How Much Wallpaper Do I Need

How Much Wallpaper Do I Need

How Much Wallpaper Do I Need

Understanding Wallpaper Measurements

Before diving into any wallpapering project, it's crucial to understand how wallpaper measurements work. This knowledge is essential for purchasing enough wallpaper to successfully complete your project without overspending.

Units of Measurement for Wallpaper

Wallpapers are often sold in rolls. The size of the roll can vary depending on the country or the manufacturer. In the United States, for example, a standard roll of wallpaper is usually 20.5 inches wide and 33 feet long. However, it's not uncommon to find rolls in other measurements. The important thing is to always check the dimensions before buying.

Determining Your Wall Area

Determining the area of your walls will guide you in knowing how many rolls of wallpaper you will need. Measure the height and width of each wall in inches or feet. Multiply these two numbers together to get the total square area of the wall. Remember to deduct for large windows and doors, as they won't be covered with wallpaper.

Accounting for Pattern Repeats

Some wallpapers have repeating patterns. The 'repeat' indicates how often the pattern appears vertically on the roll. For patterns with large repeats, additional wallpaper may be required as there may be some wastage when lining up the pattern on each strip. Make sure to account for this when calculating your wallpaper needs.

Estimating Number of Rolls Needed

Once you have your total wall area and have accounted for the pattern repeat, you can estimate the number of wallpaper rolls needed. The area of your wall should be divided by the total coverage of a roll (Length x Width of the roll). Always round up to the nearest whole number to ensure you have enough coverage for your project.

Don’t Forget the Extras

It's always recommended to buy extra wallpaper to account for mistakes or damage. A safe bet is purchasing an additional 15% more than your calculated needs. This extra amount can save you from headaches if you run out mid-project or need to patch up an area in the future.

A Wallpaper Calculator can Help

If the idea of manually calculating your wallpaper needs seems daunting, you can always use a wallpaper calculator. These tools, which can be found online, simplify the calculation process by doing most of the maths after you input your wall and wallpaper measurements.

Understanding wallpaper measurements is crucial in planning for any decorating project. With a firm grasp on your space’s dimensions and the ability to interpret wallpaper dimensions, you can accurately estimate how much wallpaper you will need for a successful decorating project.

Calculating Wall Surface Area

Understanding how much wallpaper you need largely depends on the size of the wall you plan to cover. Therefore, the first critical step is to calculate the wall surface area. Here we walk you through how to do it right.

Step 1: Measure the Wall's Width and Height

Start by measuring the width and the height of the walls with a measuring tape. The width is the horizontal measurement along the ground, while the height is the vertical measurement from the floor to the ceiling. Ensure your measurements are accurate as they significantly influence the total amount of the wallpaper needed.

Step 2: Multiply Width and Height

After obtaining the width and height measurements, the next step is to multiply these two numbers together. This calculation gives you the total surface area of the wall in square units (typically square meters or square feet, depending on your preference).

Here's the formula: Wall Surface Area = Width x Height

Step 3: Accounting for Doors and Windows

When you measure the height and width, you're likely including the areas occupied by doors and windows. To obtain the actual surface area that needs wallpaper, you must subtract the total area of the windows and doors from the total wall surface area.

To measure the area of a door or window, use the same height x width formula as you did for the wall. Then subtract the sum of these areas from the total wall surface area.

Step 4: Consider the Wallpaper Repeat Pattern

One crucial factor to consider when calculating wallpaper quantity is the wallpaper repeat pattern. If your selected wallpaper has a repeatable pattern, you must account for this. Larger patterns may lead to more waste as you align the design properly. Factor this into your calculations to ensure you purchase enough wallpaper.

Note on Multiple Walls

If you intend to cover more than one wall, calculate each wall's surface area individually and then add them together. This aggregate figure is what you'll use to determine the amount of wallpaper you need to purchase. Make sure to always round up your measurements to account for any margin of error.

With the right measurements of your wall(s) at hand, you're now ready to proceed and calculate the number of wallpaper rolls you'll need to buy.

Importance of Checking Wallpaper Repeat Pattern

When shopping for wallpaper, you may come across the term 'repeat pattern'. This concept refers to the design on the wallpaper, specifically, the frequency with which it repeats. Some wallpapers have small repeat patterns, while others have large ones. Some designs are straightforward, repeating in straight vertical lines down the roll. Other designs are more complex, employing what's known as a 'drop repeat', where the design shifts left or right with each repeat. Understanding the repeat pattern of your chosen wallpaper is crucial before purchasing. Here's why:

Accurate Calculation of Wallpaper Needed

Repeat patterns significantly affect the quantity of wallpaper and waste you can anticipate when hanging wallpaper. Small repeat patterns often result in less waste, since it's easier to match the pattern up when a new strip of paper is applied. However, wallpapers with larger repeat patterns or drop repeat require careful planning to ensure the design matches up from strip to strip, which inevitably results in more waste. Therefore, understanding the repeat pattern is essential to accurately calculate how much wallpaper you need.

