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How to Measure a Room


Depending on the reason that you are measuring the room, there are different measurements that need to be taken.

For example, if you're putting in flooring, you need to know the area of the floor.
If you are painting, you need to know the area of the walls and ceiling.
And if you're putting in a border (eg cornice or skirting) of some sort, you need the perimeter measurement of the room.
This can be difficult if you've never done it before, and can be complicated by built-in features like fireplaces, recesses, and bay windows.
Find out how to do it here!
Things you will need
  • Retractable tape measure and perhaps someone to help you hold the other end of the tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Paper
how to measure a room for renovation work.

Step 1

Roughly draw the basic layout of the room, including where windows, doors, fireplaces etc are located in the room.

Step 2

Measure the longest length of the room from one end to the other in one direction, now you have the length of the room.
Now in the opposite direction from where you already measured, measure the room from one end to the other, now you have the overall width.

Note - this central on your paper, as per the room example. Tip - It is best to do this midway up the wall from wall to wall as most rooms have skirting around the bottom edge of the walls. This will cause less confusion and inaccuracy later.

Multiply the length x width to get the main area measurement. If the room has no recesses, stop here. This is the measurement of the total floor area.
eg (6280mm) 6.28m x (5179mm) 5.179m = 32.5m2
Calculate the area of individual recesses by measuring the same way as above and either add or subtract from floor area>. eg diagonal windows on example plan

(1840mm) 1.84m x (600mm) 0.6m = 1.1m2 (2 triangles add up to square)
Floor area 32.5m2 - 1.1m2 =31.4m2
This measurement can also be used as the area of a ceiling.

measure walls midway up. 
measure windows.


Step 3

Starting in the corner, measure each wall separately, noting all the wall details like windows, doorway, fireplaces, built-in furniture or other room details.
Measure each of these room details from outside corner to outside corner, then continue measuring the wall. After you have finished measuring wall details, your detailed measurements should add up to the same as your overall room measurements. Do this for each wall See example


measure wall details.

Step 4

Transfer this rough plan onto one of our handy room grids


Renovators Room Grid 1/20 scale. Renovators Room Grid 1/50 scale.

Step 5

Measure the ceiling height. Take the tape measure place on the floor and stretch up til it touches the ceiling. Note - With the Ceiling Height and wall lengths and details measurements you can now calculate how much paint or wall paper is required for each wall. See our helpfulpaint calculator.


Step 6

As you measured the details around the room you also must measure the height of all details.
See example

Height of all windows and doors
Also for any openings and other structural items
Do this even if your intention is to knock down the wall or block up a doorway
Location of any Light fixtures
Location of any plugs or outlets these can be indicated on your drawing.
Measure the centre to any services that are to remain in the same position i.e. the centre of a sink waste to the nearest corner
Note as much information as possible
Some examples are:
Eg Floor is jarrah floor boards (note direction on plan)

measure room details height.