How Much Wood is Needed to Install a Hardwood Floor?

Length of Room (Ft.)
Width of Room (Ft.)
Width of Boards (In.)

Ft. (Laid Straight)
Ft. (Laid at 45° Angle)

Installing a hardwood floor is a great way to increase your home’s value and improve the look of its interior. Finished hardwood floors are easy on the eyes, and much easier to clean than carpet. With new DIY technology being developed every year, more and more home owners are installing wood floors themselves.

In order to control your home remodeling costs, you should get an accurate estimate of how much wood you need. If you have a paper, pencil, and calculator at hand, this article will show you how to calculate the total length of board needed. Or, you can use the hardwood flooring calculator at left. It will compute the total length of floorboards needed, including waste. (Must have JavaScript enabled in web browser.)

(1) Measure the width and length of the room in feet, and then multiply the width and length to find the total square footage of the floor space. If the room is not a rectangle, but an L-shape or C-shape, you can find the total area by breaking up the floor area into smaller rectangles, and computing the sum of those rectangular areas.

(2) Divide the area of the room by the width of the boards (in inches) and then multiply by 12 to convert back to feet. This gives you the total length of hardwood floor boards needed to remodel the room.

For example, if the room is 180 square feet and the boards are 4 inches wide, then the total length of wood planks needed is (180/4)(12) = 540 feet.

(3) To compute the waste factor for boards that are laid straight (not at a 45 degree angle), divide the perimeter of the room by 3.

For example, if the room has a perimeter of 56 feet, you should buy an extra 19 feet of hardwood flooring material to be on the safe side.

For planks that are laid at a 45 degree angle, a good rule of thumb for computing waste is to divide the perimeter by 2. So for a room with a perimeter of 56 feet, you should buy 28 extra feet of planks if you are going to lay the hardwood floor boards at a 45 degree angle to the wall.

© Had2Know 2010