The Impact on Room Size

Apart from the quantity aspect, the type and size of the repeat pattern can also impact the perception of your room's dimensions. Smaller repeat patterns tend to be better for smaller rooms since they can make an area feel larger. On the other hand, large repeat patterns can work well in larger rooms or as a bold statement piece on a feature wall.

Consideration of Style and Aesthetic

Another significant factor to consider is the style and aesthetic you want to achieve. Small, intricate repeat patterns can give a room a more traditional, classic feel, whereas large, bold pattern repeats can lend a contemporary touch. Remember that the repeat pattern you select will play a critical role in shaping the ambiance of your room.

Determining Your Wallpaper Repeat

Identifying the repeat of your wallpaper is a simple matter. You can typically find this information on the product specifications for the wallpaper. The repeat is often represented in inches or centimeters, indicating the height from one point in the pattern to the corresponding point in the next repeat of the pattern.

It's vital to take the time to understand the wallpaper repeat pattern when planning your decorating project. Accurate calculations can save you time, money, and frustration. Additionally, the right repeat pattern can elevate the aesthetic value and overall feel of your room.

How Many Wallpaper Rolls Do You Need?

Estimating the number of wallpaper rolls for a room can be tricky. This is particularly the case if the room has irregular features like fireplaces, doors, or windows. Generally, it is advised to overestimate to account for any mishaps or miscalculations.

Calculate the Area of Your Wall

To calculate the area of your wall, measure both the width and height of the wall in meters or feet. Multiply these two figures to find the total area in square units. This calculation will be crucial to find out how many wallpaper rolls you need.

Windows and Doors Calculation

Skip some areas where wallpaper isn't needed, like windows and doors. Calculate their total area and subtract it from the total wall area. Although it is a small step, it can save your expenditure on excess wallpaper rolls. It is recommended to measure these areas accurately as it can significantly impact the total calculation.

Account for Pattern Repeat

When purchasing wallpaper with repeating patterns, it is necessary to consider the pattern repeat. A pattern repeat denotes the vertical distance between where the pattern is identical again. This might lead to a little more consumption of the wallpaper rolls. Therefore, pay meticulous attention to the pattern repeat information when purchasing your wallpaper.

Determine Roll Coverage

Once you have the total area that needs to be wallpapered, find the roll coverage to determine how many rolls you need. On each wallpaper roll packaging, you should find the roll length and width to calculate the total area that a roll can cover.

Calculate Number of Rolls

Divide the total wall area by the coverage of one wallpaper roll. Make sure to round up the value to ensure you have enough wallpaper to cover the whole area of the wall. Don't forget to include a little extra for errors, mishaps, or future repairs.

Consider Professional Advice

Although these steps can provide a rough estimate of how much wallpaper you will need, it may be beneficial to seek professional advice. Their experience can offer accurate estimates and valuable advice to save money and ensure a satisfactory result.

Factoring Doors and Windows into Your Calculations

While measuring your rooms for wallpaper, it's imperative to consider the space taken up by doors and windows. These elements can impact the total required quantity of wallpaper, and failing to account for them can lead to wastage or scarcity of material. After all, there's no need to cover areas where wallpaper won't be visible. Here's how you can make your measurements more accurate.

Measuring the Doors and Windows

Firstly, measure the height and width of all the doors and windows in the room. To do this, use a tape measure and note down the dimensions in square meters or square feet, depending on your preference. The idea is to subtract this square footage from the total wall area to give a more precise estimate of the wallpaper needed.

How to Subtract These Measurements

Once you have the measurements of your doors and windows, you can subtract these from the total wall area. For instance, if your total wall area is 100 square meters and your doors and windows add up to 20 square meters, you would subtract 20 from 100, leaving you with 80 square meters of wall space requiring wallpaper.

Exception to the Rule

Sometimes, purchasing a little extra wallpaper beyond your calculated need can be handy. This is particularly true if your wallpaper has a complex pattern that needs to be matched up. In such cases, you might find yourself using more wallpaper than the exact room measurements suggest.

Avoiding Wastage

It can be tempting to ignore the areas taken up by doors and windows and just purchase extra wallpaper. However, this approach typically leads to unnecessary wastage and added expense. By accurately calculating your needs and factoring in your doors and windows, you can ensure you buy just the right amount of wallpaper for your project.

The Importance of Factoring in Doors and Windows

While it might seem like a small component, the process of factoring in the doors and windows in your room can make a significant difference to your wallpaper needs. It ensures that you have an accurate measure of the wallpaper required, helps to manage costs effectively, reduce waste, and ensure a smooth application process.

Considering Extra Wallpaper for Future Use or Mistakes

While wallpaper calculations mainly aim for accuracy to prevent surplus material, it's a smart move to consider purchasing extra wallpaper. Keeping a surplus serves two key objectives: catering for possible mistakes and future needs.

