How Much Does It Cost To Remove Wallpaper

How Much Does It Cost To Remove Wallpaper

How Much Does It Cost To Remove Wallpaper

Understanding the Basics of Wallpaper Removal

When considering how much it costs to remove wallpaper, there are fundamental aspects that must be taken into account. First and foremost, wallpaper removal is a task not to be underestimated due to its challenging nature. Different factors, including the type of wallpaper, how long it has been up, and the method used to apply it, can greatly impact the removal process and its associated costs.

Type of Wallpaper

The first aspect to look at when estimating the price of wallpaper removal is the type of wallpaper. There are many different types which include vinyl, fabric, grasscloth and foiled wallpapers. The more durable varieties like vinyl are typically harder to remove and may require more specialized tools or solutions. This implies an increase in costs.

Duration of Installation

The length of time the wallpaper has been up can also influence the cost. The longer the wallpaper has been on a wall, the more adhesive is likely to have been absorbed by the wall. Consequently, these wallpapers can be quite tenacious, requiring more time to extract and thus potentially increasing labor costs.

Application Method

The method of application can also affect wallpaper removal costs. Wallpaper applied directly to the wall with heavy-duty adhesives often require extensive work for removal which can drive up the cost of labor. On the other hand, wallpapers applied with modern, easy-removal adhesives can sometimes be removed with lesser effort, reducing labor costs.

Wall Condition

Additional costs may be incurred depending on the condition of your walls post-removal. If the wallpaper removal leads to wall damage, wall repairs will be necessary and are typically not included in the cost of wallpaper removal.

Size of Area

The size of the area where the wallpaper needs to be removed also plays a role in the final cost. Larger areas will obviously require more time and materials, hence affecting the overall cost.

Professional or DIY

Deciding whether to hire a professional or attempt a DIY project can greatly influence the cost. While hiring professionals can increase costs upfront, DIY projects can lead to increased expenses from improper removal or damage to walls.

Geographical Location

The cost may also differ depending on your geographical location as labor costs tend to vary from region to region. Therefore, it is crucial to explore local rates when considering overall costs.

The Actual Cost

Generally, professional wallpaper removal can range between $1 to $3 per square foot. However, this range can vary based on the aforementioned factors and does not include the cost of wall repairs. Therefore, keep in mind that these are estimates and actual costs can vary.

Factors Influencing the Cost of Wallpaper Removal

Just like any other home improvement project, the cost of wallpaper removal can vary widely. Several factors can influence this cost, which may include the size of the area, ease of wallpaper removal, condition of the walls, type of wallpaper, type of glue, and whether you're hiring a professional or doing it yourself. Let's look at these variable factors individually to have a clear understanding.

Size of the Area

The size of the room or the total area of the wallpaper that needs to be removed is often the primary factor when estimating the cost. Clearly, the larger the area, the more time and resources it will require, thereby increasing the cost.

Ease of Wallpaper Removal

Not all wallpapers are the same. Some wallpapers can be stripped off easily, while others might be more obstinate and time-consuming. The more difficult it is to remove, the more labor-intensive (and expensive) the process becomes.

Condition of the Walls

The underlying condition of the walls can also significantly affect the cost. If the walls are in poor condition or if the wallpaper has been on for a long time, extra care will need to be taken to avoid damaging the walls, which could lead to further repair costs.

Type of Wallpaper

Different types of wallpaper not only vary in cost but also in the method and ease of removal. Vinyl and foil wallpapers are usually more difficult to remove than traditional paper wallpapers, thereby affecting the overall cost.

Type of Glue

The type of adhesive used in pasting the wallpaper can dramatically affect the removal process. Some wallpapers are put up with water-soluble adhesive, which is relatively easy to remove. At the same time, others might use more robust adhesive which can be a challenge to remove, hence affecting the cost.

Professional vs. DIY

Finally, whether you hire a professional or decide to do the wallpaper removal yourself will largely influence the cost. Naturally, a professional will charge for their expertise and labor, but they may be able to do the job more efficiently and prevent potential wall damage.

Therefore, understanding these influential factors can help you estimate the cost of your wallpaper removal project. It allows you to have a more accurate budget plan and anticipate potential complications.

Comparing DIY Removal and Hiring a Professional

Understanding the costs involved in removing wallpaper is not just about figuring out material costs. It is also about evaluating your potential time investment and skill level, compared to hiring a professional for the job.

DIY Wallpaper Removal

Doing it yourself (DIY) may seem like a cost-effective solution, however, this method will require more time, effort, and patience. You will also have to purchase required tools and safety equipment, such as a wallpaper scorer, wallpaper steamer and safety goggles.

