Feet vs. Square Feet — What's the Difference?
By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on November 26, 2023
Feet is a unit of length, while square feet measures area. Feet is a basic unit of length in the imperial and customary systems of measurement. Square feet is a derived unit of area, used to express the size of a two-dimensional space.
Difference Between Feet and Square Feet
Table of Contents
Feet is a basic unit of length in the imperial and customary systems of measurement. It's commonly used to determine how long or tall something is. On the other hand, square feet is a derived unit of area, used to express the size of a two-dimensional space.
Feet can be used to describe the distance between two points, or the height of a person or object. Square feet, however, defines the total space covered by an object on a flat surface. For instance, when you measure the length of a room from one wall to another, you're working with feet; but when calculating the total space that room occupies, you use square feet.
In math and geometry, feet is a one-dimensional measurement. This means it only has length. Square feet, being a measure of area, is two-dimensional, encompassing both length and width. So, while you might describe a plot's length as 20 feet, its total area might be 200 square feet, considering its width.
Another way to think of the difference is in their multiplication. If you multiply a measurement in feet by another measurement in feet, the result is in square feet. For example, if a room is 10 feet by 20 feet, its area is 200 square feet.
Lastly, it's important to note that while feet is universally understood and applied in many situations, square feet is specifically related to areas. So, while you can express your height in feet, you wouldn't use square feet unless referring to a flat space.
Two-dimensional (length x width)
Length or height
Feet x Feet = Square Feet
Example Use Case
Distance between two points
Floor space of a room
Ft or '
Ft² or sq ft
Compare with Definitions
A unit of length in the imperial system.
She is 5 feet tall.
A unit of area in the imperial system.
The apartment is 1,000 square feet.
The lower extremity of the leg below the ankle.
He injured his feet while hiking.
Commonly used in construction and architecture.
We'll need tiles for 250 square feet.
A device on a sewing machine for pressing down the cloth.
Adjust the feet to stitch the leather.
The area enclosed within a square with sides of one foot.
A tile covers one square feet.
The base or bottom of something.
The statue stood on a marble feet.
Used to indicate the space or size of flat surfaces.
The garden has a total of 500 square feet of planting area.
A manner or capability of walking or moving.
He has quick feet for a big guy.
A measurement for real estate listings.
The property boasts 3,000 square feet of living space.
Plural of foot.
How is square feet used?
Square feet measures area or the size of a flat surface.
Do both feet and square feet belong to the same measurement system?
Yes, both are from the imperial system.
How do I convert feet to square feet?
You don't directly. Feet becomes square feet when determining area (length x width).
What's the symbol for square feet?
It's ft² or sq ft.
Can I measure the distance in square feet?
No, distance is measured in feet or another unit of length.
Is feet used globally?
Mostly in the U.S. and some other countries. Many use the metric system.
How many square feet is a 10x10 room?
100 square feet.
Why is it called "square" feet?
Because it represents area enclosed by a square with sides of one foot.
Is area always measured in square feet?
Not always, but it's a common unit in the U.S.
What is feet used for?
Feet is used to measure length or height.
Can I describe my height in square feet?
No, you'd use feet to describe height.
How many feet are in a square foot?
That's a misconstrued question. A square foot represents an area of a square with each side being 1 foot.
Can the length and width be different to get square feet?
Yes, multiply length by width in feet to get area in square feet.
Is there a metric equivalent to feet?
Yes, it's called a meter.
And what's the metric equivalent to square feet?
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Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.