How to Measure for Hardwood Flooring: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you considering a hardwood flooring upgrade in your home? Before you start shopping for the perfect style, it’s important to measure for hardwood flooring. Knowing how much material is needed helps ensure that installation goes smoothly and there’s enough product on hand when the project begins. Here are five steps to measuring for hardwood flooring so that you can get started with confidence!

Measure the Room

Measuring the room is an important first step when it comes to flooring. To get an accurate measurement, you’ll need to measure both the length and width of your room. Start by measuring from one wall to another along the longest side of the room. Then measure from one wall to another along the shortest side of the room. If there are any alcoves or other features that protrude into your space, be sure to include them in your measurements as well.

When taking measurements, use a tape measure and record each measurement in feet and inches for accuracy. You can also take multiple measurements just in case you make a mistake or if there are discrepancies between readings on different walls or corners of your space.

Once you have all of your measurements recorded, add up all lengths and widths together (including alcoves) to get a total square footage number for your project area. This will give you an idea of how much material you’ll need for installation purposes when it comes time to order materials for installation day.

Once you have the measurements of your room, you can use them to calculate the square footage and determine how much hardwood flooring you will need.

Calculate Square Footage

Calculating the square footage of a room is an important step in determining how much flooring you will need to purchase. To calculate the total square footage, simply multiply the length and width of your room together. For example, if your room measures 10 feet by 12 feet, then it has 120 square feet (10 x 12 = 120).

It’s important to note that this calculation does not include any alcoves or closets that may be part of the same space. If there are alcoves or closets within the same area as your main space, you must measure them separately and add their measurements into your overall total.

If you have oddly shaped rooms with angles or curves, such as L-shaped rooms or hallways with turns, break down each section into rectangles and triangles before calculating its area. Measure each section individually and add up all sections for an accurate measurement of total square footage.

When measuring doorways and windows for flooring purposes, only measure up to where they begin; do not include their full height in your calculations since these areas won’t require flooring material anyway. The same goes for any built-in features like fireplaces – just measure up until they start so that you don’t waste money on materials that won’t be used.

Accurately measuring the square footage of your space is an essential step in determining how much hardwood flooring you will need for your project. Now, let’s consider the waste factor that should be taken into account when purchasing materials.

Consider Waste Factor

When ordering hardwood flooring, it is important to factor in a waste factor. This means that you should order more materials than the exact square footage of your room requires. The amount of extra material needed depends on the size and shape of the room, as well as any obstacles such as doorways or closets that may be present.

For most projects, a 10% waste factor is recommended for an accurate estimate. This allows for cuts around edges and obstacles, along with any mistakes made during installation. For example, if you are installing hardwood flooring in a 12’ x 15’ living room with two doorways and one closet, you would need to add an additional 1 ½ feet (18 inches) onto each side of the room to account for cutting around these objects. Therefore instead of 180 square feet (12 x 15), you would need to purchase enough materials for 216 square feet (14 ½ x 15).

If your project involves complex shapes or tight turns then it is best to increase your waste factor accordingly; some professionals recommend up to 20%. It can also be beneficial to order slightly more than what was calculated just in case there are unforeseen issues during installation or if repairs become necessary down the road.

In conclusion, when ordering hardwood flooring it is important to remember that calculating a 10% waste factor into your total will help ensure accuracy when estimating how much material needs to be purchased before beginning work on your project. This allows for cuts around edges and obstacles, along with any mistakes made during installation. For complex shapes or tight turns, some professionals recommend increasing the waste factor up to 20%. Additionally, it can be beneficial to order slightly more than what was calculated just in case there are unforeseen issues during installation or if repairs become necessary down the road.

It’s important to consider the amount of waste factor when measuring for hardwood flooring, as this can help you save money and ensure that you get the most out of your project. Now let’s look at choosing the right type of flooring for your needs.

Choose Flooring Type

Solid wood flooring is a classic choice for any home. It’s made from one solid piece of hardwood, and can be sanded down and refinished multiple times over its lifetime. Solid wood is available in a variety of species, including oak, maple, walnut, cherry and hickory. The thickness ranges from 3/4” to 5/16” thick. This type of flooring works best in areas with low humidity levels since it can expand or contract due to changes in temperature or moisture levels.

Engineered wood flooring is constructed using layers of real hardwood bonded together with resins and adhesives that are pressed into planks or tiles. Engineered wood has the same look as solid hardwood but it’s more stable because the layers prevent expansion and contraction due to changes in humidity levels. It also tends to be less expensive than solid hardwood so it may be an attractive option if you’re on a budget.

