12 Floor Plan Creators to Visualize Rooms in 2D and 3D

Floor plan creators allow architects, builders, designers and homeowners to easily create detailed 2D and 3D renderings of rooms, buildings and interior spaces. These tools provide an efficient way to bring ideas to life and clearly communicate designs to clients and project stakeholders.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover:

  • What are floor plan creators and why use them
  • Types of floor plans (2D, 3D, Live 3D)
  • Key features to look for when choosing software
  • Descriptions, pros/cons and pricing for 15 top apps
  • Comparisons and recommendations for best floor plan software
  • Tips for selecting the right tool for your needs
  • Latest advancements in floor plan technology

What Are Floor Plan Creators & Why Use Them?

Floor plan creators are software tools that allow users to design and visualize rooms, buildings and spaces in 2D and 3D. They provide libraries of drag-and-drop symbols, walls, windows, doors, furniture and lighting fixtures to assemble professional looking plans.

These tools bridge the gap between ideas and reality. They are useful for:

Communicating designs – Floor plans allow stakeholders like clients, contractors and collaborators to truly understand a design prior to build.

Visualizing spaces – Walkthroughs and 3D views let you experience spaces before they are physically built.

Efficiency – Floor plan software is far faster than manual drafting and easily allows changes.

Accurate Measurements – Floor plans are drawn to scale so all measurements are precise.

Collaboration – Cloud-based tools allow real-time collaboration and design versioning.

Types of Floor Plans

There are a few core types of floor plans and 3D renderings created by this software:

2D Floor Plans

This bird‘s eye view floor plan displays walls, windows, doors and layouts in 2D. Provides precise technical drawings with accurate measurements. Used widely among builders, contractors and engineers.

3D Floor Plans

Adds a 3D perspective to 2D layouts. Allows you to view exterior features and provides a walk through experience of interiors. Useful for design visualization.

Live 3D Floor Plans

This interactive 3D rendering allows you to showcase designs with virtual reality goggles. Provides first-person walkthrough which clients can experience live.

12 Key Features To Look For

When evaluating floor plan apps, here are some must-have features to look for:

  • User-friendly interface – Easy to use drag and drop editor
  • 2D to 3D conversion – Automatically convert 2D to 3D views
  • Customizable libraries – Extensive, edit-able libraries for doors, windows, furniture, etc.
  • Measurement/scaling – Ability to scale plans precisely with accurate dimensions
  • Collaborative – Real-time multi-user collaboration capabilities
  • 3D walkthroughs – Smooth 3D walkthroughs and VR integration
  • Photo-realistic renders – High quality renders and lighting effects
  • Multiple export formats – Export to PDF, JPG, PNG and more
  • Reusable templates – Ability to save and reuse floor plan templates
  • Cloud access – Ability to access plans via web and mobile devices
  • Integration – Integrates with other software tools in ecosystem
  • Affordable pricing – Reasonable pricing options for individuals and teams

Top 12 Floor Plan Applications

Based on the above criteria, here are 12 of the top floor planning applications:

1. Roomle

Roomle is a popular browser-based floor plan app used widely by interior designers and architects.

Key Features

  • Realistic 3D models with custom textures
  • Drag and drop library of over 5000 objects
  • Multi-user collaboration tools
  • Create client portals to share designs
  • VR mode for immersive walkthroughs

Pricing

  • Free version
  • Premium plans from $9/month

2. Floorplanner

Floorplanner is an easy-to use floor plan maker with excellent 2D and 3D previews.

Key Features

  • 150,000+ drag-and-drop symbols
  • Automatic room dimensions
  • Real-time collaboration
  • Present designs with shareable 3D walkthrough

Pricing

  • Free version
  • Paid plans from $19/month

3. Homebyme

Homebyme is featured packed design platform for homeowners.

Key Features

  • User-friendly drag and drop editor
  • Massive library of 3D furniture and assets
  • Photo-realistic renders and lighting
  • Floor plan inspiration from community
  • iOS, Android and web apps

Pricing

  • Free version available
  • Premium plan $9.99/month

4. Sweet Home 3D

Sweet Home 3D is an popular open source floor plan design app.

