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, top soil, mulch, etc. To calculate cubic yards, measure the length, width, and depth of the area that you plan to cover. Multiply the length, width, and depth together. Divide that product by 27 to convert to cubic yards. Note: you must take your measurements in the same unit. If your measurements are not in feet, covert them to feet (for the calculators below please provide depth in inches).


Expressed as a formula:




The conversion factor from cubic yards to tons varies depending on the type of material you are using. A general rule would be that if the material is compactible (e.g. crusher run, select fill, stone dust), you should use a factor of 1.5 tons per cubic yard. If the material is “self-compacting,” meaning that it tends to be used for drainage (sized stone for example), you should use a factor of 1.25 tons per cubic yard. Materials such as screened topsoil and mulch do not have a good conversion factor, since they retain water weight so well.

Cubic Yards Calculation

Calculate Cubic Yards of a Rectangular or Circular Area