Before installing carpet in your home, it is necessary to measure your rooms and determine the total amount of carpeting that you will have to buy to do the job. Some people are afraid to do the measuring themselves because they fear that they will measure incorrectly and then buy either too much carpet for the job at hand or not enough to complete their project. Yet measuring for carpet is not a difficult process as long as you follow a few simple steps.
The first thing is to draw a diagram of the rooms that you will be carpeting. It does not have to be to scale, but the measurements that you will be recording must be accurate. Knowing the specific measurements for each room will help you buy the right amount of each carpet color if you decide to install different colors throughout your home. If using the same color of carpet in every room, the diagram is not necessary because all you will need is a total amount of square feet or yardage when you go to the carpet store.
Next, measure the length and width of each room in feet, and round up to the nearest half-foot. For example, if a room is 10 feet 3 inches long by 11 feet wide, record the measurement as 10.5 feet by 11 feet. Repeat this process for each of the carpet rooms.
Group your measurements according to color or style and then multiply each individual rooms measurement (length x width) to get the total amount of carpet needed for each room. Add these totals together and you will get a grand total of the amount of carpet you will need in each color. Most carpet experts will recommend that you add about ten percent to the grand total in order to account for any mistakes that will be made in the measuring and installation process. This extra also comes in handy when it comes time to join carpet together at the seams. Should you need to purchase your carpet in yards, divide the square footage by nine to get the square-yard measurement.
In addition to measuring normal rooms for the installation of carpeting, it may also be necessary to measure carpet to fit the stairs in your home. This process is also relatively easy. First, you will measure the fell of the step; the part of the stair you step onto when using the stairs. Measure in inches from the deepest part of the step to the tip; add to this the measurement of the stair backing from the point where the fell meets it to the top where the next step begins. Add two inches to this total and you will have the length measurement for your stair. Multiply this number by the total number of stairs that match this length measurement.
Note that you might have different stairs in your home with different fell and backing measurements, so you will need to repeat the entire process for each group of stairs that differs from the first set you measure. Once the length of each group is determined, add them all together for a grand total.
Next, measure the width of the fell of the widest stair from wall to wall and add two inches. You only need to measure the widest stair in the home this time. Take this number and multiply it by the grand total of the stair lengths you have already determined and you will have the square feet total of carpet you will need to purchase in order to cover your stairs.
Have a friend or family member help with the measuring and be sure to measure each room and stair set twice. This will ensure accuracy in the measurements.
Carpet Buyers Handbook — guide for measuring carpet from an experienced carpet wholesaler
Carpet Calculator — interactive carpet measuring grid for your home
Carpeting Index — gives the basics of carpet measuring
Four Steps in Carpet Measuring — explains how to measure your home for carpeting in four easy steps
How to Carpet a Stairway — site with extensive details on carpeting a stairway, including the measurement of stairs for buying carpet
How to Measure for Carpet Installation — brief instructions on how to measure your rooms for carpeting installation
Planning a Hall, Stairs, and Landing — guide to help you measure and plan for carpeting these three areas
Stairs and Carpet Measuring — Guide to measuring carpet for your stairs