Estimating Carpet Size

You might think the answer to that question is obvious - but think again!

One of the most common pitfalls when shopping for any flooring product is coming up short. And if you end up running back to the store to buy more, there's no assurance you'll find the identical match.

Most carpet is sold in widths of 12 or 15 feet. However, it's priced in square yards. Confused? Here's a simple formula for calculating your flooring needs and cost:

  • Multiply the length and width (in feet) of each room to be carpeted.
  • Multiply the total by 1.1 to make sure you don't run short.
  • Divide the total by 9 to get square yards.

For example, let's say you want to lay a durable frieze carpet in your child's bedroom. The room is 9'8" wide by 11'2" long, and the carpet's on sale for $11.99 a square yard.Here's how to make the calculation:

  • 10'x 12' = 120 sq. feet*
  • 120 x 1.1 = 132
  • 132/9 = 14.7 sq. yds.
  • 14.7 x $11.99 = $176.25

* You'll have to buy from a 12' carpet roll, and pay for the full width!

Estimating carpet requirements gets really tricky when it comes to stairs, closets, odd-shaped rooms or spaces that are wider than conventional rolls and will require seams.

In such cases, work from a diagram of the space to be carpeted. Or, better still, ask a carpet retail or professional installer to do the calculation for you.

And if you're thinking of covering the interior of your minivan with some groovy shag, trying to figure out how much you need will be a big headache. Call in a pro!

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