Measure your kitchen properly

and …

  • Save all the anxiety of the kitchen, you have just purchased,  not fitting … when your kitchen fitter turns up to install it.
  • Do away with the need (and cost) of ordering replacement parts, in order to get it to fit
  • Save loads of money by not having to pay your kitchen fitters rectification costs, and the extra cost involved with him returning to fit the replacement parts

So, worth doing eh!

Peter Earthy

Independent Kitchen Designer

Peter Earthy

In a 35 year career working in the Fitted Kitchen Industry, I have personally measured in excess of 10,000 client kitchens.

I am proud to say that I never have had the misfortune of one of my designs not fitting!

This is because I know how to … measure your kitchen properly.

My free guide will help you do so as well

Measure you kitchen properly ... free guide

Before delving into the measuring side of things lets just look at a few things you need to get your head around.

The Basics …

Think of your “empty kitchen” as a big empty box.

You are going to be putting a whole series of “smaller boxes” (Cabinets and Appliances) into this big box.

Now (just to complicate things a little) your “small boxes” are all going to be perfectly rectangular, or square.

However the “Big-box” is not going to be perfectly rectangular, or square, because none of the walls will be plumb, and none of the corners will be perfect right angles … I’m afraid that just the way it is.

Also, the “big box” is likely to contain some “obstacles” that could prevent you placing some of your new items where you wanted (Stop Cock, Sink Waste, SVP Pipe, Boiler, Radiator, Hatch, etc, etc.)

So, the small boxes might need a little bit of padding out – to fit into the non-square box, and we will need to discover any obstacles before we start planning.

Filler Panels …

People often turn their nose up at the thought of Filler Panels … I don’t know why, because they are going to become your best friend.

Because, in order to ensure the kitchen fits, we are going to place runs of cabinets and appliances into the “big box” – that a very slightly shorter – than the walls, and we need Filler Panels to “close the gaps” at the end of the run.

Filler Panels are supplied in various heights (to suit the various height of adjacent cabinets), normally 120mm wide (to be cut down to whatever is required) and in two different materials (Carcase Colour and Door Finish) – you will be buying both types.

To get the most professional finish the “carcase colour” Filler Panel is cut to the required size, and then bridges the gap to the wall (it’s screwed through the side of the carcase). A “Door Finish” Filler Panel is then cut to the same size … and stuck on to the front of the Carcase Filler Panel.

This has the effect of making a “door matching panel” sit flush with the adjacent door – and looks great.

Metric measurements…

Kitchens have been supplied in “metric” measurements for more years than I care to remember. I am old enough to admit I was taught “imperial” measurements at school (feet and inches)

Now, if you are young enough to have grown up using metric measurements that’s great – but you probably learnt to measure in Centimetres… these are not the standard metric measurement!

The standard metric measurement is the Millimetre (there are 10 millimetres in one centimetre)

So a wall measurement of 4240mm is the same as 424cm

All kitchen products are supplied in mm’s, e.g.

  • 600mm Dishwasher (60cm)
  • 1000mm Base Cabinet (100cm)
  • 2450mm Ceiling Height (245cm)

So everything we do regarding measuring is going to be done … in mm


Foolish Assumptions …

  1. Don’t ever assume that opposite walls are the same length – be more surprised if they are!
  2. Don’t be surprised if your ceiling height is not the same height across the room – it wont be!

If you are serious about measuring your kitchen properly you might need to buy some decent kit. (although you may be able to make do with what you have).

A quick look at my Measuring Kit

Measure kitchen properly

Leica Disto D2

Best measure I have ever bought. Great for “Long Wall” measurements, and for measuring behind things in the way, such as a freestanding Fridge Freezer.

You can buy one here … [Leica Disto D2 Laser Distance Meter]



Stanley 8m Fat Max

The 8m Version provides a very wide tape – taht can extend 4m without bending, making it easy to measure long distances on your own.

