What Is the Diamond on a Measuring Tape For?

Mike Matthews

Your tape measure may look like a simple measurement tool, but it's equipped with a rich variety of useful marks that help construction and remodeling professionals work with greater speed and accuracy.

Tape measure and pencil on wood surface.

For instance, every multiple of 16 inches is highlighted to help carpenters position studs and joists properly, and black diamonds assist framers constructing roof trusses.

Diamonds In the Sky

Much as the 16 inch mark stands out for contractors looking to fasten drywall to the studs, the black diamond represents the 19.2 inch spacing traditionally assigned to roof trusses. That fractional measurement is based on supporting an 8 foot plywood panel with five evenly spaced trusses.