How To Measure Wallpaper Needed

How To Measure Wallpaper Needed

How To Measure Wallpaper Needed

Understanding Wallpaper Measurements

Before embarking on the exciting journey of wallpapering your space, the most important initial step is to comprehend the measurements. This will not only guide you in purchasing the appropriate amount of wallpaper but also minimize wastage.

Basic Units of Wallpaper Measurements

Wallpaper is primarily measured in two key units: yards and square feet. However, since wallpaper is most often sold in rolls, understanding the dimensions of these rolls is essential. Typically, a standard American roll is about 30 sqft which translates to around 27 linear feet, while a European roll is about 21 sqft or 20 linear feet.

Measurement of the Wall

To start, measure your wall's height from the floor to the ceiling and its width from end to end. It's crucial to measure each wall you're planning to cover as they may not necessarily have the same dimensions. Don’t forget to consider any doors and windows as these areas will not require wallpaper and hence should be deducted from your total square footage.


Remember, it's always better to overestimate the amount of wallpaper needed as this will accommodate for any mistakes or discrepancies in measurements and the pattern match.

Wallpaper Coverage

This is basically how much area a roll of wallpaper can cover. As stated, an American roll should cover approximately 30 sqft and a European roll, 21 sqft. Remember to verify this from the manufacturer as variations can occur.

Calculating the Number of Rolls

Once you have the total square footage of the area you wish to cover and the coverage per roll, you simply divide the former by the latter to get the number of rolls needed. Therefore, if your wall area is 120 sqft and you're purchasing American rolls, you would require four rolls of wallpaper (120 ÷ 30 = 4).


Always round up the number to the nearest whole number if you get a fractional result. This will ensure that you don't run short of wallpaper during your project.

Catering for Pattern Repetition

A crucial consideration when dealing with patterned wallpaper is the repeat of the pattern, which is the vertical distance between where the pattern is identical again (repeats). Depending on the frequency of repetition, you might need more or less wallpaper. Please factor this in when making your measurements.

Final Thoughts

Understanding wallpaper measurements can seem intimidating at first, but arming yourself with this knowledge will ensure a flawless wallpapering project. Remember, it's better to have extra wallpaper than to run short. Happy Wallpapering!

Tools Required for Measuring Wallpaper

Before you kick-start your wallpaper project, gathering the necessary tools for measurement is essential. The accuracy of your measurements directly influences the amount of wallpaper you will need and consequently, the success of your wallpapering project. Missing even a small tool may lead to incorrect calculations, potentially resulting in either wastage of wallpaper or the need for more than what you initially estimated.

Measuring Tape

The most critical tool that you need is a measuring tape. Choose a flexible and robust measuring tape that provides measurements in both centimeters and inches. The flexibility allows it accurately measure even around corners or curved surfaces, while the option of both unit measurements ensures ease of calculation no matter the unit your wallpaper rolls are sold in.

Paper and Pen

During the measuring process, multiple measurements will need to be recorded continuously. It's not practical, nor recommended, to rely on memory alone. A paper and pen will allow you to jot down your measurements as you go, creating an easy refer-to list for when you need to calculate the total amount of wallpaper needed.

Step Ladder

Most rooms have walls that exceed the average person's height, and a step ladder is necessary for such situations. This allows for safe, easy access to the top parts of your walls for measurement. Remember, safety is paramount. So ensure the step ladder is safe, stable, and comfortable.


A calculator is essential for working out your measurements into square meterage or footage. The calculator will ensure precision in your calculations, saving you from possible estimation errors and potential shortfalls or oversupply of wallpaper.


A level is a handy tool to confirm your surface is even. Uneven surfaces can cause discrepancies when measuring wall lengths. A level helps ensure that the measurements you are taking are as accurate as possible.


Although not exactly a 'tool', having an extra pair of hands on deck can prove very useful. A helper can assist in holding the measuring tape, notating measurements, and maintaining safety when using a step ladder.


In case of smaller or more precise measurements, a ruler might come in handy. This ensures that you are not overestimating or underestimating the measurements in smaller nooks and corners.

Collecting the right tools for the job and using them correctly can help ensure the precise measurement of your walls, contributing greatly to the success of your wallpapering project.

Measuring the Room for Wallpaper

Before ordering wallpaper, it's essential to measure your room accurately to estimate how much wallpaper you'll need. Precise measurements are crucial as they help to avoid wastage and prevent you from running short while installing the wallpaper. In this section, we'll explain step-by-step methods to measure your room for wallpaper.

Items You'll Need

To measure your room, you will need the following tools: a measuring tape, a calculator, paper and a pen. If your room has windows or doors, you will also need to take these into account when calculating your wallpaper quantity.

The Measuring Process

Firstly, you need to measure the height and width of each wall. Using your measuring tape, measure from the baseboard to the ceiling for the height and from one corner to another for the width. Write down these measurements on your paper.

Consider the Wallpaper Pattern

If the wallpaper you've selected has a pattern, consider the repeat of the pattern when determining your wallpaper needs. Some patterns require you to match them across the length of wallpaper, which can lead to more wallpaper being used. Hence, always factor in the pattern repeat when calculating your wallpaper requirements.

