# How To Calculate Square Footage of Flooring

Apart from the wallpaper, one of the easiest ways to change the appearance of a room is by changing the flooring. Before purchasing flooring, however, you should have an idea of how many square feet of tiling or linoleum you will use to cover the floor. For some people, purchasing the tiles is a matter of guess work, but you can calculate the square footage accurately through these easy steps.

Basic shapes. For basic shapes such as rectangle and triangles, you need to take a tape measure and use it to find the length of the two parallel sides of the shape. Label these and jot them down in a notebook. Once the measurements are done, you can multiply the two values together, which will give you the square footage for the basic shaped area.

Triangles. Triangles are becoming a popular shape for rooms, because it adds to the design and is a great fit in urban landscapes where space is scarce. To calculate for the square footage of a room that is triangular in shape, you should take the measurement of the triangle’s base, assuming that the triangle is normal, and has a base and two sides that are equal in length and which have the same angles. Once you have the measurement for the base, get the height for the rectangle, which is the length from the tip of the triangle to the bottom or base of the triangle. Multiply these two values together, before dividing them in half. This should provide you with the square footage of the triangle.

Complex shapes. If you are building a house that has complex shapes, a great way to get the square footage for the floor is by dividing the segments or sections of the house according to the most convenient shapes, and then adding the computed square footages together. For instance, if you have a room that is rectangular in shape but which has a jutting triangular balcony, you can get the square footage by first computing for the square area, and then for the triangular area. Add these together, and you will have the square footage for the room, even if it has a complex shape. Be sure, however, that the measurements are accurate, so that you will be able to purchase just enough materials.

Buying materials. When it comes to buying the materials for the flooring, you should always allot five to ten more percent of the original computed value. This will give you a safe buffer zone where you can fall on in case the measurements are a bit off. You can do this by multiplying the value by 1.05. This means that if the square footage is 50 square feet, you should purchase 52.5 square feet of flooring material.

Also, keep in mind that the design of the tiles will determine whether you need to increase your buffer zone from five to even fifteen percent. Generally, tiles with complex designs will need extra tiles that will allow you to work out the edges of the flooring.