How to Calculate Cubic Yards or Tons
The formula for figuring out how many cubic yards you need to cover your area isn’t difficult.
Length (in feet) x Width (in feet) ÷ 12 x Depth (in inches) ÷ 27 = Cubic Yards
To figure up multiple areas, find the square footage of each area, add those together and continue with the rest of the equation:
12’ x 8’ = 96 sq ft
4’ x 7’ = 28 sq ft
9’ x 10’ = 90 sq ft
5’ x 20’ = 100 sq ft
These areas have a combined square footage of 314; so now we start the rest of the formula with dividing by 12:
314 ÷ 12 x 2” (depth in inches) ÷ 27 = 1.93 cubic yards
So for these areas, at a depth of 2”, I’d need 2 cubic yards.
This formula works the same for any material (mulch, topsoil, gravel, sand).
Note: If you have multiple areas, you cannot add all the lengths and all the widths together. That will give you wonky numbers.
Please use this handy worksheet to help you with your calculations! (Includes formulas for circles, perimeters, etc)