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Measuring for Your Douglas Fir Flooring: Do I really need overage?

August 23, 2011 by | Nicole | There have been 0 comments

So, you’re ready to dive head first into that big project to replace your flooring. You’ve got your notes laid out on the table with a list of names and numbers; and your heart is set on reclaiming that Douglas fir flooring rescued from the old church where your grandparents married years ago. You know it will look great in the rooms where your family’s heirlooms are displayed. You found a great floor installer who came highly recommended by a friend. You even took some time off. You’ve got the money set aside and know how much, er…Wait a sec. Actually, you’re not sure how much it’ll cost because you don’t know how much you’ll need!

Measure before installing Douglas fir flooring and trim.

It’s okay! We’ve been there too, daydreaming about a home project, picturing that new Douglas fir floor, and saving the first for last. No worries. We’ll help you calculate the square footage for what we like to call, the big measure. And yes, you’ll be doing some math.

Here’s what you’ll need:
Measuring tape
Calculator (even if you’re good with numbers)
Time (free from distractions)

1) Measure the length of the room and jot down the number. Round up to make it easier

2) Measure the width of the room. Jot this down too, rounding up if needed.

3) Multiply the length and the width. This is the square footage. Write it down.

Bear with us as we break it down further ‘cause we like to be thorough. So let’s say your dining room measures 12’5” long and 14’10” wide. Round up and that will be 13 feet long and 15 feet wide. When multiplied, the square footage is 195 or [13L x 15W = 195 SF]. But, we’re only half way done.

reclaimed douglas fir

Reclaimed Douglas fir flooring

We need to think about extra material or overage. Yes, you do need to account for overage. We promise it’s not because lumber folks want a little extra money. We just want you to be happy. Because there’s nothing worse than seeing a customer’s smile turn upside down when they discover their measurements were slightly off, or after cutting off a few bits that won't do, there isn’t enough material. Think of the overage as smile-satisfaction insurance. What happens otherwise? Well, the customer orders the precise amount, has it delivered, and upon inspection, sees a few boards off-color, nicked, or with issues like a pitch streak. Now you can’t complete your project right away, and you have to spend more money for material and shipping.

Save yourself the grief and order overage. We suggest 7% to 10%. Order less for thinner boards, a little more for wider boards. Is there an irregular wall line or a few 45 degree angles in that dining space? Keep your overage closer to 10%. Let’s do the math.

4) Add the overage to the square footage. We’ll do 10% or [195 SF + 10% = 214.5 SF]. Round up to 215 square feet.

5) Factor in any transition pieces for entryways, crown moulding, and baseboard moulding with your order. These pieces are measured in linear feet and come in standard lengths, usually between 8 – 16 feet. Again, be on the safe side by rounding up those linear measurements. Order longer lengths to cut the perfect fit needed for your transition pieces.

6) Keep in mind that there are different grades, pressure-treatments, cuts, and dry-ratings. Do your homework before placing that order. The deciding factors are usually a combination of intended-use, end-environment, and budget.

Now you’re ready to dive into your wood project head first and order that reclaimed fir floor for your home. One last thing…jot down the square footage again and stick it to the fridge -- a third time for good measure.

- Nicole Morales

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