# How To Measure How Much Wallpaper Is Needed

## Understanding the Basics of Wallpaper Measurement

When planning to wallpaper a room, it's important to measure correctly to determine how much paper you'll need. A few calculations can save a lot of time, money, and frustration. At its most basic, wallpaper measurement involves calculating the square footage of the wall space you want to cover.

### Determining Wall Dimensions

The first step is to measure the width and the height of each wall that will be papered. Use a tape measure to determine these dimensions, and remember to take into account any doors and windows within these spaces. Subtracting the space taken up by windows and doors from your overall wall measurements will give a more accurate measure of the wall area to be papered.

### Calculating Square Footage

Square footage is the standard measure used in wallpaper calculations. To find the total square footage of your wall space, multiply the width and height measurements of each individual wall, then add them together. The calculation is: (Width x Height) = Square Footage. Remember to subtract the square footage of windows and doors from your total.

### Understanding Wallpaper Roll Sizes

Wallpaper is typically sold in rolls. You will need to understand the length and width of the wallpapers you plan to purchase. Most wallpaper rolls are standard size, usually measuring 20.5 inches wide by 33 feet long, covering about 56 square feet. However, wallpaper can come in a variety of sizes especially when dealing with specialty or imported wallpapers.

### Estimating Wallpaper Rolls Needed

To estimate the number of wallpaper rolls required, divide the total square footage of the wall space by the coverage of one roll. Always round up to the nearest whole number when estimating the number of rolls needed. It is also recommended to buy an extra roll to account for any errors or damage.

#### Consider Repeat Patterns

One important consideration is the "repeat" of the wallpaper's pattern. A design’s repeat is the vertical distance between one point on the design and the identical point lower on the design. Papers with a large pattern repeat may require more rolls because of the waste cut off in aligning the design from strip to strip.

### Final Thoughts

Understanding how to measure for wallpaper can make your home decor project go more smoothly. With correct measurements and a little planning, you can avoid the pitfalls of running short on wallpaper or wasting money on surplus rolls. Remember that the professionals at your local home improvement store can also be a source of advice and assistance.

## Assessing the Size and Structure of Your Room

Before buying wallpaper, it is crucial to measure and understand the size, structure, and characteristics of your room. This will help you to estimate the quantity of wallpaper you will need and eliminate wastage due to excess. Here is a step-by-step guide.

### Measure the Perimeter of the Room

Begin by measuring the total length of the room's walls. If the room is a regular rectangle or square, this can be easily done by measuring one length and one width and doubling each. Ensure to measure in feet because wallpaper is typically sold in square feet. Use a laser or tape measure for accuracy.

### Measure the Room's Height

Next, measure the height of the room from the floor to the ceiling. Exclude any baseboards or molding from this measurement, as wallpaper usually doesn't cover these areas. If the room has slanted or vaulted ceilings, measure the maximum height and the minimum height.

### Calculate the Room's Surface Area

Once you have your room's measurements, calculate the total surface area by multiplying the perimeter of the room by its height. However, remember to subtract the area of windows and doors as wallpaper will not cover these areas.

#### Subtract the Area of Windows and Doors

Do not forget to measure the width and height of each window and door. Multiply these dimensions to get the area of each and add them up. Finally, subtract this total area from the room's surface area.

### Consider the Room's Structure

The structure and layout of your room will also influence the quantity of wallpaper required. For rooms with complicated structures such as alcoves, built-in wardrobes, or fireplaces, you may need more wallpaper to cover these tricky areas.

### Estimate Extra for Patterned Wallpaper

If you plan to use patterned wallpaper, estimate an additional 10 to 20 percent on top of your calculated area to account for pattern matching. This ensures that the pattern aligns correctly when pasting the strips beside each other.

