How to measure a room for carpet
You may have previously seen that before we shared our step-by-step guide covering choosing, buying, and fitting a new carpet. Now we're going into a little more depth on how to measure a room for carpet. This simple, easy, straightforward guide will, in less than five minutes, give you expert advice on how to measure a room of any shape or size for carpet and other flooring.
The following topics are covered in this guide:
Before you begin, these are a few tips for you keep in my mind as you read our guide on how to measure a room for carpet:
1) It doesn’t have to be a perfect drawing, but the measurements DO need to be accurate. A simple, rough drawing showing all your rooms is all you need.
2) Always give your measurements using the metric system (centimetres and metres, not inches and feet).
3) Always remember that carpets come in 4m and 5m widths, vinyl flooring comes in 2m, 3m and 4m widths.
4) Always add 10cm onto your measurements to allow for complete accuracy when fitting – if you don’t do this, you run the risk of undercutting your carpet.
Before you begin measuring, you’ll need the following tools:
- Tape measure
- Plain paper
Assembled this toolkit? Great! Let’s get going.
Square and rectangular rooms.
Square and rectangular rooms are fairly straightforward and are the easiest place to start when learning how to measure a room for carpet. There are five basic steps to follow.
- Start by roughly drawing your room’s four sides.
- Label one pair of walls length and the other width
- Take two measurements for your length and width across two points in your room, including into any doorways. Repeat at another point in the room to ensure accurate measurements.
- Add 10cm (0.1m) to your length and width measurements for accurate fitting with a good finish.
- To find the total carpet you will need to purchase to cover the floor of a square or rectangular room, complete the following sum:
LENGTH x WIDTH = TOTAL CARPET
Use a calculator for complete accuracy – if you have a smart phone, you can use the application on your phone.
Irregular shaped rooms
When learning how to measure a room for carpet, irregular shaped rooms are a little more difficult. Irregular shaped rooms are rooms with alcoves, windows, recesses or doors that change the shape of the room. These different features must be considered when measuring the room.
- Draw a rough outline of your room including any doors, windows, recesses and alcoves.
- Name one pair of walls length and the other width.
- Measure the length and width. When measuring the length and width, check at two different points to ensure your measurements are accurate. TOP TIP: To find that longest measurement, make sure you measure all the way into alcoves, recesses and windows.
- For additional accuracy, measure every wall in the room – this ensures you have every measurement you will need.
- Add a minimum of 10cm onto the length and width measurements you’ve taken to ensure accurate fitting with a neat finish. Consider adding a little more if you feel this will be a tight fit
- To find the total carpet that you will need to cover an irregular shaped room, complete this sum:
LONGEST LENGTH x LONGEST WIDTH = TOTAL CARPET
Use a calculator for complete accuracy – you can even use the calculator app on your smart phone.
- Remember that for any joins the carpet needs, you can use the ‘waste’ from installing the rest of the carpet in the room.
Halls, Stairs and Landings.
As a general rule, halls, stairs and landings have their carpet fitted together. For help on what kind product you should be looking to cover these areas with, have a read of our everything you need to know about hallway carpets guide.
Halls, stairs and landings present the biggest challenge when learning how to measure a room for carpet.
Measuring halls is very straightforward – it’s the easiest place to start when learning how to measure these areas.
You can follow the steps for measuring square or rectangular rooms in order to measure your hall. The only difference is you’ll also need to consider the position of the door and the stairs and mark them both (D for door, X for the stairs).
TOP TIP: A 2m x 4m carpet will fit most straight staircases.
1) Your stair carpet has three different measurements to consider: tread (depth), riser (height) and width.
To start finding the total amount of carpet you require:
2) First, measure your tread and riser. ADD these two numbers together to find the LENGTH of a step.
3) Then, measure from left to right to find the WIDTH – this will usually be the same for every step.
4) For complete peace of mind and accuracy, repeat this step for as many steps as there are on your staircase.
5) To find the total length required, either:
A) For staircases with STEPS THAT ARE ALL THE SAME LENGTH: MULTIPLY the length of ONE STEP by the TOTAL NUMBER OF STEPS.
B) For staircases with DIFFERENT STEP LENGTHS: ADD all the individual lengths together.
6) Then, to find the TOTAL AMOUNT OF CARPET REQUIRED FOR YOUR STAIRS: MULTIPLY your TOTAL LENGTH by your WIDTH.
TOP TIP: Use a grid to keep track of how many stairs you need to measure and how many you have worked out the area for. In this example, there are 12 empty squares on the grid for the 12 steps that would need a measurement.
(If your staircase has a bend or mid-landing anywhere, measure this width as your carpet will need to be this wide in order to fit).
When measuring a landing, you’ll need to combine the two methods you have learned for measuring halls and stairs.
1) As with measuring a hall, start by drawing a rough outline of your room, marking on the grid the location of any doorways and the stairs (X).
2) Label one pair of walls length and the other width.
3) Measure your walls length and width - check at two different points to ensure accurate measurements. ADD a minimum 10cm (0.1m) to these measurements for accurate fitting.
4) Measure down onto the riser (height) of your top step where it meets the landing. This is because your landing and top step riser are installed in one piece of carpet to hide the join.
5) To find the TOTAL AMOUNT OF CARPET REQUIRED FOR YOUR LANDING: MULTIPLY THE LENGTH by the WIDTH and ADD THE HEIGHT OF YOUR TOP STEP’S RISER.
Back to start
Buying from us
We only sell 4m and 5m width carpets If your room is more than 5m on the shortest edge then you will need a join in your carpet.
All carpets on our site are price by the m2 (square metre). To calculate how much your carpet will cost, simply multiple or times the amount of carpet you want (in m2) buy the m2 price. So, for example, a 4x4 carpet priced like at £9.99m2 - like Blissful Twist - will cost in total £159.84.
We also offer a free measure and estimate service so don’t worry if you don’t want to measure your room or you can’t follow our guide or you just want some help, we can come to your home, measure up and give you a no obligation quote there and then. Click here to book a free measure and estimate.
Looking for more about us? Check out our Instagram at @unitedcarpetsandbeds for our latest products and home transformations. Inspired to get fitting your own carpet you’ve bought from us? Don’t forget to use #UnitingHomes when sharing the end results with your friends!