How to Calculate the Linear Feet of Boards


A linear foot is a 12-inch-long straight line. Only the length is important when measuring in linear feet. The width and depth of the board are irrelevant. Lumber is often measured and sold by the linear foot, and it is often necessary to know the total number of linear feet required before estimating the cost of a project or ordering the materials. Determining linear feet is simple, requiring only a tape measure.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Measure the length of each board in inches and record each measurement. Double-check each measurement.

  • Add the lengths of all of the boards.

  • Divide the total length in inches by 12 to convert from inches to feet. The result is the length of the boards in linear feet. For example, 600 inches / 12 = 50 linear feet.

Tips & Warnings

  • Linear feet are sometimes incorrectly called lineal feet.
  • If all of the boards are the same length, the total linear feet equals the number of pieces multiplied by the length of the pieces.
  • Always allow a little extra wood to compensate for the removal of damaged board ends.
  • Record each length as you measure it.

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