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How to Calculate the Linear Footage of a Floor

Linear footage is a unit of area equivalent to square feet. Another name for this measurement is board feet, which manufacturers apply to materials 1 foot in width, such as wooden boards. These materials' linear footage is their length in feet. A room's linear footage is the sum of its different sectors' areas.

A room's linear footage equals its floorboards' board footage.

Linear footage is a unit of area equivalent to square feet.  Another name for this measurement is board feet, which manufacturers apply to materials 1 foot in width, such as wooden boards.

These materials' linear footage is their length in feet.  A room's linear footage is the sum of its different sectors' areas.

You need to know a room's area when you refinish its floor, when you lay down carpet or when you calculate heating or cooling requirements. 

  1. Locate the largest rectangular area in the room. If the room is rectangular, this is the entire room. If not, it is only a part of the room.
  2. Measure the rectangle's length and width. For example, a room may contain a rectangular area measuring 12 feet by 10 feet.
  3. Multiply the rectangle's length by its width. For example, 12 times 10 is 120 square feet.
  4. Multiply the length and width of any remaining rectangular spaces in the room. For example, if another single segment of the room measures 7 feet by 15 feet, multiply 7 by 15, equaling 105 square feet.
  5. Divide all remaining areas of the room into triangles. For example, imagine that the remaining area of the room forms a triangle 7 feet long and 3 feet wide.
  6. Multiply each triangle's length by half of its width. For example, half of 7 times 3 is 10.5.
  7. Add together the segment's areas. For example, 120 plus 105 plus 10.5 make 235.5 square feet. This is the room's linear footage.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure

About the Author

Ryan Menezes is a professional writer and blogger. He has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Boston University and has written for the American Civil Liberties Union, the marketing firm InSegment and the project management service Assembla. He is also a member of Mensa and the American Parliamentary Debate Association.

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