How to Properly Measure Your Kitchen

By Sean Walsh

A major kitchen redo can be a rather daunting undertaking. There’s a lot to consider and many decisions to make. Fortunately, we’ll walk you through it and bring your plans to life with the best quality RTA kitchen cabinets of your dreams.

The first step to your dream kitchen is to measure properly. Accurate measurements will help you decide what you can fit into your space. Your measurements will ensure that your cabinets will fit correctly, and the project will run smoothly. Homeowners often underestimate the importance of accurate measurements and are faced with island cabinets so close to the wall that stools don’t fit or a new refrigerator and oven doors that bump into the cabinet doors. They end up paying a high price with a kitchen that is hard to enjoy and work efficiently in. If the kitchen isn’t up to the building codes, they may find it hard or impossible to sell their home should they want or need to someday. If an inspection is necessary after a remodel and the kitchen falls short of the codes, the homeowner must spend extra money, time, and work to bring the kitchen up to code.

By taking careful measurements of your kitchen and drawing a preliminary floorplan, you will not only get a basic idea of how your new kitchen will look but you can accurately convey to us your ideas and the space you have to work with. This is not as hard as you might think if you take it one step at a time. It doesn’t have to be a professional plan, just a nice clear simple sketch with your accurate measurements is fine.

You will need:

• Pencil and eraser
• Tablet of unlined paper
• 25’ retractable metal tape measure
• If possible, a small step ladder or step stool
• Notepad
• And…a fair amount of time


Measure Your Kitchen

Note:  Your measurements should be in inches only, not feet and inches.

Choose a corner and begin measuring along your wall about 36 inches from the floor. Stop when you reach another corner or where the kitchen ends and another area begins, such as the family room.

Keep going clockwise, working to your right, and measure the length of each wall, recording your measurements onto your notepad as you go.

When you get to a window or door, measure from the outside of the trim to the other outside of the trim. Record the measurement on the pad.

Keep measuring all the way around the room. For instance, corner to window in inches, window width in inches, window to next wall in inches, etc. Basically, you’ll be looking at your wall in sections between openings.

Add all of the measurement above and you should have the total length of the wall. After you have measured each wall this way, do a wall to wall measurement. This will help you to double check your first measurements.
Now, take vertical measurements of your walls from floor to ceiling in at least a few areas in the kitchen since floors are not always level, especially in older homes. Measure windows from your floor to the bottom of the windowsill, then from the windowsill to the top of the window, including the top molding and from the top of this to the ceiling. Record your measurements. Measure the height of doors and from top of door molding to ceiling. Record these measurements. Measure the width of the door and record.

If your kitchen has soffits, measure the distance from the floor to the soffit and from the bottom of the soffit to the ceiling and the total length of the soffit. Measure how far they come out from the wall. Record your measurements.

Using your measurements, make a drawing of your kitchen. Show the doors, windows and any other openings. Draw in your range, wall ovens, sinks, dishwasher, etc. and indicate the center of each. Just a square or rectangle shape will do and label them with their measurements.

Now, once complete, redo the measurements and drawing on another sheet of paper to compare them for accuracy. You’ll thank yourself if there’s a discrepancy.

Measuring Various Kitchen Layouts

L-Shaped Kitchen.

The L-shaped kitchen has 2 basic walls. Measure each as the directions above. Record.


Measure as above each wall and the space from one wall across to the other at each end. Record all 4 measurements.

One wall.

Measure from end to end.

Square Footage

Sometimes you will be asked to provide a square footage of your space. If you’ve never done this before, please don’t have a sudden attack of math anxiety. It’s very easy. Take a deep breath, now let it out. Good. Measure a wall from corner to corner. Measure the adjacent wall. Multiply these two numbers — your length and width — to get the square footage.

What if there’s an alcove, bay or offset? Measure the length and width of the space and multiply. Just as you did before. For example, if you have a bay area that is 5 feet by 4 feet it would be 5×4=20 sq. ft. You can add the square footage of your bay or other extra space to your calculation of the main space to find your total square feet.

Cabinet Measurements

To find the square feet of your cabinets measure the length of your top cabinets. Record in inches. Measure the height of your cabinets. Record. Now multiply the height by the length.

Now, measure and multiply the lower cabinets as you did the upper. Add these two total measurements, in inches, together and divide by 144 to get the square feet.

That’s basically all there is to measuring a kitchen properly. If you get stuck and need help, please don’t be afraid to ask us. We understand you don’t do this every day. We are here to assist you in every way we can and to ensure that your kitchen dreams come true!