How to Convert Square Feet to Linear Feet

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Measure an individual piece of flooring to determine its width.
Image Credit: Willard/iStock/Getty Images

Understanding how to convert square feet to linear feet helps to ensure you purchase the right amount of flooring for your space. You determine how many linear feet of flooring you need by multiplying your square footage by 12 and then dividing it by the width of your floor boards.


Video of the Day

Step 1

Calculate your square footage by multiplying the length of the space by the width of the space. For example, if the room measures 12 feet long and 10 feet wide, the flooring area is 120 square feet.

Step 2

Measure the width of the flooring boards. Measure only the exposed surface of the flooring when installed; do not include the tongue or other edge that is concealed when the floor boards are put together.

Step 3

Convert the width of your floor boards to a decimal. For example, if your boards are 2 1/2 inches wide, their width as a decimal is 2.5. Flooring that's 3 3/4 inches wide has a decimal value of 3.75.


Step 4

Plug your values into the following formula:

(square feet x 12) / board width = linear feet

For example, if you have a room that's 120 square feet and you're using boards that are 2.5 inches wide, the formula would work out as follows:

(120 x 12) / 2.5 = 576 linear feet


When purchasing flooring, always overestimate the amount of flooring you need by at least 10 percent. This overestimation ensures you have enough flooring in case of mistakes, odd cuts or miscalculations.


references & resources

Andrew Tennyson

Andrew Tennyson has been writing about culture, technology, health and a variety of other subjects since 2003. He has been published in The Gazette, DTR and ZCom. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and a Master of Fine Arts in writing.