Carpet and vinyl

Rooms larger than 12’ in length and width require more than 1 continuous piece of 12’ carpet or vinyl to cover the floor. Because both carpet and vinyl must always be laid with pieces running in the same direction, the calculation is more involved than a simple square footage formula.

Here is a step-by-step formula you may use to calculate the minimum number of lineal feet of 12’ floor covering required to cover a given area:

1. Make sure your dimensional measurements are accurate. Then, draw a diagram of the room.

2. Determine the direction the floor covering should run. Indicate this on you drawing.

3. Determine your first “run”: the full 12’ width of floor covering that goes down first. Draw this in on your diagram. Note its length, i.e.: 12’ x 16’.

4. Determine the dimensional measurement of your “fill”: that area of the floor left to be covered by floor covering. You should note this as a given width by given length, i.e.: fill = 3’ x 16’.

5. If the width of your fill is 1’, 2’, 3’, 4’ or 6’, use it as is. If it is some other dimension less than 6’, round it up to the next larger of the numbers list above. Take the number you now have and divide it into 12’. The result is the number of pieces it will be possible to cut from a 12’ width and use to cover the width of the fill area.

6. Take the answer to the preceding equation, and divide it into the length of the fill. The answer to this equation will be the number of lineal feet of 12’ floor covering required to cover the fill. To determine total amount of carpet needed for room, add this amount to length of first run.


Room =

First run =

Fill =

15’ x 16’

12’ x 16’

3’ x 16’

3’ divided into 12’ = 4’4’ divided into 16’ = 4’ (this is your answer)
4 lineal feet of 12’ floor covering will cover a 3’ x 16’ fill. For a room that is 15’ x 16’, you will need a piece of carpet that is 12’ x 20’.
REMINDER: This method gives you the minimum amount of flooring but will also create many extra seams. By ordering more carpet you can reduce the number of seams and improve the quality of the finished project.

For example in the figure above we ordered 20 linear feet and created 4 seams – 1 running the length of the carpet (this seam is unavoidable) and 3 perpendicular to that. By simply ordering 4 more linear feet (total of 24 linear feet) of carpet you can reduce the number of seams to 2 or for the highest quality installation you can order 8 more linear feet (total of 32 linear feet) which would reduce the number of seams to the minimum of 1

Conversion Formulas (please note exceptions on previous page): 

Linear Foot (LF) Price x .75 = Square Yards Price
Square Yards Price x 1.333 = Linear Foot Price

Linear Foot of Carpet:When we cut a one foot strip from a 12 ft. roll of carpet, we have one linear foot of carpet. This 1 ft. x 12 ft. strip of carpet is 12 square feet or 1 1/3 square. yards.