How To Measure Square Feet For Wallpaper

How To Measure Square Feet For Wallpaper

How To Measure Square Feet For Wallpaper

Importance of Accurate Measurements for Wallpaper

As a savvy homeowner or interior decorator, understanding the significance of precise measurements when dealing with wallpaper can save you from mishaps down the line. In the realm of wallpapering, a detailed, methodical approach to measurements is pivotal for a number of reasons.

Avoiding Waste

Overestimating the amount of wallpaper you need could lead to unnecessary expenditure and material wastage. Since wallpapers aren't exactly inexpensive, it's essential to measure accurately to avoid buying excess rolls.

Preventing Shortage

On the flip side, underestimation might result in limited supply of wallpaper, which could disrupt the continuity of design in the middle of the project. Precise measurements ensure that you will have a sufficient amount of wallpaper to cover the desired area seamlessly.

Maintaining Aesthetic Appeal

A miscalculation in measurements could also translate into aesthetic flaws. For instance, shorter sheets may fail to cover the entire length of the wall, creating an unattractive and unprofessional appearance.

Ensuring Pattern Consistency

If your wallpaper has a repeating pattern, inaccurate measurements could disrupt this pattern, leading to a jarring and disjoined visual effect. By computing measurements correctly, you can ensure pattern alignment and continuity for a pleasing aesthetic.

Exact Budgeting

Knowing how much wallpaper you require allows you to calculate the total expenditure accurately. This is essential for budgeting your interior decoration project and avoiding unexpected costs.

Minimizing Re-work

Inaccurate wallpaper measurements often result in time-consuming and costly re-work. Avoid this hassle by investing a significant amount of time in meticulous measurement before making a purchase.


Last but not least, proper wallpaper measurements reflect a sense of professionalism and attention to detail. It shows that you respect the work and the outcome, regardless of whether you are a homeowner DIYing the project or a professional interior decorator.

Overall, understanding the importance of accurate measurements in wallpaper installation can save you from potential missteps, unnecessary costs, and botched aesthetics.

Understanding the Concept of Square Feet

When we talk about square footage, we're referring to the area of a space - usually a room or a specific section of one - that can be measured in square units. In many parts of the world, these measurements are taken using square feet. A square foot, as its name suggests, is a unit that represents an area one foot wide by one foot long. These measurements are most commonly used because they provide an easy way to visualize how much space a certain object or surface occupies.

Visualizing Square Footage

To help you visualize the concept of a square foot, think of a perfect square that measures 1 foot on each side. The area inside this perfect square is what we refer to as one 'square foot'. Now, when we refer to an area of, let's say, 10 square feet, you can visualize this as ten of those squares laid flat. The same idea applies to any quantity of square feet - simply imagine that many 'perfect foot-square' tiles lined up next to each other.

Convert Measurements into Square Feet

There may be instances where you have measurements in different units. For example, an existing wallpaper might be sold in square meters. In this case, you will need to convert these measurements to square feet to make accurate comparisons. There are several online tools available that can aid in this conversion. Remember that 1 square meter equals approximately 10.764 square feet.

Calculating Area in Square Feet

The formula to calculate the area of a square or rectangle, which most rooms are, is quite simple: it's just the length of the room multiplied by the width. Measure these dimensions in feet, and you will get an area in square feet. For non-rectangular rooms, the area may need to be calculated as the sum of two or more rectangles/squares or by using a different formula appropriate to the shape of the room.

Measurements for Irregular Spaces

For irregularly shaped spaces, it's best to break down the space into smaller, regular shapes, measure those, and then add up the areas. The total sum is the total square footage of the space.

Consideration for Walls of Varying Heights

Don't forget to take wall heights into consideration. While the floor may have a certain square footage, the wall area to be wallpapered might differ if the ceiling height varies. When measuring for wallpaper, it's important to measure the height and width of each wall to get a precise area in square feet.

Essential Tools for Measuring Wallpaper Area

When it comes to measuring the area for wallpaper, having accurate measurements is vital to ensure an excellent finish. Several tools are essential to obtain precise measurements and make the wallpapering job a lot smoother. Let's take a look at each one:

Measuring Tape

The measuring tape is one of the most fundamental tools required. It is used to measure the length and width of the space where the wallpaper will be installed. Opt for one that is long enough to measure the full height and width of your walls. Some walls are substantially tall, so having a measuring tape of about 25 feet should suffice for most residential jobs.

A Notebook and a Pen

While it might seem trivial, having a notebook and a pen on hand is absolutely necessary. Once you've taken the measurements, you need a place to write them down quickly. Trying to memorize the figures or writing them down on loose pieces of paper can lead to confusion or lost information. A dedicated notebook for the job can be a real lifesaver.


A calculator is essential to calculate the surface area once you have your measurements. You multiply the height and width to get the square footage. This calculation will help you determine the amount of wallpaper needed for your project. Some find it helpful to a use a calculator with a built-in converter to switch easily between different units of measurement as required.

