Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Laurie:

how do I convert cubic Meters to square meters


Cubic metres and square metres measure very different things and you can't convert one to the other. Cubic metres are units of volume ad square metres are units of area. If you have some area in square metres for example and you want to spread topsoil on it and you want to order the topsoil in cubic metres then you need to decide the depth of the topsoil to make the calculation.


Laurie wrote back

That is exactly what we want to figure out. How many M3 will cover how many M2 with 2 inches of topsoil. We can not figure this out. Thanks, Laurie


An inch is 2.54 centimeters so 2 inches is 5.08 centimeters. There are 100 centimeters in a metre so 2 inches in 0.0508 metres. Hence an area of A square metres covered with 2 inches of top soil is

0.0508 × A cubic metres.

For example if you have a 200 square metre area that you want to cover with 2 inches of topsoil you will need 0.0508 × 200 = 10.16 cubic metres of soil. On the other hand if you have 15 cubic metres of soil and you spread it 2 inches deep it will cover an area of 15/0.0508 = 295 square metres.


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