Measuring The Kitchen

Tips on measuring your kitchen. 

By Andrew Kocel

Measure your kitchen see what space you have. All you need for this task is a tape measure, a pencil, some scratch or grid paper. I like using grid paper because it’s easier to track the exact measurements. If you use ¼” grid boxes – assign 6 inches to the box. Since standard cabinets come in 3 inch increments the sizes are easier to track. Taking accurate measurements is very important to getting the exact size cabinets you will need for a successful kitchen remodel. Generally, walls and wood do not move. If you do not measure correctly, you might end up with the wrong cabinets that don’t fit.

“All you need … is  a tape measure, a pencil, some scratch or grid paper.” 

First, measure the overall length of a wall, and write it down. Draw and Label it on your paper. Always start measuring you walls from an adjoining corner if possible. Measure from wall edge to wall edge. You might want to take two measurements. One at the rear of the existing cabinets another toward the front. It’s not uncommon for older structures (and some new ones-depending upon the framer) to be off a little. If you have a discrepancy of let’s say ½ inch, you’ll want note that. A ½” gap in 24”can really mess with your cabinet layout and placement of counter tops. Don’t worry about the appliances, fixtures and windows, yet. They will become important later.

After you have all your walls on your layout paper you’re ready to measure the windows, Appliances and other fixtures.

NOTE: Refrigerators, stoves, cook tops are available in a variety of sizes. Many of the older refrigerators were only 63-67 inches tall. Today, it seems like the average is approximately 72” and the widths will vary according to your desires. Standard dish washer are 24”, ranges/stoves-30” – But don’t assume your new appliances are those sizes. If you’re not upgrading your fridge but thinking you might sell the home in a few years you probably should allow that area to accept a 72” tall fridge.

If there is a window you will be centering the sink on, measure from the wall edge to the casing of that window and note that on your grid. Then measure the window from casing edge to casing edge, marking that and then take the measurement of the remainder of the wall. Measure and mark any other windows in the kitchen. Clearly mark where all electrical, plumbing and vents currently are, they can all be moved to fit your remodeled layout during the construction phase.

Now measure and place the appliances in your diagram where they are or will be located. If you’re thinking of an island place that in your diagram as well. Double check measurements to assure you have everything on your diagram and the measurements are correct. If you’re adding an island verify that you’ll be able to open oven and dishwasher doors, have room to maneuver all your appliances in and out including your refrigerator.

Measure your ceiling height in at least 4 places along your cabinet walls to assure consistency. This will also let you determine the appropriate size of wall cabinets you’ll need or want. REMEMBER, you will need a minimum of 18 inches from the top of any cook surface to the bottom of any cabinet, vent or microwave you intend to place above it.