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Question DetailsAsked on 10/10/2015

How do I measure for carpet?

I have a 3 bedroom house and want to measure for how much carpet I'll need before I start shopping for it. I'm planning to check at home improvement centers as well as flooring vendors.

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2 Answers


You'll first need to find the total square yards (because most carpet is priced per square yard) of floor space. Break your flooring up into rectangular sections. Don't forget closets and hallways. Measure each rectangle in feet (since that is easier than measuring in yards) and calculate length times width (that is the area measured in square feet). Once you have all your floor space figured out in square feet, add all the numbers together and then divide by 9 (or multiply by .11111 or 1/9). That will give you a rough estimate of how much carpet you will need in square yards.

That does not include carpet pad and labor to cover stairs. Stairs are extra so know how many stairs you'll need carpeted prior to getting estimates.

All this is just to give you a ballpark estimate; but remember, most installers are going to want to have it professionally measured by them to get exact numbers and also to be able to determine exactly how the carpet will lay out, where to place seams, how you want your stairs covered, transitions, etc. Almost any store that sells carpet with also be able to have it measured for you. It's good to know your rough square yardage for general estimates, but don't expect your numbers to be at all acceptable to carpet sellers/installers.

Answered 4 years ago by DriverNerd


In addition to DriverNerd's good list, don't forget you don't want splices near doorways or down the length of a heavy traffic walkway. And consider carpet pattern and lay direction if it is not homogeneous - I have seen people try to fit the carpet buy to the last square foot, only to find one or more pieces would have to lay perpendicular to the pattern or lay in the other carpeting. Ditto if it has a directional texture - some come out of the mill with strong directional bias or develop one in the roll, so you want to lay the pieces out with the lay the same direction. Ditto for carpet with assymetric warp (the backing fibers the carpet is woven onto), which should generally align with the direction of traffic to minimize bunching.

And as he said, don't forget underlayment, vapor barrier if going over concrete slab on grade, tack strip, transition strips and screws/nails for it, carpet splice tape, carpet stretching tools (rentable or sometimes loaned when you buy enough carpet), etc.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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