What’s an “overage”?

When you buy almost any type of construction material, and particularly flooring, you are almost always required to purchase some percentage more than what your actual square footage is, and this amount is referred to as overage. Since you’re buying more than what you actually need, does it sound like a way for a company to get into your pocket a little more?

I’m about to show you that it’s not. Here’s why:

1) Packaging. When you have a recipe that requires eight eggs, you still have to buy a dozen. That’s just the way they come and no one realistically expects to buy less. Same with flooring. Rubber tiles come in certain sizes and wood floors come in bundles a certain size and this seldom works out to what you exactly need.

2) Cuts. There are certain cuts that you’re going to need to make. When you’re dealing with 2’ X 2’ tiles and have installed almost the entire room and still need a row of tiles that is 2’ X 1 ½” to fit up tightly against the wall, obviously you’re going to have a lot of pieces that measure 2’ X ½’ that you’re not going to be able to do anything with.

3) Mistakes. Try as we might, we’re going to make mistakes. Either something was measured incorrectly when cutting, or the cutting wasn’t smooth, or when the cutting was just not right around an obstruction or something, you’re going to have a piece or two that gets wasted on a bad or incorrect cut. Also, there’s always the chance that you’re initial measurement was off by a couple of inches and that the space to cover was slightly larger than you thought.

4) Damage. Sometimes, you’ll lose a piece or two that is damaged in shipping. When you think about the number of trucks that your product gets loaded onto and the number of warehouses that it goes through on its way to you, it’s amazing that more things don’t get damaged than there already are. You should alert the carrier to any damage that you see when its unloaded, but there are times that you find pieces that you didn’t know were damaged until you unpacked everything and that’s long after the freight company is gone.

5) Unique cuts. If you’ve got a room with walls that curve, or walls that go at an angle, or if you have several columns in the room, you’re going to have more waste material. While a board or a tile might be cut and the other side of that board or tile used somewhere else, there’s less chance of that being the case with wavy walls or angled walls.
Even professional installers figure a factor for waste and this typically is at least 15% of the actual square footage. Since most fitness rooms are larger and typically have pretty straight walls, we try to keep that figure lower, unless we know that you have a special circumstance like curved or angled walls.

Overage may seem like you’re paying for something you’re not getting to use. But the alternative is that you run short and have to buy more material from us. This means that you’re now not only losing time, which can be especially frustrating when you are so close to completing a project, but also the additional freight, as we will have to ship you extra materials and this will cost more than the product would have if you had simply figured enough overage. Especially if you have an installer who has to leave and will have to come back when you get the additional material.

Admittedly, this may leave you with a bundle or two more than you needed to complete a job, or a few more tiles, but these are a good idea to keep around any way in case there is any damage to your floor after it is installed. You can simply take this extra material and use it to replace any damages that may occur down the road.

posted in blog by
One Response to What’s an “overage”?
  1. Couple of good points in here! We got some tiles laid a while ago, but are now having dramas sourcing more since we chipped a couple. All I can suggest is to keep a stack of extras somewhere just in case.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *