How To Calculate Square Footage Of A Wall For Wallpaper

How To Calculate Square Footage Of A Wall For Wallpaper

How To Calculate Square Footage Of A Wall For Wallpaper

Introduction to Wall Measurement for Wallpapering

Wallpapering your home or workspace is often a task that many take on with enthusiasm but it's no secret that the process can be confusing and a tad intimidating, particularly when it comes to measuring the wall space you need to cover. Getting your measurements right is the backbone of wallpapering - it can make or break the entire project. You don’t want to purchase too little and run out midway through, or too much and end up with reels of excess wallpaper.

Understanding Square Footage

Before we explain how to measure your walls, it's crucial to have a basic understanding of 'square footage'. This is a standard unit of measurement in the US, UK and Canada, used commonly in construction and real estate. It quantifies the area of a space in terms of squares that can fit within it, where each square measures one foot on all sides.

The Importance of Accurate Wall Measurement

Accurate wall measurement is of the essence when planning your wallpaper installation project. It ensures you buy the right quantity of wallpaper, reducing costs and waste. Also, it makes planning out the project's timelines easier, as you'll have a clear idea of the area to be covered.

Measuring the Height and Width

The two essential measurements you need to take are the wall’s height and width. Use a tape measure to measure the height from the floor to the ceiling, and the width from one end of the wall to the other. Record these measurements in feet or meters.

Calculation of the Wall Surface for Wallpapering

To calculate the square footage of a wall, simply multiply the measured height by the width. The result of this calculation will give you the total square footage of the wall. Be sure to repeat the process for every wall you plan to wallpaper, including those partially covered by windows or doors.

Considering Doors and Windows

If your wall has windows or doors, these areas are generally subtracted from the total square footage since they won't be covered in wallpaper. Measure the height and width of the door or window and multiply them to get the area. Then, subtract this from the wall's total square footage.

Overage and Pattern Repeats

When purchasing wallpaper, it's best to allow for a little excess, also known as overage. This accounts for waste, mistakes, and pattern matching. Speaking of patterns, if your chosen wallpaper has a repeating pattern, take note of its repeat length, as you'll need more wallpaper to align the patterns correctly.


Following these guidelines will provide an accurate measure of the square footage of your walls, aiding you immensely in your wallpaper project. Put in the time to get these measurements right, and the entire process will be that much smoother.

Understanding Wall Dimensions: Length, Width and Height

In the context of wallpapering, understanding the dimensions of your wall requires a clear grasp of length, width and height. These dimensions help in calculating the total square footage needed to cover a wall. Whether your wall is rectangular or square, the principles remain the same.

Wall Length, Width and Height: Basic Definitions

The length of the wall is its longest dimension, measured from one end to the other. It often refers to the horizontal measurement from left to right. The width of the wall, on the other hand, can sometimes be considered synonymous with length, but in some instances refers to the depth of a space. For a wall, you might not need to worry about the width. What is important is the height, which is the vertical measurement from the floor to the ceiling.

Measuring the Wall Dimensions

The process of measuring the wall dimensions is straightforward. Using a tape measure, take the measurement of the length, width, and height in feet. Ensure that you take these measurements from the wall's highest points. For the length, measure from one corner to the next. For the height, measure from the floor to the ceiling.

Recording the Measurements

As you take the measurements, record them on a piece of paper ensuring you label each measurement correctly as length, width or height as per your wall. It is a good practice to measure more than once to make sure your readings are accurate.

Calculating the Square Footage

To calculate the wall's square footage, you will have to multiply the length by the height. Since we are considering a flat wall for wallpapering, the width becomes negligible. So the formula becomes: Square Footage = Length x Height. This calculated square footage helps in determining the amount of wallpaper needed.

Consider Door and Window Spaces

In an ideal world, every wall would be a perfect rectangle without any breaks. However, the reality is that most walls contain doors and windows. When calculating the square footage, don't forget to subtract the area these doors and windows take.

Wallpaper Sizing

Finally, keep in mind that wallpapers come in rolls and their combined area will be advertised on the packaging. Ensure you purchase enough to cover your wall, taking into consideration any extra for pattern matching and small mistakes.

Using Online Tools

Lastly, numerous online tools can help with accurate measurements and square footage calculations. This can be particularly helpful if your wall has an irregular shape, such as a wall with multiple doors and windows, or a wall with a slanted ceiling.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Measure a Wall

Measuring your wall begins with having the right tools and understanding the correct method to get accurate measurements. Whether you're planning for wallpaper installation or just need to know the dimensions, here's how to do it with precision.

Gather Your Measuring Tools

The first step to measuring a wall is ensuring you have the appropriate tools. You will need a metal measuring tape that stretches out to at least the height or width of your wall, a ladder if necessary, and a notepad with a pen or pencil to jot down your measurements.

Measure the Width of the Wall

Start at one corner of the wall and extend the tape measure all the way across to the other corner. It's best to measure across the bottom of the wall, as this is often the straightest part. Be sure to record your result in feet and inches.

Measure the Height of the Wall

Place the bottom of your tape measure on the floor at the base of the wall and extend it upwards towards the ceiling. If your ceilings are high, you may need a ladder or a long-reach measuring tool. As with the width, record your measurements in feet and inches.

Calculate the Square Footage

After obtaining the width and height measurements, calculate the square footage of your wall. You can do this by multiplying the width of the wall by its height. This will give you the total number of square feet you are working with, which is crucial information for choosing and understanding how many rolls of wallpaper you'll need.

Factor in Window and Door Space

If the wall you're measuring has windows or doors, you'll want to subtract their square footage from your total. Measure the height and width of each opening, calculate their square footages, and subtract them from the total square footage of the wall.

Measure Oddly Shaped Walls

If a wall isn't a perfect rectangle, it can be more challenging to measure. You might need to break down the wall into easier to manage sections and measure each separately, then add these measurements together.

Confirm Your Measurements

Always double check your measurements for accuracy. Mistakes at this stage can lead to costly reorders of wallpaper or improper fit during installation. With accurate measurements in hand, you're ready to proceed with your wallpaper project safely and correctly.

Calculation Methods for Determining Wall Square Footage

Understanding the square footage of your walls is crucial when buying and applying wallpaper. Here, we will delve into the steps and mathematical principles behind measurement and calculation. We will discuss some common methods to help you accurately determine your wall’s square footage.

Method One: Using a Tape Measure

For this method, you will need a tape measure and something to jot down your measurements. Follow these steps:

  1. Measure the height and width of the wall in feet. Take care to measure from the furthest points; from the floor to the ceiling for height, and from one corner to another for width.
  2. Jot down both measurements.
  3. Multiply the height by the width to get the square footage of the wall. For example, a wall that is 10 feet high and 12 feet wide would have a square footage of 120 square feet.

Method Two: Using a Laser Measure

If you want to make the process a bit faster and simpler, a laser measure is a great tool. It can also help if the wall is too high to reach even with a ladder. Here is how you can use it:

  1. Switch on the laser measure and point it from one end of the wall to another, starting from the floor to the ceiling for height, and from one corner to another for width.
  2. Note down the measurements.
  3. Multiply the height by the width to get the square footage of the wall.

Acknowledging Obstructions

Another important thing to consider when calculating square footage is the presence of obstructions like doors or windows. After calculating the wall's square footage, measure the height and width of the obstruction and subtract this from the total square footage of the wall. While this method may not be 100% accurate, it will give you a closer approximation and help you avoid purchasing too much wallpaper.

Final Thoughts

Determining the square footage of a wall for wallpapering might not seem straightforward initially. However, once you understand the basic steps and calculations involved, it becomes much simpler. Remember, it's always better to overestimate than underestimate when purchasing wallpaper – after all, it’s better to have a bit too much than not enough!

Accounting for Windows and Doors in Wall Measurements

When calculating the square footage of a wall for wallpaper, it's essential to subtract the square footage of any doors or windows in your calculation. Let's take a deeper look at how to do that.

Determining the Size of Your Windows and Doors

Firstly, you'll need to calculate the square footage of your windows and doors. To do this, you measure the height and width of each window or door separately.

For each door or window, multiply the height by the width to get the total square footage. Make sure to write this down for each one so you don't forget.

Subtracting Window and Door Square Footage from Wall Measurements

Once you have the square footage for your windows and doors, you can subtract these areas from your total wall square footage. Here is the step-by-step process:

  1. Measure the height and width of the wall to calculate its total square footage.
  2. Calculate the square footage of each window and door as explained earlier.
  3. Add up the total square footage of all windows and doors on the wall.
  4. Subtract the total window and door square footage from the total wall square footage. This final number is the square footage of the wall space you will actually be wallpapering.

Remember, when purchasing wallpaper, it's always a good idea to buy extra to account for any mistakes or damages during installation, so consider buying slightly more than your final square footage calculation suggests you'll need.

Examples of Common Measurements

Let's take a look at common measurements to help you understand the process better:

  • A standard door size is about 80 inches high and 36 inches wide. So, the square footage of a standard door is about 20 square feet.
  • A standard window might be around 48 inches high by 36 inches wide, which gives a square footage of around 12 square feet.

Points to Remember

  • Ensure the measurements are correct and check them twice before making any purchase.
  • Despite subtracting the area of doors and windows, it's recommended to add 10-15% extra on your final figure to account for errors and fittings.

Tips and Tricks for Accurate Wall Measurement

When figuring out how much wallpaper you will need, it's imperative to calculate the square footage of your walls accurately. This involves measuring the height and width of your walls and then multiplying those numbers together. However, this process can be complex due to architectural details like windows, doors, and built-in fixtures. Here are some tips to help you measure accurately.

Use an Accurate Measuring Tool

Most professionals use a laser distance measure to ensure accuracy when taking wall measurements. These tools, available at many home improvement stores, allow you to quickly and easily measure the height and width of your walls. They’re easy to use and eliminate the need for a ladder or helper. However, a metal tape measure can also be used with care to avoid inaccuracies from crimping or bending.

Measure Everything Twice

As with most projects, it’s a good idea to measure twice. This double-checking system can help catch any mistakes and avoid cost and time overruns caused by shortages or excesses in wallpaper.

Take Note of Architectural Features

For a more accurate measurement, take into account all architectural features such as windows, doors, and built-in fixtures. These areas will not require wallpaper, so subtract their square footage from your total wall area. To do this, measure the height and width of each feature, multiply to get the square footage, and then subtract that number from your total wall measurement.

Remember Wall Outlets and Switches

Don't forget to consider wall outlets and switches. While they do not cover a significant amount of area, every bit matters when calculating wallpaper needs. Similar to larger features, calculate their area and subtract it from the total wall measurement.

Consider the Role of Wall Texture

The texture of your walls also plays a significant role in calculating the number of wallpaper rolls required. Smoother walls generally require less wallpaper than textured walls because the wallpaper can lay flatter, preventing the need for extra material to account for grooves and bumps. If your walls are heavily textured, you may need up to 15 percent more wallpaper.

Plan for Pattern Repeats

If your chosen wallpaper has a repeat pattern, it's important to account for this in your calculations. A pattern repeat is the vertical distance between where the pattern is identical again (repeats). The larger the repeat, the more wallpaper roll is required to match the pattern seamlessly.

Calculating square footage for wallpaper isn’t always as simple as it might seem, but with these tips and tricks, you should be well-prepared to make an accurate estimate.

Mistakes to Avoid When Measuring Your Wall for Wallpaper

Accurate wallpaper measurements are crucial to avoid wallpaper shortage, wastage, or mismatched pattern. Certain common mistakes can lead to incorrect measurements and subsequently, improper wallpaper placement. Here are some errors you should avoid:

Not Taking into Account Windows and Doors

When measuring the square footage of your wall, many DIY enthusiasts make the mistake of ignoring windows and doors. It's better to calculate the entire wall as one continuous area, even if it includes doors and windows. This assists in pattern continuity and factors in any excess you may need for tricky spots.

Ignoring the Wallpaper Pattern Repeat

A common error is not considering the pattern repeat of the wallpaper. A larger pattern repeat requires more wallpaper because it needs to be lined up correctly, which increases the amount of wallpaper used.

Failing to Measure Room Corners

Not all corners are exactly 90 degrees, especially in older homes. Therefore, it's vital to add an extra inch or two to your calculations to account for these irregularities. This will ensure you have enough wallpaper to fully cover your walls.

Forgetting to Measure Wall Height

Merely measuring the width of your walls is not enough. Always remember to also measure from the floor to the ceiling for an accurate square footage. Incorrect height measurements can lead to a shortage of wallpaper.

Not Factoring in Any Future Adjustments

Often, homeowners fail to account for future adjustments while measuring. For instance, planning to install crown molding and not factoring it in beforehand can affect the wallpaper installation later on.

Relying on a Single Measurement

It's better to take multiple measurements, especially if your walls aren't perfectly square or straight. This way, you'll have a more accurate estimate of the wallpaper needed.

Forgetting to Add Extra for Trimming

The final mistake to avoid is not adding extra wallpaper for trimming and fitting purposes. Always add at least 10% more to your total square footage. This will ensure you have enough extra for unexpected needs or errors.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure a more accurate wallpaper measurement, leading to a smoother installation process and a beautifully wallpapered room.

Ensuring Successful Wallpaper Installation Through Accurate Measurements

To ensure successful wallpaper installation, a vital step is to get the accurate measurements of the wall space you wish to cover. This is crucial because it helps you to determine the correct amount of wallpaper to purchase, which can indeed save you from unnecessary costs and prevent delays in your DIY projects. the following guide will walk you through the process.

Measuring the Wall

Begin with noting down the widths and heights of each wall you intend to cover. Measure in meters or feet depending on your preferred unit, utilizing a metal tape measure from corner to corner for correct results. When accounting for windows and doors, just pretend they aren't there. This approach helps to make sure you have excessive wallpaper for error allowance when hanging.

Calculating the Square Footage

The square footage of a wall is the width multiplied by the height. Therefore, to achieve this, multiply the width of the wall by the height. Repeat this calculation for every individual wall, and then sum up all the measurements to get the total square footage.

Accounting for Pattern Repeat

In case the wallpaper has a pattern, it's necessary to order extra to match the design repeat. So, it's essential to consider the pattern repeat when calculating how much wallpaper you need.

Adding a Buffer

Always it's a smart move to order a little extra wallpaper. This is because you might need to replace a piece in the future due to damage or fading, or errors might occur during application. Therefore, it's recommended to add a buffer of around 15% to the calculated square footage before purchasing your wallpaper.

Purchasing the Wallpaper

With your total square footage in hand, plus the added buffer, now you can purchase your wallpaper. Ensure to keep in mind the roll size while purchasing. Most commonly, the size is mentioned on the packaging. Subtracting unprinted edges and pattern repeats, make sure to calculate the actual coverage of each roll.

By following these steps, you can flawlessly measure your walls to ensure successful wallpaper installation. Accurate measurement plays an essential role in making your DIY project successful and maintaining a balance between cost and usage.