Many factors will determine how much extra flooring to buy. These factors range from the type of flooring that you are installing and its dimensions to the dimensions of the room and other factors. There is no flat rule of thumb that applies to all situations, so a closer look at the amount of extra floor to buy for various types of materials is helpful.
How Much Flooring Do I Need for Carpet and Vinyl
Carpet and vinyl flooring are uniquely sold in long rolls, so the material will need to be cut to accommodate corners and angles. It also will need to be seamed together if it is installed in a large room. If the material will be installed in different adjoining areas, such as in a bedroom and a closet, the materials for each area must be calculated separately. For example, if you are installing carpet in a room that is a 10-foot square and in a closet that is a 5-foot square, you must first determine how wide the carpet is. If the carpet roll is 10 feet wide, you will need 100 square feet of carpet for the bedroom plus 25 square feet for the closet. However, this is not 12.5 linear feet. Instead, you will need a full 5-foot length of carpet for the closet. Therefore, you will need a total of 15 linear feet from this particular roll. The extra carpet from the closet may be used in a smaller area, such as in a linen closet. However, you generally want to minimize the number of seams throughout the area.
Calculating Material for Hardwood and Laminate
Flooring materials that are sold in smaller components, such as hardwood and laminate planks, will also need to be cut to fit the dimensions of the space. You should start installing the material along a straight wall when possible. By doing so, you can minimize the number of cuts needed and maximize the use of the materials. Generally, however, you should purchase approximately 10 to 15 percent more material than the surface area measurement dictates. It is usually best to err on the side of caution and to purchase more of the material from the same run. You may be able to return unused cartons. Otherwise, you can keep the extra material on-hand for repairs in the future.
A professional flooring installer can help you to determine the right amount of flooring that is needed for your space. After you pick out your flooring, consult with an expert as needed to get a professional opinion about how much extra flooring to buy.