Moreover, the DIY method involves learning the right techniques that include but are not limited to scoring the wallpaper without damaging the wall underneath, applying the right amount of steam for the right duration, and so on. Hence, the cost factor is highly dependent on you and your learning curve.

Additional Costs for DIY

If, due to unfamiliarity with the process, you mistakenly damage your walls during the wallpaper removal, the repair costs can far exceed the initial savings of doing it yourself. Plus, you also need to factor in the cost of your time displayed as hours spent on the task.

Hiring a Professional

In contrast, hiring a professional for wallpaper removal offers many benefits beyond just saving time. A professional, due to their extensive experience and technical knowledge, can quickly and efficiently remove wallpaper with minimal risk to the surrounding walls.

The cost of hiring a professional will depend on several factors, including the size and complexity of the job, type of wallpaper, and regional labor costs. However, this package typically includes labor, tools, and waste disposal, making it a more convenient option.

Professional’s Additional Advantages

A professional can also provide consultancy on the best approach depending on the wall conditions, the type of wallpaper, and the final look you are going for. Plus, they come with insurance, which means should any accidental damage occur, the repair costs would not fall on you.

A key phrase to remember throughout this comparison is, "Time is money". The balance between DIY and professional hiring largely depends on whether you have more time or money to invest in the project.

Average Costs for Professional Wallpaper Removal

When considering the removal of wallpaper, many people opt to hire a professional. This is due to the fact that removing wallpaper can require time, patience, and the right technique to avoid damaging the walls. However, employing professional services changes the cost scenario considerably.

Calculating the Cost

The cost of professional wallpaper removal generally factors in the size of the job, the complexity, and the type of wallpaper. On average, professional wallpaper removers charge between $0.75 to $4 per square foot. The wide range in price often factors in the condition of the wallpaper and the wall, the type of wallpaper—whether it’s a peel-and-stick or a traditional variant—and the estimated time it will take to complete the project.

Additional Factors Impacting the Cost

Beyond the cost per square foot, several other factors may potentially increase the overall price of professional wallpaper removal. For instance, if the wallpaper covers a ceiling or a room with high walls, contractors might charge more for the difficulty and risk involved. A room with unusual shapes or hard-to-reach spots could also add to the complexity of the job and subsequently increase the cost.

Extra Services

Typically, the quoted cost for professional wallpaper removal only includes the actual process of stripping the wallpaper and does not take into account any repairs or repainting that might be needed afterwards. If the removal process involves correcting underlying wall damage, costs can increase by $50 to $75 per hour for labor, plus material costs. It is always best to clarify what services are included in the initial quote to avoid unexpected charges.

Geographical Location

The geographical location can also have a impact on the overall cost. Professional wallpaper removers located in urban or high-cost living areas might charge more than those in rural or less expensive regions.

Keep in mind that these prices are estimates and the actual cost might vary based on the breadth and the specific nature of the job. Getting quotes from multiple professionals to compare prices is usually a prudent step.

Potential Hidden Costs of Wallpaper Removal

When it comes down to the process of removing wallpaper, the cost may appear straightforward - you pay for labor and supplies. However, there are several 'hidden' costs that homeowners should consider. These costs may vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of wallpaper, the condition of the wall beneath, and whether or not professionals are employed to do the job.

Professional Services

While it is possible to DIY the removal of wallpaper, professional services are often recommended for a smoother and more efficient process. These services indeed add to the cost. Professionals usually charge per hour, and the complexity of the wall condition could extend the time they need to finish their work - hence, increasing the total expense.

Wall Repairs

Depending on the age and condition of the original plaster or drywall, you may discover damage that needs repairing once the wallpaper is removed. This could involve patching holes, replacing sections of the wall, or even skimming the entire wall with a thin layer of plaster to ensure a smooth finish. The costs for these repairs can add up, especially if any structural issues are discovered.

Wall Preparation

Once the wallpaper is removed and the wall is repaired, it needs to be prepped for its next treatment. This stage usually involves priming, which requires priming products and, potentially, professional services. It also might involve additional plastering or sanding.

Disposal Fees

Once the wallpaper is removed, you'll be left with plenty of debris that needs to be properly disposed of. Many waste disposal companies charge per weight, so particularly large or thick wallpaper can lead to hefty disposal fees.

Unexpected Delays

Finally, it's essential to bear in mind that delays can happen, especially with larger or more complex projects. Delays could mean living without a functional room longer, which might require other arrangements, leading to additional costs.

While it might appear that removing wallpaper is a simple task, the associated hidden costs can add up. However, preparing for these potential hidden costs will offer homeowners peace of mind and help ensure a smoother removal process.

