How to Calculate Feet to Linear Feet


In most instances, the term "foot" refers to a linear foot. A linear foot is equal to 12 inches, or 1 foot. It isn't necessary to convert feet to linear feet because they are one and the same. If a board is 5 feet long, it is 5 linear feet. The term linear only applies to units of measure that are a straight line. Lumber, vinyl, fabric and fencing are typically measured in linear feet. Only the length is measured. Width is irrelevant for linear measurements.

Things You'll Need

  • Measurement tape

Calculate Linear Feet

  • Make sure that the item you are measuring is a straight line.

  • Measure the length of your item in inches. Do not include the width of your item in your measurement because the width is not relevant to linear feet.

  • Convert the inches to feet by dividing the total number of inches by 12. The result is equal to the linear feet of your item.

Tips & Warnings

  • The perimeter of a room or a fenced area is often measured in linear feet. To arrive at the total linear feet of a room, take the measure all four walls and add them to obtain the linear feet.
  • The same measuring principles apply to linear meters and yards.
  • A linear foot is not the same as a square foot. Square footage is calculated by measuring the length and the width of the item and multiplying the two. To calculate the square footage of a room 18 feet long by 10 feet wide, you would multiply 18 by 10 to get 180 square feet.

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