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How To Measure for A New Kitchen

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How to measure for a new kitchen …

So, you are looking at having a new kitchen and am not totally sure where to begin.

Well. the obvious starting point is the taking of your kitchen measurements, and then formulating a wish list of kitchen/worktop/decorating styles, appliance types, and fitting requirements.

Here we are going to concentrate on just how easy it is to measure for a new kitchen.

This is not rocket science … but knowing a few simple tricks of the trade will help you along, and make sure you get it right.

Ready to start? … then read on!

Peter Earthy

Blog Author: Peter Earthy

Peter is an Independent “Freelance” Kitchen Designer living and working in the UK

Check out his web site |Kitchen Designer|

Or, his services | Kitchen Design Service |

Or, to get in touch | Contact Him |

Measuring for a new kitchen

Tip! It is always useful when learning how to measure for a new kitchen, to keep this in mind … Your empty kitchen is like a big box into which you are going to fit lots of smaller boxes (Cabinets and Appliances) to make up your new kitchen layout. Whilst your smaller boxes (Cabinets and Appliances) are going to perfectly square/rectangular, your big box (the kitchen will not be!

This is due to the fact that it is very unlikely that any of your corners are going to be perfect 90-degree angles, or that any of your walls are going to be perfectly plumb (from top to bottom)

So don’t ever assume that opposite walls are going to be the same length!

But don’t worry! This is perfectly normal and is what “Kitchen Filler Panels are used for.

You are going to be designing a kitchen to be a few mm smaller than the actual size of the room, and then padding it out with Filler Panels – This will ensure that it fits!

People often turn their nose up at Filler Panels, but there are “professional” ways of fitting them (we will talk this through later) to make them almost un-noticeable … they will become your best friends!

So, let’s start measuring.


How to measure for a new kitchen – step 1. (Basic Floor Plan)

If you know how to draw to scale, then I suggest you do so. But for all those who don’t like the thought of that here’s what to do.

Take a reasonable size piece of paper (preferably squared) and sketch an outline of the room – see examples below

How to measure for a new kitchen Step1

How to measure for a new kitchen Step1

How to measure for a new kitchen – step 2 (Position of Doors/Windows)

You now will start indicating where “obstructions to the design” are. Beginning with Windows and Doors

Note, it is always useful to the designer to know the “handing of doors” (which way they open) and the height the window cill is from the floor.

How to measure for a new kitchen Step2

How to measure for a new kitchen Step2

How to measure for a new kitchen – step 3 (Other potential obstacles/potential problems)

When you have sketched  the position of your windows and doors on to the floor plan you need to start looking for what could further impede your new design

When measure for a new kitchen as much information as you can provide, is always the best policy

How to measure for a new kitchen Step5

How to measure for a new kitchen Step5


How to measure for a new kitchen – step 4 (Taking the measurements)

Time for a deep breath, and on we go!

Tip! It’s always best to take “Long Wall” measurements of each wall, before measuring the distance between doors/windows etc.

I know this is sometimes difficult to do, and you might need some help to do this.

E.G you may a have to feed the tape behind a tall F/Freezer to get the longwall measurement – this is why I tend to use Laser Tape Measures, together with, Standard Tape Measure … its easier to shine a laser beam behind things, than it is to feed a tape measure behind them.

Note! When using a standard Tape Measure it’s worth buying a decent “8m” one, as you can extend them “without them “breaking” considerably further than a common DIY one. (Making it far easier to measure longer distances on your own)

So start by taking the “Long Wall” measurements of each wall – and you will find that opposite walls may differ by a few mm. If this is the case use the smallest dimension for both and mark it on your you plan.

How to measure for a new kitchen Step4

How to measure for a new kitchen Step4

How to measure for a new kitchen – step 5 (Indicating where the “obstacles” are)

Now that we know “how long each wall is” we can indicate the relative positions of the “obstacles”

By Obstacle’s we mean anything like …

  1. Wall Boiler
  2. Sink Waste Outlet
  3. Mains Stop Cock
  4. Sloping Ceiling
  5. Ceiling Bulkhead (box
  6. Radiators
  7. Dining Room Hatch

These “Obstacle’s” can all have an impact on the final kitchen design, and when learning how to measure for a new kitchen, it’s vital these positions of these are noted.

How to measure for a new kitchen Step5

How to measure for a new kitchen Step5

So, we now have a floor plan, showing all the information needed to design your new kitchen.

If you are feeling a little “adventurous” it is always a good thing to prepare a flat elevation of each wall – showing the obstacles.

Now don’t panic! I am not suggesting you learn to draw in 3D, what I mean is a simple flat wall elevation (see below) showing the “relative positions” of any obstacles to the design.

How to measure for a new kitchen Step6

How to measure for a new kitchen Step6

It’s a great way of checking that you can place cabinets/appliances where you want them to go (without forgetting e.g. that there is a Wall Boiler in the way, or the Dishwasher can’t go there, because the sink waste drains down through the floor just where I have positioned it!).

A few final things to note …

Ceiling Height:

When measuring the height of your ceiling don’t assume it is level (it’s likely to be between 10 & 20mm different). So, measure the height of your ceiling at various points of the room … and use the smallest of the measurements!


When measuring and noting the “relative” position of a door, always measure to the outside of the door frame … not the actual door


When determining the height of the window from the floor – try to measure to the underside of the window cill.

So there we go!

I hope you found this simple guide showing you “how to measure for a new kitchen” useful.

If you don’t understand a single part of it or need some further help, just drop me a line, or give me a call, and if I can help … then I will!

You might find that buying one of these products (Laser Tape Measure) helps you measure for a new kitchen. This is the one I have used for the past 10 years, or so, and it is a great little piece of kit.

Or, to find other related information try these Google Searches …


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