A Guide to Measuring for Carpet

You need to know how to measure a room for carpeting before buying and installing it. The measurements provide a blueprint for wall-to-wall carpeting, whether you have a round or rectangular living space. We’ll tell you everything you need to know for how to measure for carpet.

What You Need

  • A tape measure or laser distance measure
  • A calculator
  • Note-taking app
  • Graph paper and pencil (optional)

Step-by-Step Instructions


How to Measure the Room Length and Width

While you can measure square footage for carpet by yourself, it is easier when you have a helping hand. If you can, get someone to help you. If you go solo, consider buying a laser distance measure to ensure accuracy.

Place one end of the tape measure against the wall to find the length.

The tip should be flush with the side. Extend the tape measure until it reaches the opposite wall. Make sure you keep the tape as straight as possible.

A laser distance measure makes these calculations automatically. Write down the length after it takes the measurement. Repeat this process with the adjacent two walls in the room.

The process becomes more complicated if the room has an island or L shape. With irregular room shapes, compartmentalize the different sections. Measure the square footage of each half of the L shaped room first. Add these measurements together when you finish.

measuring for carpet

How to Measure Carpet for Doorways

Your room probably has a doorway, unless it connects to a staircase. Make sure to account for each door in the room. Extend the tape measure to the middle of each doorway when calculating width and length.

Add two to three inches to the dimensions of each room. For example, if your room is 30 feet by 30 feet, the addition makes it 30 feet and 3 inches by 30 feet and 3 inches. Those few extra inches ensure you only make one trip to the carpet store.

How to Measure Carpet for Stairs

Measuring carpet for stairs uses many of the same methods as measuring carpet for doorways. However, make sure you measure around the ledge of the stairs to include their height. Hold the tape measure against the opposite wall or doorway. Wrap it around until the tape hits the step below.

Stairs require more consideration than a traditional room. The carpet shape, pattern, and size all influence your measurements. As a rule of thumb, you’ll need three to four inches of carpet to cover the width of each step and ensure it goes through the banisters and wraps around the outer edge of each step.

Determining Square Footage

Multiply your width and length once you have all your measurements. This total represents your square footage. For instance, a room 30 feet wide and 30 feet long equals 900 square feet or 100 square yards.

Contacting Remnant King Carpets

The professionals at Remnant King Carpets can help if you have a nontraditional or complex floorplan. With our help, you can get the carpeting you need and excellent service when you install carpet in your home. Call us today.