Reviewed By

Ekta Kohli

Verified Expert in Interior Design

With over 11 years of experience in interior design and kitchen design, Ekta has worked on a wide range of projects from residential to commercial. She is currently leading the design team at Infinite Ideas Interiors, India.

Home » Floor Plans & Layouts » Key Floor Plan Symbols & Architectural Abbreviations to Read Floor Plans Effectively

As a client or a novice in the field of interior design, you may get lost in the sheer amount of architectural symbols, texts and numbers you see on an architectural plan. 

It could appear daunting to understand these symbols precisely. But it would help if you learned about them so that no miscommunication arises between you and the people you work for and with. It could also be beneficial to you, as a homeowner, are dealing directly with a contractor and incorporate floor plan drawing symbols in the set of blueprints of your home design. Knowing how to read a floor plan can help you understand what you need and how your idea would look in reality.

We’re going to go over every floor function symbol and floor abbreviation there is, so hang tight. Bookmark this article, and come back to it every time you’re working with a floor plan. With time, you’ll master the nuances.

What is a Floor Plan Symbol?

A standard floor plan will show you structural elements like doors, walls, windows and stairs. The floorplan would also show other essentials like plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems.

The blueprint symbols used are general outlines of what the actual object is. So, for example, you can observe signs of sinks, stairs and tubs that look like the accurate top view of the actual item.

These floor function symbols are like a different language that you need to learn. Professionals in the construction and design industry use this language to communicate effectively. Most floor plans also include legends that describe the colors, symbols and text the floor plan uses to leave no room for miscommunication.

The legend is often printed along with the title block at the bottom of the right side of the sheet. This is because it houses several architectural notations, and many of them are standardized floor function symbols that would appear on every floorplan. There could be slight variations, but the basic outline would remain the same for all.

create such floor plan designs on foyr neo

10 Main Types of Floor Plan Symbols

1. Compass Symbols

floor play symbols compassImage Credit:

This symbol will help you navigate through the floor plan and show you the property’s orientation concerning the cardinal directions. It is mainly represented by a circle with a north arrow pointing towards the north.

Read also – How to Draw a Floor Plan & Top Mistakes to Avoid

2. Door Symbols

door symbols - floor plan symbols

Image Credit:

The doors are annotated by a large gap between the walls and a curved line that shows the direction of the swing. In addition, the path traced by the swing is shown in a dotted line showing the clear area the door would cover. However, there are different ways to show a door depending on the type of door that is to be installed.

For typical triple hinge door swings, the curved line makes a quarter circle arc indicating the extent of the swing (up to 90 degrees).

Double doors are indicated with a symbol like a letter M, with the two curved arcs meeting at the centre.

In closets that have bifold doors, it is always indicated as open doors. It is symbolised by two twin peaks and a space between them. The distance between them shows where they will meet when the door is closed.

When a sliding door or pocket door is shown, it is mainly indicated with a rectangle representing the door inserted into the wall and is attached to a dotted rectangle. The dotted area shows where the position of the door would be when closed.

Jordan Smith, a leading residential homebuilder, says, “We have a common schematic for doors. A door is going to be shown as a swinging door, that you can see which side the hinges are, and see which way it swings, either inswing, or out swing. If the hinges are on the left hand side, it’s an inswing door. You can see the same on the cabinet doors as well.”


Read also – How To Read Floor Plans: 8 Elements To Read A Floor Plan

3. Window Symbols

window symbols - floor plan symbolsImage Credit:

Symbol for windows in the floor plan are shown as part of the walls. They are symbolised by an empty rectangle inserted into a wall with a solid hatch.

Sliding windows are symbolized by three parallel rectangles representing each sliding window panel joined at the edges below the other.

Casement windows look like mini doors, with an arc showing how much they protrude from the wall while they are open.

Bay window floor plan symbols are shown by breaking the straight line of the wall, and the face of the window is pushed outside.

Read also – 8 Best Window Treatment Ideas

4. Stair Symbols

staircase symbols - floor plan symbolsImage Credit:

Like most symbols, staircases are seen parallel from the plan view. Simply put, stair symbol floor plan look like a series of rectangles attached from side to side. The rectangles can change to other geometric shapes depending on the design of the actual staircase.

Sometimes they are also indicated with a line running through the middle and an arrow at the top. This shows the direction of the staircase. The arrowhead indicates going UP.

Mid landings are shown as large slabs of rectangles or squares as per design.

A curved staircase looks like a bicycle tire with all the sections attached to the central circle or pole.

