wall. Extend the measuring tape to the opposite wall, noting the measurement in feet and inches.

  2. Repeat the process for the remaining walls, moving clockwise or counterclockwise around the room. Measure each wall separately and record the measurements.

  3. For irregularly shaped rooms, break them down into smaller rectangular or square sections and measure each section individually. Add the measurements together to determine the total square footage.

Accounting for Obstacles

Take into account any obstacles within the room that may affect the flooring installation. These can include:

  • Doorways: Measure the width and height of doorways to ensure the flooring will fit properly beneath them. Consider if the doors will need to be trimmed or adjusted to accommodate the new flooring height.

  • Closets or Nooks: Measure the dimensions of any closets or nooks separately. Treat them as individual sections and calculate their square footage.

  • Fireplaces or Built-in Furniture: If the room contains a fireplace or built-in furniture, measure the dimensions around them separately. These areas may require special consideration and adjustments.

Calculating the Total Square Footage

To calculate the total square footage of the room, follow these steps:

  1. For each wall, multiply the length by the height to determine the square footage of that wall.

  2. Add together the square footage of all the walls to obtain the total square footage of the room.

  3. If there are multiple sections or irregular shapes, add their square footage to the total.

Considering Waste and Overages

It is crucial to account for waste and overages when ordering flooring material. Factors such as the layout of the room, the type of flooring, and the manufacturer's recommendations will determine the percentage of waste and overage needed. Typically, it is recommended to add an additional 5-10% to the total square footage to account for waste, cutting, and any future repairs.


Accurate measurements are the foundation of a successful flooring installation project. By following this step-by-step guide and taking into account obstacles and waste, you can ensure you have the correct amount of flooring material and minimize the risk of errors or delays.