How to Visualize Square Feet (and Meters)

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Background

When looking for a home, office space, or business space to purchase or rent, one of the first and most important things that most of us consider is the size of the space. It’s because, for example, if you are looking to start a family and searching for a house to live in, then the size would matter as you will need more space to expand the family. If you have three kids and then decide to have a fourth child, then choosing a house that can accommodate six people is what you need. The same goes when looking for a business space to rent. You have to consider the size of the space so you can make sure that all of the equipment needed to run your business can fit.

There are various units of measurement that can be used in measuring spaces like rooms and floor areas. In the United States, the common units of measurement used are square feet and square meters. It is easy to measure a space if you are physically there. All you have to do is use measuring tools, such as a tape measure and record the measurements. However, what’s challenging is when you are not physically there and are only given the measurements in square feet or square meters.

For example, if the seller says that the house for sale is 2,400 square feet, can you easily imagine how big that is and what it looks like? Most of us won’t be able to, right? Especially when we are not that familiar with the sizes of properties. That is why we have created this article. What we aim to do is to help you visualize square footage, as well as square meters. This way, when you are given the measurements, it will be easier for you to imagine how large or how small the space is. Read on to learn more about how to visualize square feet and meters.

What is a Square Footage?

a 3D design of a kitchen

A square foot is an imperial unit of area that is commonly used in the United States, China, Canada, and the United Kingdom. One square foot is equivalent to 12 inches by 12 inches or 1 foot by 1 foot.

According to Elizabeth Abbess of HowStuffWorks, square footage is a measurement of area, and the area is the measurement of any two-dimensional space continued within a set of lines. For example, if a square room is 20 feet long and 20 feet wide (6.09 meters by 6.09 meters), by multiplying those numbers, you will be able to get the total area of the room, which is 400 square feet (37.2 square meters). The same formula applies when getting the area of a rectangle. [1]

But you also have to remember that a square foot is not always shaped like a square. It’s because a room can also be a triangle or circle in shape and cover the same amount of area. The formula would change, but the concept stays the same. To get the square footage of a triangle, you need to multiply the base and the height of the space, then multiply it by ½. To get the area of a circle, the formula is 3.14 x radius2.

How to Visualize Square-Feet and Meters

Visualizing Square Feet (and Meters)

When you take a look at real estate listings and advertisements, you will usually see the phrase “square feet.” Sometimes, it might be confusing, and many find it challenging to get a good idea of how much room a certain number of square feet takes up. If you have the same problem, no worries, as we are here to help you.

Through Common Items

To be able to better imagine the size of a room or house, we are going to use the sizes of different common things that most of us are familiar with. Take a look at the examples below:

Floor Tiles

One of the easiest ways to envision a room that is measured in square feet or square meters is by imagining floor tiles laid side by side.

Through Common Items

Floor Tiles

Dimensions: 12 inches x 12 inches (1 ft. x 1 ft.)
Area: 1 sq. ft. (0.092903 sq. meters)
Conclusion: A room that has 50 pieces of 12×12 floor tiles has an area of 50 square feet (4.65 square meters).

There are various sizes when it comes to floor tiles, but the most common size is 12 inches by 12 inches, which is equal to 1 square foot (0.092903 square meters). It is among the larger end of tile sizes. When you look at floor tiles this big, you can easily picture a square foot or how many square feet are in a specific area. [2] Therefore, if a room has 50 pieces of floor tiles that are 12 inches by 12 inches big each, the size of the room is 50 square feet (4.65 square meters).

Mattress

Most people can also visualize the size of twin, queen, or king mattresses as these are a staple in homes. Therefore, learning how many square feet each of them is can make it easy for you to imagine what a square foot looks like.

Twin-Size Mattress

Dimensions: 6.33 ft. x 3.2 ft.
Area: 20.26 sq. ft. (1.88 sq. meters)
Conclusion: A twin-size mattress covers an area of 20.26 square feet (1.88 square meters).

For instance, a twin mattress is the smallest standard size, measuring 76 by 38 inches or 6.33 by 3.2 feet. Therefore, its area is 20.26 square feet (1.88 square meters).