Laminate flooring is composed of several layers that are fused together under high pressure during manufacturing process which makes them highly durable and resistant to wear-and-tear damage such as scratches or dents caused by furniture legs or pet claws dragging across the surface . Laminate floors come pre-finished so there’s no need for staining or sealing after installation making them very easy to maintain compared other types of floorings like carpets which require regular vacuuming cleaning etc.. They also tend to cost less than both engineered wood and solid hardwood options making them great value for money option when looking at new floors for your home renovation project .

When choosing between these three types of floorings, consider factors such as room size, foot traffic, budget, desired look and feel etc. For example, if you have a large area then engineered woods might work better since they don’t expand and contract like solids do while laminate could be a good choice if you want something that looks similar but costs much less. In terms of rooms with heavy foot traffic then laminates could provide more durability while still keeping costs low. Ultimately what matters most is finding the right balance between aesthetics and practicality based on individual needs and preferences.

Choosing the right type of flooring for your home is an important decision. With careful consideration and research, you can find a flooring option that fits both your budget and style preferences. Now that you have chosen the perfect flooring, it’s time to order materials for installation.

Key Takeaway: When choosing between solid wood, engineered wood and laminate flooring, consider factors such as room size, foot traffic, budget and desired look. Solid woods are best for low humidity levels while engineered woods offer more stability. Laminate floors come pre-finished and are highly durable with a lower cost than the other two options.

Order Materials

When it comes to ordering materials for hardwood flooring installation, there are a few things you should consider. First, decide where you want to purchase your materials from. There are many online retailers that offer quality products at competitive prices, so make sure to do some research and compare different options before making a decision. Additionally, look into the warranties offered with each product. Many manufacturers provide lifetime warranties on their hardwood floors which can give you peace of mind knowing that your investment is protected in case something goes wrong down the line.

Another important factor when ordering materials is calculating how much material you need for the job. Measure out the room accurately and calculate its square footage in order to determine exactly how much flooring material needs to be purchased. It’s also important to take into account any waste factor when ordering as well – this means accounting for any potential mistakes or cuts that may occur during installation due to irregular shapes or angles in the room being covered by flooring material.

Finally, choose what type of flooring best suits your needs and budget – whether it’s solid wood planks or engineered boards with laminate finishes – based on factors such as durability, cost-effectiveness and style preferences. Keep in mind that certain types of wood may require additional treatments like sanding or staining prior to installation depending on their condition upon arrival so be sure to ask about these details beforehand if necessary.

FAQs in Relation to How to Measure for Hardwood Flooring

How do I calculate how much hardwood flooring I need?

To calculate how much hardwood flooring you need, measure the length and width of each room that needs to be floored. Multiply these two measurements together to get the total square footage for each room. Add up all of the individual room totals to get your total square footage needed for your project. Finally, divide this number by the coverage area (in square feet) of one box of hardwood flooring to determine how many boxes you will need for your project. Remember that it is always best to purchase a few extra boxes in case any mistakes are made during installation or if future repairs are necessary.

How do you calculate how many boxes of flooring I will need?

To calculate how many boxes of flooring you will need, you must first measure the area that needs to be covered. Measure the length and width of each room in feet and multiply them together to get the total square footage. Once you have this number, divide it by the square footage listed on each box of flooring to determine how many boxes are needed for your project. For example, if a room is 10ft x 12ft and each box covers 20sq ft., then you would need 6 boxes (10×12=120/20=6). Make sure to round up or add an extra box just in case there are any mistakes during installation.

How is the width of hardwood flooring measured?

Hardwood flooring width is measured in inches and typically ranges from 2 1/4” to 7”. The most common widths are 3 1/4″, 4″, 5″ and 6″. Width is an important factor when selecting hardwood flooring as it can affect the overall look of a room. It’s important to consider the size of the room, furniture placement, traffic flow and other factors before making a decision on which width works best for your home.

Should hardwood floors lay length or width?

The answer to this question depends on the size and shape of your room. Generally, it is recommended that hardwood floors should be laid lengthwise in long, narrow rooms to make them appear wider. In larger square or rectangular rooms, laying the flooring widthwise can create a more interesting visual effect. Additionally, if you have an open concept space with multiple adjoining rooms, running the flooring in one direction throughout all areas will help unify the look. Ultimately, whichever way you choose to lay your hardwood floors will depend on your personal preference and design style.


Measuring for hardwood flooring is an important step in the installation process. Accurately measuring your room and calculating the square footage will help you determine how much material to order, while also taking into account a waste factor. Once you have this information, you can then choose the type of flooring that best suits your needs and budget. With careful planning and accurate measurements, you can ensure that your new hardwood floors look beautiful for years to come!

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