#### Pattern Repeat vs. Pattern Drop

Understand that patterned wallpaper has a "pattern repeat" and a "pattern drop". Pattern repeat is the distance between the point where a pattern begins, repeats, and begins again. Pattern drop is the offset between the pattern on each strip of wallpaper. Both these can affect the quantity of wallpaper required.

### Summary of Calculations

To sum up, estimating wallpaper needs involves measuring the room's perimeter and height, calculating the surface area, subtracting the area of doors and windows, considering the room's structure, and accounting for pattern matching if necessary. By following these steps meticulously, you can minimize waste and optimize your wallpaper purchase.

## Handling Wall Fixtures and Windows While Calculating Wallpaper

Adding wallpaper to a room can create a dramatic difference and often brings an element of fun or sophistication to an otherwise bland room. However, before purchasing wallpaper, it's crucial to estimate exactly how much you'll need. And objects on the walls - fixtures and windows - can be the tricky part but are essential to consider in your calculations.

### Factoring in Wall Fixtures

Wall fixtures such as light switches, outlets, and sconce mounts are typical elements of most rooms which can interrupt your wallpaper layout. While these might seem insignificant due to their small size, they can add complexity to your wallpaper installation process and lead to more wallpaper usage than you might expect. To calculate how much extra wallpaper you need, measure the height and width of each fixture and add these areas together. Roughly add 15% extra to this total to account for area lost in trim and alignment – this is a good rule of thumb in wallpapering.

### Dealing with Windows

Windows are larger interruptions on a wall and therefore need special attention. Measure the height and width of the window, including any trim or molding, to get the total area that the window takes up. But remember, a little extra paper will be necessary to account for pattern matching. Also, note the principle of buying extra wallpaper - approximately 10-15% more than your ballpark calculation. This allows for mistakes, future repairs, or just in case you measured less than required.

### Don't Forget the Door

Doors, like windows, are large features that won't be covered in wallpaper. They should be measured in the same way - height and width, including any trim or molding, to calculate the area. Subtract this, along with the area of your windows and fixtures, from the overall wall area to determine how much wallpaper is needed. Again, include an extra 10-15% to account for the unavoidable wastage that will occur during the application and matching process.

### Final Words for Calculating Accurately

It's always better to overestimate than underestimate. Returning unused rolls is usually simple, but finding exactly matching rolls later can be a difficult task, especially if the design you picked is no longer in stock. Also, don't forget to account for matching the pattern, especially for intricate designs or larger repeat patterns. This process adds to the wastage but results in a seamless and professional finish that is rewardingly beautiful.

## Correctly Measuring Wall Area and Height

When embarking on a fresh wallpaper project, it's essential to know how to correctly measure your wall area and height. This is a crucial step that will ensure you purchase the right amount of wallpaper and avoid wastage or shortage. This guide will take you through the step-by-step process of doing so.

### Measuring Wall Height

Start with measuring the height of the walls. To accurately do this, use a steel tape measure and measure from the floor to the ceiling, making sure to account for any baseboards or moldings at the top and bottom of the walls. Write down all measurements in feet or meters, depending on your preference.

#### Note on Sloped Ceilings

If you have sloped ceilings, measure the maximum and minimum heights. Use the larger figure when calculating how much wallpaper to buy to ensure you have enough to cover the entire surface.

### Measuring Wall Width

Next, measure the width of your walls. For individual walls, simply measure across the wall from corner to corner. For rooms with more than two walls, measure the length of each wall separately. The cumulative total gives you the total width of all the walls in the room.

#### Consideration for Doors and Windows

For rooms with windows and doors, measure the height and width of these areas and subtract them from your wall measurements. This way, you won't purchase more wallpaper than necessary.

### Calculating Wallpaper Amount

Having obtained the total height and width of your walls, you can now calculate the total amount of wallpaper you need. Carefully consider the paper type and pattern repeat when buying wallpaper, as both can impact the quantity needed.

