What is a Floor Plan?

A floor plan is a scale drawing that presents the layout of a space from above.


A floor plan is one of the most fundamental pieces of documentation in both architecture and interior design. It provides a bird's eye view of a building or room, laying out all the critical components such as walls, windows, doors, and sometimes even furniture placement. This type of drawing is essential for visualizing space, planning design arrangements, and effectively communicating ideas between designers, clients, and contractors.

Floor plans are typically drawn to scale, which means that every element of the plan corresponds to an exact size and proportion in real life. This accurate representation allows for precise planning and measurements. While traditionally designed on paper, today's floor plans are often created using computer-aided design (CAD) software, making it easier to edit and share them.

There are various types of floor plans, including 2D plans, which show a flat view of the room or building components, and 3D plans, which provide a more immersive perspective, showing volume and height in addition to layout. Detailed floor plans might also include measurements, furniture layouts, and notes on materials or finishes, making them invaluable tools for the interior design process.


When planning a new home, renovation, or office layout, architects and interior designers will create a floor plan to ensure the space is used efficiently and meets the client's needs. In real estate, floor plans are often included in property listings to help prospective buyers understand the home's layout before viewing it.


  • Why are floor plans used in interior design?

    Floor plans are used in interior design to visualize space, plan the arrangement of elements, and ensure efficient use of the area. They help designers and clients understand the spatial relationships within a room or building.

  • What's included in a floor plan?

    A floor plan includes walls, windows, doors, and oftentimes furniture placement. It may also show measurements, indicate material finishes, and provide notes for construction or design specifications.

  • Can I create a floor plan myself?

    Yes, individuals can create simple floor plans using paper and pencil or various online tools and apps. However, for more complex projects and precise planning, professional software or the expertise of a designer or architect may be beneficial.

Practical Application

To use a floor plan effectively, ensure it is to scale and includes all relevant details such as dimensions and labels. It is also helpful to know how to read symbols and terms commonly used in floor plans. When planning a layout, consider the function of each space and how the areas will flow together. A well-considered floor plan can significantly impact the usability and enjoyment of a space.