Square Feet to Linear Feet

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Square Feet to Linear Feet

Postby Larry » Sat May 27, 2006 3:14 am

I am putting 1"x6" boards on a screed porch ceiling. The various measurements are 127" x 131" (twice), 77" x 240", 30" x 240 ", and two triangles - 61" tall by 240" and 72" tall by 240". I have (I think) correctly calculated the total square feet to be approximately 520'. How do I convert this to linear feet when buying the 1"x6" boards?
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Postby spider » Mon May 29, 2006 10:56 pm

Hello Larry,

Your boards are 1" x 6" = 6 square inches = 0.041667 square feet

number_of_boards = 520 / 0.041667 = 12479.9 ~ 12500

You'd just have to get at least 12500 1"x 6" boards.

Your one board is a half of a linear foot (6") in length, and two of these boards combined give us one linear foot (12"). Hypothetically, should you put these entire boards one after another together lengthwise; you'd have boards stretching out for 12500 x 0.5' = 6250 feet.

Therefore, you'd need to get 6250 linear feet of these boards to cover your area. Please make sure to double check my answer and your own calculations prior to obtaining the actual boards.

Best regards,
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Postby Dirtman » Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:59 am


Alas, little is ever easy when it comes to structures!

I believe there’s a little confusion on the 1" x 6" boards addressed in your question. When you say 1" x 6" board, I’m assuming a plank of undetermined length that is 6" wide (actually 5.5") by 1" thick (actually 3/4").

If my assumptions are correct, you’ll need at least 1110 linear feet of 1 x 6 lumber, not including scrap. Lumber comes in various lengths - 8' long, 10' long, 12' long, etc. and most lumber dealers carry lumber to 20' lengths. You’ll get an extra inch or so on each piece of lumber but you’ll have scrap on almost every board that’s cut to fit.

As I stated above, a 1 x 6 actually only measures 3/4" x 5-1/2". You should have a gap between boards from 1/16" to 1/8" to allow for expansion from moisture. If we include a 1/8" gap, each board width will become 5-5/8" wide. Dividing 5.625" (the decimal equivalent of 5-5/8") by 12" will convert this to feet, which is 0.46875'. (If you use a 1/16" gap, then each board width would be 5-9/16" (5.5625). 5.5625" / 12" = 0.463542').
You will have approximately 520.24 square feet of ceiling when you’re through but to get there will require more lumber than that because as I stated above, you’ll have scrap. If the entire job was a rectangle measuring 12' wide by 43.35' long (520.24 SF), it would be simple - 43.35' / 0.46875' = 92.49, or simply 93 - 12' pieces of 1x6 lumber gapped at 1/8". But alas, your job isn’t a simple rectangle . . .

The simplest way to calculate the lumber needed would be to draw a plan and use it to obtain the lengths and quantities needed for each section.

For what it’s worth, if you don’t want a “gap” between boards, use tongue and groove or lapped lumber. The gap will still be there but you won’t see it!

Then again, if my assumptions are wrong, Alex is correct.

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