Board Foot Calculator

Required Inputs
Thickness (in): See note 2.
Width (in): Ex: 8 1/4 or 8.25
Length (in): Ex: 8 ft. = 96 in.


Board Feet:
Total Board Feet:

 You thought it would be easy, didn’t you? 

You thought that you can plan and execute the whole installation process without much ado. You didn’t anticipate much learning or mental muscle workout in your deck installation. But here you are! Wanting to know how you can use a board foot calculator.

You want the basic inputs that would go into the calculation and how you would get these values. The difference between linear and board feet is enough to keep you confused. And then you have to apply your knowledge about this difference to calculate the anticipated cost of lumber.

How to calculate board feet? How can linear foot information help in this calculation? How many board feet in a square foot? How can a board foot calculator help in planning? And most importantly, what’s a board foot?

If you are interested in knowing the answers to all these questions, read along. We have covered this topic in detail.

What can the Board Foot Calculator Do for You?

Before learning how to figure board feet, we should know what are board feet. A board foot is a measure in the lumber industry. It represents a typical plank that is one foot long, just equally wide and has one-inch thickness. The difference between a linear and a board foot is that the first one standardizes the length of the lumber in the foot.

For DIY-enthusiasts and hobbyists, understanding the linear foot is straightforward. All they have to do is to measure the length of the lumber they need and that makes the linear feet they need. However, if they have to purchase board feet for the same project, they get confused.

A board foot calculator helps them convert their linear foot – using width and thickness as well as length – into board foot.

This way, you know the number of board feet you want for your project; then, you can calculate the cost you will have to incur to procure these feet of lumber.

Interestingly, although board feet are usually represented in 12ʺx12ʺx1ʺ dimensions, they rarely conform to them. Other dimensions that makeup board foot include:



If you want to know the number of board feet that will make up one square foot, there is no one answer. Board feet to square feet conversion depends on the depth of the square foot plank you are trying to convert. For example, if the square foot plank is an inch deep, you get one to one board foot to square foot conversion rate.

How does This Tool Work?

A board foot calculator asks for the measurements in feet and inches. You can select the unit of measurement and then insert the values for length, thickness, and width.

Also, you can include the number of planks you need for the project to determine how many board feet your project requires.

If you want to know the cost of lumber you will buy in the project using board feet measurement, a board ft calculator will also help you do that by simply multiplying the number of board feet with the cost per board foot.

Who can Use This Tool and When?

If you are a seasoned woodworker or someone is trained in planning and using lumber, you must have known the formula for converting a project’s lumber needs into board feet. However, this situation doesn’t happen with beginner woodworkers. Also, for those homeowners who want to be involved in their decking project, a bd ft calculator comes in handy.

Board ft calculator will allow you to understand your lumber needs across different measurement units. And, if you have gotten a quote on the price for your chosen hardwood lumber, this board food calculator will also estimate the wood-related cost for your whole project.

This is a planning phase tool and you use it immediately before placing an order for the wood. The prerequisites of using a lumber board feet calculator include measuring the length, width, and height of your requirement and getting a quote from the lumber supplier.

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How to Estimate the Cost?

A comprehensive board foot calculator should also calculate lumber costs for your project. It does so when you input per board foot cost into the tool and it multiplies this value with total board feet it has calculated for your needs.

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Board Foot Calculation Formula

If you are wondering how to calculate board feet on your own without using an easy and reliable tool, here is the formula to help you:

Board feet = Height (in inches) x Width (in feet) x Length (in feet) / 12

Once this board calculator has found the number of board feet, you can use the following formula to estimate total lumber cost:

Total Cost = Board feet x Cost per board foot

Example Calculations

Suppose you want to purchase lumber for your deck which will be 12 feet deep 15 feet wide and 3 inches thick. When you contacted the lumber supplier to get a quote for your desired lumber, he told you that every board foot will cost $12. Next, you want to learn how to measure board feet.

Worry not! Measuring board feet will take only the pieces of information you have already gotten.

Just insert these values in the formula to get an answer.

Board feet = Height (in inches) x Width (in inches) x Length (in feet) / 12

= 3 in x 144 in x 15 ft/12

= 540ft

Once you have gotten the total board feet measure, you can estimate the wood cost as follows:

Total Cost = Board feet x Cost per board foot

= 540 ft x $12

= $6480

In short, you have to purchase 45 board feet for your project at a total cost of $540.


If you are confused about measuring board foot, you should skip the hassle and use the board feet convertor to know your estimates.

This tool is great for most homeowners so they understand their decking and other installation needs in more detail.

It requires users to insert information about the height, width, and length of the project and provides the board feet they will need for these dimensions.

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