How To Measure How Much Wallpaper You Need

How To Measure How Much Wallpaper You Need

How To Measure How Much Wallpaper You Need

Introduction to Wallpapering Your Home

Wallpapering can truly transform the aesthetics of your home. It's an effective way to add texture, pattern, color and dimensions to any room. Innovative designs and the different types of wallpaper now available make it a versatile medium to express your style through your home's interior design. However, for a successful wallpaper project, it's crucial to understand how much wallpaper you'll need.

Basics of Wallpapering

Before delving into measurements and calculations, it's important to understand the basics of wallpapering. Wallpaper, unlike paint, is a material that is applied in strips over the surface of your walls. Wallpaper comes in many designs, textures, and colors, and knowing how to measure accurately for your needs saves you time, money, and potential mistakes down the road.

Why Accurate Measurement Is Crucial

Accurate measurement is the cardinal factor when it comes to wallpapering. Too little or too much wallpaper can result in wasted resources or incomplete projects. Many factors can affect the amount of wallpaper needed such as the size of your room, the pattern of the wallpaper, and the number of windows and doors within the space. Understanding how to measure your space will ensure that you can complete the project while minimizing waste.

Selecting the Right Wallpaper for Your Space

When it comes to wallpaper, the concept of 'One Size Fits All' couldn't be further from the truth. Different rooms require different wallpapers due to elements like moisture, traffic, and size. Therefore, you need to understand the best type of wallpaper appropriate for each room, as this can affect how much wallpaper you'll need.

The Role of Wallpaper Pattern in Your Calculation

The pattern you choose for your wallpaper can significantly influence the measurement. Patterned wallpaper may require more material due to the 'repeat' - the vertical distance over which the pattern repeats itself.

Considering Features in Your Room

Openings such as doors and windows can affect wallpaper measurements as they'll naturally require less paper. But distinguishing features like fireplaces or large windows may need additional consideration.

Moving On

Armed with the necessary basics, the next step will be to delve into the way to carry out the measurements accurately.

Understanding Different Types of Wallpaper

Before proceeding to calculate the amount of wallpaper needed for your space, it's crucial to understand the different types of wallpapers available on the market. Each type has specific characteristics that influence the quantity needed.

Standard Wallpaper

Standard wallpaper, also known as regular wallpaper, is the most common type. It is manufactured in rolls and can easily be hung on walls with adhesive. The standard width of a roll of wallpaper is around 21 inches, but the length can vary. Therefore, when measuring for standard wallpaper, you need to take note of the length of your wallpaper roll.

Vinyl Wallpaper

Vinyl wallpaper is durable and easy to clean, making it a popular choice for high-traffic areas or rooms exposed to humidity, such as kitchens and bathrooms. While the width of the rolls is roughly the same as standard wallpaper, vinyl wallpapers often have smaller pattern repeats, which can affect the amount needed.

Flock Wallpaper

Flock wallpapers are characterized by a velvety, raised design that offers a sense of depth and warmth to a room. Flock wallpapers typically have larger pattern repeats, requiring more wallpaper to align the design properly across the wall, thus requiring more material overall.

Textured Wallpaper

Textured wallpapers add a tactile dimension to your walls and can hide minor imperfections or unevenness on the wall surface. They usually don't have a pattern to match up, which simplifies hanging but their embossed nature might require careful handling and potentially more material to cover joins adequately.

Mural or Custom Wallpaper

Custom or mural wallpapers are designed according to the specific size of your wall and hence require precise measurements for effective installation. As these are not sold in standard roll sizes, understanding your wall dimensions is even more critical.

Wallpaper Measurements and Pattern Repeats

Regardless of the type of wallpaper you opt for, it's crucial to understand the concept of pattern repeats. Patterns on a roll of wallpaper can repeat anywhere from every few inches to every few feet or not at all. This greatly influences how much wallpaper is required as patterns need to be matched up between strips.

Remember, every wallpaper purchase should account for a certain amount of waste due to pattern matching and trimming. The larger or more intricate the design, the more waste there is likely to be.

Basic Tools Required for Wallpaper Measurements

Before you can tackle the process of measuring and calculating the amount of wallpaper you need, it's crucial you have the right tools in hand. These tools don't just make your workflow smoother, but they also ensure accuracy in your measurements. So, let’s go over the basic tools you’ll need before starting.

Tape Measure

The most essential tool for measuring wallpaper is a reliable, preferably a retractable, tape measure. Look for one that has both metric and standard measurements. This essential tool will allow you to measure wall height, width, and the overall square footage of the space.


A calculator is another must-have in your toolkit for measuring wallpaper. Even if you feel confident in your mathematical skills, a calculator can help you double-check your numbers and help you calculate the square footage and rolls of wallpaper needed with more precision.