How to Save Money on Wallpaper Removal

Wallpaper removal can be a costly affair if you hire professionals. However, with a little bit of patience and effort, you can undertake the project on your own, which can save you a significant amount of money. Here are some tips on how to save money when you need to remove wallpaper.


The biggest cost involved in wallpaper removal is labor. If you feel up to it, consider doing the job yourself. Many sources can guide you through the process, from online tutorials to DIY home improvement books. The only cost here is your time and the supplies needed, which are relatively inexpensive.

Reuse Your Supplies

Whenever possible, reuse your tools and supplies. Plastic scrapers, for instance, can be washed and used again. The same applies to other tools like sponges and buckets. The goal is to avoid buying new supplies each time you have a wallpaper removal project.

Rent Equipment

In some cases, you might need special equipment to remove wallpaper, especially if it's old or has multiple layers. Renting equipment such as a steamer instead of buying can save you money. Many home improvement stores offer rentals for a fraction of the purchase cost.

Recycle or Dispose of Wallpaper Responsibly

Disposing of old wallpaper can also incur costs, especially if it's considered commercial waste. Consider recycling your wallpaper, or check with local waste facilities for the cheapest disposal methods. Some facilities may even take it off your hands for free.

Plan Ahead

Meticulous planning can help prevent unwanted expenses. Measure your walls accurately and estimate how much time the task will take so you can arrange your schedule accordingly. Being organized will help you avoid mistakes that can lead to additional costs.

Remember that while the initial cost of doing it yourself may seem high, the money saved in the long run can be significant compared to hiring a professional. However, always weigh your options, considering factors like the time it will take and the potential stress involved.

Typical Timeframe for Professional Wallpaper Removal

When planning to refresh the look of your home, the removal of old wallpaper and the application of a fresh layer can be a significant task. However, duration for the completion of the task often depends on several variables. These include the size of the area in question, the age and type of the installed wallpaper, and the professional skills of the removal crew.

1. Size of the Area

Unsurprisingly, the size of the room significantly affects the time taken to remove the wallpaper. A smaller room, such as a bathroom or a study, could take as little as a few hours. On the other hand, larger spaces like living rooms or master bedrooms might need a full day or even several days of work.

2. Age and Type of Wallpaper

The type of wallpaper that needs to be removed also contributes to the timeframe for its removal. For instance, older, more delicate wallpapers might require cautious handling and slower, more meticulous work to avoid damaging the wall underneath. Similarly, some types of wallpaper, such as vinyl coatings, are more challenging to remove than others, potentially contributing to increased time and cost.

3. Quality of the Removal Crew

The expertise of the crew carries significant weight when assessing the project timeline. Seasoned professionals can often complete the job significantly faster than less experienced workers or homeowners attempting a DIY project.

Accommodating for Unforeseen Circumstances

It's important to note the possibility of unforeseen difficulties that could prolong the project. These could include discovering damaged walls underneath the wallpaper or facing adhesive issues, requiring unexpected repair and prep work that might extend the timeline.

Estimated Range of Time

Considering these factors, the typical timeframe for professional wallpaper removal can range from a few hours to a few days. Therefore, it's integral for homeowners to discuss these factors with their chosen professionals to receive a more precise estimate tailored to their individual project.

Tips for Choosing a Trusted Wallpaper Removal Company

When it comes to wallpaper removal, it's important to use a trusted service provider to ensure a clean, damage-free job. Here are some tips to help you choose the right wallpaper removal company.

Look for Experience

The first thing you should look for in a wallpaper removal company is experience. Companies that have been in the business for years will likely know how to handle different types of wallpapers and adhesives, which means they can handle your project whatever it might entail.

Check out Reviews and Testimonials

Before selecting any company, always review any customer feedback available online. This will allow you to get a sense of the quality of work that the company provides and if their previous clients were satisfied with their services.

Request Estimates

Make sure to request estimates from multiple companies to make sure you're getting a fair price. Keep in mind that the cheapest option isn't always the best one, especially if it compromises on quality.

Ask About Clean-up Services

Removing wallpaper can often leave behind a mess. Therefore, it is essential to ask whether the service provider includes clean-up services in their package. This can save you a lot of time and hassle.

Ensure They Are Insured

This is a critical point. Wallpaper removal can be risky in terms of property damage or injury. Insurance will provide you with financial protection in case of such mishaps.

Timeline and Availability

Lastly, consider the company’s timeline and availability. Make sure their schedule fits your needs, and they are able to stick to the estimated timeline.

By keeping the above tips in mind, you will have a better chance of finding a wallpaper removal company capable of delivering high-quality service at a reasonable price.