Flooring Square Foot Calculator: How Many Boxes of Flooring Do I Need?

This flooring calculator gives you confidence in buying the right amount of flooring for your project with a little left over for future repairs that might be required.

Flooring is manufactured in batches or print runs, and each batch is slightly different in shading. This is true for every flooring type – laminate, vinyl planks, ceramic tiles, hardwood and more. That’s why it is important to use a floor calculator to determine total square feet of flooring required. This number allows you to buy all the flooring you need in a single purchase – to ensure it is from the same batch and every piece in every box looks identical.

Flooring Calculator

This Flooring Clarity calculator was produced in response to common questions like – how many boxes of laminate flooring do I need?

Here’s the flooring calculator. Every step is explained below for those who want how-to instructions. They’re worth reading to make sure you get the details correct and purchase the right flooring square foot amount.

Square Feet per Box

How many square feet in a box?

Flooring comes in cartons containing 20 to 40 square feet. It varies by brand and the specific flooring you choose, but 30 square feet per box is very common, so that’s our default number.

Tip: If you don’t know this right now, don’t worry about it. Once you use the calculator to determine the total flooring square foot amount you need, you can insert the square foot per box into the calculator when you choose a specific flooring and are ready to order it.

Flooring Waste Factor

The default is 5%, and that should be perfect for most jobs. However, if the room has a lot of trimming – like a small bathroom with lots of fixtures – or you’re doing stairs, you might want to increase it to 10% to be safe. And you’ll want extra anyway, as explained below.

Also, if you’re going to install the flooring rather than hiring a pro, and it is your first flooring job, then we recommend boosting the waste factor to 10%. It’s always better to have a little too much than falling short.

Floor Area, 1-5

Our flooring calculator is unique in that it allows you to calculate flooring for up to 5 areas. Each time you select the next area, a new section of calculator will appear/open.

Running total – and the calculator adds up the total square feet needed and the number of boxes required. How easy is that?

Flooring Area #1, etc. - Measuring Flooring

Each area you measure must be a rectangle. If the room is L-shaped, measure each section as its own area.

Including inches is important – for example, 4 inches adds up to a foot every three planks or sections of flooring.

Input the length and width measurements, and the Flooring Clarity floor calculator calculates the square feet of the area, shown in the lower box.

If you have more areas, select Floor Area circle 2, and so forth, and follow the same process. As noted, the flooring calculator will keep totaling the floor space and the number of boxes needed.


This section shows the total square feet you plan to cover with your new flooring.

And it automatically calculates the number of boxes you need based on the flooring square foot number, square feet in a box and the percentage you’ve selected for waste.

What if I Have More than 5 Areas?

No problem. Follow these steps:

Use the calculator for the first 5 areas.

Record the total square feet and total number of boxes of flooring needed – write it down, text it to yourself, etc.

Refresh the Flooring Calculator page, and it will reset all the boxes.

Start with Area 1 (which would be Area 6 for you, if you’ve already calculated 5 areas), etc.

Quick Reference Chart – How Many Boxes of Flooring Do I Need?

We’ve produced a Chart based on common room sizes and a waste amount of 5%. Use it in place of the flooring calculator or to check the results you get when using the calculator. It gives you a quick answer to the question: how many boxes of flooring do I need?

Room SizeSq. ft. of PlankBoxes Needed (30 Sq. Ft./Box)
* Waste: 5%

Should I Buy Extra Flooring?

Yes. We recommend that you buy an extra box to have for future potential repairs.

Common types of damage that require replacing flooring include water damage, damage from a heavy object dropped on flooring, stains that won’t come out, scrapes from a table leg or heavy dog claws and the occasional manufacturer defect.

How Many Boxes of Laminate Flooring Do I Need?

Laminate might be today’s most popular flooring type due to its attractive appearance and lower cost than hardwood.

It is easy to install, and if you buy quality laminate, there should be few if any “bad” pieces. The flooring calculator above should give you a very accurate answer.

However, laminate flooring is easier to damage than hardwood, and damaged planks of laminate cannot be repaired. As a result, we think it’s a good idea to buy at least one extra box. Use the flooring calculator, and then add one or two boxes to the total given. That’s our advice, especially if you entertain a lot or have active young kids or large indoor dogs, all common causes of damage to laminate flooring.

What Kinds of Flooring are Sold by the Box?

Popular types sold by the box are hardwood, both solid and engineered, laminate, ceramic and porcelain tile, vinyl tile and plank, carpet tiles, bamboo and cork.

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