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Surface area of a pyramid calculator: Use this calculator to check your work. It calculates,
  • Area of Base
  • Surface Area of Pyramid
  • Volume of Pyramid
Find the total surface area of a triangular shaped pyramid with a slant height of 16 units, base length of 8 units, and a height of 7 units.
Step 1. Find the lateral area of one side.
1/2(8 * 16 )= 64 units

Step 2. Multiply by the number of the sides.
64*3 = 192 units

Step 3. Find the area of the base
½ *( 8 * 7) = 28

Step 4. Add the lateral area and the base area together for the total surface area.
192 + 28 = 220 units squared



Slant Height =16 Units
Base Length= 8 units
7
height of pyramid
surface area of a pyramid infographic
Common Core Standard: 7.G.6   Seventh Grade Math
orange box/Geometry Tip: Slant height is not the same as the height of the pyramid.
Geometry Tip: Slant height is not the same as the height of the pyramid. The slant height is the altitude of the lateral area of the side of the pyramid. The following video details how to find slant height of a pyramid.
video tutorial surface area of a pyramid
Slant height of a Pyramid
Questions answered in this video...

  • What is the slant height of a pyramid?
  • What is the lateral area of a pyramid?
  • How is the slant height of a pyramid  different than it's height?
  • Is slant height used to calculate total surface area of a pyramid?
Questions answered in this video...

What is the formula for finding the surface area of a pyramid?

What is slant height for a pyramid?

Is the base the same for all pyramids?

How do you find the perimeter of a pyramid?
How to find the surfave area of a pyramid


Hi Welcome to MooMooMath. Today we are going to look at how to find the surface area of a pyramid. What is a pyramid? A pyramid is a three dimensional figure with a base and an apex and a square pyramid and a pyramid is named by the shape of the base. We are going to look at the surface area and it is the material needed to cover the sides and the base. So we will take this pyramid and divide it up. The sides of each side of the pyramid is a triangle and the base is a square and I have separated those out. Now to find the surface area, I have to look at this figure. I have four sides so I have four triangles. If I can find the area of a triangle I can multiply by four and then I will add just one base to it. So let’s take and isolate this triangle. The triangle has a base of 6 and we need this height down the center of the face and that will be the height of the triangle. This measure is called the slant height. To find the slant height I will use the Pythagorean Theorem. Inside this pyramid I have a right triangle, and it is half of this base,half of the base is 3 and my height is 4 so I’m going to solve it by using the Pythagorean Theorem to find the slant height. I will use 3 squared plus 4 squared equals C squared.  This is equal to (9 + 16 = 25) which is equal to 5 (the square root of 25 equals 5) so my slant height is 5. Now I’m going to find the area of the triangle which is equal to 1/2 b ∙h and our height is five so one half of 6 times 5 is 15 and I have 4 of these triangles so I will multiple this by four and this gives me the surface area of the sides which is the lateral area. This is 60 ( 15 x 4 =60) Now I’m going to add my base which is length times height because it is a square, so 6 times 6 is 36 so I add those two together and that gives me 96 square units. There you go, that is how you find the surface area of a pyramid. Take the area of one base and multiple by the number of faces and that gives us the lateral area and then we add one base and that gives us the surface area. Hope this was helpful.















Example of finding the surface area of a pyramid
arrow pointing left
arrow pointing left

Step One: Find the lateral Area of one side of the Pyramid

Lateral Area = 1/2 b* s * number of triangular faces
b= base length
s= slant height


Slant Height = A^2+ B^2= C^2
A= 1/2 length of one side of the base
B= Center Height of the Pyramid



Step Two: Multiply the Lateral area of one side of the Pyramid by the number of sides, in order to find the Lateral Area of the entire pyramid


Step Three:  Find the area of the base, by multiplying length times width.
​                             The formula used to find the base area will depend on the                                        shape of the base. Check here for base area formulas

Step Four:  Total Surface Area = Base area + Lateral Area together 
                                                                       (step 2 + step 3)





Surface Area of a Pyramid

Use the formula 1/2 Base * Slant Height
= Total Surface Area of the Pyramid

Find the surface area of a pyramid with a base length of 6 units and a center height of 4 units
pyramid with slant height of 5 height of 4 and base length of 6
 = Slant Height
=  length of one side of the base
4 =Center Height of the Pyramid

How to find the surface area of a pyramid

​To find the surface Area of a Pyramid​ follow these four steps:

Surface Area of a Pyramid​ with a triangular base:

Step 1. Find the lateral area of one side of the pyramid,
               The formula for lateral area of a pyramid equals  1/2 base x slant height

Step 2. Multiply the area of one side of the pyramid by the number of sides in order to get the total lateral area of the pyramid.

Step 3. Find the area of the pyramid's base. This formula will vary according to the shape of the base.

List of Base area formulas

Step 4. Add the lateral area plus the base area for the surface area of the pyramid.

​Find the surface area of a pyramid with a rectangular base of 6 by 6 units and a slant height of 5 units.:

 4 squared is the center height
surface area pyramid
 3 squared is 1/2 base 

A pyramid is a three dimensional figure that has a base and an apex. The formula for finding the surface area of a pyramid will depend on the shape of the base. For example, a pyramid with a rectangular shaped base will use length x width to find the area of the base,but a pyramid with a triangular shape will use 1/2 base x height