DIY Conversion Tables and Conversion Information

Summary: Conversion Tables and information including Quantity Conversion tables covering a great range of topics including Lengths, Volumes, Area, Weights, Bricks and Blocks and a great many other areas.

Please use the links below to navigate to your desired area......

Block to Bricks Bricks - Imperial to Metric
General Conversion Tables Material Coverage Table
Glass Thickness to Weight Paving slabs
Wallpaper Coverage  

Basic Conversion Tables:

The centimetre is very seldom used in the building and allied trades. The measurements are normally given in metres and millimetres.

Length Liquid Volume
1 inch = 25.40mm 1 litre = 0.035 cubic feet
1 foot = 304.8mm 1 cubic ft. = 28.32 litres.
1 yard = 914.4mm 1 gallon = 4.5461 litres
1 yard = 3 feet 1 cubic ft. = 6.23 gallons
1 metre = 1.0936 yards 1 cubic yd = 168.21 gallons
1 yard = 0.9144 metres 1 cubic mt = 1000 litres
1 metre = 3.281 feet  

Volume Liquid Conversion
1 cubic metre = 35.315 cubic feet 1000ml = 1 Litre
1 cubic metre = 1.3079 cubic yards 1 litre = 1.76 pints
1 cubic foot = 0.0283 cubic metre 1 ml = 1cc = 0.0017 pints
1 cubic yard = 0.7646 cubic metre 1ml or cc = 0.035 fluid ounce(oz)
  1 litre = 0.22 gallons
1 fl.oz. = 28.413 ml or cc
1 pint   568 ml or cc
1 pint   0.568 litres

Weight Area
1 tonne (metric) = 2205 lbs 1 square mm = 0.00155 sq. inches
1 ton imperial = 2240 lbs 1 square metre = 10.764 sq. feet
1000 grams = 1 kilogram 1 square metre = 1.196 sq. yards
1000 kilograms = 1 tonne 1 square inch = 645.20 sq. mm
1 kilogram = 2.20462 lbs. 1 square foot = 0.0929 sq. metres
1 kilogram = 0.0197 cwt 1 Square yard = 0.8361 sq. metres
1 cwt = 112 lbs  
1 cwt = 50.8 kg
1 lb = 0.4536 kg
1 lb = 16 oz
1 oz = 28.3 grams

Weights of materials.
Dry sand fine   1.28 tonnes per cubic metre
Dry sand coarse   1.6 tonnes per cubic metre
Topsoil (some moisture)   1.44 tonnes per cubic metre
Ballast   1.76 tonnes per cubic metre
gravel MOT Type 1 scalpings 1.92 tonnes per cubic metre
shingle   1.62 tonnes per cubic metre
cement   50 & 25 kg bags
stiff clay   1.6 tonnes per cubic metre
loam   1.28 tonnes per cubic metre
peat (wet)   0.96 tonnes per cubic metre
peat (dry)   0.8 tonnes per cubic metre
lump chalk   1.2 tonnes per cubic metre
sandstone   2.32 tonnes per cubic metre
Lias   2.48 tonnes per cubic metre
granite   2.72 tonnes per cubic metre
slate   2.8 tonnes per cubic metre
flint   2.3 tonnes per cubic metre
yorkstone   2.5 tonnes per cubic metre
Brick rubble   1.8 - 2.2 tonnes per cubic metre

Coverage of stone for 1 tonne weight Minimum depth of services
sets (100mmx100mmx100mm)   3.9 sq.m. water main   900mm
Cobbles 50/70mm on end   6.5 sq.m. Gas   600mm
pebbles 25/45mm loose@50mm   10 sq.m. TV/Telephone   350mm
gravel 25mm rolled   30 sq.m. sewers under grass   900mm
tarmac 12mm deep 13 sq.m. sewers under hard surface   1200mm
yorkstone paving 50mm   7.5 sq.m. Electric over 22kv   750mm
slate 25mm deep 12 sq.m. Electric under 22kv   600mm

Foundation concrete General purpose concrete
1 cubic metre = 6 x 50kg bags cement 1 cubic metre = 7 x 50kg bags cement
1.76 tonnes ballast 1.6 tonnes ballast

...also see our calculating material volumes project.

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Coverage of Materials:

If you are laying a patio or drive, placing topsoil for a lawn or covering your garden with stone, it is very useful to know how much you will need. Use our easy to read graph below to get the quantities right.

Measure the area of your garden and go up the left hand side of the graph to that area (for example 20 square metres at the top). Read horizontally along that line to the thickness of material you need (example 100mm). Where that line meets the diagonal line of your chosen depth go straight down and read the amount you need in cubic metres. (example = 2.00 cubic metres) This can be converted into weight using the tables above.

Graph showing the coverage of materials

Graph showing the coverage of materials

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An imperial standard brick is 9 inches long, 4 1/2 inches wide and 3 inches deep.

A metric brick is 8.86 inches long (225mm) 4.43 inches wide (112.5mm) and 2.95 inches deep (75mm)

The above sizes include mortar joints at 10mm

This makes the metric brick marginally smaller than its imperial counterpart and the difference, when joining new to old, must be taken up with an increase in the mortar joints.

There are 60 bricks to 1 square metre and you will use approximately 0.022 cubic metres of wet sand and cement to lay them with 10mm joints, this is equivalent to approximately 60kg.

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A normal block is 2 bricks long, 3 bricks high and one brick wide (when laid with 10mm joints)

There are approx. 10 blocks to 1 square metre and you will use approx  0.012 cubic metres of wet sand and cement to lay them with a 10mm joint. This is equivalent to 31kg.

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Paving Slabs:

Paving slabs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, we have listed a few of the popular ones with their respective coverage

225x450mm Paving Slab 450x450mm Paving Slab 600x600mm Paving Slab
225x450=10/sq.m 450x450=5/sq.m 600x600=2.75/sq.m
450x520mm Hexagon Type Paving Slab 450x520mm Rectangle Type Paving Slab  
450x520=5.75/sq.m 450x520=3.7/sq.m  

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Normally you will get 4 "drops" from one roll of paper with a standard close pattern. Some papers have patterns a long way apart, you will need to consult your supplier for this. The table below shows standard rolls with normal patterns.

Length of Walls
    7m 8.5m   10   11.5m 13m 14.5m 16m 17.5m 19m
0.25 4 5 5 6 7 8 8 9 9    
2.5 - 3.5m 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13  


Thickness of glass, with the introduction of the metric system, is now defined in mm rather than weight. For the record here's how it used to be.

2mm =18oz  3mm = 24oz
4mm = 32oz 6mm = quarter inch plate

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