Calculating the Quantity of Wallpaper

Once you have the measurements for each wall, add the widths together and divide by the width of the wallpaper roll. Most wallpaper rolls are approximately 20.5 inches wide. The result will give you the number of wallpaper 'drops' you will need. Multiply this number by the height of your room. The result is the total length of wallpaper required. Divide this by the length of a single roll to determine how many rolls you will need. Always buy an extra roll to account for any mistakes and to match patterns.

Subtracting Doors and Windows

Doors and windows occupy some space on your wall. Therefore, you should subtract their measurements from your calculated total wallpaper requirement. Measure the length and width of each window and door, multiply these to get the area, and subtract it from your total.

Wrap Up

Measuring your room for wallpaper doesn't have to be complicated. With the right tools and a bit of patience, you can get accurate measurements and avoid the inconvenience of excess or shortage of wallpaper. Remember, it's always better to order slightly too much rather than too little wallpaper to ensure a smooth installation process.

Accounting for Windows and Doors in Measurements

When calculating the amount of wallpaper required for a room, it is necessary to take into account the areas that won't be covered such as doors and windows. Subtracting these areas from your total square footage will give you a more accurate measurement of the wallpaper you need.

Including Windows in Your Measurements

The first step is to measure the width and height of each window in the room. Use a tape measure and record the measurements in inches or centimetres, depending on your preference. Multiply the width by the height for each window to find its area.

Once you have the area of each window, add them together. This will give you the total area of all the windows in the room. Don't forget to convert this area into the same units you're using to measure the rest of your room.

Accounting for Doors in Your Calculation

Similar to windows, doors also reduce the area that needs to be covered with wallpaper. To find the area of a door, measure its width and height in the same units you've been using. Multiply these measurements to determine the door's area.

If there are multiple doors in the room, repeat this process for each door and add up the areas. Don't forget to convert this total area into the same unit measurement.

Subtracting Window and Door Measurements from Total Wallpaper Needed

After finding the total areas of all the windows and doors, subtract these figures from the total wall area you initially calculated. This will give you the actual area that the wallpaper needs to cover.

Note on Overestimation

While it is crucial to do these calculations as accurately as possible, it is also advisable to slightly overestimate your wallpaper needs for unexpected complexities. This could include difficulties in matching patterns or making errors during application.

Additional Consideration

Consider the style and pattern of the wallpaper. Some designs may require more matching and therefore, more wallpaper. Talk to a wallpaper expert or consult the manufacturer's guidelines for any special considerations.

By taking the time to measure for wallpaper accurately, accounting for doors and windows, you can save time and resources in your home redecoration efforts.

Calculating the Number of Wallpaper Rolls Needed

Once you have the dimensions of your room and the size of the wallpaper rolls, you can begin to calculate the amount of wallpaper required. First, properly understanding how to calculate this will ensure you purchase the right number of wallpaper rolls and avoid wastage.

Understanding Wallpaper Roll Sizes

Each wallpaper roll is typically sold in a standard size, which is typically around 10 meters long and 53 centimeters wide. However, these dimensions can vary slightly depending upon the brand. It's critical to know these measurements so that you can accurately predict how many rolls you'll need.

Determine the Number of Drops

In wallpapering terms, a 'drop' refers to a single piece of wallpaper that runs from the ceiling to the floor. To calculate the number of drops needed, divide the total width of the wall by the width of the wallpaper roll.

Calculate Rolls Needed

The number of rolls needed can be calculated by dividing the total drop length by the length of one wallpaper roll. Always round up to the nearest whole number to ensure that you have enough wallpaper to cover any inevitable mistakes or damages.

Extra Allowance

An important aspect not to overlook is making an allowance for pattern repeat. If your chosen wallpaper has a pattern that needs to be matched up, you'll need more than the exact number of rolls calculated. The repeat pattern on the roll can typically be found on the product label.

Calculation for Multiple Walls

If you're wallpapering multiple walls, each wall should be calculated separately, due to differences in height and width. The grand total of rolls needed will be the sum of the rolls needed for each wall.

Summary Tips

Remember to always round up your final numbers to ensure you have enough wallpaper. Factor in any pattern repeats and the likelihood of small errors or damages. Lastly, double-check your wall and roll measurements to ensure accuracy. This will help you purchase the correct number of wallpaper rolls and avoid unnecessary wastage.

Considerations for Pattern Repeat Wallpapers

Wallpapers are a great way to introduce texture, colour and patterns to a room. However, these attributes, especially repeating patterns, bring about unique considerations when it comes to calculating how much wallpaper is needed.

Understanding Repeat Pattern Wallpapers

All wallpapers have a ‘pattern repeat’, even those that don’t seem to have a pattern at all. This term refers to the vertical distance between where a pattern is identical again (repeats). Pattern repeats can manifest as straight matches, drop matches, or free matches — each driving different wallpaper calculations and considerations.

Types of Pattern Repeats

Straight Match

Straight match wallpapers repeat the pattern at the same level across the length of the wallpaper. With this type, the same point in every strip of wallpaper needs to align horizontally leading to potential higher wastage as each strip must be cut to match the strip before.

