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How to Calculate Linear Feet

Calculations of linear footage are useful for determining length in construction. Accurate linear measurements are necessary for projects ranging from putting a fence around your house to installing new kitchen cabinets.


  • FACT: England's King Edward I decreed that the foot measure should be one-third the length of the yard in the 13th century CE.
  • Step 1: Divide the square footage of an area using a linear measure of 12 if you have the square footage. If your area measures 150 square feet, divide 150 by 12 to get 12.5 linear feet. Now you'll have no trouble installing that fencing or putting in those new countertops!
  • TIP: While linear footage is one dimensional, square footage is two dimensional -- measuring length and width. Board feet are three dimensional, measuring volume -- length, width, and depth.
  • Step 2: Measure the total length of the area you will be covering. Linear measurements are one dimensional, so linear feet is the length of the area measured in feet. Secure one end of your tape measure at one end of the area and measure to the opposite end.
  • Step 3: Estimate the total amount of the product you will need to complete your project. If you are putting siding on your house, laying carpet in a room, or installing new countertops, you need an accurate estimate of the area you will be covering.

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