You can buy one here [ STANLEY STA533891 Fatmax Pro Tape, 8m Length]

Measure kitchen properly
Measure kitchen properly

Wall Angle Measure

A very useful tool which is not expensive!. A lot of kitchens have walls that run off at angles – this tool easily measures either internal or external angles.

You can buy on here [ Trend Digital Angle Rule 20cm TREDAR200 ]

5mm Squared Hardback Notepad

Having double-sided 5mm squared pages its a great shortcut for drawing to scale.

All kitchen designers use the 1:20 scale when drawing – these 5mm squared pages allow scale drawings without the need of a Scale Rule.

Each 5mm square = 100mm of length (at 1:20) – so if a wall is 4200mm long – draw the line at 42 squares (it’s that easy)

You can buy these here … [Oxford Black n’ Red, A4 Notebook Hardcover, Glossy, Wirebound, Squared, Pack of 5]

Measure kitchen properly
Measure kitchen properly

Scale Rules

I tend to use these when out at a clients house – when they produce an architect drawing

But worthwhile using to draw your plans to scale – not difficult to learn how to use.


You can buy them here … [Metal Scale Ruler for Architects & Engineers, Matrix 30cm Black Triangular Scale Ruler Metric: 1:20, 1:25, 1:50, 1:75, 1:100, 1:125; and Protective Bag]


Lets start the measuring

Measure your kitchen properly – step1.

Standing in the “big box” measure one of the walls (in mm).

Make sure you measure its total length.

Now take your 5mm squared notepad and draw a line to represent this wall (we will be working clockwise around the room).

My example shows the wall to be 3760mm – so either use a Scale Rule to draw the wall to this length or draw the line 37.60 squares long (remember on 5mm squared paper each square = 100mm)

Measure kitchen properly

Measure your kitchen properly – Step 2.

Now, the next wall starts from the RH side of Wall 1 and runs at right angles from it.

The total length of Wall 2 is 4620mm – so draw another line this length (42.6 squares) to represent this.

Measure your kitchen properly – Step 3.

working clockwise the next wall is 3790mm long, so draw a line at this length (37.90 squares) to show this

Measure your kitchen properly – Step 4.

The last wall is now a total length of 4245mm, so draw the last line at right angles to wall 3 – which in theory should meet up with the LH edge of wall 1.

Draw the line at 42.45 squares long.

Measure your kitchen properly – Step 5.

Ah! … do you see the problem? The walls do not meet up (leaving a gap).

This is because the walls are not plumb, nor the angles square, which is what I expected

So, now … we are going to cheat.

Measure your kitchen properly – Step 6.

We are going to “square up” the room by making the opposite wall the same length – this will make the walls join up in the corner. (we are going to make each opposite wall the same length using the smallest length)

So change wall 2. to be the same as wall 4. and wall 3. to be the same as wall 1.

By making the floor plan to be slightly smaller than it actually is the kitchen will always fit! (providing the sum of the length of cabinets is less than the wall length).

Measure your kitchen properly – Step 7.

Now let’s show the obstructions, my example shows the position of …

  • Hall Door
  • Back Door
  • Window,
  • Wall Boiler
  • Radiator
  • Sink Waste Outlet

Measure your kitchen properly – Step 8.

Now let’s get a little adventurous and draw each wall in elevation.

This allows us to see the “relative” position of the obstructions. e.g. the height of the Boiler, and its height off the floor.

It also shows the ceiling height – although this will need measuring at different points in the room (and then using the smallest of the measurements).

Measure your kitchen properly – Step 9.

Wall 2. elevation now shows the window height, and also the height of the window cill from the floor.

Also shows the “handing” of the back door, and the relative position of where the sink waste exits the room.

Measure your kitchen properly – Step 10.

Wall 3. elevation quite clearly shows up the potential problem of the radiator position

Measure your kitchen properly – Step 11.

Wall 4. elevation shows the hall door position and “handing”.

Now, that’s just about it … you did it! you have just measured your kitchen properly.

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