WHAT SCALE IS MY HOUSE?

This is a brief guide to scale for those who are uncertain about what it means.  Many people already know what scale their house is, the most common one being 1:12, or 1/12th of full size.  The vast majority of miniatures available are for this scale.  It is also known in the USA as 1”, because 1” in miniature represents 1 ft in full size (12 inches equals  1 foot, so  1/12th of that is 1”).  The same thing applies if you use metric measurement.  Something that is 30 cms long becomes 1/12th of that in 1:12 scale, so dividing 30 cms by 12  gives 2.5 cms for the miniature. 

Picture 060.jpgImage showing a 1/24th bathroom sitting in a 1/12th scale bathroom.  Note it is half the size!  

The other relatively common scale is 1:24, or 1/24th of full size, also known as 1/2” in the USA.  This means that the miniature is 1/24th of the full size.  So something 12” (or 1 foot) long in full size becomes 1/2” in 1:24.  That is you divide the 12” by 24, which gives 1/2”. As you can see clearly from the photo, items in this scale are half the size of 1:12 scale items.

Common in the 1940s and therefore found in vintage houses by Triang, Lundby and others (but also now available in, for example, Brinca Dada) is 1:16 or 3/4” scale, because the miniature is 1/16th of the full size.  So our 1 foot, or 12 inches, divided by 16 becomes 3/4” (or in metric, 30 cms divided by 16 gives us a miniature of 1.87 cms). 

Finally, there is Playscale, or 1:6, commonly used for Barbie, Pulip, and other “fashion” dolls.  In this scale, the full size 1 foot becomes 1/6th of that, which is 2” in Playscale.    

WHAT DO I DO IF I DON'T KNOW WHAT SCALE MY HOUSE IS?   You could measure the floor to ceiling height, but this isn’t always very helpful.   After all, if you think about real houses, some have quite low ceilings, while others have very high ones.   A more accurate idea is likely to come from measuring the height of the doors.  These tend not to vary very much in ordinary domestic buildings.  So if we think that a real door is somewhere between 6 feet and 6 feet 6 inches tall (6 feet is 72 inches) or 180 to 190 cms and we divide that by 12, we get 6” (or 6 1/2” in the case of a 6 foot 6 inches door) or  15 - 16 cms.  This means that if your dollhouse doors measure around 6” (15cms) or so in height, it is probably a 1:12 scale house.    

If we go back to our standard full size 6 foot (190 cms) door, but divide by 16, we get about 4 1/2” (12 cms) So if your doors are about 4 1/2” (12-13 cms) tall, your house is probably 1:16 scale (allow up to half an inch either way, so between 4” and 5” maximum). 

Similarly, if we divide 6 foot (which is 72 inches) or 180 - 190 cms  by 24 we get only about 3” (7.5 cms) , so if your doors are about 3”(7.5 cms)  tall then the house is probably 1:24 scale. 

Sometimes you may want to know if a miniature is the right scale for your house.   Suppose you find a dining table that is 1 3/4” tall.  How do you know if it will look right in your house?  Well, is your house 1:12 scale?  If so, MULTIPLY the miniature by 12.  So 1 3/4” times 12 equals 21”.  This is less than 2 feet high.  Think how high a real dining table is (or go and measure your own real one, or maybe do a search for a dining table on the internet and see what the dimensions are).  21” is far too low for a dining table.  So it isn’t a 1:12 scale dining table (it’s more likely to be 1:16, because 16 times 1 3/4” is 28”, which is 2 feet 4 inches, a much more reasonable height for a dining table.  Obviously there are small variations in scale, so probably anything between 2  1/4” and 2 5/8” will work in 1:12 as a dining table. (the same thing applies with centimetres.  Simply multiply the size by the scale of your house.  So if a table measures 4.5 cms tall and your house is 1:12 scale, multiply 4.5 by 12, giving 54 cms (too short for a dining table) so more likely to be a 1:16 table.   

Some things of course vary in full size.  Books can be anything from about 6” high for a paperback to 12” or more for a large illustrated book.  So when you’re gauging scale, try and use something that doesn’t vary very much – like a door or a dining table. 

HOW DO I KNOW IF YOUR MINIATURES ARE RIGHT FOR MY HOUSE?

Once you know what scale your house is, you can find the appropriate scale miniatures.  As we have already said, most miniatures available for sale all over the world are in 1:12 scale and in our main categories – Kitchens, Bedrooms, Bathrooms, EAZY Living etc – all the items in these categories are suitable for a 1:12 house. 

For all other scales, items are listed under that particular scale.  Scroll down the left side of the website until you come to a heading “OTHER SCALES”, and you will see there are several categories – 1:24, 1:16, Playscale (or 1:6).  Click on the one that interests you, and then scroll down the page again and you will find further sub-categories – Kitchens, Bedrooms, Furniture, Accessories, etc.  Click on one of these, and you will find the full listings for that category.

NOTE.  If you put “sink” or “hob” for example into a general search on our website, you will find several items come up.  Some of these will say 1:24, or Playscale (1:6), or Sixteenth (1:16)  in the heading.  If your house is a regular 1:12 house, ignore these and just go with all those which DON’T state a scale, as these are all 1:12 scale.

Take care to order the right scale!