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# What Is a Linear Foot? (2024 Guide)

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Written by Updated 04/02/2024

A linear foot, also known as a “foot,” is 12 inches in a straight line. It’s a commonly used measurement in construction and home improvement projects. You use linear feet to measure the size of your windows or other home features in the U.S. Read our guide to learn more about how to calculate linear feet.

## Linear Foot vs. Square Foot vs. Cubic Foot

The linear foot is a one-dimensional measurement. You can use it to measure length, width, height, or short distances. In context, when a person says they’re 5 feet tall or that a sign is 50 feet away, they’re using linear feet. Other common uses include measuring fences or gutter installations.

The linear foot is the foundation for both square feet and cubic feet. A square foot is a two-dimensional measurement used for area, and a cubic foot is a three-dimensional measurement used for volume. In both measurements, you take the initial measurements in linear feet and then use those numbers to calculate the square footage or cubic feet.

## How To Measure the Linear Footage of an Object

You can measure an object’s linear footage with a tape measure. Here’s how:

1. Measure the length using the side of the measuring tape marked with inches and feet.
2. Divide by 12 to convert the measurement to linear feet if measured in inches.

Alternatively, you can use a ruler or yardstick to measure linear feet. A standard ruler is 1 foot (12 inches), while a yardstick is 3 feet (36 inches). Getting a precise measurement is much easier with a tape measure—especially if you’re measuring something longer than 1–3 feet.

## How To Calculate the Linear Footage of a Space

Generally, a space’s linear footage refers to its perimeter. Calculating linear feet is as simple as measuring the length of each wall and adding the numbers together. You usually measure spaces in square feet and only use them when the width is fixed or doesn’t matter. For instance, a moving company already knows the width of its freight trailers. The only variable is how many items fill the container’s length.

## How To Convert Linear Feet to Square Feet

Converting linear feet to square feet uses a simple formula. Here are the steps:

1. Measure the length of the object or space in linear feet.
2. Measure the width in linear feet.
3. Multiply the length by the width to convert the linear foot measurements to square feet.
Here’s the formula:
Area (square feet) = length (linear feet) x width (linear feet)

You must convert linear feet to square feet to determine the amount of material—such as paint or flooring—needed to cover a surface area. This skill also comes in handy when comparing the amount of space in two rooms with different dimensions.

## How To Convert Linear Feet to Cubic Feet

Converting linear feet to cubic feet requires one extra step. You must measure the length, width, and height. Then, multiply these three numbers together to calculate cubic feet.

Here’s the formula:
Volume (cubic feet) = length (linear feet) x width (linear feet) x height (linear feet)

You can use cubic feet to determine a storage unit’s space or water needed to fill a pool. For example, 1 cubic foot equals about 7.48 gallons of water. You can also use cubic feet to compare moving truck costs and sizes.

## Our Conclusion

Many do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvement projects, such as gutter installation or baseboard replacement, require measuring in linear feet. Ultimately, the measurement you use depends on the project. Professional painting or lawn care services costs may vary by square footage while moving company costs are calculated by how many cubic feet of trailer space you need. Regardless, measuring in linear feet is always the first step.

### How many linear feet are in a 10-by-10-foot room?

There are 40 linear feet in a 10-by-10-foot room. Four 10-foot walls equal a total length of 40 linear feet.

### What does lineal foot mean?

The term lineal foot means the same as linear foot. Both lineal and linear refer to lines. However, linear foot is the more common term.

### What are linear feet used to measure in a home?

You use linear feet to measure many things in a home, including the dimensions of furniture and the size of rooms. People in the U.S. also use linear feet to measure their height.