Carpet Measuring: How Much Extra Carpet is Needed to do the Seams?

Dear Alan,

Thank you so much for your information on carpet and how to measure and purchase. I have had your recommended dealer out to measure to give me an estimate. We both came up with the same square footage of 566 but they added 118 sq. feet more making the total 684sq ft. Is that reasonable to add that much for laying the carpet and seams? Its 3 separate bedrooms of carpet and the connecting hall is hardwood.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Sincerely, KJ in Texas

 

Alan’s Reply:

Thanks for your email! Measuring for carpet is surely challenging especially when seams are involved. I understand your concerns.

Unless your bedrooms are all less than 12 feet in width, you will need some extra carpet to do the seams properly. Since it appears that you do need seams, that means one or more of your bedroom(s) are wider than 12 feet.  I have no idea how they figured the additional carpet needed for the seams as there are many ways to do so. You should feel comfortable to call the salesperson and ask them to help you understand how they did their calculations and where the seams are located and in how many pieces. Let me explain how it works…

  • Carpet usually comes in 12 foot widths.
  • Every carpet has a nap that must be laid down in the same direction when doing seams. (You can’t ¼ turn the carpet)
  • Carpets with a pattern repeat require more carpet to properly line up the seams.

Let’s say for example that your master bedroom is 13.5 x 16, that would mean you would need a seam along one wall about two foot wide by sixteen feet long. If you order just 2 extra feet of carpet, the seam would end up being pieced together in 8 pieces. That would be time consuming and difficult to do and might not look too good. You want to have as few seams as possible. So to do the seam in just three pieces you would need to order an extra 6 feet of carpet. That’s 6’ x 12’ or 72 sq. feet.

In your case they have ordered about 10 extra feet (10’ x 12’) so you may have more than one bedroom that requires seams or maybe there a pattern match to contend with.  The 118 sq. feet they have added appears to be reasonable. The amount of extra carpet needed also depends on how many pieces of carpet are calculated to do the seams.

Below I show two examples, one room has the seam made using three pieces of carpet and the other only uses two pieces of carpet to make the seam.

Notice the difference in square feet needed. Perhaps these rough diagrams will help.

 

More Free Information

 

Click on the diagram below to see a larger view. 

 

room measure w seams

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. Thanks for the information. My current carpet looks awful; the kids and the dog have definitely aided in that. I think it’s time to purchase new carpet for our whole home. I’m going to follow your tip about making sure we get the right amount. Do you have any other tips?

    Reply

  2. Thank you so much. You’ve been a big help to me in my figuring and brought up issues and information with which I was totally unfamiliar. I certainly appreciate your help.

    Reply

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