What is a Linear Foot and How to Measure It?

By PropertyClub Team
Dec 15th 2021
A linear foot is simply a measurement of 12 inches. Essentially, it is a measurement of a straight line. It is typically used when measuring the length of a room, building, or another object with straight edges. In real estate, it is most commonly used to measure the size of rooms or tabletops for carpeting, furniture, and other decoration.

People need to know how to measure linear feet because they need that information for numerous projects. It is useful to know the linear feet of a wall for painting projects or linear feet of a room to purchase carpeting. Linear feet can also be used for other projects, such as measuring fabric or calculating the amount of wood needed for a project. Knowing how to measure linear feet is a valuable skill that can be used for a variety of purposes.

hash-markHow do you calculate a linear foot?

To calculate the linear feet of a straight wall, measure the length of the wall with a tape measure or other measuring device. A ruler or yardstick can be useful for smaller edges. 

When measuring a straight line with multiple bends, such as the border of a room or carpeting, measure the length of each individual straight edge. Then, add them all together. 

For example, you may have a room that has two sides measuring 15 feet and two sides measuring 20 feet. The room would have a total border of 70 feet (20 + 20 + 15 + 15). 

If you need to convert a measurement from inches to linear feet, just do the following:

First, determine the length and width of your area. Make sure that your length and width measurements are taken in inches and not centimeters. Then, divide that measurement by 12. 

So, if you have a measurement of 9 inches, the measurement in linear feet would be 0.75 linear feet (9 divided by 12). If you have a measurement of 6 inches, you would have 0.50 linear feet (6 divided by 12). 

This is the same as 9 inches (3/4 of a foot) x 6 inches (1/2 of a foot) = 3/8 linear feet.

Tools that measure in feet or inches

To get a measurement in linear feet, you should keep one of the following handy:

  • Tape measure
  • Ruler
  • Yard or meter stick

hash-markLinear Foot vs. Square Foot

Linear feet and square feet are different units of measurement, but they are both used to measure different aspects of a space. 

The square foot is a unit of measurement that is used to calculate the area of a space. The linear foot, on the other hand, is used to calculate the length of an object.

It is important to be aware of the difference between these two units, especially when you are planning on purchasing new flooring or wall coverings. Make sure that you are using the correct unit of measurement when you are placing your order, or you might end up with the wrong size of flooring or wallpapers.

hash-markWhen to measure in linear feet?

There are various reasons to measure an object or room in linear feet. Here are some of the most common uses:

  • Measuring the border or perimeter of a room or building. This can help you determine how much lighting you need to cover your roof, bricks to surround a property, or trimming to line your room. 
  • Linear feet can help you organize your room. If your couch is 10 linear feet by 3 linear feet, you can use those measurements to help you determine whether it’ll fit in a particular room. 
  • Measurements in linear feet are also helpful when storing stuff in a close storage space or a moving truck. You want to make the most of all the storage space that you have, so knowing the measurements of the larger objects can help you position them in an efficient manner. 

Whether you are painting your room, adding some lights, or upgrading your landscaping, knowing how and when to measure an object in linear feet will help you get more done.