Measuring for Wallpaper: Professional Tips and Tricks

Pro Tip #1: Plan Ahead

It will pay off in the long run to make a liberal estimation of your wallpaper needs before you buy.

You don’t want to find yourself near the end of the installation process and be short. Dye lots can differ from day to day, so even if you order from the same source, you may not be able to match the color exactly. Plus, it’s nice to have extra on hand if you need to patch or cover damaged areas in the future.

Pro Tip #2: Match Batches

When wallpaper manufacturers print a specific design, they use newly mixed ink colors. The run number on a package tells you which lot it was printed from. When you buy your paper, try to make sure that each bolt number matches.

Pro Tip #3: Measure Correctly

Deciding how much wallpaper you require is actually quite simple to calculate if you follow these steps:

  • Measure the width and height of each wall.
  • Multiply the height and width together to get the total square footage.
  • Add the square footage of each wall to get your total area.
  • Subtract the square footage of openings like doors and windows.

Pro Tip #4: Account for Pattern Repeats

Wallpaper with a pattern requires an extra step to estimate the number of pattern repeats for the wall height of your room. The higher the number, the more wallpaper you will need, while the smaller the number, the less wallpaper you will need.

Find out how often the pattern repeats and then divide the height of the wall by the inches between the patterns. If you end up with a fraction, then round up.

For example, if you have a 96-inch-high wall and a pattern repeat of 18 inches, then you will divide 96 by 18. That will yield 5.33 repeats, which you will then round up to 6.

Pro Tip #5: Get the Right Number of Rolls

A single standard roll measures 36 square feet, but you must subtract about 6 square feet for cutting and trimming, so plan on a net of about 30 square feet per roll. A European roll measures 29 square feet, so count on getting about 25 square feet of paper from those.

Determine how many single rolls you will need by dividing the total square footage by 30 for standard and 25 for European paper.

Remember to always round up if you get a fraction.

Finally, remember that wall coverings are almost always priced for a single roll but come packaged as a set of two rolls. Be sure to verify this before placing your order, as you don’t want half as much as you need (or twice as much!).

At Drive In Paint-Mart, our expert staff is standing by to answer any questions you may have, and to help you select the design you want and order the quantity you need to finish the job right. 

Schedule a FREE In-Home or Virtual Wallpaper Project Consultation today!