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A guide to measuring floors

Measuring floors is easy if you have a rectangular room but, even if your room is irregular, there are ways to get the job done without tearing your hair out. The tools you will need are basic ones – a pencil and paper, and a tape measure. For accuracy, it helps if you can find someone to assist you by holding the tape measure in place while you read the measurements.

In the case of rectangular or square rooms, calculating the floor area is just a simple matter of measuring the length and width before multiplying the two figures together. A room that measures 10m long by 8m wide would thus have a floor area of 10 x 8 or 80 square metres.

After measuring the floor area, you will also need to add a certain percentage to account for wastage, which is a little extra to allow for mistakes and irregularities. It is generally recommended that this should be at least five percent of the total area.

If you have a room that has an odd shape, you should draw the outline on paper and divide it up into simpler rectangles or squares, which you can identify clearly and measure separately before adding the results together to find the total floor area.

It is generally best to take your measurements in metres, as these are the units that are most often used by suppliers of floor coverings. Don’t forget to take alcoves, fireplaces and other features into account when measuring, and take the tape measure right up inside door frames because your flooring will need to extend that far.

As carpets come in fixed widths, you will have to take that into consideration if you plan to order this type of flooring. Carpets with patterns will also need to be laid so that the design is always flowing in the same direction, so you should also bear that in mind.

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