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How to Measure an Office for a Desk

by H. McGurgan

Wood desk in home office

Things You Need:

  • Tape measure
  • Graph paper

Measuring an office for a desk is the first thing you should do before you begin desk shopping. A desk is usually the largest piece of office furniture in the room and should be selected carefully for both size and function. While it is crucial to consider the space limitations of your current office, it may also be wise to think about the future and choose a desk that can be easily moved or disassembled if your office location changes.

Measuring for a Desk:

  1. Measure the width and length of your office. Use a tape measure and draw these measurements on a piece of graph paper. Use four squares to represent 1 foot when you draw the outline of your office. If your office is 10 feet long, you will draw a line on the graph paper that covers 40 squares.

  2. Mark all the features of your office. Use the tape measure to determine the height and width of the door opening and mark this measurement on the graph paper. Measure the location of the windows and mark them on the diagram, noting the distance of the window sill from the floor. If you have very low windows, you may not want to block them with furniture. Mark the position of radiators, heating vents and any other permanent structures.

  3. Represent your desk. Find the measurements for the desk you are considering purchasing and sketch a rough outline of the perimeter of the desk on a spare piece of graph paper. Use four squares to represent 1 foot again. Cut out the sketch of the desk and place it on your office diagram. Try placing the desk in various parts of the office diagram to get an idea of the ideal desk position; this step will also help you decide if you should consider a different desk size. You may also want to do this for other large furniture pieces in your office.

  4. Figure out if you can get it in. Use your measurements of the doorway and the desk to determine if the desk will fit through the office doorway. If the desk is too wide to fit through the doorway, determine if it will fit if you turn it sideways or upend it. If the desk comes assembled, you will want to measure any points of constriction, such as doorways, hallways and stairs, which the desk will have to pass through.


  1. Assembling a desk in your office can remove any worry about the desk fitting through the door, but keep in mind that you may eventually have to move it.

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