Surface enlargement during bulk metal forming processes is one of the key parameters controlling the tribology at the tool-workpiece interface. Not only the surface roughness evolution but also the integrity of the lubricant layer critically reposes on surface enlargement. As an attempt to address this issue, in the first part of this work, a general, deformation gradient based surface enlargement description is implemented in a commercial finite element program. In the second part, forward rod extrusion tests with different area reductions are conducted using customized steel workpieces in which cylindrical copper rods are embedded through the depth. By sectioning the extruded parts and by identifying the position of the copper rods on the lateral surface, average surface enlargement values could be measured locally at different positions along the extrudate. Comparison of experiments and numerical predictions reveal that the deformation gradient based description performs reasonably well in capturing surface enlargement profiles both qualitatively and quantitatively.