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Units of Measure and Glossary of Common Reclaimed Wood Terms

Height (H)/Thickness (T)/ Width (W): Thickness and width are usually what is used to categorize lumber, in addition to species. Some common lumber types are 2×4’s or 1×12’s, this describes the Height or Thickness which in the above cases are 2” and 1” respectively and the widths are 4” and 12”.  A 2×6 is 2 inches thick and 6 inches wide. Thickness and Width are what determine how much lumber is in each linear foot of a board.

Linear Foot: Linear Footage is simply the length of a board and is also referred to as Length (L), measured most often by the foot while the thickness and width are measured by the inch.  Lumber is usually sold by the Board Foot, but it is measured by the Linear Foot.  With non-reclaimed lumber quite often the boards are separated by length. When we receive lumber it has been cut to various lengths depending on its usage.

In most cases we sell our lumber in Random Lengths, within certain standard ranges.  For instance our Oak Lumber that is 2” – 5” thick, the standard range for length is 4’ – 10’.  This means that when buying Oak 2×6’s you can expect to see a range of lengths between 4’ -10’. In general the mid-range of lengths of 6’ – 8’ are most common with some slightly shorter at 4’ – 5’ and longer boards at 9’ -10’.  At times we may offer short, mid-range or long boards depending on supply.

Board Foot:  This is a volume measurement used to measure the amount of lumber in a board.  One board foot is equivalent to 144 cubic inches.

Example: Board Foot per Linear Foot in some common Lumber Dimensions

1” x 12” x 12” = 1 Board Foot per Linear Foot

 2” x 6” x 12” = 1 Board Foot per Linear Foot

1” x 6” x 12” = .5 Board Feet per Linear Foot

2” x 4” x 12” = .66 Board Feet per Linear Foot

6” x 6” x 12” = 3 Board Feet per Linear Foot

The length does not alter the amount of board feet per linear foot.

Conventional Lumber is generally priced and sold by the Board Foot, E&K also sells its lumber by the board foot.  When boards are priced by the Board Foot, the Thickness and Width are fixed and the variable is the length. Finding the price of a piece of wood that you know the dimensions for is straight forward.

Example:  You are interested in the price for 2 Pieces of Douglas Fir

1st piece: 2” x 4” x 10’  2nd piece:  6” x 6” x 8’

Our website will tell you what the Board Foot Price is for Piece.

The price can be found for the first piece in the Lumber Section under Douglas Fir 2x (which lists prices for all the 2” thick Douglas Fir). You look to the pricing for 2x4s and see the price is $3.00 per Board Foot and the price for 6×6’s is $6.00 BF. The next step is to find out how many Board Feet are contained in these pieces. To calculate the Board Feet, you must first find the number of Board Feet in 1 Linear Foot of the 2×4 and 6×6 and then multiply that number by the total Linear Feet using this formula:


Example:     2 x 4 / 12 = .66 Board Foot per 1 Linear Foot

6 x 6 / 12 =  3 Board Foot per 1 Linear Foot

Then you multiply the number of Board Feet per Linear Feet by the length and that gives you the total Board Feet

1st piece  .66 x 10 = 7 (round up from 6.66) Board Feet – 2x4x10 has 7 Board Feet priced at $3.00 per Board Foot so the Total is $21.00

2nd piece 3 x 8 = 24 Board Feet – 6x6x8 has 24 Board Feet priced at $6.00  per Board Foot so Total is $144.00

Square Foot: This unit is primarily used to measure the area of a a space that is going to be covered by wood. Wood dimensions in square feet only account for the face width and length but not the thickness or total volume of the wood. Buyers looking to purchase any of our Flooring (FL) and Standard Milled Siding products (SD)  do not need to deal with Board Feet. These products are sold by Square Feet.

We’ve made it easy for you to find your measurements in Board Feet, Linear Feet and Square Feet using our Board Foot Calculator.




For more information on Lumber and Flooring, please consult these resources:

USDA Wood Handbook (PDF)

USDA Forest Service Wood — Colors and Kinds (PDF)

NWFA/NOFMA Certification of Unfinished Solid Products (PDF)

NWFA Installation Guidelines (PDF)

NWFA Job Site Evaluation (PDF)

NWFA Water and Wood: How Moisture Affects Flooring (PDF)

WOCA Denmark Master Oil VOC Free Safety Data Sheet (PDF)