Board Foot Calculator

By Ty Criswell


This board feet calculator helps you determine the total board feet based on the dimensions of your lumber and the total cost of the lumber.

Enter in the width, length, and thickness using your units of choice: feet, inches, meters, or millimeters.

Check back for planned updates, such as: more unit options, calculating dimensions based on board feet, and a buy list than can be printed. If you need more help, click here to scroll down to more information and directions.

Board Foot Calculator

Total Board Feet:

Total Cost: $

Board Example Measurements

How to Use The Board Foot Calculator

Step-By-Step Guide

  1. Determine the dimensions of your lumber: Measure the length, width, and thickness of your lumber in inches, feet, meters, or millimeters. These dimensions will be used to calculate the board feet.
  2. Enter the dimensions into the calculator: Input the length, width, and thickness measurements you gathered into the calculator.
  3. Set the unit of measurement: Choose the units of your measurements in the calculator options, typically inches are used for board foot calculations.
  4. Calculate the board feet: The calculator will display a result automatically. The calculator will use the formula: Board feet = (length x width x thickness)/144.
  5. Calculate the Total Cost: Input the cost per board foot and the total cost will display.

Using Quarter Measure Lumber

Below is a quick reference for using lumber that is sized using the “quarter” system. The rough and surfaced dimensions are approximate.

Quarter SizeRough DimensionS2S Size

Knowing the board feet is essential for woodworkers and construction professionals, as it helps accurately determine the volume of wood needed for a project.

By inputting the dimensions of the lumber, such as length, width, and thickness, you can instantly calculate the amount of wood in board feet. This not only saves time and effort but also helps prevent errors and material waste.

Understanding the “Board Foot”

A board foot is a unit of measurement for lumber in the United States and Canada. It represents the volume of a one-foot length of a board, usually 12 inches wide and one inch thick. To calculate board feet, you simply multiply the length (in feet), width (in inches), and thickness (in inches) of the wood, then divide by 12. The formula is as follows:

Board Feet = (Length (ft) × Width (in) × Thickness (in)) / 12

This can also be understood as 144 cubic inches.

When buying lumber or planning a woodworking project, it’s important to know this measurement to estimate the cost of materials and ensure you have enough wood to complete the task.

It will also help you compare prices and choose the right size and quantity of lumber for your needs.

Keep in mind that wood is often sold in nominal dimensions, which means the actual size of the lumber may differ from the advertised measurements due to shrinkage and planing during the milling process.

It’s crucial to account for these variations, especially if you’re working with a tight budget or intricate design.

Benefits of Using the Calculator

Accuracy: Using a board foot calculator ensures you get accurate measurements for your lumber needs. This helps to prevent errors and waste, ensuring you only purchase what you need. By inputting the dimensions of the lumber, you can be confident in the results.

Saves time: Manually calculating this can be time-consuming and complicated. We built this aiming to save people time. This allows you to focus on other important aspects of your project.

Cost-effective: Mistakes with measurements can lead to purchasing too much or too little lumber, resulting in additional expenses. A board foot calculator helps you avoid this issue and make more informed decisions, ultimately saving you money.

Easy to use: Board foot calculators are user-friendly and straightforward. They typically only require a few inputs, such as length, width, and thickness, to provide you with the information you need.


Though a board foot calculator is a helpful tool for determining the volume of lumber required for your projects, it has its limitations. It’s essential to be aware of these constraints to manage your expectations and make informed decisions.

Firstly, the calculator assumes that your boards have straight edges, without any warping or defects. In reality, some boards may have irregularities that affect the final board footage. Always account for these imperfections during calculations, as they may increase the amount of lumber needed.

Secondly, wood comes in a variety of types, each with its characteristics such as density, grain patterns, and moisture content.

The calculator does not take these factors into consideration, which may impact the real-world performance of your lumber choice. Ensure you select the appropriate wood type for your project’s specific needs.

Another limitation is that material waste is not factored into the calculations. During cutting, planing, and other woodworking processes, there will inevitably be some material loss. To account for this, it’s good practice to purchase slightly more lumber than the calculator suggests to provide a buffer for any errors or waste.

Finally, the calculator doesn’t account for any fluctuation in lumber prices. Prices can vary significantly depending on numerous factors, such as supply and demand, region, and wood type.

It’s important to do research and contact local suppliers for accurate pricing information when planning your budget.

It is also difficult to estimate board feet from a log. There are methods for doing this, such as the Doyle Rule.

Real-Life Applications

One practical use of this calculator is when ordering lumber for building a deck, shed, or house. By knowing the exact volume of wood needed, you can ensure that you have enough material to get the job done, without wasting money on excess wood.

Furthermore, using a board foot calculator can also help you determine the most cost-effective options while shopping for lumber, as price per board foot may vary depending on the type and grade of wood.

Another real-life application of a board foot calculator is in woodworking projects, such as custom furniture or cabinetry.

Having an accurate estimate of the necessary wood volume allows you to select the most suitable types of wood, taking into consideration various factors like hardness, durability, and appearance. This can help minimize material waste and ensure that the end product meets your expectations in terms of aesthetics and functionality.

In renovation projects, a board foot calculator may prove useful when replacing existing wood elements like flooring, wall cladding, or window and door frames.

With precise calculations, you can efficiently plan the required materials and avoid purchasing too much wood, which can lead to additional storage or disposal issues.

Lastly, if you’re involved in a forest management or any timber-related business, knowing how to accurately calculate the board foot volume of logs is essential. T

his knowledge plays a crucial role in estimating the value of timber, negotiating prices with buyers, and complying with legal regulations and environmental policies.

In conclusion, a board foot calculator is a handy tool in various settings, from woodworking projects and construction works to forest management endeavors. Accurate calculations can help save time, effort, and money, while ensuring the desired results.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I determine board feet in lumber?

To determine board feet in lumber, you need to measure the length, width, and thickness of the wooden piece in inches. Then, multiply these three numbers and divide the result by 144 to get the board feet.

What is the formula for calculating board foot?

The formula for calculating board foot is:

Board Feet = (Length × Width × Thickness) ÷ 144

All measurements should be in inches.

How do board foot price calculations work?

To calculate the price of lumber using board feet, you need to first determine the board feet using the formula mentioned above. Then, multiply the board feet by the price per board foot provided by the supplier. This will give you the total cost of the lumber.

What are common board foot dimensions for specific lumber sizes?

Common board foot dimensions for specific lumber sizes are as follows:

  • 1×4: 1 board foot = 4 linear feet
  • 1×6: 1 board foot = 3 linear feet
  • 1×8: 1 board foot = 2 linear feet
  • 1×10: 1 board foot = 1.44 linear feet

Keep in mind that these are rough estimates, and actual dimensions may vary depending on the specific lumber size and supplier.

How can I calculate the cost of lumber using board feet?

To calculate the cost of lumber using board feet, first determine the board feet of the lumber using the formula mentioned earlier. Then, multiply the board feet by the price per board foot provided by the supplier. This will give you the total cost of the lumber. In the calculator above you can input cost.