What is Board Foot Measurement

The Board Foot Measurement is used Commonly in Hardwood or Volume Wood Sales

By Mark J. Donovan

A board foot measurement is a unit of measure for specifying the volume of rough lumber. Rough lumber is lumber that has not been dried or planed. In the logging industry, for example, the board foot measurement is commonly used to describe the amount of available rough board lumber in a particular tree.

So what is a board foot measurement? A board foot is a measurement of the volume of wood. One board foot has the dimensions of 12 inches wide by 12 inches in length, by 1 inch thick. Thus, there are 144 square inches of lumber in a board foot.

When buying a particular species or grade of lumber in volume it is commonly sold by the board foot measurement.

Hardwoods for building furniture, for example, are commonly sold by the board foot measurement. On the other hand, planed and kiln-dried framing lumber such as 2x4s and 2x6s purchased at a home improvement center is typically sold by the linear foot.

When buying lumber by the board foot measurement it is important to keep in mind the grade of the lumber. As the grade of lumber drops, so does the board foot price. This said, even when buying high grade, clear rough lumber by the board foot measurement expect waste material. Consequently you should purchase 10-15% more lumber than your construction plans call for when using clean, minimal knots lumber.

If you buy lower grade lumber, then purchase 25-30% more lumber than what your construction plans call for.

Board Foot Measurement is used Commonly in Hardwood or Volume Wood Sales

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