Drop Match

Drop match wallpapers have patterns that must be aligned both horizontally and vertically. The pattern repeats diagonally rather than across or down. This type usually results in the most wastage, as there is often only one place each roll can start to keep the pattern regular.

Free Match

Lastly, free match wallpapers are typically textures or abstract patterns that do not need to align in any particular way. This means less wastage as you can use every bit of the roll. However, care still needs to be taken when hanging to ensure an appealing overall visual effect.

Taking Measurements for Pattern Repeat Wallpapers

When dealing with pattern repeat wallpapers, it is crucial to account for the pattern match when calculating how many rolls to buy. Start by determining the pattern repeat measurement on the roll, which can usually be found on the product label. Then factor this measurement into the overall calculation. You may find that you need extra rolls to account for the pattern repeat, which could result in more wastage.

Reducing Wastage

To reduce wastage, it is a good practice to try to use the odd-sized pieces in places like the area behind radiators or above doors where it is less noticeable. Professional wallpaper installers are also adept at minimizing wastage by cleverly working with the repeats and joins to create the least amount of pattern matching. They can provide invaluable guidance and efficiency for those less confident in this task.

Overall, the key to successfully hanging pattern repeat wallpaper and keeping waste to a minimum is careful planning, accurate measuring, and thoughtful ordering.

Tips and Tricks for Effective Wallpaper Measurement

Figuring out how much wallpaper you need can be a somewhat daunting task, especially for first-timers. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get it right:

Preparation is Key

The first tip is to prepare thoroughly. This means knowing the measurements of your room before heading to the store. Having these figures in hand can help you correctly estimate the amount of wallpaper required.

Measure Accurately

Get out that tape measure and be accurate with your measurements. Measure the width and height of each wall, and then multiply these figures to get the square footage. Remember to deduct for areas that won't need wallpaper, such as windows and doors.

Consider Pattern Repeat

Wallpaper patterns can greatly impact the amount of wallpaper needed. Wallpapers that have a large repeat pattern might require more wallpaper to match the patterns correctly.

Always Buy Extra

It's always better to be safe than sorry. Factor in close to 15% more for patterned wallpaper and 10% for plain ones to account for errors, trimming, and future repairs.

Check Batches

Often forgotten but crucial, always ensure you buy wallpaper from the same batch. Slight differences might exist between batches which can cause noticeable differences when installed.

Use a Wallpaper Calculator

The easiest and most accurate way is to make use of a wallpaper calculator. These are available online, are usually free, and can save a lot of time and stress.

Don't Forget the Extras

Finally, when making your calculations, don’t forget to account for extra materials you may need such as adhesive or lining paper. These are often not considered but can add to your overall wallpaper purchase.

By following these tips and tricks, you'll not only get an accurate estimation of the wallpaper needed but also save yourself from the stress of shortages or overspending.

Mistakes to Avoid When Measuring for Wallpaper

Wallpapering your home might seem like a straightforward task, but making careless mistakes in the measurement process can create unnecessary delays, wasted materials, and additional costs. As a seasoned wallpaper expert, I would like to share some common pitfalls that you should avoid. Combining awareness with careful execution will lead to more efficient wallpaper installation. Here are some common mistakes and how to sidestep them:

1. Not Measuring the room accurately

One of the primary mistakes is inaccurately measuring the room's dimensions. Always double-check your measurements to avoid any discrepancies. Also, remember to measure the room at different points, especially if the walls are not perfectly straight or if the ceiling height varies.

2. Not Accounting for Doors, Windows, and Fittings

Many people overlook doors, windows, and fittings while measuring for wallpaper. Although you're not going to wallpaper these areas, you still need to include them in your measurements. Ignoring them can result in underestimating the amount of wallpaper needed.

3. Failing to Account for Pattern Repeat

People using patterned wallpapers often do not take into account the pattern repeat. This can result in the design not aligning correctly, especially if the pattern is large. Therefore, factor in the pattern repeat while determining how much wallpaper you require.

4. Reusing Old Measurements

Do not rely on old measurements if you have them because changes could have been made to the room dimensions since. Always measure anew before purchasing or cutting wallpaper.

5. Not Buying Extra Wallpaper

Wallpapering can occasionally go awry, especially if you’re not an expert. Hence, it’s prudent to order a little more wallpaper than your measurements suggest. This factors in any mistakes made during hanging, future repairs, or discrepancies in the measurements.

6. Ignoring the Wallpaper Width

The wallpaper's width is a critical dimension that you must not overlook. If you measure only the room's perimeter but not the wallpaper width, you may end up ordering incorrect quantities.

7. Lack of a Second Verification

A second verification can serve as a valuable check against measurement errors. Therefore, after your initial measurement, it's always a good idea to remeasure or have someone else verify your measurements.

By avoiding these mistakes, you can ensure that your wallpapering project proceeds as smoothly as possible. Correct measurements ensure you order the right quantity of wallpaper, save costs, and achieve a professional finish, whether you're an experienced decorator or a DIY enthusiast.