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March 28, 2022

How to Find Square Footage – Step-by-Step Tutorial


So you’re thinking of replacing your flooring and everywhere you look is quoting flooring in a “per square foot” price. The trick is that REALLY nice tile is just a buck more per square foot. That can’t be that much more right? Well, naturally the next question is: How many square feet do I have in my house? How do I figure this out? How do I find the square footage of a room? And once you have that figured out, how many square feet of tile or other flooring should I buy?

Fear not fellow human, we have the answers.

The short answer is that it’s the length times the breadth of the room. So if your room is 12 feet in width and 11 feet in breadth (or width) then 12×11 = 132 square feet. But we all know that few rooms are exactly square, and there may be sections where you have stairs, or perhaps a garage or some other surface you don’t want to replace the flooring on, how do you account for that? Let’s consider an example.

In the attached example, we have a “first floor” of a home that we want to tile. An addition that we want to put hardwood flooring in and a single car attached garage that we don’t want any new flooring in.

Step 1: Draw Up Your Floor Plan

Use a notebook, or a piece of printer paper, or a napkin, it really doesn’t matter, you’re not trying to draw this to scale, just get the basic layout of your home. Visualizing your space will help a tremendous amount in determining your square footage.

Step 2: Get Your Outside Dimensions

how-to-determine-square-footageMeasure your walls along the outer edge of each room. As in the illustration, write down your measurements as accurately as possible. In most cases it’s okay to round up to the nearest inch or even round UP to the nearest foot. Our illustration has this in easy feat measurements, but you can convert inches into a percentage of a foot. For example: 5’ 4” (five feet four inches) would convert to 5.33. Why “.33”? Because feet are made up of 12 inches. So 4” is 1/3rd of a foot, or “0.33”.

Step 3: Check For Accuracy

Note in the attached example we have differing wall lengths, but both examples equal 40’ in width or breadth (20ft +20ft = 40ft; and 28ft +12ft = 40ft). Ensuring your dimensions falls under the “measure twice cut once” philosophy of doing it right the first time.

Step 4: Total Up Square Footages

Now it’s time to multiply our lengths and breadths. For our first floor area we multiply 25ft X 40ft = 1,000 Sq ft. For our attached Garage we multiply 20ft X 12ft = 240 Sq ft. For our addition we multiply 15ft X 20ft = 300 Sq ft.

Step 5: Add, Subtract, Total Up

Let’s first determine what our total floor space on the first floor is:

Add the 1,000 Sq ft of the main floor area. But this currently INCLUDES the 240 Sq ft of the garage area, so we must subtract that. This leaves us with 740 Sq ft. Now we can add the 300 Sq ft of the addition to find that our total flooring area is 1,060 Sq ft.

Next we can get our totals for the two different types of flooring we want to purchase:

Our “Addition” space is easy as we already know we want 300 Sq ft of hardwood for this space, but how much tile should we order? Deduct the 300 Sq ft from the total 1,060 Sq ft and you’ll see you have 760 Sq ft of space to tile. This is how much finished product you’re looking for.

Remember when ordering tile to order 10% extra for loss around the edges and breakage. So for our example above we would: 760 Sq ft X 0.10 = 76 Sq ft extra. Then add the two together: 760 Sq ft + 76 Sq ft = 836 Sq ft of tile necessary.

If this is sounding just a little too complicated, not a problem. We always do free estimates and we can get you your exact square footage for tile ordering ahead of time. Be sure to read our article on choosing the right tile also. We can help you make a wise choice in finish, texture, colour and size as well. If you’re in Victoria and you have a tile question, give us a shout we can help.