Queen-Size Mattress

Dimensions: 6.67 ft. x 5 ft.
Area: 33.5 sq. ft. (3.10 sq. meters)
Conclusion: A queen-size mattress covers an area of 33.5 square feet (3.10 square meters).

A queen mattress is a bit bigger as it measures 6.67 feet by 5 feet. It has a square footage of 33.35 (3.10 square meters).

King-Size Mattress

Dimensions: 6.67 ft. x 6.33 ft.
Area: 42.22 sq. ft. (3.92 sq. meters)
Conclusion: A king-size mattress covers an area of 42.2 square feet (3.92 square meters).

A king-size mattress measures 6.67 feet by 6.33 feet, which is equivalent to 42.22 square feet (3.92 square meters).

When you know how many square feet (square meters) are in a certain size of a mattress, it will not only help you visualize square feet better, but it can also show you how big of a space a bed of a certain size will take up in a room. [2]

Dollar Bill

Most of us in the United States are familiar with the size of dollar bills, as it is something that we see everyday. Therefore, let us try to use it as an example to visualize what a square foot looks like.

Dollar Bill

Dimensions: 0.51 ft. x 0.22 ft.
Area: 0.1122 sq. ft. (0.0104 sq. meters)
Conclusion: A dollar bill covers an area of 0.1122 square feet (0.0104 square meters).

A standard dollar bill measures 6.14 inches by 2.61 inches or 0.51 ft. by 0.22 ft. Therefore, it has an area of 0.1122 square feet. This is something that you can use if you are trying to gauge the square footage of a small object. [3]

A Piece of Paper

In the United States, the standard size of a copy paper is 11 inches long, which is just an inch shorter than a foot. It is also 8.5 inches wide.

A Piece of Paper

Dimensions: 11 inches x 8.5 inches (0.92 ft. x 0.71 ft.)
Area: 0.65 sq. ft. (0.0104 sq. meters)
Conclusion: A piece of paper covers an area of 0.65 square feet (0.060 square meters).

Even if it is smaller compared to a square foot, visualizing it can help you imagine something just smaller than 1 square foot. Therefore, it can still help you decide if a piece of furniture or tile can fit where you want it, especially if you do not have a ruler or other tool to measure a small amount of square footage.

Through Sports Playing Areas

If you want to visualize the square footage (or square meters) of a bigger area, such as farms, parks, malls, and more, imagining the sizes of sports playing areas can help. Even if you are not a sports enthusiast, you can probably picture a football field, basketball court, volleyball court, and other sports playing areas in your mind. And knowing how many square feet these areas are can help you in estimating how many square feet a large area is. Take a look at the examples below:

Football Field

The size of a football field is 360 feet in length and 160 feet in width. With these, its total square footage is 57,600 square feet. [2]

Through Sports Playing Areas

Football Field

Dimensions: 360 ft. x 160 ft.
Area: 57,600 sq. ft. (5,351 sq. meters)
Conclusion: A football field covers an area of 57,600 square feet (5,351 square meters). It can be used to visualize the size of parks and warehouses.

The size of a football field is large, and it can be used to visualize the square footage of bigger spaces, such as parks and warehouses. Therefore, if someone wants you to imagine a 50,000-square feet property, just think of it as a bit smaller than a football field.

Volleyball Court

Compared to other sports fields and courts, a volleyball court is a lot smaller. A volleyball court measures 59 feet long and 29.5 feet wide. [2] It is equivalent to 1,740.5 square feet (161.70 square meters).

Volleyball Court

Dimensions: 59 ft. x 29.5 ft.
Area: 1,740.5 sq. ft. (161.70 sq. meters)
Conclusion: A volleyball court covers an area of 1,740.5 square feet (161.70 square meters). It can be used to visualize the size of a very large room or small to medium backyards.

The square footage of a volleyball court will be able to help you visualize the square footage of a small to a medium backyard or a very large room.

Basketball Court

A basketball court is a bit bigger than a volleyball court. However, they are not as big as other sports playing areas.

Basketball Court

Dimensions: 92 ft. x 49 ft.
Area: 4,508 sq. ft. (418.81 sq. meters)
Conclusion: A basketball court covers an area of 4,508 square feet (418.81 square meters). It can be used to visualize the size of a large home.

