How to Calculate Linear Feet

Tape measure being used to measure the linear feet of a board

Linear footage might not be a familiar measurement to you, and you might be asking yourself what it is and how to find it?

What is a Linear Foot?

A linear foot is simply a length measurement equal to one foot. To find linear footage, you simply need to measure the length in feet, that’s it.

The term “linear” means a shape or movement in a straight line.[1] So, a linear foot measurement is a straight line measurement; width, height, or thickness measurements aren’t included.

Linear footage is a measure of length and is commonly used to measure an object or material’s length. You might also see this measurement referred to as a lineal foot.

Linear feet and the length in feet are the same measurements, so one foot is one linear foot.

You might see some supplies sold using this measurement. For example, flooring, lumber, fencing, and fabrics are commonly sold by the linear foot.

How to Find Linear Footage

Finding linear footage requires finding the footage measurement. Use a tape measure and measure the length of your space or object.

Since linear footage is a measurement of length, the width and thickness measurements are not needed. If your measurement is not in feet, simply convert to feet and you have the correct measurement.

Use our inch fraction calculator to convert inches or centimeters to feet.

How to Find the Linear Feet of Multiple Boards

To find the linear feet of multiple pieces of lumber, you need to measure the length of each piece and add the measurements together.

Take note of the each board’s length and after all measurements are complete, then use a calculator such as our feet and inches calculator to add the feet measurements together.

How to Calculate Linear Footage Price

Calculating the cost of lumber priced by the linear foot requires finding the total feet needed and then multiplying by the price per foot. Thus, the total cost is equal to the total length in feet by the price per foot.

When ordering material this way, it’s a good idea to consider the lengths that lumber is sold by since you may need additional material to avoid unnecessary joints. We recommend ordering an extra 10% of materials to account for off-cuts and waste as a general rule of thumb.

How are Linear Feet Different From Square Feet?

You might be wondering how linear feet are different from square feet.

Recall that linear footage is a length measurement. On the other hand, square footage is an area measurement, so it’s a two-dimensional measurement.

You can use our conversion calculator to change measurements between them if needed.

Common Lengths in Linear Feet

Refer to the chart below for common lengths in inches and their equivalent linear footage measurements.

Linear feet measurements for common inch measurements in 6″ increments.
Distance in Inches Linear Feet
6″ 0.5 ft
12″ 1 ft
18″ 1.5 ft
24″ 2 ft
30″ 2.5 ft
36″ 3 ft
42″ 3.5 ft
48″ 4 ft
54″ 4.5 ft
60″ 5 ft
66″ 5.5 ft
72″ 6 ft
78″ 6.5 ft
84″ 7 ft
90″ 7.5 ft
96″ 8 ft
102″ 8.5 ft
108″ 9 ft
114″ 9.5 ft
120″ 10 ft
126″ 10.5 ft
132″ 11 ft
138″ 11.5 ft
144″ 12 ft
150″ 12.5 ft
156″ 13 ft
162″ 13.5 ft
168″ 14 ft
174″ 14.5 ft
180″ 15 ft
186″ 15.5 ft
192″ 16 ft
198″ 16.5 ft
204″ 17 ft
210″ 17.5 ft
216″ 18 ft
222″ 18.5 ft
228″ 19 ft
234″ 19.5 ft
240″ 20 ft

References

  1. Collins Dictionary, linear, https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/linear