Board Foot DefinitionThe Board Foot Calculator is a simple online tool for calculating board feet without a complicated formula. You simply enter the length, width and thickness of your boards, and how many of them you have, to easily determine the total number of board feet.
When calculating board feet, you are determining what the total volume of wood you have is. You might well wonder why you would want to calculate board feet. After all, in most hardware and building supply stores, lumber is sold by the piece or by the linear foot. But if you go to a mill, or a hardwood wholesaler, they may charge by the board foot. Also if you have cut your own timber, and you want to have it milled, you may be charged by the board foot.
Soft woods, such as those used for building a house, or a deck, are usually sold by the linear foot, in boards that are cut to standard dimensions, like a 2×4 or a 1×8. Then they are priced by the linear foot, or how long the board is. But hardwoods and exotic woods, which are used for more specialized purposes, like fine furniture or cabinet faces, are generally sold in a variety of lengths and thicknesses, so your are charged by the board foot, or actual volume of wood, in each piece.
Many lay people get confused by the difference between board feet and linear feet and how to figure what a board foot is, but it’s really very simple. Multiply thickness x width x length (in inches), then divide by 12. If you have an odd thickness or width, like 5/4 or 6/4 stock, the online board foot calculator will make it much easier to figure out, so you can focus on your project.
How to Calculate Board FootLet’s be honest – sometimes the best board foot calculator is the one that is easy to use and doesn’t require us to even know what the board foot formula is in the first place! But if you want to know the exact formula for calculating board foot then please check out the “Formula” box above.