The Perfect Explanation to Why There Are Diamonds on Measuring Tapes

Categories: Helpful Hacks | Posted On:

Are you interested in doing a DIY project? Well, you’re not alone; more than 47% started a DIY project in 2020. Do-it-yourself projects can be labor intensive and take a long time to complete. 

However, if you’re in it for the long haul, you’ll need to know your tools. First things first, measuring tapes. 

Now, you may have asked yourself a time or two, “Why are there black diamonds across the tape? Is it supposed to mean anything?”

Luckily for you, we have the scoop, and it might just help you more than you know. From the meaning of black diamond to why it’s on the measuring tape, you can learn its true purpose and how you can use the black diamond marking today. 

Now, are you ready to get started? Here’s an in-depth look at tape measure markings: 

The History Behind Measuring Tapes

Before we dive into the meaning behind the diamond marking, first, we should start with the history of the measuring tape. Back in early 1821, James Chesterman created the design of the tape measure; however, later, Alvin J. Fellows enhanced the design to provide more flexibility and efficiency for the product. 

Fellows’ design became patented in the US; however, as time went on, the tape measure evolved. 

Its design was meant to be portable and easy to evaluate whether you worked in construction, tailoring, or carpentry. In fact, to get more precise measurements, the tape measure comes with different markings. 

Today, most tape measures include all metrics like centimeters, meters, inches, and feet. So whatever metric you’re measuring, you can instantly find a metric equivalent to it. That way, you find materials in other metrics easily and efficiently. 

In fact, certain tape measures have specific markings to calculate truss lengths for roofs and stud marks for houses. Therefore, tape measures not only make finding the right materials easy but also makes it simple to use on the job. 

What Is a Stud? 

To completely understand the purpose of the black diamond marking, you first need to understand the purpose of a stud. A stud is typically defined as a board that frames a house and supports the walls. They’re typically spaced 16-inches or 24-inches along the center of the wall and run from the ceiling to the floor.  

Studs are crucial in hanging heavy objects. After all, the fasteners used to hang large objects like TVs, mirrors, and art pieces can’t be anchored to the wall since the drywall can’t support the weight. 

The stud, on the other hand, is better equipped to hold large amounts of weight. Therefore, if you anchor the fastener to the stud, it’ll prevent the fastener from falling under the object’s weight. 

To get the best support, anchor the object to the center of the stud. It’ll hold under the worst of conditions since the center is the most balanced.

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What Do the Black Diamonds Mean? 

The black diamonds that turn up about every 19.2 inches on a metal measuring tape are strategically placed to space out I-beam timbers. Many wood manufacturers sell I-beam timber as a substitute for more expensive lumber floor joists.  

That way, builders can save time and money. After all, since the I-beams support more weight, they can be spaced out, unlike typical floor joists.  

However, you can also use the black diamonds to help with any spacing need. For example, you can use the diamonds to get the perfect framing per 8 feet. Not to mention, you can even use the diamonds to determine where you need studs or how much sheathing you’ll need. 

Why Are the Diamonds Located on the Tape Measure? 

Now that you know what those suspicious diamonds mean, you might be wondering why they’re located on a measuring tape at all. Well, to put it plainly, they’re there for ease and efficiency. That way, builders can utilize the strength of I beams by using fewer floor joists without losing any floor support. 

In layman’s terms: the black diamond markings make it easy for builders to know where and where not to drill. That way, builders can use less time thinking about their measurements and instead use that time to work on the project at hand. 

Not to mention, the diamond markings make construction finish at a faster rate. You see, with the diamond marking, builders can finish their work more quickly, leading them to jump from project to project; therefore, they’re able to finish the entire construction project in less amount of time. How cool is that? 

How Reliable Are the Black Diamonds? 

While black diamonds seem like they would work perfectly in any situation, are they as reliable as they seem? Sadly, depending on building codes, no. 

While their spacing is practically weight capable for 16-inch centers, building codes may not allow such spacing in all situations. It’s best to check the building codes and project blueprint before going ahead with construction. 

Also, be aware that black diamonds don’t allow a stud to be placed at 48-inches. So, to accommodate, 8-foot sheets of plywood must be installed. That way, builders can put studs further apart if a project requires it. 

Final Thoughts  

Now that you know what those mysterious black diamonds mean, how are you going to use them? Whether it be to help you find a stud or repair your carpet, whatever your DIY adventure calls for, your trusted measuring tapes will always have your back. 

If you’re interested in learning new hacks, contact us today. We look forward to helping you find the best hacks to help you succeed!

About Cary Byrd

eDrugSearch founder, Cary Byrd, has been called an “e-health innovator” by MarketIntellNow, interviewed by top pharmaceutical industry journalists, invited to Matthew Holt’s Health 2.0 Conference and a Consumer Report's health summit, and highlighted on numerous health blogs.

diamonds on measuring tapes

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