#### Understanding Pattern Repeats

A pattern repeat refers to the vertical distance between where the pattern is identical again (repeats). Large pattern repeats can result in more wastage. Therefore, patterns with smaller repeats or random patterns may require less wallpaper.

### Wrapping Up

By meticulously measuring your wall area and height, and correctly interpreting the repeat of your chosen wallpaper pattern, you will be well-equipped to purchase just the right amount of wallpaper for your project. A tiny bit of preliminary work will save you time, money, and avoid potential headaches down the line.

## Calculating the Number of Wallpaper Rolls Needed

Once you have calculated the total square footage of the room you're planning to wallpaper, you can then turn your attention to determine how many rolls of wallpaper you'll need. This will require a couple of additional pieces of information - the size of the paper rolls and the pattern repeat, if any, on the wallpaper.

### Paper Roll Size

Firstly, wallpaper rolls usually come in standard sizes. Two of the most common include single rolls and double rolls. The size of the roll will be displayed on the product label. It's important for you to know whether you're dealing with single or double rolls as the measurement will influence the total number of rolls needed.

### Pattern Repeat

Next, you need to consider the pattern repeat on the wallpaper. This refers to the vertical distance between where the pattern is identical again (repeat). A wallpaper with a large pattern repeat requires more wallpaper because the pattern needs to align across the strips of paper. Therefore, the pattern repeat will impact the number of rolls needed.

#### Formulas for Wallpaper Calculation

To accurately calculate the number of rolls you need, use the following formula: Divide the total square footage of the room by the coverage of one roll of wallpaper.

Nonetheless, if the wallpaper has a pattern that repeats, use the following formula: surface area of the room (in square feet) divided by the usable yield per roll (usually indicated on the product).

### Always Remember to Buy Extra

Finally, it’s always a smart move to purchase an additional roll or two beyond your calculated need. Any excess can be used for future repairs or the unexpected underestimates. Wallpaper from the same batch number is more likely to be an exact colour match, so having a spare roll could save you from noticeable colour variations in the future.

It is better to have too much wallpaper at the outset rather than needing more later and finding your pattern has been discontinued or the colour batch is slightly different.

## Tips to Minimize Wallpaper Wastage

When planning on decorating a room with wallpaper, a little bit of careful calculation and strategic planning can help you save a significant amount of wallpaper and money. Thus, ensuring minimal wastage — a critical aspect to be taken into account while wallpapering.

### Be Careful with Measurements

Doing the measurements of your room accurately is the first crucial step towards minimizing wallpaper wastage. Make sure to measure each wall meticulously and remember that you should allow for doors and windows when estimating how much wallpaper you'll need. Keep some spare for unexpected mishaps, but there's no need to overdo it.

### Understand the Wallpaper Pattern

It's essential to acquaint yourself with the pattern on your chosen wallpaper. Each wallpaper has a pattern repeat, meaning that there's a certain distance before the pattern starts again. The more complex the design, the more wallpaper you will need to match the pattern correctly.

### Select the Correct Roll Size

Generally, most wallpapers come in two standard sizes: single roll and double roll. Single rolls usually cover 25-30 square feet, whereas double rolls cover between 50-60 square feet. A rough understanding of these will help to avoid under or over-estimation, thereby minimizing wastage.

### Keep the Wallpaper Directional

For directional wallpapers, always hang the wallpaper in the same direction. If you change directions, the wallpaper may not match up, leading to more unnecessary waste.

### Use Offcuts Wisely

Keep any offcuts of wallpaper after doing the main walls, as these can be quite useful. These can be used for lining shelves, covering books, transcending art, or even patchwork for minor repairs or mishaps in the future.

### Avoid Excessive Trimming

While it's important to trim the ends of wallpaper once hanged to get a neat finish, try not to cut too much off. This can often lead to adjustments and wastage. In fact, a reasonable guide is that it's better to cut less because you can always trim down if needed, but you can’t add more once it's cut off.

