Measuring New Cabinets
Make an outline sketch of what the countertops will look like (Fig. 1).
Use a good quality steel tape measure; make sure the tip is 90° to the blade (not bent). On cabinets with face frames, check to see if the face frame overhangs the side of the cabinet (Fig. 2). This can vary by manufacturer (usually about 1/8" - 1/4"). Frame less cabinets (also called European cabinets) have no overhang on the side. Take measurements along the wall. If countertop butts into a wall, put end of tape up against wall and take measurement on exposed end. Add over-hang of face frame (if any) to the measurement.
If measuring between walls place end of tape in right corner (Fig. 3), measure out 24" and put pencil mark on wall, then put end of tape in left corner and measure to pencil line (Fig. 4). Write down this measurement and add 24" (example 114-3/4" + 24" = 138-3/4").
As you get your wall measurements write them down on the sketch you drew previously.
Now, any exposed ends may need additional overhang, see list below. Note: don't confuse the face frame overhang with the overhangs listed below. Also make note of ends that get finished (capped) or may need a radius, etc.
You also may need front cabinet measurements. This would apply to diagonal corner cabinets, angle end bases, etc. Sometimes countertops with odd angles or nonstandard widths may need a template made before the countertops can be manufactured and cut.
Typical Countertop Overhang
Next to stove.
Next to refrigerator.
Exposed end of kitchen countertop.
Exposed end of vanity countertop.
Exposed end of island countertop, with no radius.
- 1/2"+ radius size
Exposed end of island countertop, with radius. (example 6" radius; 6" + 1/2" = 6-1/2")
Click on images to enlarge.