Planning for Potential Mistakes

Wallpaper installation isn't always a seamless process; mistakes can happen. A minor miscalculation in measurements, improper alignment, accidental ripping, or damage during installation are some errors that can lead to wallpaper wastage. When you have spare wallpaper on hand, it becomes easier to fix these mistakes. Besides, having extra wallpaper cuts down the need to halt your installation process to purchase more, thereby saving time and ensuring consistency in wallpaper patterns and color.

Preparing for Future Needs

Another advantage of purchasing extra wallpaper is in catering for future needs. Accidents that lead to wallpaper damage can occur, and having the same kind and pattern of wallpaper proves extremely useful in such situations. Wallpaper from the same batch guarantees a perfect color match because sometimes, wallpapers from different batches might have slight color variations due to manufacturing differences.

Additionally, if you plan on retaining the same interior look in another space of your home or office in the future, having an additional supply of the wallpaper you love now will ensure consistency and prevent the hustle of trying to find it later, especially if it gets discontinued.

How Much Extra Wallpaper Should I Buy?

A good rule of thumb is buying an additional 10-15% more wallpaper than the measured area needs. If the wallpaper pattern is complex, a larger surplus might be required. Remember, it's better to have a little leftover wallpaper than fall short in the middle of your project, bearing in mind that returning the unused rolls is often an option with many suppliers.

Points to Consider When Buying Wallpaper for Different Rooms

When purchasing wallpaper for various rooms in your house, several factors come into play. Understanding these points can significantly influence your choice and help you make the right decisions.

Room Purpose

Consideration of the room's utility is fundamental. A child's room, dining room, bedroom and living space all serve different purposes and thus require consideration of different styles, patterns and colors. Kid's room, for example, tends to have fun and playful designs while bedrooms might require more soothing designs to encourage relaxation.

Room Size

Room size can significantly impact how a wallpaper pattern looks. Large patterns can overwhelm small spaces, while small patterns may appear too subtle in large rooms. Strips can help modify the room’s dimensions visually; vertical stripes can make a room seem taller, while horizontal stripes can make it feel wider.

Wallpaper Material

Materials matter a lot, especially regarding longevity and cleaning. For areas that require frequent cleaning such as kitchens and bathrooms, choose materials that are water-resistant and easy to clean like vinyl. For living spaces, you might opt for textile wallpapers that add an extra touch of luxury.


The room's lighting conditions dramatically affect how the wallpaper looks. Bright rooms can handle darker wallpapers while poorly lit rooms may benefit from lighter hues to lighten up the room. Metallic or glossy wallpapers can add a nice touch to rooms with minimal natural light by reflecting artificial light.


Never forget to consider the wallpaper's cost and your budget. With a wide range of prices, you'd want to ensure that you get something that fits well within your budget but still delivers quality and style. Consider factors such as material and design complexity, which often influence the pricing.

Existing Décor

Finally, factor in the existing decor, including the furniture and accessories in the room. The new wallpaper should work well with other elements, either harmoniously blending or providing an exciting contrast.

Taking these points into account will help ensure that you buy wallpaper that not only suits your personal taste but also enhances the aesthetic appeal and functionality of each room.

Tips to Save on Wallpaper Costs

Wallpaper can significantly enhance the aesthetic appeal of any space, but sometimes, its costs can skyrocket. However, there are many ways you can save on wallpaper costs without compromising quality. Here are some effective strategies:

Calculate Accurately

Ensure you accurately calculate the amount of wallpaper you need before you set out to buy. Precise measurements will help you avoid buying excess rolls and save you a significant amount of money. If you're uncertain about the calculations, use online wallpaper calculators.

Purchase During Sales

Most wallpaper retailers occasionally have sales that you can take advantage of. Waiting for these moments can allow you to purchase high-quality paper at slashed rates. Sign up for newsletters from various retailers to receive prompts whenever there's a sale.

Consider Less Expensive Alternatives

If designer wallpapers are out of your budget, consider less expensive alternatives that still offer great quality. There are numerous wallpaper brands with elegant designs at pocket-friendly prices.

Use Self-Adhesive Wallpaper

Selecting self-adhesive wallpaper, also known as peel-and-stick wallpaper, can save you a lot in installation costs. This type of wallpaper is easy to install, requiring no professional skills or additional materials like glue or paste.

DIY Installation

Professional wallpaper installation can be costly. If possible, consider doing the installation yourself to save money. There are many online resources and tutorials to guide you through a DIY installation. However, ensure you're confident with the process as poorly installed wallpaper may ruin the appeal of your space or lead to wastage.

Reuse Leftovers

If after installing the wallpaper, you find yourself with leftovers, don't throw them away. Use these to cover smaller areas like inside a bookcase, a door panel, or drawers. This way, you maximize the use of every roll purchased and avoid further expenditure.

Ultimately, it’s not necessary to break the bank to achieve that beautiful look you desire for your space. Following these tips ensures you save money while still getting great quality wallpapers.