### Professional Assistance

If you are uncomfortable with all these factors, it might be worth hiring a professional decorator. They know how to make the best use of wallpaper, avoiding unnecessary wastage and can save both time and money in the long run.

#### Remember, a bit of planning can save a lot of paper!

## Factors Affecting Your Wallpaper Measurement

The exact amount of wallpaper needed can vary greatly, dependent on several key factors. Understanding these elements can help avoid waste and reduce costs, ensuring you purchase the right amount for your project.

### Wall Dimensions

The wall’s height and width are the most obvious factors that will affect your wallpaper measurements. Larger rooms with high ceilings may require more wallpaper than smaller, more contained spaces. To get an accurate measurement, start by measuring the width and the height of each wall you want to paper.

### Pattern Repeat

A commonly overlooked factor is the pattern repeat on the wallpaper. This refers to how often the pattern repeats itself vertically. Large patterns will repeat less frequently and therefore may result in higher wastage, as you will often have to match the pattern's start point with each new strip of wallpaper.

### Windows and Doors

Areas that won't need wallpaper like windows and doors should be accounted for in your calculations; this can reduce the amount of wallpaper needed. However, it's always wise to buy a bit more paper than your direct measurements indicate, just in case of miscalculations or mishaps during installation.

### Room Features

Unique room features such as alcoves, built-in furniture, or sloping ceilings can alter your wallpaper requirements. They may either increase the complexity of the wallpapering task or reduce the amount of wallpaper needed due to the smaller surface area.

### Type of Wallpaper

The type of wallpaper you choose also matters. Some types of wallpaper are sold in different roll widths and lengths, which can affect how much you'll need for a wall of a particular size.

### Application Method

The wallpaper's application method, whether it be paste-the-wall or paste-the-paper could potentially impact the amount needed. Some methods might cause more paper shrinkage than others, thus require additional length.

In all cases, we recommend you always order a bit extra wallpaper to compensate for potential errors or damages during installation. It's better to have slightly too much than not enough.

## Overcoming Common Mistakes in Wallpaper Measurements

Measuring wallpaper is a crucial step in the wallpapering process. It ensures that you purchase the right amount of wallpaper, thus avoiding wastage or running out part-way through your project. However, several common mistakes can lead to inaccurate measurements and subsequently, to problems when installing the wallpaper.

### Mistake 1: Not Accounting for Pattern Repeats

Many wallpapers have designs that need to line up seamlessly across several strips. This is known as a pattern repeat. Not accounting for this can lead to finding that you don't have enough wallpaper to match the patterns properly or you've wasted a significant quantity.

To avoid this, note the distance of the pattern repeat on your chosen wallpaper and make sure to account for it when calculating the total required.

### Mistake 2: Ignoring Window and Door Spaces

When measuring your wall, don't forget to account for any areas that will be taken up by doors and windows. Although you won't be wallpapering these areas, including them in your measurements can lead to overestimation of your required wallpaper.

Counter this by subtracting the dimensional area of the doors and windows from your total wall area.

### Mistake 3: Neglecting to Measure All Walls

Forgetting to measure all the walls to be wallpapered can cause significant underestimation of required wallpaper. Each wall may vary in size, so ensure to measure each wall separately and add their areas together for total wallpaper requirement.

### Mistake 4: Not Considering the Room's Unique Features

Every room will have its unique features- it could be skewed ceilings, built-in storage spaces, or loft spaces. When measuring a room, do not forget to account for these distinctive features.

### Mistake 5: Miscalculating Rolls Needed

After getting the total area for wallpapering, the next step is to divide it by the area each roll covers. However, it's a common mistake to not consider that every roll may not be fully used.

Avoid this by rounding up to the nearest whole number when calculating rolls needed. This way, you will ensure you have enough to cover any wastage or minor miscalculations.

These are some of the common mistakes people make while measuring wallpaper. By being mindful of these, you should be able to accurately calculate the amount of wallpaper needed for your project.