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Difference between Feet and Square Feet

Difference between Feet and Square Feet

When it comes to measuring length, often people tend to get confused between feet and square feet. Many don’t realize that there is a difference between these two units of measurement and can think they are the same thing. While it’s easy to make this mistake, understanding the distinction between feet and square feet starts by taking into account their distinct definitions and how they function in relation to each other. In order to differentiate them further, we will explore the definition of each unit, when you should use which one, and some examples, and do a comparison between them in this blog post.

What is Feet?

Feet (plural of the foot) is a unit of length used in the imperial and US customary systems. Feet is mostly used for measuring height, and most commonly for measuring the height of humans.

  • Feet is also used in aviation, architecture, land surveying, and many more fields. Feet was traditionally defined as the length of ‘one man’s foot’ but this definition varies from culture to culture.
  • In modern times, Feet is defined differently than it was historically – Feet is now defined in terms of metric equivalents, where one Feet measures exactly 30.48 cm or 12 inches in the International yard and pound agreement (1959).
  • Feet has had various definitions over time which makes it difficult to determine its exact origin; however, it can be said with certainty that Feet has been in use since ancient times.

What is Square Feet?

Square Feet is a unit of measurement used to measure the area of a two-dimensional plane (such as a floor, wall, or piece of land). Square Feet is often abbreviated as ft2. One Square Feet is equal to 144 Square Inches and covers an area equal to the size of a square with each side measuring one foot. Square Feet is not only useful for determining the total area in a given space but it can also be helpful when estimating the material needed for construction projects, landscaping, and more. Knowing how to calculate Square Feet accurately can be important when making purchases so that there is enough material without buying extra.

Difference between Feet and Square Feet

Feet and Square Feet are commonly confused due to how similar they sound.

  • Feet is a unit of length and is used to measure distances in Imperial/US customary units (as opposed to metric).
  • Feet can be abbreviated as ‘ft’ or even just the single letter ‘f’. Square Feet, however, is different; it’s a derived unit of area which combines Feet with width.
  • It measures the surface area of objects from flat surfaces such as floors and walls to large three-dimensional shapes like buildings.
  • The full name for Square Feet is ‘Square Feet’, but it can also be abbreviated as ‘sq ft’ or ‘sf’ – though it’s not recommended because there’s a chance for confusion between Feet and Square Feet.

Now that you know the difference between Feet and Square Feet, you can confidently use them when measuring and calculating areas.


The main difference between feet and square feet is that feet is a unit of measurement while square feet is an area. Square footage is the amount of space within a certain area, and it can be measured in either standard or metric units. When you’re trying to find out how big something is, you need to know whether to use feet or square footage!

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