How to calculate square feet

To calculate an area in square feet, you will need measurements for the width and length (for a square shape) or the diameter (for a circular area). It may be that the area you're looking to measure is a strange shape (such as a room or garden). In this case, dividing it up into smaller parts and doing individual calculations is a good way to calculate the overall square footage.

Let's say you have a rectangular-shaped room and you want to calculate the square footage area for flooring or carpet. The easiest method for calculating the square footage is to measure the length and width in feet and then multiply the two figures together to give you a result in ft2. If you're measuring a room for flooring, take a look at our article on how to measure for a new floor.

Should you find yourself needing to calculate an area of square feet in an 'L' shape, consider dividing the shape up into rectangular sections and treating them as separate areas for calculation (adding them together at the end). For more instructions, see our full article: how to calculate square footage.

How to calculate square footage? 

It’s easy.  Follow these steps.

Measure the length in feet, Measure the width in feet. Multiply the length figure by the width figure.  This will be your total square footage for that portion of your project.  Continue to repeat this for all parts of the space that will get the same tile.   Add these together for your total square footage.

Measuring in inches works as well.  Do the math the same way, then divide by 144 to get your total in square feet. When calculating square footage account for the entire space (i.e. under vanity/cabinets).

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How do I figure out square feet from inches?

It might be the case that your room is not built to exact feet. In this case, you may want to calculate in inches instead. This can help you to be more accurate with your measurements. There are 12 inches in a foot. To convert your square footage measurement to inches, simply multiply your measurements by 12. To convert your square inches measurement to feet, divide by 12.

Calculating the sq ft
Calculating the sq ft

2. What is Net Square Feet?

Net Square Feet (“NSF”) is like gross square feet,

Net Square Feet (“NSF”) is like gross square feet, minus space that is inaccessible to people. In other words, NSF would include areas that people can walk into, like offices, classrooms, hallways, stairwells and closets. NSF would not include space that is taken up by walls, or mechanical chases that are closed off between walls or floors.

NSF is a great metric to use when determining circulation, capital planning for renovations and mechanical area locations. NSF isn’t readily available in most facilities and can be difficult and time consuming to collect. This usually turns facility managers away from assigning someone to measure it out. The introduction of space management software can help alleviate this issue and accomplish accurate measurements much faster.

How to Calculate Net Square Feet

Take your building’s gross square footage minus square footage of inaccessible spaces (like wall space and mechanical areas etc.) This metric equals your net square feet. You could also calculate net square feet by summing up the area of every room in your facility.

How to measure for bullnose?

Measure the length of any outside edge where your tile edge would be exposed or you want framed out.  Bullnose (also called trim pieces and decorative tiles) are typically sold by the piece. To figure the quantity you have to establish the length of the trim piece (i.e. 6″ bullnose, 8″ decorative liner), then the rule is:  Your total linear length divided by the length of each piece equals your quantity needed.  

Calculate the square footage of a room with closets

Some closets are built into the shape of the room. If there are closets in a room which can’t be moved, you will have to install flooring around them. To do this you should split the room into separate areas.

Consider closets and other fixtures which cannot be moved as separate from the floor and measure them individually. Keep a note of the individual measurements of each closet. Next, measure the area of the overall room (width x length). Subtract the measurements of your closets from the overall measurement of the room – this is how to convert room measurements to square feet.

How to find the square footage of a triangle

  1. Measure the length of the base and the height of the triangle in feet.
  2. Multiply your base and height measurements together.
  3. Divide your total by two to get the square footage of the triangle
 The formula for calculating the square footage ar

The formula for calculating the square footage area of a triangle is: base × height / 2. To work out your cost of materials, simply multiply this figure by your 'price per square foot'.

Convert among square inch, square foot, square yard and square meter

You could, for example, perform all of your measurements in inches or centimeters, calculate area in square inches or square centimeters then convert your final answer to the unit you need such as square feet or square meters.

To convert among square feet, yards and meters use the following conversion factors.  For other units use our calculator for area conversions.

  • Square Feet to Square Inches
    • multiply ft2 by 144 to get in2
  • Square Feet to Square Yards
    • multiply ft2 by 0.11111 to get yd2
  • Square Feet to Square Meters
    • multiply ft2 by 0.092903 to get m2
  • Square Yards to Square Feet
    • multiply yd2 by 9 to get ft2
  • Square Yards to Square Meters
    • multiply yd2 by 0.836127 to get m2
  • Square Meters to Square Inches
    • multiply m2 by 1,550 to get in2
  • Square Meters to Square Feet
    • multiply m2 by 10.7639 to get ft2
  • Square Meters to Square Yards
    • multiply m2 by 1.19599 to get yd2

Square Footage Calculations FAQs

Finding the measurements of your room will inform you of how much material you will need to complete the project

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