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March 25, 2017

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The floor of a rectangular room is to be tiled with 1/3 (fraction) foot square tiles along a 10 5/8 (fraction) foot wall. How many tiles will be needed along the wall?

Would I multiply 10 5/8 times 1/3 to get the answer?

  • Math - ,

    Let's estimate the problem first.
    Handy to check our thinking.

    There are 3 tiles per foot, right?

    And there are a bit over 10 feet to tile, at 3 tiles per foot, so our answer is going to be near 30 tiles.

    If you multiplied 1/3 by 10, you'd get about 3 as an answer, so something is going wrong with that.

    Suppose it was a 9-foot wall, and you were using 3-foot tiles. How many 3-foot tiles would you need to cover 9 feet?

    You need to divide the space into the width of the tile.

    This shows that you don't want to multiply; you need to divide. And dividing by 1/3 is the same as multiplying by 3. Let's look at that:

    10 5/8 = 85/8

    (85/8) * 3 = 255/8 = 31 7/8

    A possible little catch here is: can you order 7/8 of a tile? In a real life situation, you'd buy 32, and just throw away the last piece.

  • Math - ,

    That is the part I was missing. Forgetting you can multiply be three instead of divide by 1/3. You certainly make problems make sense, thank you for your help.

  • Math - ,

    You're welcome!

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