How to Measure for Cabinets

How to Measure for Cabinets

Measuring a Room for Cabinets

One of the most critical steps in your project planning will be to correctly measure your space. These measurements will determine what your layout options will be.

Won’t my kitchen designer take measurements?

Most cabinet designers will want to measure your project space during the design process. However, collecting some initial measurements before your first meeting will be helpful in determining project scope and beginning the layout design.

Gather your supplies. You’ll need:

  • A 25’ long tape measure
  • Paper – Graph/grid paper works best. It will help you keep your drawing scaled correctly.
  • A pencil, a pen, and a highlighter
  • Someone to assist – it’s easy to make mistakes if you’re trying to do it all on your own. Ask someone to help hold the tape measure while you determine and record the measurements.

Measuring Your Space Step-by-Step

  1. Draw an outline of the room
  2. Measure and note the ceiling height
  3. Measure and note all wall lengths
  4. Start in the corner and measure and note the location of each obstacle (windows, doors, and pipe chases) on each wall.
  5. Measure windows and doors from outside edge to outside edge of casing. Record the height, width and depth of each.
  6. Identify and note existing plumbing, electrical and lighting centerlines on all walls including:
    • Sink and refrigerator plumbing
    • Range hook-up (gas or electric)
    • Light switches
    • Electric outlets (even if you think they may get moved during the project, measure and note their positions today)
    • Lighting Fixtures – ceiling fans, can lights, and even the areas where you hope to have lighting added
    • Phone jacks if applicable and or charging port locations
    • Heating/Air Vents (wall and floor)
  7. Measure and note the height from the finished floor for windows, outlets and vents.
  8. Measure any free-standing furniture pieces or appliances (refrigerators to the top of the hinge) that will remain in the room.

Important Tips

  • Check corner “squareness” at the floor, top of base cabinet and top of wall cabinet height levels to determine if there may be issues during installation. Knowing this information ahead of time will help your designer and contractor better prepare and keep your project running smoothly.
    1. Mark a point 3 feet out from the corner of one wall
    2. Mark a point 4 feet out from the corner of the adjacent wall
    3. Measure the distance between the points– if the distance is 5’, the corner is square! If the walls are not square, no worries– a good installer will use shims between the cabinet and wall to work around any issues.
  • For any appliance changes, have an electrician check the electrical service panel to ensure the existing service can handle the change. If attic or basement walls will be affected by the renovation, make sue that any plumbing or venting changes are verified by the proper professional.