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    floor area

    However you may decide to floor your designated living space you need to first calculate how much surface area of the floor you are working with. This applies both to a brand new flooring project or a re- décor replacement project. When you lay wood or any of the other myriads of faux-wood options, or even if you are laying down carpets, it does not make sense to start your project without a clear idea of the extent of area you will be working on. 

    One of the primary reasons is to correctly estimate the amount of material and labour you will be investing in, at the very start of the project.As any high school student can tell, the area of a basic rectangular or square room is derived as a product of its length and width. A room may not always have a perfectly rectangular perimeter. Inward deductions from free-standing columns or outward additions of extra areas from bay windows or small verandahs or small balconies can alter the simple length by breadth formula with additions and/or subtractions. But once you establish the area of flooring to be worked on, you can plan and strategize the budget, logistics and designing of your flooring project.

    Advance the Project in 3 Stages

    Stage 1 - Divide The Room into Rectangles

    Map out the Project Floor Area

    Scan the entire area of the floor that needs to be worked on. This is commonly done by appraising how much surface area in the room can carpeted. But additions and subtractions have to be factored into the calculation of the final total area because of abutments or buttresses. The floor inside of closets too should be measured. Make a floor plan by sketching out the perimeter with deductions. Balconies floor area and bay window areas will need to be added to the total.

    Measure the length and width of the room

    Measure the length and breadth of the room and enter the measurements into the floor plan sketch. Mark areas that need to be deducted or added from/to the total area.

    Multiply to get the area

    The absence of abutments or bay windows or small balconies makes the area to be calculated simple by just multiplying the length by the breadth. Take the length and multiply it by the width to get the area of floor space in square units. For example, if one wall is 10 feet (3.0 m) and the other is 8 feet (2.4 m), multiply these two measurements to get a total floor space area of 80 feet (24 m) square. If there are any closets, obstructions, balconies or bay windows or angled areas in the room, you will add/subtract from the first total. For angled walls, extra calculations will yield the actual total amount of floor space.The calculator on your phone or an online calculator can help accurately calculate the required areas. If the room is a simple rectangular shape then just the initial multiplication of length by breadth will give you the figure you need.

    Stage 2 - Adjusting for Angles, Additions and Deductions

    Divide Non-Rectangular Rooms into Smaller Segments.

    When the room is not bound by a simple rectangle, you need to find the largest rectangle within its area. All the remaining floor area needs to be divided into as many rectangles as possible to get measurement of the whole area. First take the area of the biggest rectangle, then add the areas from the smaller segmented rectangles to finally calculate the total floor space area.

    For instance, imagine you have an “L” shaped room:
    The long part of the “L” is 14 feet (4.3 m) long and 8 feet (2.4 m) on one end and 12 feet (3.7 m) on the other. The other walls on the part of the “L” that sticks out are 6 feet (1.8 m) and 4 feet (1.2 m) long. 
    This means you can divide the room into two rectangles. One will be 14 feet (4.3 m) by 8 feet (2.4 m). The other will be 6 feet (1.8 m) by 4 feet (1.2 m).
    Calculating the area of each rectangle, then adding the sums together gives you a total floor- space of 136 feet (41 m) square.

    Add any extra floor space area

    When a bay window or balcony runs off the rectangular area of the room, calculate this separately, then add it to your total. If there is a 2 feet (0.61 m) by 3 feet (0.91 m) balcony off of your “L” shaped room for example, add its area of 6 feet (1.8 m) square to the main floor area to get a total of 142 feet (43 m) square.

    Account for any angular areas

    In your overall project plan you need to factor in extra material need for these irregular shaped areas. For instance: Imagine you have a bay window that juts out in a trapezoidal shape. The base of this trapezoid (an imaginary line going from one end of its widest point to the other) is 4 feet (1.2 m). The height of the trapezoid (the distance from the imaginary line of the base to the point where the wall starts under the window) is 0.5 feet (0.15 m). Multiply these measurements to get a hypothetical rectangle with an area of 2 feet (0.61 m) square. The sides of the trapezoid will angle inwards, making the actual area less than 2 feet (0.61 m) square. You’ll cut the flooring material to fit the trapezoid later, and discard the excess.

    Subtract the area of any obstructions on the floor

    Scan your floor-space area for intrusion into the basic rectangular shape. Features like a kitchen island, support beam, or floor vents that will not need to be covered by flooring, need to be separately measured for their surface area. Deduct the total area of these intrusions from the total area of floor-space to derive the required amount of floor-space area to be worked on.

    Stage 3 - Purchasing Enough Flooring

    Account for extra material

    Multiply the total floor-space area you calculated by 1.05 for a 5 percent surplus or 1.1 for a 10percent surplus of material. You buy ensure enough extra material to compensate for the extra area, loss from damage or unforeseen work.

    For instance, if the total floor space is 142 feet (43 m) square, a 5 percent increase would give you 149.1 feet (45.4 m) square. A 10 percent increase would give you 156.2 feet (47.6 m) square. Having extra material will make it convenient to do work that you decide upon during the process of flooring that was not planned for.

    Purchase your boxes of flooring

    By just counting the boxes of flooring you can calculate how much material you have for your project. Ensure there is enough to cover the measured and calculated area and then some to cover any unforeseen requirement. Divide the total area you want covered by the amount each box of flooring covers to find the number of boxes you need. Add or remove boxes as necessary.

    For instance, if each box of flooring covers 10 feet (3.0 m) square, and you have 149.1 feet
    (45.4 m) square to cover, you’ll need 15 boxes (149.1 divided by 10 is 14.91). So, it can be seen from the above facts that a floor-space covering project has to be initiated with accurate  measurements of the area to be worked on. Following the given steps makes the process methodical and organized, so that you will not encounter gross errors in the laying process or procurement of timber.

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