Notepad and Pen

As you measure the walls and calculate the area, you’ll want to document these numbers, making a notepad and pen invaluable tools. Write down each measurement as you go, this will simplify the process and avoid any confusion.

Step Ladder

If you're measuring wallpaper for tall or high walls, a step ladder will be essential to reach these heightened areas. Ensure that your ladder is sturdy and stable to ensure safety while taking measurements.


A tool that might not seem obvious is a level. It’s crucial to check that your walls are straight; if they're not, it could affect the amount of wallpaper needed. A level will help you verify the vertical measurements accuracy.

Wallpaper sample and Wallpaper Calculator Tool

Last but not least, having a wallpaper sample can be of significant help. It can enable you to visualize the pattern repeat along with its dimensions, allowing a more accurate estimation of wallpaper amount. Also, many online stores now provide a Wallpaper Calculator Tool which can do the calculations for you, once given the relevant data.

These tools, when used correctly, will ensure you come away with the precise amount of wallpaper you need for your style transformation project.

How to Accurately Measure Your Room

In order to get an accurate estimate of how much wallpaper you will need, you must first measure your room accurately. Achieving a wall-to-wall measurement is crucial. Here are some steps to assist you:

Measure The Length and Width of The Room

Using a measuring tape, measure the length and width of your room. This should entail measuring the length from one corner of the room to the other, and the width from one side of the room to the opposite side. The measurement should be made at the widest point of the room to ensure accuracy.

Calculate The Total Wall Area

After obtaining the length and width measurements, calculate the total area of the walls. Multiply the length of the room by the width to get the room's total area in square feet or meters. Please note that these measurements are your room's floor space, and this is different from the wall area.

Measure The Height of The Walls

Measure the height of the walls from the floor to the ceiling. If your room has different wall heights, you must measure each wall separately. Once you have these measurements, you can calculate the wall area by multiplying the wall height by the length of the wall.

Deducting for Doors and Windows

When calculating your wallpaper needs, it's important to take into account the areas that won't need covering, such as doors and windows.

Measure Doors and Windows

Just as you've done with the walls, measure the height and width of each door and window that will not be wallpapered. Ensure precision to avoid wasting wallpaper or falling short.

Calculate Non-Wallpapered Areas

Multiply the height by the width of each door and window to get its square area. Add up all these areas.

Final Calculation

Subtract the total square footage of the doors and windows from the overall wall area. This is the total area that you will need to wallpaper. Depending on the pattern and repeat of your chosen wallpaper, you may need to add extra to account for waste.

Note on Commercially Sold Wallpaper

In practice, wallpaper is usually sold in pre-measured rolls. Knowing the exact measurements of your room can help you determine how many rolls you'll need, remember to round up or purchase extra to compensate for mistakes!

Calculating the Amount of Wallpaper Needed

Before you start purchasing wallpaper to rejuvenate your spaces, it's crucial to know how much wallpaper you'll actually need. Underestimating can lead to a flawed design, while overestimating results in unnecessary costs. Here is a step by step guide to help you measure accurately.

Step One - Measure the Room

To determine how much wallpaper you will need, start by measuring the total square footage of the room. Use a tape measure to measure the length and height of each wall in feet. Convert for measurements in inches, yards, or meters to feet for consistency. Multiply length by the height of each wall, then add all the walls together to get the total square footage of a room. Please remember to subtract the area for doors and windows.

Step Two - Understand Your Paper

Wallpapers usually come with specifications such as roll width and roll length. Converting these dimensions into square footage can help determine how much area a roll can cover. Simply multiply the roll length by the roll width. To ensure you're on the safe side, always make allowance for inconsistencies and wastage during installation.

Step Three - Calculate the Number of Rolls

With the total square footage of the room and the square footage a roll can cover at hand, you can calculate the number of rolls needed. Divide the room square footage by the roll square footage to get the number of rolls required. Always round up to the nearest roll to accommodate any errors made during measurement, or unexpected issues that may arise during installation.

Additional Consideration - Pattern Repeat

If you choose a wallpaper style with a repeating pattern, you'll need to take the pattern repeat into account. This could significantly affect the amount of wallpaper required. Pattern repeats may result in excess wastage because every strip of wallpaper must be aligned to continue the pattern from the previous strip.

Final Words

Accurately calculating the amount of wallpaper needed will ensure your redesigning process is economical, and efficient. Remember to double-check measurements for precision, and when in doubt, it's always better to order slightly more than less. This way, you'll avoid running short during installation, saving yourself from added stress.

Factors to Consider When Buying Wallpaper

When planning to acquire new wallpaper for your space, you will need to consider several key factors. Each of these variables can affect your purchasing decision and choose the best wallpaper that fits your requirements.

