Omaha 11010 Emmet St 402-614-6666
Lincoln 4301 Industrial Ave 402-467-6363
Sioux Falls 4001 W. 34th Street 605-271-6636
FREE Consultation
Carpet Land

How Do You Measure a Room for New Carpet?

Carpets are manufactured to be square, however, rooms are seldom square. Carpets also come in industry sizes the most common being 12 feet wide, although wider can be found. More often than not, a carpet will have to be joined, and this seam-placement is important. Carpets also need to be cut and shaped to fit around fixtures, depending on the room in question. These factors need to be accounted for when measuring for carpet. In this article, we will give you some tips on how to measure a room before shopping for carpet.

How Do You Measure a Room for New Carpet?

The main goal of the tips below is to help give you a guide for an online or over-the-phone, ad hoc quote. Having a good idea of the room size will put you in a good position before the professionals arrive to measure up. Speaking of professionals – it is their responsibility to measure before installing. Carpet Land’s measure team will help answer any additional questions you have regarding the carpet layout or installation while on site.

Step One: Draw the Room

If you don’t have a computer program, no problem – pen, and paper will do just as well. The trick is to have a long enough tape measure or a laser measure. First, you will want to draw an outline of the room. Outside the borders, indicate where the doors and windows are.

Step Two: Measure up

Because rooms are not square, each wall must be measured. Don’t be alarmed if opposite walls aren’t the same length as you can expect to find a difference of a couple of inches. Write down the length of the two measurements, and round up that measurement to the nearest half-foot. You will want to have slightly more, rather than slightly too little carpeting.

When writing the measurements down, label with Length and Width, the length being the longer side. This is important if your new carpet is going to have a pattern for directional purposes.

Step Three: Calculate

The goal here is to calculate the square feet of carpet required. Using the rounded up, longer measurements, multiply Length x Width. If you are going to carpet more than one room, add up the total for all the rooms and areas. For example:

Family Room – 27.5ft x 13.0ft = 357.50 square feet

Dining Room – 26.5ft x 15.5ft = 410.75 square feet

Hallway – 17.0ft x 4.5ft = 76.50 square feet

Total = 844.75 square feet.

Step Four: Seam Allowance

Extra total square footage needs to be added in order to make allowance for seams. Additional yardage may be required to seam up the carpet properly, especially to place seams in ideal spots.
**Carpet is usually 12 feet wide, planning for proper seam placement does not always align with average square footage. Additional carpet may be recommended**

The rule of thumb would be to add on an extra 5%. Using the total from the example above:

844.75sft x 5% = 42.24sft

Total Requirement: 844.85sft + 42.24sqt = 887.09 square feet (887.10)

Tip: Calculate the square yardage by dividing the total by 9: 887.10 / 9 = 98.57 square yards.

Patterned Carpets

If the intention is to put down a carpet with a pattern, it is better to invite the professionals in to measure. This is especially true if your room is wider than 12ft. An extra length of carpet will be required that will have to line up with the pattern. This may not be a straightforward calculation due to the repeat along with seam placement.


This calculation is almost more complicated as the risers need to be taken into account. If you want to carpet your staircase, call in a professional to watch and learn from for next time.

Additional Reading: Average Cost to Install Carpet Per Square Foot

Carpet Land Omaha, Lincoln & Sioux Falls | Best Prices on Carpets, Flooring & More

We make shopping for tile in Omaha, Lincoln and Sioux Falls easy! Take advantage of our FREE estimates and consultations today. Our incredible buying power at Carpet Land allows us to deliver the lowest flooring product prices in town, so shift your focus to finding the perfect flooring for your home. We look forward to working with you. Contact us for your FREE Estimate TODAY.

You can also click here for our Flooring Buying Guide.