Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

Cubic Yard Calculator

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Pouring concrete for a slab

A cubic yard is the volume of material which fits in a space one yard wide by one yard deep by one yard high. Cubic yards are used to measure materials ranging from concrete to mulch for your garden.

Common materials that are measured in cubic yards include:

  • Concrete
  • Gravel
  • Sand
  • Rock
  • Fill dirt
  • Topsoil
  • Mulch
  • Compost

To determine the amount of materials you need in cubic yards, you must first convert all three dimensions to the same unit of measurement. There are:

  • 27 cubic feet in one cubic yard (3’ x 3’ x 3’)
  • 46,656 cubic inches in one cubic yard (36” x 36” x 36”)

For example, to find the amount of concrete needed for a slab 6” thick by 12’ long by 12’ wide:

  1. Convert the dimension in inches to feet (6” ÷ 12” = 0.5’)
  2. Multiply the three dimensions together to find the number of cubic feet (0.5’ x 12’ x 12 = 72 cubic feet)
  3. Divide the cubic feet by the number of cubic feet in a cubic yard (27) to find the number of cubic yards (72 ÷ 27 = 2.67 cu. yd.).

You can find the same result by converting all three dimensions to yards by:

  1. Convert the dimension in inches to yards (6” ÷ 36” = 0.167 yards)
  2. Convert the dimensions in feet to yards (12’ ÷ 3 = 4 yards)
  3. Multiply the three dimensions together to find the number of cubic yards (0.167 x 4 x 4 = 2.67 cu. yd.)

Or, simply input your dimensions in our handy calculator below, then click “calculate” to find the number of cubic yards.


Cubic Yard Calculator
Length of area in feet
Width of area in feet
Height of area in inches


Please Leave a Comment

3 Comments on “Cubic Yard Calculator”

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  1. robert cap Says:
    October 19th, 2012 at 8:26 am

    awesome so easy , thank you

  2. John Says:
    September 11th, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Thank you. I’ve been calculating these measurements every few years. But not enough to hold the formulas in my head. Now I have to figure out the square yards of the trapazoid for this project. Thank you again.

  3. Thomas Rench Says:
    October 17th, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    I am filling 16 in. casing or Pilon with sand how do I come up with the yards of Sand I need to do this Job

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