Completing a DIY project, no matter the task, will leave you feeling accomplished and overflowing with pride at the end results, especially if they turned out successful. Compared to other floorings, engineered hardwood planks offer one of the simplest installations to DIY. Their lightweight, durable properties and lipped edges, paired with the right prep, make the installation process beginner-friendly. However, like with most DIYs, the mathematics required create hurdles and challenges for most people.
Calculating the square footage of your space determines the number of planks needed to fill the room successfully. Any miscalculations lead to future potential issues like supply shortages. Here are some tips on how to accurately calculate square footage for your new flooring.
Square Footage Formula
Square footage refers to the total surface area of a flat shape, measured in feet. Calculating the total area includes multiplying your room's width and length together . For a simple, open, square, or rectangular-shaped room layout, measure out the distance of the wall constituting the room's width and the distance of the wall that makes the room's length using measuring tape. Then multiply the two measurements by one another. The total number is the total of your room's surface area. Depending on the type of measurement scale you use, you may need to make some adjustments to gain a more accurate square footage reading. If you measured the wall's lengths in inches, divide the multiplied total by 144 to convert the inches into feet
If the width of your room is 36 inches and the length is 72 inches, multiplied together, you get 2,592 square inches. To convert into feet, divide the 2,592 square inches by 144. The total square footage of your room is then 18 square feet.
To obtain the most accurate room calculation and match up with your new floors, make sure to use or convert your measurements into the same unit scale used for the wood plank measurements. Also, try to measure as concisely as possible instead of just rounding up or estimating numbers. The more precise the measurements, the fewer the risks.
Floor plans that diverge from the typical single square room layout add a little more challenge to counting the room's square footage. When sectioning the space into different sections, try to make as many squares and rectangles as possible. Dividing the room into whole different shapes breaks down the floor plan and makes measuring and finding widths and lengths easier. Once you've collected all the individual square footage of each sectioned area, add them together for the room's total.
Other Shaped Spaces
As lovely as it would be if every single space consisted of equal, square, or rectangular shapes, that's not always the case. Many floor plans feature awkward corners or obstructions from cabinets, islands, poles, pillars, and in-floor ventilation systems. Some floor plans, like those for gazebos, consist of a circular-shaped surface area.
There are different methods of calculating triangular square footage, depending on the type of triangle available. The easiest way to calculate the area total of a triangle is to use the same formula as calculating the square footage of square or rectangular spaces. Using the two edges opposite the diagonal line (the hypotenuse), measure the height and base of the corner. Then multiply the two distances and divide by 144. Finally, divide the total again by half to obtain the total square footage of the triangular corner.
For a triangular corner with a height of 50 inches and a base of 15 inches, following the general formula for calculating square footage, you calculate a total of around 3 square feet. Divided by 2, the square footage for the triangular corner becomes around 1 ½ feet.
Circular Floor Plans
For circular floor plans, use the formula: Pi (π) multiplied by the radius squared (A = π r²). Find the center of the circle and measure the distance between the center to the edge. The distance between the center to a circular edge gives you the radius. Then square that length (multiply by itself) and multiply again by π to get the total square footage of a circular space. Again, don't forget to convert inches into feet. For semicircles, divide the total of your circular square footage in half.
If you calculated a radius of 12 inches in your room, that total squared is 144 inches. To get the total area of the circular space, you multiply the total 144 by π, leaving you with an overall area calculation of around 542 square feet.
Some square shapes in a floor plan get cut a corner short. In these cases, counting the surface as a whole square works best. Instead of trying to complicate the measurements further, treating pentagonal or slightly cut-off shapes as squares or rectangles ensures your supply of wood planks runs on the larger total count. Erring toward higher total square footage minimizes the risks of wood plank shortages during installation.
It's common to make mistakes and run into errors in a DIY project, especially if it's your first go at it. Many types of errors can occur during the installation process, from miscalculation errors to cutting mistakes and plank damage. Adding an extra 5 to 15 percent of space onto the calculated total square footage minimizes the risk of running out of supplies. The more planks you have set aside as spare, the better.
Before installing any type of flooring, proper prep work plays an essential role in the installation process. Prepping for new floors includes leveling the groundwork, preinstalling underlayments or insulations, acclimating wood planks, and collecting measurements. Accurately calculating the square footage for your new floors requires some tedious work for some people. Homes with irregular floor plans and layouts create extra steps in the calculating process.
The various sections and shapes to measure increase the possibilities for errors. However, like with any tedious or difficult task, taking your time and finding a method that works best for you leads you down the path to better success. With the right and precise measurements, you can install your new natural red oak hardwood flooring with ease and minimal mishaps.