How to Convert Square Inches to Square Feet

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  • 0:04 Convert Square Inches…
  • 1:05 Practice Problems
  • 2:42 Another Practice Question
  • 3:34 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kimberly Osborn
At a young age, we learned the basic conversion that there are 12 inches in one foot, but what about square inches and square feet? In this lesson you will explore this conversion and how to apply it to real-world situations.

Convert Square Inches to Square Feet

Say you are watching a home makeover TV show and the host has decided to buy marble for new countertops for the kitchen. After meticulously measuring the old countertops, the host has a total area of 1,152 square inches of countertop to replace. But when he goes to the store, he realizes that the marble is sold in square feet, not inches. Instead of going back home and re-measuring the countertops in feet, the host can use a simple conversion tool to find his square footage without stepping foot (pun intended) outside the store.

There is also a very common conversion factor between inches and feet. You probably remember hearing that there are 12 inches in one foot over and over again as a young child. However, what you probably haven't had a lot of experience with is the conversion factor between square inches and square feet. When we talk of square feet, we're talking about the overall area of something that has been measured; length multiplied by width or length x width.

Practice Problems

Let's look at our basic conversion first and then use our understanding of math to turn it into our square conversion. We know that:

12 inches = 1 foot

When we think back to our learning about exponents, we know that a square means to multiply something by itself two times.

Let's review the basic facts about square conversion of inches to square feet:

  • A squared unit, such as inches, feet, or yards, measures a length, width, and area. This is why the squared unit is written like this: 1^2.
  • A cubic unit measures a length times a width times a height, or a volume. This means that the number will be multiplied by itself three times. A cubic unit will look like this: 1^3.

Now, since we are working with square units, we have to square each number associated with our basic conversion to keep everything balanced.

12 inches = 1 foot

12 inches^2 = 1 foot^2

This can be written as the math equation:

(12 x 12) inches^2 = (1 x 1) feet^2

144 inches^2 = 1 foot^2

144 square inches = 1 square foot

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