Pricing Products by Linear Foot or Square Foot
Date: 06/29/2005 at 12:17:51 From: Dee Subject: What is the difference between Linear foot and square foot Please HELP. What is the difference between linear foot and square footage? I have received 2 prices for an item: $1.67 per square foot or $19.67 per linear foot. I am so confused. I was under the understanding they were basically the same. But then how can the same measursement be so far in price?
Date: 06/29/2005 at 23:31:56 From: Doctor Wilko Subject: Re: What is the difference between Linear foot and square foot Hi Dee, Thanks for writing to Dr. Math! Are you looking at carpet by chance? Without knowing exactly what you're buying, I'll relate your question to something similar that I've experienced. I worked at a place that sold carpet and we had three price tags on each roll of carpet--Square Foot Price, Linear Foot Price, and Square Yard Price. The sticker might have looked like this: ================================== 12' wide Berber Carpet ================================== $1.67 per square foot $15.03 per square yard $20.04 per linear foot ================================== This often confused customers, but in reality, the prices were the same, they were just expressed in different _units_. Maybe a simple example is 1 pound (16 oz) of candy costs $1.00, but 32 ounces (2 lbs) costs $2.00. The pricing strategy is the same, but it's expressed in two different ways. Does this make sense? If so, then it's similar with the carpet prices above. I'll elaborate more below. The square foot price is kind of the "unit price" or base price that the other figures are derived from. In our example, a piece of carpet 1 foot by 1 foot (one square foot) would cost $1.67. People don't usually buy carpet in square feet like that, but it serves as a way to compare different types and sizes of carpets. It's like if you see a sticker on cereal at the grocery store and it tells you how much you're paying per ounce (unit price) for the generic Crispy Rice versus the name brand Rice Krispies. If the two boxes are different sizes, sometimes it's hard to see which is the better deal, but if they give you a price per ounce for each of them, now you have a direct comparison between the two. This is what the square foot carpet price does for you. So, in our example, we said $1.67 per square foot is our starting price. Now, a yard is 3 feet long, so a square yard is a square that is 3 feet by 3 feet, which gives you a total area of 9 square feet in one square yard. Since a square yard is nine square feet, the price per square yard should be 9 times the price per square foot: $1.67 * 9 = $15.03 per square yard A Linear foot of carpet would be if I pull out one foot of carpet from the roll and cut it off. You only cut off one foot, but the carpet is twelve feet wide, so you have a piece of carpet that is 1 foot by 12 feet wide, which gives you a total area of 12 square feet per linear foot. That means the price per linear foot should be 12 times the price per square foot: $1.67 * 12 = $20.04 per linear foot This linear foot pricing is easier if someone says, "I need 10 feet of this carpet" (or a 10'x 12' piece) because a salesman can quickly tell them that it'll cost, $20.04 * 10 = $200.40 (for a 10'x 12' piece of carpet) instead of calculating how many square feet are in a 10'x 12' piece and then multiplying that by $1.67: 10' x 12' = 120 sq ft * $1.67 = $200.40 So, the square foot price is our starting price. Then we multiply the square foot price by 9 to get the square yard price, and by 12 to get the linear foot price. Now does the pricing make more sense? If you want to relate this more to what you're purchasing, please write back and tell me what you're buying and any dimensions or other useful information about the product so we can compare their pricing strategy. Honestly, just knowing how they price stuff lets you be a smarter consumer and makes you less likely to be ripped off! I'd suggest to always double-check any store's estimates for accuracy. Does this help? Please write back if you have further questions. - Doctor Wilko, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
Date: 07/03/2005 at 14:36:17 From: Dee Subject: Thank you (What is the difference between Linear foot and square foot) You were very helpful and precise, and I really appreciate the way you explained everything. My best friend is a math teacher and I will make sure she gets this address to give her students. Again, thank you for everything. Dee
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