Read also – 14 Different Types of Staircases

5. Wall Symbols

wall symbols - floor plan symbolsImage Credit:

The most basic and typical element of the floor plan is the walls. They would have a much-standardized representation worldwide unless something unique, e.g. a wall made up of glass bottles.

The intensity of the lines indicates the location of the solid wall. Thicker lines indicate the interior walls of the architectural plan, whereas exterior walls are shown by double lines or a thin black outline.

The material of the wall also plays a massive role in their representation. Brick or concrete walls are colored with hatches at 45-degree angles. Items like wood are shown in a brief depiction of wood grains. Insulated walls are indicated in spring like a pattern infused in the walls.

Read also – The Guide to Choosing the Best Bathroom Wallpaper Designs & Ideas for 2024

6. Appliances Symbols

appliances symbolsImage Credit:

Appliances like refrigerators and stoves are indicated as a simple outline of the item itself. In the case of built-in appliances, it is shown in dotted lines accompanied with a short text or an abbreviation, e.g. DW for dishwasher. The dotted lines, therefore, indicate they the appliances are hidden under the counter or inside a storage unit.

Sometimes floor plan kitchen symbols are additional details, such as a drawing of the four burners in the case of a stove in the kitchen, 

Read also – 15 Best 3D Floor Plan Software

7. Plumbing Symbols

plumbing fixture symbolsImage Credit:

Plumbing fixtures are predominantly depicted as would be seen from the top in a parallel perspective. They include items like a bathtub, toilet floor plan symbol, shower symbols and sinks. The sink sizes can change depending on what type it is, such as single vanity sink, cabinet sink, double sink, kitchen sink, freestanding sink etc.

Uncommon fixtures include items like urinals. Sometimes bathroom features are also depicted, such as towel racks.

Read also – 10 Best Bathroom Design Apps and Software

8. HVAC Symbols

hvac symbols and meanings - floor plan symbolsImage Credit:

The HVAC system, otherwise known as the central ac system, is depicted by various symbols for different system areas. These areas include wall vents, ceiling vents, air conditioning units etc.

The more detailed floor plan for HVAC would carry details of items like heaters, pumps, return air vents etc. The system’s piping can be seen in two parallel lines running through depicting the ducts to carry the air.

Items like a heating subcontractor may require separate drawings of their own since it could get too congested if you plan to show both heating and cooling on the same line.

Read also – How Can You Mitigate Electrical Hazards as an Interior Designer?

9. Electrical Symbols

electrical symbols - floor plan symbolsImage Credit:

Electrical plans will carry a host of symbols that will signify the lighting points, locations of wall jacks, thermostats, TV and switch outlets. They will also have markings of electrical items like ceiling fans denoted by a circle and three lines originating from the center like a propeller. The light point is represented by a small circle and crosshairs extending beyond the circle’s circumference.

Electrical symbols on floorplans always include a legend since there are a lot of them that you would need to keep track of. Sometimes along with the item name, a small note on the feature is also written if it requires further explanation, such as the wattage of a particular light.

Read also – 20 Best Floor Plan Apps

10. Furniture Symbols

furniture symbols - floor plan symbolsImage Credit:

Floor plan furniture symbols are almost always self-explanatory. Depending on the draughtsman, they can draw items like sofas and tables in simple rectangles or extensive details. Sometimes it becomes mandatory to consider the detailed furniture drawings of the couch and armchairs to overlay symbol for furniture in floor plans.

Sometimes draughtsman also draw plants and props on top of the table for artistic effect. This is mainly done when the floor plan is made for sale or marketing purposes.

Most commonly used architectural floor plan symbols in the common areas like the living room and dining room range from sofas, armchairs, dining tables, dining chairs, sideboards, cupboards to smaller items like tepoys, pouffes and side tables.

The bedroom can carry the bed and nightstand symbols and should be to scale. For example, the bed is denoted by two small rectangles inside the head of the larger rectangle, indicating the pillows. A line with a triangle below the two rectangles represents the blanket line.

This is a basic form of annotation. Many firms use more detailed drawings where the material and the folds of the cloth are also incorporated to make the drawing look better. The site plan generally sees outdoor furniture like garden seating or patio furniture. In addition, the site plan covers the landscaped area around the built space.

Read also – 10 Best Free Furniture Design Software

74 Most Common Floor Plan Abbreviations

Apart from just architect floor plan symbols, floor plans also carry a lot of characters in the form of abbreviations. Abbreviations are used when there is no space to show an architectural floor plan symbol, or there is a lack of space to denote it, especially in the case of some technical drawings. Some of the commonly used ones are listed below.



