The Math Forum

Ask Dr. Math - Questions and Answers from our Archives
Associated Topics || Dr. Math Home || Search Dr. Math

Square Feet

Date: 4/13/96 at 12:23:30
From: Anonymous
Subject: Cubic feet and square feet

I need to know how to compute square feet for some cabinets that I 
have to move in a room.  I have computed it by the formula base X 
height - i.e., the length of the base of one cabinet is 38 inches, 
with 26 inches as the width.  The height is 94 inches.  Would I 
multiply the length times the width and then multiply that figure 
by the height to find out the square footage for one cabinet?  
There are nine cabinets in all that I need to move.  

What's the difference between this and computing the cubic feet 
for the same nine cabinets and what would the cubic feet be?

Date: 4/17/96 at 19:25:21
From: Doctor Aaron
Subject: Re: Cubic feet and square feet


The basic difference between a square foot and a cubic foot is 
that a square foot measures area, and a cubic foot measures 
volume.  Think about a rectangle. It's flat so we don't have to 
think about its height, and we can think of its area as the length 
of one side times the length of the other side.  

Now pretend that the rectangle is the bottom of one of your 
cabinets.  The cabinet could have a very different volume 
depending on its height.  In terms of your question, the square 
footage of a cabinet isn't well defined unless you specify the 
face of the cabinet that you're interested in.  If you want to 
know how much floor space the cabinet will take up, we can talk 
about the square footage (area) of the base of the cabinet being 
equal to the length times the width of the base of the cabinet.  
We could also multiply the square footage (area) of the base of a 
cabinet by the height to get the cubic footage (volume) of the 
whole cabinet.

I hope that this is helpful.

-Doctor Aaron,  The Math Forum

Associated Topics:
Middle School Definitions
Middle School Higher-Dimensional Geometry
Middle School Terms/Units of Measurement
Middle School Two-Dimensional Geometry

Search the Dr. Math Library:

Find items containing (put spaces between keywords):
Click only once for faster results:

[ Choose "whole words" when searching for a word like age.]

all keywords, in any order at least one, that exact phrase
parts of words whole words

Submit your own question to Dr. Math

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

Math Forum Home || Math Library || Quick Reference || Math Forum Search

Ask Dr. MathTM
© 1994- The Math Forum at NCTM. All rights reserved.