# How much carpet will you need?

Using the calculator below, enter the length and then the width of the area to be covered and then click on "calculate." You will get two figures -- one as square yards and the other as square feet -- of how much carpet you will need.

Getting a rough idea of how much carpet you will need for a project is pretty simple, but a precise figure is a little more difficult to come by.

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Put simply, the price of carpet is usually expressed in square yards. As a quick refresher in math, remember a yard is 3 feet so a square yard equals 3 feet by 3 feet or 9 square feet.

But unless you're experienced with carpet you should get a carpet installer to give you a more precise estimate, because of two factors:

• The width of the carpet: Carpet is usually manufactured in 12-foot widths. If all rooms were 12 feet wide there would be little problem. But let's say your room is 10 feet by 10 feet. That's 100 square feet. If you bought 100 square feet, you would have to do a lot of cutting and seam work to cover this room. Here's why: If the carpet is 12 feet wide, 100 square feet would mean the length would be 8 feet, 4 inches (100 divided by 12 = 8.4. So purchasing 100 square feet of carpet would require cutting off the extra 2 feet and then seaming it onto the 8-foot, 4-inch side as six pieces, each 2-feet wide by 1-foot, 8 inches to fit the 10 X10 room. To avoid all those seams, the better method is to buy a section of carpet that is 12 feet wide and 10 feet long -- 120 square feet -- and discarding the 2-foot excess.
• The direction of the carpet: Carpet is manufactured in a linear fashion and the carpet pile leans in the direction it's manufactured. To maintain texture, pattern and color consistency, the carpet must all be installed in the same direction because if it leans in a different direction it will reflect light differently and appear to be a slightly different color.