Measuring a room might not seem too complicated, but measuring for a specific purpose or getting exact measurements can sometimes be a bit of a challenge.
Learning how to measure for different purposes can help you when it comes to home renovations, moving, or purchasing new items.
How to Calculate the Square Footage of a Room
If a room is an even square or rectangle shape, calculating the square footage of that room isn’t too tricky.
First, measure the width of the room. Then, measure the length of the room. Multiply these two measurements together to find the square footage of the room. For example, if the room is 8 feet wide and 11 feet long, the room is 88 square feet.
Square feet = L x W
If the room isn’t a perfect square or rectangle but instead has an alcove or additional areas, you’ll need to find the square footage of each area and add them together.
For example, say the 88 square foot room from the example above also has an alcove area.
The width of the alcove is 5 feet, and the length is 6 feet, giving the alcove area a square footage of 30 feet. To find the total square foot size of the room, you only need to add 30 and 88 to get 118.
If your room has alcoves or walls with different lengths, you may need to break the room up into three or more areas and find the square footage of each area before finding the total square foot measurement of the room.
How to Measure a Room for Flooring
To measure for flooring, begin by measuring to find out how many square feet the room is.
Once you know how many square feet your room is, you can pick out your flooring.
Each box of flooring, whether it’s laminate flooring, wood, or tile, will tell you how many square feet it covers.
You can use that number to determine how much flooring to purchase by dividing the square foot size of the room by the number of square feet one box of flooring covers.
For example, if your room is 100 square feet and the tile you’ve chosen covers 20 square feet per box, you’ll need five boxes of tile to completely cover the floor.
If you want to install carpet, the carpet will need to be cut to the precise measurements of the room.
Provide the overall square footage as well as the measurements of each wall to have the carpet cut correctly.
How to Measure a Room for Furniture
If you want to add new furniture to your room, there are some extra steps you can take to ensure that everything fits.
First, measure the door into the room. You’ll need to choose furniture that can fit through the door without damage.
You may also want to measure any doors or hallways from the home’s entry to the room where the new furniture will go.
In addition to measuring the length and width of the room, which helps to ensure that the furniture pieces will not only fit but can be easily maneuvered and turned once they’re in the room, you’ll also want to measure how tall the walls are.
This tells you how tall your furniture can be without bumping.
If there are windows in the room and you want to put furniture near or below them, measure the space from each side of the window to the nearest wall, as well as the space from the floor to the bottom of the window.
If you want to buy a 6-foot couch, for example, but the space along the wall from the adjacent wall to the window is only 5 feet, your new couch will cover part of the window.
Take into account and measure any fixtures such as radiators or fireplaces that might inhibit how big your furniture can be or how it can be maneuvered.
Laser Tape Measures vs. Regular Tape Measures
When you’re measuring a room, you can use either a laser measure or a standard tape measure.
Standard tape measures tend to be much less expensive than laser measures.
Laser tape measures, however, are often more accurate than standard tape measures.
They can measure up to 50 feet, and because they only need to be aimed at the nearest wall, they make quick work of taking any measurements.
Many laser measuring tools will also quickly calculate area or volume based on the measurements taken.
Smartphone Measuring Apps
Using a measuring app on your smartphone can also make measuring simpler and faster.
These apps aren’t as accurate as even a standard tape measure, but they can give rough ideas about the size of a space, and they can often help to calculate area or other measurements that are handy for moving or renovating.
ImageMeter is an app that takes measurements of a room based on a picture of that room.
It will measure the length and height of walls, windows, and obstructions such as radiators.
EasyMeasure works similarly but simply uses the phone’s camera in real-time to take measurements.
The Measure app, on the other hand, uses the phone’s camera and augmented reality to measure items and rooms.