But it’s not that intimidating to figure out what a square foot is. There’s a simple formula you can use, even if you’re no math wiz:
length x width = square footage
If that still looks like another language to you, here’s how you can do it yourself:
- Get a measuring tape and measure the width of the room from wall to wall at the widest part. Write that number down.
- Now measure the length from the longest part, wall to wall. Write it down.
- Multiply the two numbers together, and there’s your square footage!
But here’s the tricky part. If the room is an odd shape, you can divide it into squares or rectangles, and measure the length and width of those individually, multiplying the length and width of each of them just like you would a whole room. Then, add up the results. It’s sort of like creating a bunch of mini rooms to equal your whole room.
So, let’s say you divided the odd-shaped room into four “mini rooms,” and they measured 150 square feet, 100 square feet, 50 square feet, and 25 square feet. In the end, you’d add those together to see that your room is 325 square feet.
And, here’s a pro tip: Get more carpet than you measured (especially if it’s patterned carpet), just in case your calculations were off. If you end up with leftover carpet, you can use it to kneel on when gardening, inside a closet, or under heavy furniture for moving—there are actually a ton of uses for old carpet. The point is: Better to be safe than sorry.