1 AB Air Brick
2 AL Aluminum
3 AP Acoustic Plaster
4 ASPH Asphalt
5 AT Acoustic Tile
6 B Basin
7 BAL Balustrades
8 BC Bookcase
9 BHD Bulkhead over
10 B/I Built-in
11 BK Brick
12 BV Brick Veneer
13 BWK Brickwork
14 C Cooker
15 CAB Cabinet
16 CBD / CPD Cupboard
17 CD Clothes Dryer
18 CF Concrete Floor
19 COL Column
20 CORR Corrugated
21 CR Cement Render
22 CT Ceramic Tile
23 CW Cavity Wall
24 D Door
25 DG Double Glazing
26 DH Double Hung (windows)
27 DP Downpipe
28 DPC / DPM Damp-proof course / damp-proof membrane
29 DW Dish Washer
30 FA Floor Area
31 FB Face Brick
32 FCL Finished Ceiling Level
33 FFL Finished Floor Level
34 FL Floor Level
35 FW Floor Waste
36 GM Gas Meter
37 GPO General Purpose Outlet (i.e. power point)
38 HTR Heater
39 HW Hot Water unit
40 INSUL Insulation
41 KIT Kitchen
42 LIN Linen Cupboard
43 LINO Linoleum
44 LVR Louvres
45 M Meter
46 MSB Master Switch Board
47 O Oven
48 PBD Plasterboard
49 R / REFRIG Refrigerator
50 RL Reduced Level
51 RS Roller Shutter
52 RWH Rainwater Head
53 RWP Rainwater Pipe
54 RWT Rainwater Tank
55 SC Stop Cock
56 SD Sewer Drain
57 SD Sliding Door
58 SHR/SH Shower
59 SS Stainless Steel
60 TC Terra Cotta
61 TEL Telephone
62 TRZO Terrazzo
63 TV Television
64 U/G Underground
65 U/S Underside
66 V Vinyl
67 VENT Ventilator
68 VP Vent Pipe
69 W(number) Window Basic window number
70 WB Weatherboard
71 WH Water Heater
72 WC Water Closet
73 WM Washing Machine
74 WR Wardrobe

Why is Foyr Neo the Best Software to Create Floor Plans?

this floor plan created on foyr neo

Before the turn of the century, draughtsman did all architectural drawings by hand in black and white. The introduction of computers gave rise to computer-aided design and drafting (CADD). But now, clients and designers request 3D perspectives to understand the space better. 

Most designers face the central problem of converting a 2D house plan to 3D. After drafting a floorplan, it takes more time to insert 3D elements and extrude the walls to make a 3D design.

But the introduction of Foyr Neo has changed the face of the game. With Foyr, you can make a 3D floorplan with the click of a button. And to add to that benefit, you can immediately get an automatically generated photorealistic floorplan in seconds. You can also make use of the readymade templates for a quick start. Most software cannot match the time and energy saved in making a floorplan in Foyr Neo anywhere. You can also choose to sign up for a 14-day free trial.


Understanding the scale, location, and context of electrical symbols on floor plans is essential for accurate interpretation and implementation during the construction and wiring phases.

Flooring symbols in floor plans can vary depending on the material, with representations ranging from simple patterns for carpeting to textured fills for tiles and hardwood.

Symbols such as arrows or level indicators are often used in floor plans to denote changes in elevation, stairs, ramps, or other architectural elements facilitating vertical circulation within a space.

Symbols for structural elements in floor plans typically consist of simple line drawings or geometric shapes, often accompanied by annotations specifying the material, dimensions, and load-bearing capacity of each element.

Floor plan drawing symbols provide precise representations of structural elements, aiding in accurate construction and minimizing errors during the building process.

Neo footer Banner
Click to rate this post!
[Total: 22 Average: 4.3]
Nichole Samuel

Interior Designer

Blog Reviewed By

Goddess Interiors LLC

Join 50,000+ designers and teams

Using Foyr Neo is as easy as 1, 2, 3. First, upload a floor plan or create one from scratch. Then drag and drop from over 60K 3D models to fill your rooms. Lastly, just set the shot and let the AI create stunning 4K renders for you in less than 10 minutes.

Start your 14-day free trial

No Credit Card Or Download Required

Specially built for Interior Designers

Get started for free

Start your 14-day free trial No Credit Card Or Download Required