For most Americans, it's intuitive to measure just about anything, from your own height to the distance you'd throw a ball or the length of a wall, in feet. When you start dealing in two dimensions (also called area), it's natural to switch to square feet. But if you're ever in a position to buy or install new flooring, you'll quickly find that this sector is one of the last bastions of the square yard, which means that you need to be able to nimbly convert measurements from square feet to square yards.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
To convert from square feet to square yards, divide the figure by 9.
Always label your answer with the units of measure, even if it seems obvious. It's very easy to lose points on a test or, in the real world, make an expensive mistake if you leave out the units of measure. Imagine the cost of accidentally buying 130 square yards of flooring instead of the 14.444 square yards you actually needed.
Measure the dimensions of the space you're dealing with in feet, or if you're doing a word problem, use logic to figure out its dimensions in feet. If you already have the dimensions in square feet, you can skip ahead to Step 3.
Always double-check the units you're dealing with, and convert them to feet if necessary. Sometimes in school the teacher will try to trick you by slipping different units of measure into a problem, and sometimes in real life you can trick yourself by mistake by doing the same thing. If a measurement isn't clearly labeled with its unit of measure, you can't assume that it's in feet. The measurement may be in inches, meters or some other type of unit.
Multiply the length and width of your space together to get its dimensions in square feet. So if you're calculating how much flooring you need for a room that measures 10 feet by 13 feet, its area is:
Divide your space's area in square feet by 9. The result is the same space's dimensions in square yards. So if your room measures 130 ft2, its dimensions in square yards will be
In the real-world construction industry, rounding your answer to 4 decimal places is usually sufficient. If you're doing a math problem, however, your teacher might have different requirements for where and if you should round off.
About the Author
Lisa studied mathematics at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and spent several years tutoring high school and university students through scary -- but fun! -- math subjects like algebra and calculus.