How to Measure from the home of wood

How to Measure

How to measure skirting boards | Measuring wood | Measure Mouldings

Measuring wooden mouldings and custom made timber products

There are a number of things to consider when measuring for your timber products. Not all products are measured in the same way but there are a few points that apply to all – below we have listed some of the generic methods and more specific measurement techniques for certain products;

Please note that we recommend that a professional carpenter or joiner (or builder) measures and installs your products. You may find a suitable local installer on our database of ‘Related Services’.

Firstly you will note that our linear products (products purchased in lengths of timber) are listed describing the width and thickness of the boards. Our measurements are described in millimetres and metres for overall quantities.

1cm = 10mm

1m = 1000mm

Width = The overall finished size across it’s intended face (surface that is likely to be displayed). This could also be considered as the height depending on the plane in which the product will be fixed – vertical or horizontal. For example a skirting board will be considered X mm ‘high’ but our description will show the board ‘width’ (which is the height when used in this way).

Thickness = The finished ‘depth’ of the board from face to rear (or in some cases face to face). With beading and other products where the thickness and width are similar or the same you can determine the orientation yourself (for its intended use) or view the detailed drawing available for each product.

It is worth remembering that most timbers that we list are in saw boards and then machined to the product dimensions. The width is defined by restrictions imposed by the tree growth (varying from species to species), method of logging and preparation, kiln drying and importing procedures – the same goes for length. Most of our products fall within these parameters but if they exceed this we allow to; join the boards in width. As a rough guide most species are readily available in widths up to 225mm and lengths rarely exceed 4000mm. Some of our manufacturers do not offer lengths longer than 3600mm (often due to transportation restrictions) but information regarding this will displayed once you have made your choice of product and timber (you will have a choice of supplier).

You may wish to request specific lengths – our system allows for this and some of our suppliers will offer this service, again if you stipulate your required lengths; an indication of whether the participating manufacturers can accommodate will be shown at the end of the selection process. If no manufacturers offer this for your selection; you will receive the boards in lengths, as long as available, to cover the total linear quantity you require. Joints may therefore be required by your installers once received.

AN IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING WASTEAGE – When you measure any timber or building material there is often a likelihood of wastage due room or building shapes, number of cuts and joints, positions/alignments of products etc. This can vary from material to material – as a guide we normal anticipate and allow 10% waste for timber products. Therefore you DO NOT NEED TO ADD A WASTE FACTOR WHEN ORDERING. For example if you calculate that you need 100m of skirting then simply order 100m as you will receive APPROX. 110m - covering your waste element. You will only pay for 100m.

Waste can be a ‘grey area’ and the method and accuracy of measurement can influence the waste factor you need to allow. If you feel you may require more or less waste – simply adjust accordingly (bearing aware that you will receive APPROX. 10% more than you order).

When it comes to measuring lengths here are some specifics to bear in mind;

How to measure Skirting Boards, Picture Rail and Dado Rails – Carefully measure each section of wall where you intend to fit your skirting board and make a list of the lengths you need. We often measure the wall and add 100mm for the mitre joint and cutting of any ‘rough’ ends. You can then list as these lengths or total up for an overall metre requirement. Please remember to deduct for doorways and openings.

How to measure Architrave, Picture Frames, Panel moulds – This is a similar process to skirting but you will measure the doorways, openings or surrounds for height and width. A door/opening height maybe 1981mm, for example, but you will need to add at least 100mm to this for your architrave length plus if the architrave is wide (add more to accommodate the mitre cut). Remember to allow both sides of your doorway/opening for architrave (if applicable).

How to measure Door Linings – If ordering timber for use in door linings the lengths will be determined by door sizes plus thickness of lining and gaps around door (and we normally allow a further 50-100mm). The widths will often be governed by the wall thickness – remember to include for the plastering to ensure that your lining ‘caps off’ the complete wall (if applicable).

How to measure Cladding and Decking – This can be calculated but measuring the surface area you are looking to cover in m2 and then divide by board coverage (not necessarily width) to obtain the total linear m required. Example – You have a wall to cover with cladding which is 3m x 4m = 12m2 your chosen cladding is 150mm (but due to the tongue and groove or lap it covers 135mm). 12 divided by 0.135 (135mm converted to metres) = 88.89m required. We recommend you request 90m for this and you’ll receive approx. 99-100m.

How to measure planed wood PSE/PAR (Planed square edge/planed all round) – You may require simple planed timber and we offer this – simply enter the finished sizes you need and the lengths or total number of metres you require.


Important – the products you receive may vary dimensionally from the drawings and illustrations that we display. This should be minimal but can be noticeable. All of our products are purpose manufactured and from numerous approved suppliers. If you are looking to match a profile or require more of what you have already ordered from us (and need it to be identical to the previous order) – we recommend you send a section using our bespoke service – click for more info.

Useful conversion tables

From inches to millimetres;

1 inch = 25.4mm



















From feet to metres (and millimetres);

1 foot = 0.3048m (3.28 feet to 1m)



Millimetres (rounded to industry recognised values)