Floor Plan Symbols Explained

Housing project

Floor plan symbols can be quite baffling for anyone who is not an architect or in the construction field. However, for a homeowner contemplating a remodeling project or addition, understanding these symbols is extremely important. Floor plan symbols are not only used on construction project drawings but can also be used by interior designers for decorating plans.

Scale Indicators

Usually, toward the bottom of an architectural or construction drawing, there is an indicator that shows the scale of the drawing.

Understanding the drawing scale is extremely important because this is how all of the contractors working on the project understand the placement and measurements of all of the items included in the drawings.


For every kind of object you can imagine being placed or installed on a construction project, there is a small standard replica of that item. These objects range from plumbing fixtures like tubs, showers, and sinks to appliances like washers, dryers, and refrigerators to light fixtures and electrical outlets.

Some standard indicators of walls are solid lines which indicate an unbroken wall, and a solid line with another line sticking out of it which indicates a doorway within a wall.

Plants and furniture can be indicated by shapes that look similar to the items placed in the room – sofas, beds, etc. And very often interior design floor plans will have a key at the bottom that shows corresponding shapes and colors that match specific types of plants, fabrics, or color schemes.


Another type of floor plan symbol is the feature detail indicator. This is extremely important because feature details ensure that the features are actually installed in the correct direction or operate in an intended manner.

For example, a door object has a feature that indicates what direction the door should swing - inward or outward - and which side the handle should be on to make it swing in the correct direction. Without this distinction, doors, windows, and other items might be installed willy-nilly and not achieve the intended functionality.

Another aspect of feature details includes the specific type of object. For example, there are several different kinds of doors. A bi-fold door feature is different from a standard door, which is different from a sliding door. In the same way, a shower stall feature is slightly different from a shower/tub combination, which is different from a jet tub.

Drawing Floor Plan Symbols

Many floor plans are hand-drawn on graph paper. However, there are now many readily available software programs that make adding or including standard floor plan symbols on floor plan drawings easy and simple. For homeowners drawing their own floor plans, using these symbols can be extremely important, especially if they are going to be working with an architect or contractor to complete their home improvement project.