A Plumb Line or Laser Level

Some walls are not perfectly even or straight, which could affect your measurements and the eventual wallpaper application. A plumb line or laser level is useful in these cases. It helps ensure that your measurements are as accurate as possible by providing a vertical reference point.

A Ruler or Straight Edge

A ruler or straight edge is helpful to draw straight lines on the wallpaper itself. This can improve the accuracy of cuts and measurements, leading to a better overall result.

Step Ladder

For those high reaches, a step ladder is a must-have tool. Your measuring tape may be long enough, but the actual task of measuring taller walls is made safer and easier with a step ladder. Make sure you use a sturdy and reliable ladder that can hold your weight and is high enough for your needs.

Assistive Tools

Some additional tools may also come in handy depending on your needs. For instance, digital measuring tools can be accurate to the point and can save a lot of time. There are also wallpaper calculators available online that you can use to get an estimate of how much wallpaper you'll need.

Having these essential tools at your disposal makes measuring for wallpaper a more manageable task. They lead to more accurate results, ensuring that you only purchase what you need, and the wallpaper will end up looking as good as possible on your walls.

Step-by-step Guide to Measuring Your Wall Dimensions

When it comes to applying wallpaper, accurate measurements are critical. A little effort in the beginning can save a significant amount of time and money in the end. Follow the below-mentioned steps to get precise measurements for your wallpaper application:


Before you start measuring, clear your wall of any objects like pictures, nails, or hooks. Ensure that the surface is smooth and clean. It is important to remove any old wallpaper or flaky paint before taking measurements.

Required Tools

You will need a metal measuring tape and a ladder (depending on wall height), a notebook, and a calculator.

Measure the Wall's Length

First, measure the length of the wall from one end to the other. Start from the furthest edge and pull your measuring tape all the way across to the other side. Record this measurement.

Measure Wall's Height

Measure the height of the wall from the floor to the ceiling. Be aware of any baseboards or mouldings and include them in your height measurement if you plan to cover them with wallpaper.

Calculate Square Feet

After obtaining the height and length, calculate the square footage of the wall. Multiply the length of the wall by its height. Write this number down as you will need it for each wall.

Handling Windows and Doors

Windows and doors take up wall space, but they also consume wallpaper. Ensure you account for this area by measuring their height and width and subtracting it from the total square footage of the wall.

Repeat for Each Wall

Repeat these measurements for each wall that you plan to wallpaper. Combined, these measurements will give you the total square footage of the wallpaper needed.

Making Allowances

It's recommended to add an additional 10-15% to your total square footage. This allows for errors or miscalculations and ensures that you won't run out of wallpaper in the middle of your project.

Calculating the Total Square Footage of Your Walls

After carefully measuring each wall in your room, it's time to combine this data and calculate the overall square footage. Considering that wallpaper is typically sold by the square foot, it's fundamental to have an accurate measurement when it comes to calculating the total square footage of your walls. This step will provide a comprehensive understanding of the amount of wallpaper you need to order.

Reviewing the Measurements

Start by reviewing all the data you have gathered. Ensure the measurements of length and width for each wall are accurate. Don't forget to account for doors and windows, they can significantly lower the total amount of wallpaper needed hence reducing the cost.

Calculating the Square Footage for Each Wall

Begin by multiplying the length by the width of each wall. The result gives you the total square footage for that individual wall. Repeat this for each wall in your room. For example, a wall of 8 feet high by 12 feet wide will occupy 96 square feet.

Dealing with Doors and Windows

When calculating your total square footage, remember to subtract the area that doors and windows take up. For standard doors, deduct around 20 square feet, and for windows deduct approximately 15 square feet. However, ensure to measure your doors and windows to be more precise as sizes may vary.

Computing the Total Square Footage

Now, add up all the individual square footage calculations from each wall to get the total square footage of your room. This total is the exact amount of space that your wallpaper will cover. Make sure you revisit your calculations and recheck your figures to ensure everything is accurately added up.

Consideration for Extra Wallpaper

It's always advisable to purchase an extra 10-15% more wallpaper than your total square footage calculation. This surplus will account for any errors during the installation procedure, such as cutting mistakes or pattern matching. Plus, it's always handy to have some extra wallpaper around for future repairs if needed.

Saving Money

By accurately calculating the total square footage of your walls, you can save quite a significant amount of money. This calculation ensures you neither under order nor over order wallpaper, saving you from unnecessary costs associated with undesired surplus or lack of wallpaper.

Conclusion of Calculations

Measure twice, cut once. Adopting this old adage can be a real time and money saver. Combining precise wall measurements with accurate square footage calculations will ensure a successful wallpaper installation project, and most importantly, a beautiful and pleasing outcome.

Factoring in Windows, Doors, and Other Wall Features

When measuring the square footage for wallpaper, it's essential to consider the elements on your wall that won't require coverage. These include windows, doors, and other wall features such as fireplaces or built-in niches. By subtracting the area of these features, you ensure the most accurate measurements and avoid unnecessary expenditure on additional rolls of wallpaper.

