Wondering how big is a square metre? This advice tells you, and we throw in some extra info for good measure.
Let’s say you’ve moved into your childhood home, which is fantastic, except that when your parents moved to retire to the country, their poodles left the living room carpet in a mess. You obviously want to get new carpet, but you keep reading that you have to find the square metreage of the room to know how much carpet to buy. Your geometry notebooks might still be in storage—but this plain English information may help.
No matter how long ago you learned geometry (or even if you never did), it’s still handy to be able to figure out square metreage. You’ll need that knowledge for lots of things, like buying new flooring, selling your house, and choosing an apartment.
When it comes to buying carpet, the point of knowing how big a square metre is, is to be able to measure how much carpet you need—which can help avoid carpet seams.
The good news? You can use a square-metre calculator online.
But it’s not that intimidating to figure out what a square metre is. There’s a simple formula you can use, even if you’re no maths wiz:
length x width = square metre
If that still looks like another language to you, here’s how you can do it yourself:
- Get a measuring tape and measure the width of the room from wall to wall at the widest part. Write that number down.
- Now measure the length from the longest part, wall to wall. Write it down.
- Multiply the two numbers together, and there’s your square metreage!
But here’s the tricky part. If the room is an odd shape, you can divide it into squares or rectangles, and measure the length and width of those individually, multiplying the length and width of each of them just like you would a whole room. Then, add up the results. It’s sort of like creating a bunch of mini rooms to equal your whole room.
So, let’s say you divided the odd-shaped room into four “mini rooms,” and they measured 15 square metres, 10 square metres, 5 square metres, and 2.5 square metres. In the end, you’d add those together to see that your room is 32.5 square metres.
Another measurement you'll see when shopping for carpet is broadloom or linear metres. When you see a 'price per broadloom metre' that means one metre cut off the roll. It doesn't mean a square metre. Generally, carpet rolls are 3.6m long (that's about 12 feet if you prefer old measurement scales). So each metre cut off the roll has an area of 3.6 square metres.
And, here’s a pro tip: Get more carpet than you measured (especially if it’s patterned carpet), just in case your calculations were off. If you end up with leftover carpet, you can use it to kneel on when gardening, inside a closet, or under heavy furniture for moving—there are actually a stack of uses for old carpet. The point is: Better to be safe than sorry.