How to measure walls for cladding

How to measure walls for cladding
February 23, 2018 Michael Hawkins

How to measure your walls for cladding

Measuring your walls for cladding couldn’t be simpler, for most walls you will only have to measure width in order to get an accurate measurement, as most ceilings do not exceed the length of a cladding panel.

Measuring a regular wall for cladding

When it comes to measuring a regular wall for cladding it’s pretty simple, all you have to do is divide either the width or height of the wall (depending on panel orientation) by the width of the panels you intend to install.

All of the following examples are based on a panel width of 250mm.

The example below details calculations for installing the panels both vertically and horizontally:    


***************(INSERT FIG 1.1 DRAWING)****************


Wall = H2500mm x W2000mm       

Based on the example measurements above, the calculations for both orientations are as follows.

Horizontal = H2500mm ÷ 250mm = 10 panels

Vertical = W2000mm ÷ 250mm = 8 panels

As you can see in the example above calculating how many panels you need for a regular wall is very simple and easy to do, you will also notice depending on the orientation of the panels the amount needed could be different, you must take this into account when doing your calculations.


Measuring an irregular wall for cladding

Let’s say you have a wall that has an adjoining bath, shower tray, units or just anything you need to clad around, you will have to take these into account when calculating the area so that you can ensure you do not purchase too many or too little panels for the job.

For example purposes the following illustrations will show a wall with a bath.

Example 1

************************(INSERT FIG 1.2 DRAWING) find fig drawings in shared guides folder

In this example our area has an adjoining bath that spans the entire width of the wall, we must now calculate the wall space for cladding, and the bath panel if desired.

***********************(INSERT FIG 1.2 drawing)

As you can see in the illustration above, the total height of the ceiling does not exceed the panel length, which means we can measure this wall for cladding as if it were a bare wall.

This is because any offcuts that we have from cladding the wall above the bath can be used to create a bath panel, seeing as it it’s the same width as the wall above.


Entire Wall = H2500mm x W1850mm

1850mm ÷ 250mm = 7.4

For this example we would need 8 panels to clad this area.

You can use the same method as explained earlier on in the guide to also calculate for horizontal orientation, simply divide the height instead of the width.

**************************(INSERT FIG 1.3)

Bath dimensions = Width 1850mm x Height 530mm x Depth 800mm

In this situation you can see that the bath does not span the entirety of the wall width, like in the previous example, this means we have to do 2 separate measurements.

One for the width of the wall, like in the last example, but we also need to make another measurement of the end of the bath seeing as it is exposed.


Entire Wall = H2500mm x W1850

1850mm ÷ 250mm = 7.4

Bath end panel = H530mm x W800mm

800 ÷ 250 = 3.2 panel widths

Based on the length of the cladding we can get 800mm at least 3 times out of the same panel, meaning we can cover the end panel of the bath with just one extra panel.

This brings our total panels to 9 in total.

As you can see with the above examples and calculations that there is a big difference on how you can utilise offcuts depending on orientation and situation, sometimes you will have a lot of small offcuts that you can’t use and in other situations you will be able to reduce the amounts of panels needed by getting several cuts out of one length.

Non-square ceiling heights

What do you do if your ceiling height is different at one side of your wall than the other?

All you have to do is take more measurements at varying points of your ceiling, the best method to get the most accurate cut possible is to take two measurements for each panel when it comes to fitting.

**************Insert fig 2.1

As you can see in the illustration above, the ceiling shown is not square. Therefore when we take our measurements, we will have to do so with each panel.

As seen in fig 2.1, take a measurement at point 1, and point 2, at a spacing equivalent to the width of the panel, then translate this over to the panel when measuring for cutting.

This will ensure you cut the same angle as the ceiling, resulting in a neater finish.

Doing this with every panel will ensure minimal gap between the panel and wall surface so that when you fit your trims or seal the area there will be no visible gaps.

This method can be used for every orientation of panels and for every surface to ensure an accurate cut.

Multiple heights/widths

In some situations, you may have a rather odd shaped wall to clad, such as a staircase wall or loft area walls with sloping ceilings and walls. The following illustration shows an odd shape and how you should measure for cladding.

*******************Insert fig 2.2

First you should draw a level line at the same width of the panel from the starting point, either either horizontally or vertically depending on orientation.

Because both ends or angled you need to square off each end and measure each part individually.

*******************Insert fig 2.3

As above you should take these measurements.

Measure point 1 will be the with of the panel, and measure point 2 will be the the point in which you have to cut to.

As we can see from our measurements, at measure point 2 we have 50mm, so we know at our starting point our panel as to be cut with a 50mm angle from one side of the panel to the other, as shown in fig 2.4 below.

*******************Insert fig 2.4

Once you have measured out the 50mm onto the board, all you have to do is to mark from point A to point B, we now have the exact measurement of the angle required, marked out and ready to cut.

*******************Insert fig 2.5

While marking and measuring using this method you can square off each end, and acquire and accurate measurement of each angled end, resulting in a perfect fit.

Making use of the offcuts

You may be wondering what you’re going to do with all of the offcuts of cladding you have left over, you may have a panels of varying lengths as the cuts needed were just too big to get 2 cuts out of an entire panel.

Make sure you keep a hold of these cuttings as they may come in handy, you may have a window reveal that needs cladding or you could use the offcuts to box in any exposed pipework, or perhaps you could form a new bath panel with the cladding giving your bathroom a more complete look.


Half cladding a wall

When cladding a room you don’t have to clad the walls entirely if you don’t want to, you could go for the ‘half tiled’ look, using end caps to trim off the top edges, this would also save you on cost as you wont need as many panels.

You could simply cut the panels in half and use those lengths as the finishing height.

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