Measuring the Windows and Doors

To determine the area not to be wallpapered due to windows and doors, measure their height and width in feet. Multiply these measurements together to get the square footage. For example, if a window is 3 feet high and 2 feet wide, the area of the window is 6 square feet. If you have many windows or doors of the same size, multiply the calculated square footage by their number.

Measuring Other Wall Features

Other features like fireplaces or built-in niches need to be measured in the same way as windows and doors. Measure the height and width in feet, and multiply these values together to get the square footage.

Subtracting the Square Footage of Wall Features

From the total square footage of your wall area, subtract the total square footage of your windows, doors, and other features. This will provide the correct amount of square footage for the wallpaper.

Remember, some small areas might still need to be wallpapered for aesthetic purposes, and this will require some extra material. It's always better to purchase a bit more than you think you'll need, to account for any miscalculations.

Calculation Example

For example, if a wall is 9 feet high and 12 feet wide, its total area is 108 square feet. If it has a door measuring 7 feet by 3 feet (21 square feet) and a window measuring 4 feet by 3 feet (12 square feet), the total area of the features is 33 square feet. So, you will subtract 33 square feet from 108 square feet to obtain 75 square feet – this is the area that needs to be wallpapered.

Practical Tips

Consider having a notepad and pen handy to jot down the measurements as you go. This will make the calculation process much easier and reduce the potential for errors. Also, as a rule of thumb, always round up to the nearest foot when taking measurements, as it's better to overestimate than underestimate the wallpaper required.


While these calculations will give you a good estimate, don't skip talking to a professional. Every home is different, and having an expert's insight can save you a lot of potential issues and ensure the best results.

Tips for Purchasing the Right Amount of Wallpaper

When it comes to purchasing wallpaper, knowing the exact square footage of your walls is essential to avoid buying either too much or too little. Here are some tips to help you buy the right amount of wallpaper:

Check The Roll Coverage

Each wallpaper roll has a specific coverage area, usually specified in square feet. It's crucial to check this information before making a purchase. Depending on your measurements, understanding roll coverage will help you determine the number of rolls needed for your project.

Factor in the Pattern Repeat

For wallpapers with patterns, purchase extra rolls to match the patterns correctly. The repeat pattern may require more wallpaper than a simple, non-patterned design. The amount of extra wallpaper needed will depend on the size and complexity of the pattern repeat.

Consider the Room Shape and Size

The shape and size of the room play a significant role in the amount of wallpaper needed. Rooms with many doors and windows or unusual shapes will require more careful calculations to ensure accurate sizing.

Don’t Forget the Trim Areas

While measuring, keep in mind the small trim areas around windows and doors. These areas may seem insignificant, but neglecting them may lead to a shortage of wallpaper. Always add a little extra to your square footage for these spots.

Budget for Mistakes

If you're new to wallpapering or doing a DIY project, it's wise to purchase extra rolls to account for possible mistakes. You can usually return unopened rolls if they're not needed.

Keep A Record

Document your measurements and calculations as they can be a handy reference for future projects. They can also be used to cross-verify the quantity should you need to buy more wallpaper or return excess.

Buy From the Same Batch

Finally, when buying multiple rolls of wallpaper, ensure they come from the same batch. Different batches may have slight variations in color and pattern, which can be visibly noticeable when hung on a wall. Always check the batch numbers on the packaging before purchasing.

By adhering to these tips and being cautious in your measurements, buying the right amount of wallpaper can be a seamless process. It will save on cost, reduce waste, and ensure a beautiful and uniform look for your walls.

Common Measurement Mistakes to Avoid When Shopping for Wallpaper

As a wallpaper expert, I have often come across clients making numerous measurement mistakes that end up wasting both time and resources. To help you avoid this, I will discuss some of the common measurement errors people make when shopping for wallpaper.

Overestimating the Size of Your Room

The most common mistake that people make when measuring their rooms for wallpaper is overestimating the size. People often forget to consider windows, doors, and large furniture pieces that might not require wallpaper. This can lead to purchasing too much wallpaper which can be expensive to buy and waste. Always subtract the square footage of doors and windows to get a more accurate measure of your room.

Not Accounting for Pattern Repeats

Another common mistake is not accounting for pattern repeats when measuring for wallpaper. A pattern repeat is the vertical distance between where the pattern is identical again on the roll of wallpaper. If not taken into account, you risk running out of wallpaper midway through installation or ending up with a lot of waste.

Ignoring the Possibility of Extra Rolls

Always remember that it's better to have too much wallpaper than not enough. You may need extra for any mistakes or damages in the future. Ignoring this possibility can result in your feature wall or room not being completed and can be costly to rectify later on, particularly if your chosen wallpaper becomes discontinued or out of stock.

Failing to Double Check Measurements

Last but not the least, never forget to double check your measurements. Wallpaper is expensive and non-returnable after being cut, so you want to be certain that your measurements are accurate. Having another person check your measurements can help you avoid costly mistakes.

Final Points

By avoiding these common measurement mistakes, you can ensure a smooth and successful wallpaper installation. Happy decorating!