How to Determine the Mesh Size of a Window Screen


Window screen is made of interwoven vertical and horizontal wires to create airflow through small holes. The screen keeps insects out of the house when the windows are open. Small-size mesh has a larger warp and fill size, creating smaller openings to form a barrier between small insects and the interior of the home. Measuring the existing mesh size lets you purchase the same size screen for replacement so all window screens match.

Things You'll Need

  • Ruler
  • Straight pin
  • Digital calipers
  • Place the zero point on a ruler horizontally on the center of one wire in the screen. Hold the ruler in place with one hand.

  • Place a straight pin's point in the first opening past the zero mark on the ruler just above the ruler. Count this square as number one. Place the straight pin in the next opening to the right for square number two. Count each square to the 1-inch mark on the ruler. Write down the number of openings as squares per linear inch, or warp.

  • Measure the number of squares per inch vertically in the same manner. Record this as the fill number.

  • Place a pair of digital calipers on one larger vertical wire. Press the clear button on the calipers to zero out the display. Press the caliper jaws together on the wire. Record the number on the digital display as the wire diameter.

Tips & Warnings

  • Purchase new window screening according to the measurement size. For example, a standard window screen size is 18-by-16 with 0.011 wire diameter. In this example, 18 is the warp size, 16 is the fill size and 0.011 is the wire thickness.

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  • Photo Credit lizard on screen image by Pix by Marti from
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