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P.J., General Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 750
Experience:  Various construction experiences, both good and bad, allow me to help others solve their home improvement issues.
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Can anyone advise on how to estimate flooring (carpet and vinyl)

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Can anyone advise on how to estimate flooring (carpet and vinyl) cost? I've tried doing it before and seriously underestimated how much is scrap or something. Is there an average scrap factor or way to get a ballpark final cost without sitting down at HD for 20+ minutes while they write an order, then waiting for someone to come out and measure?

It seems like I should be able to use the per sq Ft or yard cost, the underlayment cost or pad cost, the installation cost and be fairly accurate.

Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'll be working with you today.


Most of my subcontractors use 20% overage for carpet, 5% for padding, 10% for sheetgoods (vinyl), and 5% for hardgoods (laminate, tile, hardwood). This percentage is added to the square foot or yard measurement of your area to be covered.


It seems to always work out about as close as it can be guessed.


For carpet, small jobs can obviously be estimated much more closely. For instance, in one room is easy to determine where a carpet seam will have to go and if the carpet waste can be turned to work in a closet, etc. Multiple rooms and more chopped up floorplans are much more difficult to nail down exactly. If a room is the same width as the roll with a fairly simple floorplan then 10% would be enough to consider for waste. Most rolls are 12' wide but many styles are now available 15' wide.


I hope this helps. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance. Thanks, P.J.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So would you recommend measuring the carpeted area from wall to closet and then adding 15% percent or so? Or does measuring from the farther point to the farthest point take into account the scrap? (measuring from a the deepest part of a closet for example to the opposite wall would seem to take into account the scrap cut out for the closet framing, door etc.)


What do you use to estimate subfloor for vinyl, such as 1/4 luan?




15% waste should be fine for carpet. Closets, if not large walk-ins, are usually not included in the measurement but are laid out of the cuts from the main living areas. You would measure those main living areas then add the 15%.

The goal is to have the least amount of seaming as possible where visible and to not have to turn the carpet such that the pile would run in a different direction in the same room. Turning the pile makes the carpets appear very different.

Underlayments, such as luan, will be area to cover plus 5%.

Best of luck. Take care. P.J.
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