Key Features

  • Drag and drop functionality
  • Built-in library of 3D furniture
  • Customizable interior elements
  • Multi-floor plans and landscaping
  • Photo-realistic renders
  • Free and open source

Pricing

  • 100% Free

5. Planner5D

Planner5D is a web-based app for 2D/3D floor plans and interior design.

Key Features

  • Automatic HD rendering from 2D layouts
  • 10,000+ furnishing and decor models
  • Real-time collaboration features
  • Custom textures and smart materials
  • iOS, Android and web access

Pricing

  • Free and $9.99 Premium version

6. SketchUp

SketchUp by Trimble is the industry standard in 3D modeling and design.

Key Features

  • Advanced 3D modeling capabilities
  • Massive 3D model library
  • Create high quality renders
  • Plugin ecosystem enhances capabilities
  • Integration with CAD and BIM tools

Pricing

  • Web version is free
  • License plans from $299/year

7. Roomsketcher

RoomSketcher packs excellent 2D editing with 3D previews.

Key Features

  • Click-and-drag editor
  • Export/Import existing floor plans
  • 3D dollhouse views
  • Photo-realistic HD renders
  • Create interactive walkthroughs

Pricing

  • Free trial
  • Paid plans from $8/month

8. Chief Architect

Chief Architect is leading home design software for professionals.

Key Features

  • Professional grade tool for architects
  • Advanced modeling and construction tools
  • Massive library of symbols
  • Photo-realistic renders
  • Compatible with AR and VR

Pricing

  • $199 Lite Version
  • Premier version for $2,995

9. Punch! Home & Landscape

Punch! Home & Landscape packs excellent landscaping tools alongside interior design features.

Key Features

  • Realistic 3D outdoor renderings
  • 1,500+ plant and trees
  • Moving sun studies
  • Detailed interior design tools
  • Customize textures and materials

Pricing

  • Standard at $99
  • Pro version $199

10. Archicad by Graphisoft

Archicad is leading BIM and CAD solution for AEC industry professionals.

Key Features

  • Advanced BIM and CAD capabilities
  • Integration with other AEC tools
  • Automated documentation
  • Outstanding visualizations
  • Eco designer for sustainability

Pricing

  • Starts at $2,500 per license

11. Floor Plan Creator

Floor Plan Creator packs excellent 2D editing and blueprint tools.

Key Features

  • Fast and easy 2D editor
  • Customizable doors/windows
  • Blueprint specific symbol sets
  • Share online in real-time
  • 3D previews of floor plans

Pricing

  • $4.99 per month

12. Houszy

Houszy makes it incredibly simple for homeowners to design floor plans.

Key Features

  • User-friendly drag and drop
  • Extensive furnishing options
  • Photo-realistic 3D previews
  • Print custom floor plans
  • Apps for web/mobile

Pricing

  • Free and $4.99 Premium

Recommendations by User

Here are my quick recommendations based on core user personas:

Homeowners – Homebyme, Planner5D, Sweet Home 3D, Houszy

Interior Designers – Homebyme, Planner5D, Roomle, Floorplanner, RoomSketcher

Architects – Chief Architect, RoomSketcher, SketchUp, Archicad

Builders & Contractors – Floor Plan Creator, RoomSketcher, Chief Architect

Make sure to choose software that aligns best with your use case, budget and comfort with technology.

Latest Advancements in Technology

Some interesting areas of innovation in floor plan software:

  • Virtual Reality – Integration with VR goggles for immersive walkthroughs
  • Augmented Reality – AR mobile apps that display models on real life buildings
  • 3D Scanning – Scan existing buildings/rooms to instantly create floor plans
  • Artificial Intelligence – Generative algorithms suggesting optimal layouts
  • Smart Materials – Interactive textures responding to lighting
  • Voice Control – Next gen devices controlled via voice assistants

Conclusion

Floor plan apps provide immense value to builders, homeowners and designers. They enable you to bring ideas to life quickly and share visions effectively with stakeholders.

I encourage you to explore all options hands-on before deciding on technology for your needs. Reach out if any questions arise – happy to help! Wishing you the best with your projects.

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