How To Measure a Floor in Square Feet

Measuring the floor is an essential part of home ownership, especially if you are trying to sell your house. It is important to know the square footage so that you will determine the market value and therefore the price of the house. It also helps to measure the floor if you want to add improvements, like a carpet, tiles or landscape gardening, and the like.

Measuring a floor should be straightforward enough for any homeowner or builder. You will usually need floor measurements when you are buying furniture or carpets, or when you need to change or install flooring. Furniture looks best when the size is proportional to the measurement of your living room, dining room, or den. The same goes with rugs—you don’t want to buy something that’s significantly larger than the room. As for installing flooring, most planks, tiles and boards will come in packages that you can combine to achieve a total square-footage.

What you need:

  • Steel tape measure
  • Pencil and piece of paper
  • A friend to help out
  • A calculator (optional)


Measure the dimensions

  • First, you will need to measure the length and the width of a room. If the room is rectangular, then it’s easy enough to measure the floor area. If it is irregularly shaped, then you will need to take the area of each rectangular portion, and add it all up. 
  • Get the length and the width of the room with the tape measure. The length is the longer of the two measurements, and the width is the shorter one. Extend the tape measure and attach the end to the wall, making sure it’s above the baseboard. Have a friend hold that end of the tape measure.
  • Pull the tape measure toward the other end of the room, making sure the whole length of the tape measure is taut. When you reach the opposite wall, bend the tape measure (it’s usually pliable) such that the edge of the cartridge is holding the tape measure against the wall, above the baseboard.
  • Write down this measurement. You have the option of recording it in feet + inches, or only in inches.
  • Take the measurements for the opposite dimension using the same technique. For example, if you first took the length, now take the width.


Compute for the area 

  • To get the area in terms of square feet, you will need to convert everything first into inches. Multiply any footage of your measurement by 12 (because one foot is equal to twelve inches), and add any remaining inches.
  • For example, if the length of the room is 20 feet and 4 inches, your length in inches would be 20 x 12 + 4, or 244 inches.
  • Let’s assume the width to be 12 feet and 4 inches. That would be 12 x 12 + 4, or 148 inches.
  • Now, multiply the two values to get the area in square inches. 244 x 148 is equal to 36,112 square inches.
  • Divide this figure by 144 (which is 12 x 12) to get the area in square feet. 36,112 / 144 is equal to 250.78 square feet.


Other methods


  • Some people would measure directly in square inches, and will multiply the area from there, and simply divide by 144 to arrive at the area in square feet. Some would use a simpler method, though, which is rounding the area up or down, if the measurement is close to the nearest foot.
  • For example, if the room’s width is 20 feet and 1 inch, you can consider this as 20 feet. If the width is 11 feet and 11 inches, you can round this up to 12 feet. Multiplying 20 x 12, you will get 240 square feet. This measurement is not exact, but is close to the actual area.
  • If you are measuring a room that is irregularly shaped, simply measure the square footage  of each rectangular portion, and add these up. If the room is triangular, the formula is Width x Height divided by two. If the room is circular, the formula for the floor area is the square of the Radius x 3.14 (which is “Pi”).


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