How To Measure Your Room For Wood Flooring

tape measure on wood floorboards

How do you calculate the correct amount of timber required for your wood flooring?  This need not be a difficult process if you follow a few easy guidelines. These days most floors are sold by the square metre so it is best to measure the room in metric.  Equipped with pencil, paper, calculator and metal measuring tape you are ready to start.

Let’s begin with a room that is a fairly straight forward  ie. rectangular in shape. Begin by measuring the width of the room, followed by the length.  Next multiply the two together to give you total square meterage. (Remember to measure right into any doorways.)


Width 3.75 meters x Length 4.25 meters = 15.93 Square Metres.

It is generally expected to allow an extra 10% on top for any wastage.  Add this to the total amount.

I.e  wastage @ 10% 15.93. x 10% = 1.59

Giving an overall total of 17.52 Square Metres

For an L-shaped room, divide the room up into rectangular areas and measure the width and lengths independently.  Add the two totals together plus the 10%

Apply the same method when measuring most spaces.   Dividing the room into sections and adding the totals together. However you may need to make allowances for fire places and alcoves.  Where walls are slightly curved measure at the widest point.

This simplistic method can be followed as a general room of thumb.  However, do remember that wood is a natural product.  When fitting, boards will need to be cut especially to fit the room.  This sometimes requires cutting a board in particular way (perhaps on an angle) preventing using the remainder of the board. 

Consider carefully the species and grade of timber.  Our oak solid and engineered oak flooring is available in four grades.  A rustic grade includes boards exhibiting knots and heavy grain patterns (Rustic Oak).  Character grade has occasional small knots and cats paws marking and varying colour tones. Pippy Oak characteristics are wildly varying movement in the grain with small pippy markings.   First Grade is a straight with a clean grain.  

All species and grades will have knots, grain patterns and character across the boards. There are various species available containing differing amounts of ‘character’.  Ash and sycamore offer a very clean, light contemporary look.   Whereas oak and elm is more honey toned and achieves a floor full of character with swirling grain patterns   (dependant on the grade.) Enhancing the natural features of the boards by placing them in areas where they will be seen shows the full beauty of a wood floor.

This blog is intended as a general guide.   If unsure we always recommend contacting a professional flooring fitter who is qualified to assess your exact requirements.

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About the author

Ben Sutton has established himself as independent hardwood timber merchant and supplier with a solid reputation built up over the last 20 years. He is committed to providing a bespoke and professional service to his clients at all times, whilst maintaining the highest quality product. Follow Ben on LinkedIn.