How To Measure Your Bathroom

If you would prefer to have one of our staff measure your bathroom, please contact us. Of course, you must live in the Lincoln, Nebraska area for this to happen. Good design begins — and ends — with accurate measure­ments. This applies to bathroms, but also to kitchens, home offices and closets. Measuring accurately is not complicated. Carpenters learn it in their first apprentice year. But there are a few tricks to it. Here is how to measure a bathroom like the pros.

Measure your bathroom according to Diagrams 1 & 2, and use the sample bathroom layout in Diagram 1 to guide you. Be as specific as possible, and include any odd angles or corners in your bath.

Step 1: Measure the Overall Room Draw a diagram of your bathroom, locating all windows and doors in their approximate positions. Note on the drawing the overall wall lengths of each wall. (See Diagram 1)


•   All of your measurements should be in inches. For example, if you measure a wall that is 10 feet, write it as 120 inches — a quotation mark (") denotes inches.

•   For doorways with hinged doors, draw the door according to which way the door swings. See Diagram 1 for an illustration.

•   If you are replacing your cabinets, do not include current cabinets or furniture such as washstands, commodes or linen chests in your measurements. However, take the measurements of any furniture you want to include in your new bathroom and give them to us on a separate piece of paper. If possible, send us photographs of these items. Their placement in the new bathroom is part of the design process.

•   Do indicate the precise location of the center-line of the current toilet, bidet, sink or vanity, and bathtub and/or shower. In the shower, measure the center of the drain from the two closest 90° walls. Show the location of the shower arm and head. If your toilet is wall-mounted, write "wall-mounted" next to the toilet.

Step 2: Label and Measure Doors and Windows
A. Beginning at the top left corner of your drawing measure to the first window, door, or wall. Continue clockwise around the room until each wall, window and door has been measured. Remember, all measurements are in inches.

B. Beginning at the top left of your drawing, label the windows "Window #1", "Window #2", etc. in a clockwise order..

C. Again, beginning at the top left of your drawing, label the doors "Door #1", "Door #2", etc. in a clockwise order.

D. Next to each wall, write the name of the adjacent room. If the wall is an "outside wall" write "exterior wall." If the room is a candidate for expanding the bathroom, also measure that room.

E. As shown in Diagram 2, measure from the floor to the bottom of each window and also measure the overall window height.


•   When measuring doors and windows the trim is considered part of the door or window. Measure from the outside of the trim on one side to the outside of the trim on the other side, then from the outside of the trim to the middle of the window or door.

F. Using a table like Diagram 3, record the measurements for all windows. Attach the table to your diagram. Be sure that each window is accurately labeled.

Diagram 3

Window Measurements
Distance from Floor to
Bottom of Window
Height of Window
Including Trim
Window #1 (Inches) (Inches)
Window #2 (Inches) (Inches)
Window #3 (Inches) (Inches)
Window #4 (Inches) (Inches)

Step 3: Identify and Measure Unmovable Obstructions
A. Draw boxes in your diagram to show the approximate location of any obstructions such as radiators, vents, pipes, exposed plumbing, etc. that you either cannot move, or do not want moved. Label the object so we will know what it is: i.e. "radiator", "pipe", etc.

B. Measure the obstruction and record the width, height and depth of the obstruction on your drawing. If the obstruction reaches the ceiling, omit the height measurement. If the obstruction is not in contact with the floor, measure from the floor to the bottom of the obstruction. Measure the distance of the object from the nearest two 90° walls.

C. Measure from the nearest wall to the nearest edge of the obstruction. Measure from the point on the wall that is nearest the obstruction to the point on the obstruction nearest the wall. Measure from the second closest wall to the nearest point of the obstruction. Note these measurements on your drawing.

D. In construction dimensions of an object are always given in the same format: width across the front, then height, then depth, so the dimension 32"x54"x14" is presumed to mean 32"w x 54"h x 14"d unless otherwise indicated.

Step 4: Measure the Height of the Ceiling
Measure the ceiling height and write it in the center of your drawing. Sometimes, especially with older homes, it is a good idea to take measurements in a few different areas of the kitchen. Ceiling heights, even in the same room, can sometimes vary by as much as several inches. If it varies, write down both the low and high measurements.

Step 5: Check your Measurements
Check your measurements. If your room is rectangular add up the measurements of the parallel walls and make sure they match (or are at least very close). For example, in our sample drawing, you would take the overall measurements of the top wall and add them together. Then do the same with the bottom wall. Once you have added each walls measurements check the totals to see if they match.

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