Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Rhiannon, a student:

Hi! I have a question:

The Gatlins are buying a new carpet for their house. They need about 1,175 square feet of carpet. The carpet they buy is sold by the square yard. Estimate the number of square yards of carpet they need. Do I use the formula to find the volume or area?

Hi Rhiannon,

If you want to put carpet in a rectangular room you measure the length and width (they did it in feet) and multiply the length times the width to get the area in square feet. Volume is a three dimension concept and you only have two dimensions.

Since there are 3 feet in a yard to find the length in yards you divide the number of feet by 3. Likewise to find the width in yards you divide the number of feet by 3. Thus the area in square yards is the area in square feet divided by 3 × 3 = 9.


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