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How Much Extra Flooring Should I Buy?

If you’re laying new flooring, you’ll need to figure in some extra to have on hand. You don’t want to buy too much, but certainly don’t want to buy too little. What’s a homeowner to do? Here are some suggestions to help ensure you get the ideal amount of extra flooring.

Types Of Flooring

The first thing you’ll want to consider is what type of floor you’ll be installing. Solid wood, engineered wood, marble, laminate, carpet, and sheet vinyl are among the most popular types of flooring. You may purchase in sheets, tiles, or planks. So do take into consideration the material and the way it is sold before calculating how much extra to buy.

How Much Extra Flooring Do I Need?

Floor manufacturers generally make the recommendation that customers purchase more material that they should need based upon the space their flooring will be going into. The amount of extra the manufacturers recommend greatly vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, however.

As a general rule of thumb, for most flooring types, you’ll typically need 10% more flooring than the area of the space that you’re installing it in.

Some say to order 20% extra which may seem extreme. A site that is 200 square feet to begin with would then require 240 square feet of flooring.

Others recommend less so the exact amount you feel comfortable buying may depend on your budget and how likely you feel your using it will be. For instance, if you have five large dogs, you may want to spring for 20 percent of extra flooring, in the case of any future defects.

Carpet manufacturers typically recommend you purchase 10 percent extra. Tile manufacturers tend to say 5 to 15 percent extra is a good amount to purchase.

These calculations may amount to buying even more since planks and tiles are sold in boxes. You’ll want to get more if you can’t get the exact amount due to the way they are packaged and sold in certain amounts. Remember that you will need to be going with the grain of the wood or along with the pattern of a design which will mean you’ll need even more extra flooring.

No matter what type of flooring you are figuring, there are some rules of thumb you can put into action. As mentioned, generally 10 percent extra might be more than enough.

Considering what will take place on the flooring is wise as is figuring out how much extra you can afford plus you always need to expect the unexpected and allow for such in your calculations.

Why Do I Need Extra Flooring?

The main reason why you need extra flooring is due to the wastage that occurs during installation. When floors are installed in any given space, they typically need to be cut to fit into the dimensions and layout of the room. Smaller cut pieces often aren’t suitable to be used in other spaces, and are therefore unusable.

Just because you have estimated how many planks, tiles, or how long of a sheet of flooring you’ll need, that doesn’t mean that figure will be exact. Furthermore, you may run into a faulty tile or two or some planks that can’t be used. There are also corners to figure in and other unforeseen factors.

Some situations you are likely to run into with ceramic tiles or a patterned plank, tile, or carpet is that in trying to coordinate the pattern, you’ll use more than you originally intended to. Also, there’s an issue with fitting often times. A sixteen-inch ceramic tile that must fit in a 53-inch-wide space won’t fit exactly so you’ll need extra tiles to make it work. Likewise, a 12 or 15-feet-wide roll of carpet may have to be seamed together in spots, especially when laying it in more than one room – such as one 12 and one 15-foot-wide room.

It is expected that solid wood flooring will have defects due to the nature of the origin…nature. Some defective areas will look alright while others won’t. There will even be some defective places on engineered wood flooring so it’s best to plan on it.

You’ll want to have extra flooring in case some of yours gets scratched, waterlogged, or heavily dented. Or you could spill something on an area that won’t come clean. There are a multitude of scenarios that could cause you to need to replace some of the flooring.

Regardless of how hard you try; chances are good that you’ll never be able to exactly match the original flooring. The hue, the grain patterns, and many other characteristics of the wood, natural material, linoleum, or laminate make it virtually impossible to replace without being able to tell.

If you have a stash of extra flooring, it will be a breeze to replace it if and when the need arises. It’s much better to be safe than sorry.

Preventing Waste

Wastage is normal with flooring installation because there will naturally be discarded sections where corners are cut and other adjustments have to be made. It is impossible to correctly install flooring without a certain amount of unusable leftover material. Typically, flooring manufacturers set broad wastage at 5 to 20 percent. Of course, the goal is always to have as little waste as possible.

Cutting creates the most wastage and planks account for the most waste versus tile or sheets. Small extensions are the biggest culprits. Large tiles also make for a good bit of waste along with mosaic tiles and other patterned pieces.

Rooms that are irregular in shape or have multiple items to work around, such as toilets and tubs, tend to create wastage more than square or rectangular rooms. When planning such rooms, you’ll need to add in extra flooring in your calculations for such irregularities.

Wastage needs to be figured into the extra flooring you purchase but doesn’t help when figuring how much leftover you need to have on hand for repairing and replacing in the future. It is important to have useable leftover and not all wastage.

At the end of your installation, if you have way more excess than you think you’ll ever use, you can sometimes return it to the store you purchased from or resale it independently through an independent source like a community online yard sale.

How It All Stacks Up

When it comes to purchasing extra flooring, you typically only get one shot and that is when you initially buy your flooring. Otherwise, you’ll never get the exact flooring you bought. It’s worth taking the time to calculate how much extra you need in order to have the most accurate amount of material left over as possible.

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