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I would like to order a comfort mat for the floor of a small kitchen. The company can make it to order but I have to provide exact dimensions. This is harder that it sounds though as the floor space is best described as an irregular pentagon with 2 non-right angles. What tools or methods could be used to easily and accurately measure the surface so that I can provide an accurate sketch to the manufacturer? I haven't used a protractor since high-school but I don't see how that could be used to measure a wall angle.

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sketch the area, then add new lines between corners to divide things into triangles. Then go measure all the lines including the ones you added. Use trigonometry to figure out the parts you can't measure. –  Grant May 2 at 20:43
    
A sliding bevel is the tool for measuring angles, but if they'll take a full sized pattern, that's the most likely to get it RIGHT! –  Ecnerwal Nov 13 at 22:37

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

If they'll accept a full-size model, use the technique for making a template for cutting vinyl flooring to the right size and shape (taken from another answer of mine):

... I use a roll of craft paper and sticky tape to make a template of the room. Start in the center of the room, lightly stick a strip to the ground, and cut it at the edges of the room. You get a cleaner edge by going a little past the edge, then folding the cut edge back and sticking it down with the tape. Keep sticking more strips to the template until you cover the entire room.

If they want a smaller-scale model, use a T-bevel or angle finder to measure the angles in the corners and careful measurement to get the lengths of the walls.

  1. Pick one wall as the baseline, scale it down appropriately and make a line of that length on a piece of paper. Write down the original measurement too.
  2. Measure the angle at one end of the end of the wall, and transfer it to the paper at the appropriate end of the line from step 1. Write the angle you measured next to the line.
  3. Measure the length of the next wall, scale it down and draw it at the measured angle from the end of the first line.
  4. Repeat until you've gone all the way around the room.

To verify your accuracy, measure the diagonals going across the room and compare to your scale model.

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