Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from shane, a student:

a floor in a house is 12'6" in width and 10'4" in length. Tiling the floor with each tile 5" on each side. First express the square footage into an improper fraction. Second express the area of each tile in square feet. Third how many tiles needed to tile the floor. Fourth explain how answers relate to real world

Hi Shane,

12 feet 6 inches is 12 1/2 = 25/2 feet. Express 10 feet 4 inches as an improper fraction in feet. Multiply these two improper fractions to find the area in square feet and leave the answer as an improper fraction.

5 inches is 5/12 feet so multiply 5/12 by 5/12 to express the area of a tile in square feet. Divide the area of the floor in square feet by the area of a time in square feet to determine the number of tiles required to tile the floor.

This related to the "real world" since we often measure the length and width of a room in feet and inches and the dimensions of a tile in inches. To determine the number of tiles you would need to cover a floor you need to perform this type of calculation, however you might use decimals rather than improper fractions. This calculation may only give you an estimate since you might need to cut some tiles and hence generate some wastage.


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