Difference Between Area and Surface Area

The area is the measurement of the size of flat-surface in a plane (two-dimensional), whereas surface area is the measurement of the exposed surface of a solid shape (three-dimensional). This is the key difference between area and surface area. The unit for both the quantities is the same, though, i.e. square units. Also, learn the difference between area and volume here.

Geometry is one of the principal branches of the subject Mathematics. Geometry primarily comprises shapes and their respective properties. If a student likes drawing the objects, then Geometry is meant for that particular student. However, a common question arose among the students, that ‘why do we practice Geometry?’ And the answer for that is, to unearth the patterns, find out the volumes, lengths, areas and angles. But, a few students tend to get confused between the area and surface area. Hence, try to understand the definitions of both area and surface area and discuss the difference between surface area and area in detail using this article.

Definition of Area and Surface Area

Area: The area is defined as the total space occupied by the two-dimensional objects or flat shapes. In other words, the area of a figure is described as the number of square units that cover the surface of the closed figure. It is measured in square units, square inches. Since the area can be measured for 2-dimensional shapes, it has only length and width.

Surface Area: The surface area can be measured for 3D shapes or solids. The term surface area is defined as the total area of the surface of the given solid object. Since the faces of the three-dimensional objects are basically 2D shapes, we should add the areas of the surfaces to get the surface area of the object. Basically, the surface area can be classified as:

  • Curved Surface Area (CSA) – It includes the area of all the curved surfaces
  • Lateral Surface Area (LSA) – It includes the area of all the surface excluding the top and bottom areas
  • Total Surface Area (TSA) – It includes the area of all the surfaces of the object including the bases

What is the Difference Between Area And Surface Area?

This table briefs the students about the differences between area and surface area.

Area Surface Area
The area of a plane object is the number of unit squares that can be accommodated within it. The total area of the faces of a 3 – dimensional object.
Plane figures represent the area. Like circles, rectangles and triangles. Solid figures represent the surface area. Like prisms, pyramids and cones.
The formula of area for the rectangle is – length multiplied by width. The formula to calculate the surface area for a cuboid is – SA = 2lw + 2lh + 2hw.
The area is the measurement of the size of a 2-D figure. Surface area is the measurement of the size of a 3-D figure.
It expresses the size measurement of a surface. It expresses the measurement of the exposed surface of a solid object.
When it comes to the area, all we have to do is concentrate on one area. In the surface area, we have to work out on the area of all the faces.

Hence, these are a few differences between Area and Surface Area. To learn more, subscribe to BYJU’S YouTube channel.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

What is the area of a shape in a flat surface?

The area of the shape in a flat surface is the region covered by that shape and which determines the size of the shape.

What is the surface area of a solid?

The surface area of a solid shape is the measurement of the exposed surface of the shape.

What is the difference between surface area and total surface area?

The surface area is the area of one face of a solid exposed in a three-dimensional plane. The total surface area is the sum of the area of all the surfaces of the solid. For example, a cube has 6 faces, so its total surface area will be 6 times the surface area of one face. Since the face of the cube is in a square shape, therefore, the total surface area will be 6 x side2

Is the area of a rectangle and cuboid same?

Area of rectangle is equal to the product of its length and breadth. Area of a cuboid is the total surface area of the cuboid which is equal to twice of (Length x breadth + Breadth x Height + Length x Height).

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