“Wastage” and “overage” are two construction and home improvement terms you’ll likely hear mentioned when you tackle a flooring project. These terms are related to the extra amount of material that needs to be purchased for the purpose of bringing a project to satisfactory completion. Flooring overages always need to be calculated and included in all projects. Even though the calculation is made after measurements, it shouldn’t be ignored because it’s extremely rare to be able to cover the entire surface area with just the materials equivalent to the room dimensions. Before you get your project started, it’s a good idea to consult experts with experience in all types of flooring, from hardwood to carpet. In San Diego, homeowners rely on the professionals at Unique Flooring for advice on everything from materials to installation methods.

Some contractors rarely refer to overage as wastage because nothing really goes to waste. Most projects require cutting to compensate for irregular features. In the case of a perfectly square bedroom with no closets, overage will be considerably less than for a kitchen with a center island and breakfast nook because of the cutting factor. All contractors use flooring calculators that determine how much overage is needed. Here are some examples based on various materials.

Hardwood Flooring
How much extra hardwood to buy will depend on the layout of the rooms as well as the dimensions of the planks, but most contractors recommend purchasing an overage of at least 5 percent. If you’re looking at angled walls and a staircase, 7 percent is more realistic. Diagonal installations may increase overage to 10 percent. With engineered wood planks, you get greater availability—you can start with 5 percent and return to the store later if needed, but you may not have this convenience with natural hardwood and exotic species.

Laminate Flooring
Similar to engineered wood, laminate flooring is easy because of the 20-square-feet industry standard, which is what you get from each box. If you purchase a popular and affordable brand (most often the kind that looks like oak), you can always run to the store for more, but you should start with 5 percent overage.

Since carpeting material comes in various widths, you may find out your room is narrower than your chosen roll. In this case, you have to multiply the width of the carpet by the length of the space and add a couple of inches. Don’t forget about the closets, which should be measured in terms of length and multiplied by the width of the carpet roll. Even walk-in closets rarely require more than 10 percent extra.

Ceramic, Quartz, and Stone Tiles
Square tiles are seemingly easier to work with, but the reality of having to cut individual tiles is that the potential of breakage increases. The problem with quartz, upscale ceramic, and stone tiles is their cost. An overage higher than 10 percent can be expensive, but this is the standard. The advantage in this regard is that tile remnants can be used for many purposes, including backsplashes, cutting boards, coasters, and other projects.

When you’re updating your floors, you don’t want any unwelcome surprises, so make sure to calculate all the costs in advance, including overage. No matter what flooring material they choose—carpet, tile, laminate, or hardwood flooring—San Diego homeowners can get advice on how to calculate overages or any other aspect of flooring from the experienced professionals at Unique Flooring. We’d love to help with any of your flooring needs, so drop by our showroom or give us a call at 760-454-1436.