Board Foot Calculator

Use our handy board foot calculator to instantly determine the total board feet and costs for your project.
Board Foot Calculation Featured Image

What is a board foot?

A board foot is a standard unit measurement for wood volume used in the U.S. and Canada. One board foot is equal to a board that is one foot long, one foot wide, and 1” thick.

The common abbreviations for board feet are FBM, BDFT, and BF.

How to calculate board feet

You can calculate board feet using the following equations.

Inches only

The board foot calculation below can be used when the measurements are all in inches.

(Board Thickness” x Board Width” x Board Length”) ÷ 144

Inches and feet

The board foot formula differs slightly when combining inch and feet measurements, such as when the thickness and width are measured in inches and length is measured in feet.

(Board Thickness” x Board Width” x Board Length’) ÷ 12

When calculating board feet for dimensional lumber, such as 2×4’s, you’ll want to use nominal measurements to calculate board feet. For example, the nominal dimensions of a 2×4 are 1.50” thick by 3.50” wide.

Board foot calculator example

Let’s say you are buying some Walnut wood from your local supplier. The board is 2” thick, 6” wide, and 96” long. Here is how to calculate board feet in this example.

2 x 6 x 96 = 1,080

Then, divide 1,080 by 144 to get a final board foot result of 7.5.

How many board feet are in a 2×4?

The formula for calculating the number of board feet for a 2×4 is the same as calculating board feet for any piece of wood. However, you’ll need to input the nominal (actual) measurements to get an accurate board footage result.

You’ll want to use nominal values when calculating board feet for dimensional lumber.

2×4 board feet

The nominal thickness of a 2×4 is 1.50” x 2.50”, which are the dimensions used when calculating board feet.

2×4 SizeBoard Feet
2x4x83.50
2x4x104.38
2x4x125.25
2x4x146.13
2x4x167.00

2×6 board feet

The nominal size of a 2×6 is 1.50” thick and 5.50” wide, which are the dimensions used to determine board footage.

2×6 SizeBoard Feet
2x6x85.50
2x6x106.88
2x6x128.25
2x6x149.63
2x6x1611.00

2×8 board feet

The nominal size of a 2×8 is 1.50” thick and 7.25” wide, which are the dimensions used to determine board footage.

2×8 SizeBoard Feet
2x8x87.25
2x8x109.06
2x8x1210.88
2x8x1412.69
2x8x1614.50

Board foot vs linear foot

A linear foot and a board foot are two different measurements. A board foot calculation determines the volume of wood, whereas a linear foot calculation only measures the length of a board without accounting for its thickness and width.

Hardwood industry standard measurements

There is a standardized measurement that isn’t in inches or feet that hardwood lumber suppliers state board thickness.

When you see a board labeled as 4/4, that is a “four quarter” board that is 1” thick. Using another example, a 6/4 board is a “six quarter” board that is 1.50” thick.

Hardwood SizingThickness
4/41”
5/41.25”
6/41.50”
8/42”
12/43”

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Nathan Hamilton
Nathan Hamilton is the founder of DIY Gear Reviews and a recognized expert in the home and DIY space. He has over 200 bylines covering topics such as power tools, hand tools, and woodworking. Nathan is the strategic director for DIY Gear Reviews, deciding everything from the content covered to designing the testing methodologies for lab-tested reviews. He can be emailed at nhamilton@diygearreviews.com.

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