How to Calculate Feet to Linear Feet

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In terms of measurement, a foot and linear foot are essentially the same.

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.

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Step 1

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

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Tip

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.

Warning

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.