Wallpaper Measurement

The most critical factor when buying wallpaper is the measurement. You need to calculate both the width and the length of your walls accurately to determine the amount of wallpaper you will need. Remember to account for windows and doors and subtract their measurements from your total.

Pattern Repeats

In case you’re buying a design with a pattern repeat, you need to account for the additional coverage. The larger the pattern repeat, the more wallpaper you will require, as you'll need to match patterns from strip to strip.


Wallpaper quality can greatly affect the overall look and longevity of your interiors. High-quality wallpaper can resist fading and damage for a long time, while low-quality options may look nice when first installed, but can deteriorate more quickly.

Wall Surface

The surface of your walls can also affect your wallpaper choice. Smooth surfaces work best with most wallpapers, but if your walls are textured or have imperfections, you may need to select a thicker wallpaper or use a liner.

Type of Wallpaper

There are various types of wallpaper, including vinyl, fabric, grasscloth, and more. Each type has different characteristics and applications. Some are more durable or easier to clean than others, so be sure to consider your habits and lifestyle when selecting a type.

Room Usage

The function of the room you’ll be wallpapering should influence your decision, too. For instance, a bathroom or kitchen might necessitate water-resistant wallpaper, while a nursery might call for a wallcovering that's easy to clean.

Style and Mood

Lastly, one very personal consideration is the style and mood you want to set with the wallpaper. The colors, patterns, and textures all create a certain ambiance. It's important to think about the overall room design and how the wallpaper complements it.

Shopping Responsibly

One final tip is always to shop responsibly. Aim for wallpaper made from sustainable materials or produced by brands that adhere to environmentally-friendly practices. Not only will you benefit from high-quality products, but you can often support better ethical practices in the industry, too.

Tips for Minimizing Wallpaper Waste

Wallpapers can become quite expensive, especially if a lot of it goes to waste during the installation process. To ensure you don't waste materials and money, follow these tips.

Measure Accurately

The most effective way to minimize wallpaper waste is by taking precise measurements. Map out the room’s dimensions, including doors and windows. Ensure you always measure from the widest and highest points. Every single inch counts.

Account for Pattern Repeat

Patterned wallpapers may have a repeat pattern that can affect how much wallpaper you will need. The larger the pattern repeat, the more wallpaper you will need to match the pattern across each drop. Ensure to account for this in your measurements.

Buy in Bulk

If you are wallpapering multiple rooms, consider purchasing in bulk. This is because you can often get discounts and potentially save on wastage due to fewer roll ends.

Professional Installation

Another great way to minimize wallpaper waste is to engage the services of a professional. Professionals have the experience and expertise to minimize waste and ensure better alignment and pattern matching.

Use offcuts wisely

Save any large offcuts from your wallpaper rolls. They can be useful to cover small areas or for future repairs. This not only reduces waste but also saves you considerable expenses in the long run.


Lastly, consider recycling any unavoidable wallpaper waste. Some wallpaper brands offer recycling schemes, so be sure to check if there is an option before throwing the paper away.

Ensuring the Right Amount of Wallpaper for Your Project

Measuring accurately for your wallpapering project can seem daunting, but with a plan, it's simple to ensure you have the right amount of wallpaper for your space. Here are some steps to make it easier.

1. Measure Your Space

Before you begin, you'll need to know the total wall area that needs to be covered. Measure the height and width of each wall and calculate the total square footage. Don't forget to exclude windows, doors or any other areas that won't be covered with wallpaper.

2. Determine Pattern Repeat

If your chosen wallpaper has a pattern, you'll need to consider what's called the 'pattern repeat'. The pattern repeat is the vertical distance between one point in your design and the same point in the next copy of the design. This is important because some of the roll will be wasted to match the pattern correctly, leading to needing more rolls than a plain wallpaper.

3. Calculate Number of Rolls Needed

Now that we have the square footage and a clear understanding of any pattern requirements, we can calculate how many rolls of wallpaper will be required. Remember, it's better to have a little extra than not enough. Most rolls cover approximately 55 to 58 square feet, but you should always check the packaging to be certain. Also, be sure to account for rooms with higher ceilings, complex layouts, or pattern repeats.

4. Consider the Extras

In addition to the wallpaper itself, you'll also need adhesive, application tools, and perhaps even professionals to apply it. If you're wallpapering for the first time, you may want to factor in a bit extra for any mistakes or retries. It may also be a good idea to buy an extra roll, just in case. Wallpaper from the same batch will be an exact color match while those from different batches may show slight variations.

Final Thoughts

While measuring for wallpaper isn't an exact science, these steps should help you get a pretty accurate estimate of how much you'll need. Don't let the math intimidate you. Just take your time, measure carefully, and remember it's OK to have a bit of extra- better safe than sorry.