Basketball courts are usually a bit less than 92 feet in length and a bit more than 49 feet in width. [2] Therefore, it is around 4,508 square feet in size, which is about the size of a large home. Therefore, if a real estate agent is selling you a 4000-square feet house, then you can visualize that size to be just a bit smaller than a basketball court.

Visualizing Specific Square Footage

In this part, we are going to be more specific in visualizing square footage. Below are some examples of square feet measurements and how you can better visualize them:

Visualizing Specific Square Footage

To visualize: Think of:
25 square feet A 5×5 garden shed used to keep garden tools and other supplies.
100 square feet 100 pieces of 12×12 tiles laid side by side.
400 square feet A standard two-car garage that is big enough to fit two standard-size cars with a little amount of wiggle room.
600 square feet A standard three-car garage that can fit three cars and allow you to walk around comfortably.
700 square feet One-fourth the size of a standard tennis court.
800 square feet Five parking spaces.
1,000 square feet A parking lot that can accommodate 6 average-size cars.
2,000 square feet A house for a family of 5 that has a living room, eat-in kitchen, dining room, family room, 4 reasonable-sized bedrooms, 2 washrooms, and a powder room.

What can you do with a 25-square-foot space?

A 25-square-foot space is equivalent to 5 ft. by 5 ft., which is perfect for building a shed or room where you can store items like garden tools, boxes, office supplies, or seasonal items. [4]

How many tiles are needed to cover 100 square feet?

If you are going to use tiles that are 12×12 in size, then 100 pieces are needed to cover 100 square feet of space. [5]

How can you visualize 400 square feet?

A space that is 400 square feet in size can be visualized as the same size as a typical two-car garage. You can imagine the area to be big enough to fit two standard-size cars with a little amount of wiggle room. [4]

How big is a 600-square-foot space?

You can visualize 600 square feet to be about the size of a standard three-car garage which has ample space to park the cars and walk around comfortably. [4]

How big is a 700-square-foot apartment?

You can visualize a 700-square-foot apartment to be about one-fourth the size of a standard tennis court. [4]

How can you visualize 800 square feet?

If the area is 800 square feet, it is almost the same size as five parking spaces or a bit smaller than three school buses combined. Most of the time, if an apartment measures 800 square feet, it is either a one- or two-bedroom apartment. [4]

How many cars would fit in a 1,000-square-foot lot?

An average car measures around 100 square feet. Therefore, about 10 cars can fit in a 1,000-square-foot lot with no space between them. In a typical parking lot, 6 average cars will be able to fit in 1,000 square feet. [5]

How many rooms can fit in a 2,000-square-foot home?

If a house is 2,000 square feet in size, it can be comfortable for a family of 5. It can fit rooms such as a living room, eat-in kitchen, dining room, and mostly a separate family room, along with 4 reasonable-sized bedrooms, 2 washrooms, and a powder room. [4]

Conclusion

It is indeed easier to visualize how big a square foot (and meter) is through the size of common items, sports playing areas, and other familiar spaces. Now that you’ve learned about this, you can now imagine that a park around 50,000 square feet is almost the size of a football field or that an area of 800 square feet is enough to fit three school buses combined. We hope this post helped you learn more about how to visualize square feet (and meters).

 References

[1] Abbess, E. (2009, March 24). How to measure square footage. HowStuffWorks. Retrieved August 25, 2022, from https://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/remodeling/measure-square-footage1.htm

[2] David, E. (2022, January 1). Examples of how big a square foot is. Measuring Stuff. Retrieved August 25, 2022, from https://measuringstuff.com/examples-of-how-big-a-square-foot-is/

[3] Banuelos, M. P. D. (2022, August 2). 3 ways to visualize square feet. wikiHow. Retrieved August 25, 2022, from https://www.wikihow.com/Visualize-Square-Feet

[4] AnswerForYou, E. (2022, April 13). How to visualize square feet update 2022. AnswerForYou. Retrieved August 25, 2022, from https://answerforyou.net/how-to-visualize-square-feet/

[5] Jonas, J. (2022, March 25). How do you visualize square feet? PostVines. Retrieved August 25, 2022, from https://postvines.com/how-do-you-visualize-square-feet/

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