How to measure for turf

Not sure how much turf you need?

Measuring your lawn doesn’t have to be hard, you just need to know what steps to take! Below are some helpful tips on calculating the required turf and turf underlay for your new yard, we also have a handy lawn area calculator on our website.

Apart from quantities of turf and soil required planning ahead can work wonders. Double-checking access for product delivery along with installation timeframes for soil and turf are vital to make it run as smooth as possible.

How to calculate how much turf you need

  1. Get a piece of paper and sketch out the areas to be turfed.
  2. Break up the areas into basic shapes such as squares, rectangles and circles. See our full list below.
  3. Measure each area and write down your measurements.
  4. Calculate how many square metres are in each area using the easy formula below.
  5. Add the totals together.
  6. Order extra! For simple areas like a rectangle, order 5% extra. For more complex irregular areas, order 10% extra. This will allow for any slight miscalculations and for cutting around objects where the measurements may be difficult to get exact. It’s better to have some turf left over than to run out.
  7. Calculate the volume of turf underlay that you need.
  8. Find your local turf underlay supplier here.

Calculating the area of different shaped areas


Measuring - square

Measure one side of the square, then multiply it by itself (area = s x s)

Example – If the width of the square is 4 metres: 4m x 4m = 16m2


Rectangle or oblong

Measuring - rectangle

Measure the height and width of the rectangle, then multiply them together (area = w x h)

Example – If the height is 4 metres and the width is 6 metres: 4m x 6m = 24m2



Measuring - triangle

Measure the height and base, then multiply the height by half of the base (area = ½b x h)

Example – If the height is 9 metres and the base is 10 metres: 9m x 5m = 45m2



Measuring - circle

d = diameter, r = radius. Measure the diameter of the circle, then divide this by two to calculate the radius. Multiply the radius by itself, then multiply the total by 3.14. (area = r x r x 3.14) 

Example – If the diameter is 12 metres, the radius will be 6 metres; multiply 6 metres by 6 metres, then multiply the total by 3.14: 6 x 6 = 36. 36 x 3.14 = 113.04m2


Ellipse or oval

Measuring - oval

Measure the width and height of the oval, then divide each measurement by two to calculate rand r(area =rx r2 x 3.14)

Example – If ris 3 metres and ris 5 metres: 3m x 5m = 15m. 15m x 3.14 = 47.1m2

Calculating the volume of turf underlay

Materials such as soil and sand are measured and ordered in cubic metres and tonnes. To calculate the volume of material required, first work out the area in square metres and then multiply by the depth to get the cubic metres.

Typically you might need 100mm or 150mm of turf underlay (0.1 or 0.15 metres). Once you have worked out the volume equating to m3 we then recommending multiplying the volume by 1.3 to give an accurate tonne weight for turf underlay. General rule of thumb is 1m3 of turf underlay weighs 1.3tonne. 

Example 1 – You have a rectangle measuring 10m x 6m and need to add 100mm of turf underlay soil. 10m x 6m x 0.1m = 6m3. Your local supplier such as MJ Rowles will sell the turf underlay per tonne, not m3. So you multiply your 6m3 x 1.3 to give 7.8t. You then round up to the nearest half a tonne making it 8t. 

Any questions?

Turfco recommends calling us with any curly questions before booking in your turf and soil alternatively call one of our Lawn Solutions Centres regarding required turf underlay quantities. It is also a good idea to keep in mind access.

Our forklifts for turf delivery are 2.5m wide by 2.5m high and weight will vary from 2.5 to 4t depending on turf weight and quantity. Turf underlay is delivered in bulk by tipping trucks which vary in 3-4 different sizes depending on your order and access. It’s always a good idea to check truck access prior to ordering to prevent any on-site delays. 

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