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Linear Foot vs. Square Foot — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on November 28, 2023
A Linear Foot measures length in one direction, while a Square Foot measures area in two dimensions. Example: A board 5 feet long is 5 linear feet, while a 5x5 foot area is 25 square feet.
Linear Foot vs. Square Foot — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Linear Foot and Square Foot

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Key Differences

A Linear Foot pertains to the measurement of length in one dimension. When one speaks about Linear Foot, it generally refers to the length of a given item without considering its width or height. On the other hand, Square Foot refers to a measurement of area, which is a two-dimensional concept.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023
In the construction and carpentry industries, the term Linear Foot is commonly used when referring to materials like lumber, pipes, or wires. For example, a piece of lumber that is 10 feet long would be described as being 10 linear feet. Square Foot, on the other hand, is commonly used in real estate and interior design. It measures the total area of a space.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023
When buying materials, it's crucial to know the distinction. If you're purchasing flooring, for example, you'd need to know the total Square Footage of your room. But if you were buying baseboards, the Linear Foot measurement would be more appropriate. Square Foot indicates how much space an area covers, while Linear Foot indicates how long something is.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023
Suppose you had a rectangular garden bed that was 5 feet in length and 3 feet in width. It would span 5 Linear Feet along its longest edge. However, its total area would be 15 Square Feet. The distinction between these terms is fundamental in various fields, ensuring accurate measurements and calculations.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

Comparison Chart

Dimension

One-dimensional (length)
Two-dimensional (length x width)
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023
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Unit of

Length
Area
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Nov 28, 2023

Common Usage

Materials like lumber, pipes, wires
Floor area, real estate, room sizes
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Nov 28, 2023

Measurement Tool

Tape measure (length only)
Tape measure (length x width) or area calculator
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Nov 28, 2023

Example

A board 10 feet long is 10 linear feet
A room 10 feet by 10 feet is 100 square feet
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Nov 28, 2023

Compare with Definitions

Linear Foot

The distance from one end to another of an object.
The pipe spans 15 Linear Feet from the house to the street.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 13, 2023

Square Foot

A standard measure for floor area or land.
The office has a usable space of 2,000 Square Feet.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 13, 2023

Linear Foot

The length of an item irrespective of its width or height.
The carpet roll has a breadth of 12 Linear Feet, perfect for the hallway.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 13, 2023

Square Foot

The amount of surface covered by a square measuring one foot by one foot.
She bought tiles for a space of 50 Square Feet.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 13, 2023

Linear Foot

A unit of measurement representing one foot in length.
The rope is sold by the Linear Foot, so a 10-foot piece costs ten times the per-foot price.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 13, 2023

Square Foot

The product of the length and width of a rectangular space.
A room that's 10 feet wide and 10 feet long is 100 Square Feet.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 13, 2023

Linear Foot

A one-dimensional measurement of length.
The fence stretches for 50 Linear Feet along the property line.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 13, 2023

Square Foot

A unit of area representing a square with sides of one foot in length.
The tiny apartment was only 300 Square Feet in total.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 13, 2023

Linear Foot

A straight-line measurement of 12 inches.
For the shelving, we will need 20 Linear Feet of wood.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 13, 2023

Square Foot

A two-dimensional measurement of space.
The garden covers an area of 100 Square Feet.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 13, 2023

Common Curiosities

What's represented by a Square Foot?

A Square Foot represents a unit of area measuring one foot by one foot.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

When would I use Linear Foot as a measurement?

You'd use Linear Foot when measuring the length of items like lumber, pipes, or wires.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

In which scenarios is Square Foot typically used?

Square Foot is used when referring to the area of a space, such as in real estate or room sizes.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

What does Linear Foot measure?

A Linear Foot measures the length of an item in one direction.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

Can 10 Linear Feet be equal to 10 Square Feet?

No, they represent different concepts: length vs. area.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

Why is it important to distinguish between Linear Foot and Square Foot?

The distinction ensures accurate calculations and measurements, especially in construction and real estate.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

Can a space be 10 Linear Feet long but have more than 10 Square Feet of area?

Yes, if a space is 10 Linear Feet long and more than 1 foot wide, it will have an area greater than 10 Square Feet.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

Are both Linear Foot and Square Foot standardized measurements?

Yes, both are standardized measurements in the American system.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

How do I convert Square Feet into Linear Feet?

You can't directly convert them as they measure different things: one measures length and the other measures area.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

How many Square Feet are in a room that's 5 Linear Feet by 7 Linear Feet?

The room would be 35 Square Feet.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

If I have a plot of 100 Square Feet, what's its length in Linear Feet?

You can't determine the length in Linear Feet based on Square Footage alone, as it depends on the plot's shape and dimensions.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

How do I measure the Linear Feet of a circular object?

You'd measure its circumference to determine the Linear Feet.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

Are Linear Foot and Square Foot used internationally?

While they are standard in the US, other countries might use meters for similar measurements.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

Is the price of flooring typically quoted in Linear Feet or Square Feet?

Flooring is usually quoted in Square Feet since it's about covering area.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

Is the width of an object considered when measuring Linear Feet?

No, Linear Foot only considers length.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
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.

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