How to Convert Decimals Into Feet, Inches and Fractions of an Inch

By Betsy Beacom; Updated April 24, 2017
Tape measures are tools used to measure straight-line distances between two points.

Length is often defined in terms of feet and inches and sometimes is described in decimal notation. Knowing how to convert decimals into feet, inches and fractions of inches can be useful, especially when working with something that calls for measurement with a ruler, yardstick or tape measure.

Decimal Notation

A decimal number is written as xx.yy, where xx is the “whole” number and yy is the fractional part expressed in powers of 10. For example, a distance expressed as 14.26 feet is the same as 14 feet plus 26 one-hundredths of another foot.

Example of Conversion

To convert 14.26 feet into the form of feet, inches and fractional inches, take the whole number and write down 14 feet. The fraction of a foot -- 0.26 -- is found by multiplying 0.26 by 12 inches, which equals 3.12 inches. Take the whole part of this number -- 3 inches -- and write that down. To convert 0.12 inch, understand that 1/16 inch is the same as 0.0625 inch. Therefore, 0.12 inch is approximately 2/16 inch, or 1/8 inch. So 14.26 feet is about equal to 14 feet, 3 1/8 inch.

About the Author

Betsy Beacom is a writer and editor with experience in education, marketing, Internet content, social media, the performing and visual arts, literature and more. She holds bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in literature, has taught English at Yale University and has more than 20 years' experience writing and editing.