If you’ve previously been through the process of buying flooring materials, you probably already know that the showroom salespeople will strongly encourage you to buy more flooring material than what will cover the surface area you’re working on.  If this is your first time dealing with flooring retailers, this might strike you as some sort of rip-off sales tactic.  But the fact is that you’ll save yourself time, effort, and money by ensuring you have more flooring than you need.  To find out why this is and answer the question of, “How much extra flooring should you buy?” check out this post.

Why Should You Buy Extra Flooring?

There are many reasons to make sure you have extra flooring, but the most powerful argument is that you’ll rarely be able to buy the absolute exact amount necessary to cover the area you’re working on.  Most rooms have nooks and crannies where cutting to fit will be necessary.  A roll of carpet, a stack of hardwood planks, or a box of tiles will invariably need to be cut to measure along the edges of the room and around any existing structures.  

Too Much Better Than Not Enough

It’s better to have too much flooring material than not enough.   This is especially true if you’re paying professional installers to do the work for you.  Having them stop mid-job and wait for extra material to show up will vastly increase your labour costs.

Wastage And Defects

Although no one wants to pay for wastage or defects, it’s an unavoidable part of the job.  Wastage is more likely to occur in odd-sized rooms than those that are perfectly square.  Cutting the flooring material to fit into corners, around obstructions, or into oddly shaped areas will be necessary for a tight fit.  And this will result in wastage.  And while defects aren’t very common in carpets, laminates, or engineered hardwood, you’ll almost always have some defective pieces when working with solid hardwood.  Having extra on hand means the job is done more efficiently.

How Much Extra Flooring Should You Buy?

There are some standard percentages of extra flooring you should buy depending on the material.  For solid hardwood, 20% extra is the norm.  For wall-to-wall carpeting, 10% extra should suffice.  Depending on the size, an extra 5 to 15% of ceramic tile should be purchased.  For vinyl and laminate flooring, 5 to 10% extra is recommended.