Carpet Calculator and Price Estimator
To estimate carpeting quantity and cost, enter the dimensions of the area you want to cover. Optionally, estimate the cost of the carpet and padding you would like to use by adding the price.
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How to Estimate Carpeting
Installing beautiful new carpet can add value and comfort to your home. Carpet comes in many types and varying levels of quality with prices that reflect each.
It can represent a significant dollar investment and can also be challenging for DIYers to install themselves. But compared to other flooring options, carpet adds an exquisite warmth and sound-cushioning to your rooms that can’t be beat.
But, when planning a new flooring project, you might be wondering how much carpet you need. Stay tuned, we’ll show you how to estimate carpeting for your flooring project.
Measure the Room
The first step is to know how large of an area you want to cover. Since most manufacturers sell carpet by the square foot, use feet when measuring your room lengths and widths.
If you have the measurements in some other units, use our length calculators to convert. After measuring the dimensions in feet you’ll calculate the total area in square feet.
With carpet, it is especially important to measure accurately. Measure wall to wall, not baseboard to baseboard, and always measure the widest parts of the room.
If the floor plan is complex or there’re multiple rooms, break it up into smaller, regularly shaped sections. Then in the next step you can add the amount of carpet needed for each section together.
Visit our tutorial on how to measure irregular rooms to learn more.
Calculate Carpet and Padding Needed
Plug the total lengths and widths into the calculator above. The calculator gives you the quantity of carpet and pad required in square feet and square yards.
To do this calculation yourself, multiply the floor width by length in feet to get the square footage. If you measured multiple sections, do this for each one, then add the square footages together to get the total square footage.
Of course, you can always use our square footage calculator to calculate this too.
Multiply the result by 1.1 to add 10% additional material for cuts. Use the result to estimate your cost by multiplying it by the carpet and padding cost per square foot.
If your material price is in square yards, divide by 9 to get square foot.
For example, let’s estimate flooring for a living room that is 12′ x 15′. You want to use carpeting that costs $54/sq. yd. and padding that costs 50 cents a sq. ft.
Step one: find the total square footage to order:
12′ × 15′ × 1.1 (10% extra) = 198 sq. ft.
Step two: calculate costs:
- Carpet: $54 sq. yd. ÷ 9 = $6 sq. ft.
198 sq. ft. × $6 = $1,188
- Padding: 198 sq. ft. × $0.50 = $99
- Total material cost: $1,188 + $99 = $1,287
Some retailers and manufacturers sell carpet by the square yard. In that case you’ll want to calculate the room area in square feet first, then convert to square yards. Or just use our square yards calculator to estimate the area of your room.
How Much (More) Carpet Do I Need?
Unlike some other flooring materials, carpet comes in standard widths. The most common size is 12′ widths, but occasionally you can find widths of 13′ 6″ and 15′.
Usually, you must buy the entire width for as long a length as you need, no matter your room size. This must be taken into consideration when determining how much to buy. It is especially important when your room is wider than 12′.
Pattern and Nap in Different Directions
This example will show how to estimate carpet when the nap can be installed in a different direction. The is often not desirable and results in an unprofessional look, depending on the material used.
For example, if your room is 14′ x 14′, that is 196 sq. ft. However, 12′ wide material will not cover the entire width. So, you will need to add extra length to get sufficient carpet for the extra width.
Since the flooring is only 12’ wide, you will need two 2′-wide sections to fill in.
So, you will need:
- One 12′ x 14′ piece
- Two 2′ x 12′ pieces
So, you need to add another 4′ of length to have enough. This makes your material requirement 12′ x 18′ = 216 sq. ft.
Pattern and Nap in the Same Direction
If you want the nap to run in the same direction or if the selected carpet has a pattern that you need to align at the seem, you would need TWO 12′ wide x 14′ long sections (336 sq. ft.) to cover a 14′ x 14′ room, nearly doubling the material you need to buy.
Of course, you’d have a 10′ x 14′ section remaining. This example shows that the style and pattern flooring can change the amount you need to order, and that waste can vary from 10% to 90%, depending on the room and carpet style.
Of course, this amount also depends on where the doorways are and how many seams you want. There are other factors as well. To lay carpet properly, there must be extra around the edges.
You also need to plan on matching patterns and direction of the nap for a professional look. Seam placement is important too. Carpet seams should not be installed perpendicular to doorways or located in high traffic areas.
All this adds up to another 10% or more material needed. Ask your carpet supplier for help determining your needs.
How to Estimate Costs
Besides the carpet itself, nearly all carpets require padding underneath. Padding is sold in the same manner as carpet but is much less expensive. Padding ranges from 10 cents to 60 cents per sq. ft.
Costs for carpet can vary widely from $1/sq. ft. for apartment-grade material to over $10 per sq. ft. for luxury natural materials. To help you estimate your cost, you can optionally enter the cost of the carpet and/or the padding you want into the calculator above.
This will give you an estimate of material costs for your project. For budgeting purposes, you can add 50 cents per sq. ft. to cover labor costs.
If you are installing your own carpet, you will need other materials (floor tape and tackless strip) and specialized tools (e.g., knee-kicker, power stretcher, and binder bars) as well. Usually, you can rent the necessary equipment.
However, most people pay professionals to install their flooring since it’s a skilled job that usually takes professionals less than a day to do.
You can find experienced carpet installers in your area here who will come to your house to discuss your project and provide you with free estimates. And soon, you will be on your way to enjoying your new floors!
Consult our carpet cost calculator and price guide to learn more about estimating the cost of flooring.