how to calculate wallpaper

When it comes to interior design, wallpaper is an excellent choice to enhance the aesthetic appeal of any space. However, before embarking on a wallpaper project, it is crucial to determine the accurate amount of wallpaper needed. Calculating wallpaper can be a daunting task, especially for beginners. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide on how to calculate wallpaper, along with frequently asked questions (FAQs) and their answers. So, let’s dive in!

The Importance of Accurately Calculating Wallpaper

Before delving into the specifics of estimating wallpaper, it is essential to understand why accurate calculations are crucial. Calculating wallpaper ensures that you purchase the correct amount, avoiding unnecessary wastage, or worse, a shortage. Accurate measurements can help you save time, money, and effort, ensuring a seamless installation process. So, let’s move on to the step-by-step guide on how to calculate wallpaper.

Measure the Wall

To begin, measure the height and width of the wall you intend to wallpaper. Use a tape measure to ensure accuracy. Write down the measurements in either inches or feet, depending on your preference. For example, a wall measuring 10 feet in height and 12 feet in width would be noted as 10ft x 12ft.

Calculate the Total Square Footage

To determine the total square footage, multiply the height by the width. Using the example from step one, the total square footage would be 120 square feet (10ft x 12ft = 120 sq. ft).

Determine the Wallpaper Coverage

Different wallpaper rolls have varying coverage capacity. This information is typically mentioned on the packaging. For instance, a roll might state that it covers 25 square feet. Keep track of the coverage information for the selected wallpaper.

Calculate the Number of Rolls

Divide the total square footage obtained in step two by the coverage capacity mentioned on the wallpaper packaging. This will provide an estimate of the number of rolls required. For example, if the wallpaper coverage is 25 square feet, dividing 120 square feet by 25 will give you an estimate of 4.8 rolls.

Round Up

Since it is not possible to purchase a fraction of a wallpaper roll, always round up the number obtained in step four. In the example given, you would round up 4.8 rolls to 5 rolls.

Account for Pattern Repeats

If you have chosen a wallpaper with a pattern, additional wallpaper may be needed to match the pattern seamlessly. To account for pattern repeats, add an extra roll to your estimated count. This ensures enough wallpaper to match up patterns adequately.

Double-Check Your Calculations

It is always prudent to double-check your calculations before making a purchase. Reevaluate your measurements, calculations, and pattern repeat calculation to ensure accuracy.


Here is a helpful table that summarises the steps to calculate wallpaper:

How to Calculate Wallpaper

| Step | Description |
| 1 | Measure the wall’s height and width. |
| 2 | Calculate the total square footage. |
| 3 | Determine the wallpaper coverage. |
| 4 | Calculate the number of rolls. |
| 5 | Round up the number of rolls. |
| 6 | Account for pattern repeats. |
| 7 | Double-check your calculations. |


Calculating wallpaper is a crucial step to ensure a successful installation. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can determine the precise amount of wallpaper needed for your space. Remember to measure accurately, consider wallpaper coverage, account for pattern repeats, and double-check your calculations. Doing so will save you time, effort, and money while ensuring a flawless wallpaper installation that transforms your space.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q 1: How do I measure the height and width of my wall accurately?
Answer: To measure accurately, use a tape measure and start from the floor to the ceiling for height, and from one side of the wall to the other for width. Take multiple measurements and use the average for increased accuracy.

Q 2: Should I measure in inches or feet?
Answer: You can use either inches or feet, depending on your preference. Just ensure that all measurements are recorded consistently throughout the calculation process.

Q 3: Can I calculate wallpaper without knowing the coverage capacity?
Answer: Knowing the coverage capacity is crucial for accurate calculations. Check the packaging or consult with the manufacturer to determine the coverage capacity of the chosen wallpaper.

Q 4: What if the total square footage is not perfectly divisible by the wallpaper coverage?
Answer: Always round up the number of rolls required to the next whole number. Purchasing an extra roll is preferable to running out of wallpaper during installation.

Q 5: How much extra wallpaper should I buy for pattern repeats?
Answer: Adding an extra roll to your estimated count usually accounts for pattern repeats. However, if the pattern is complex or irregular, consult with a professional to ensure accuracy.

Q 6: What should I do if my wall has windows and doors?
Answer: Subtract the area of windows and doors from the overall wall measurement before calculating the total square footage. This ensures that wallpaper is not wasted on areas that will not be covered.

Q 7: Can I estimate wallpaper without measuring the pattern repeat?
Answer: It is not advisable to calculate without considering pattern repeats, especially for intricate patterns. It is better to have extra wallpaper than to fall short during installation.

Q 8: How can I ensure accuracy in my measurements?
Answer: Use a level or a plumb line to ensure vertical accuracy when measuring walls. Take multiple measurements and cross-check for consistency.

Q 9: Can I calculate wallpaper for irregularly shaped walls?
Answer: Yes, you can calculate wallpaper for irregularly shaped walls by breaking them down into manageable sections. Measure and calculate each section individually, then sum up the total wallpaper required.

Q 10: Can I use leftover wallpaper from a previous project?
Answer: It is not advisable to use leftover wallpaper from a previous project unless the pattern and dye lot are an exact match. Mismatched wallpaper can result in an unpleasant finish.

Q 11: Can I return unused wallpaper rolls?
Answer: Policies vary among retailers. It is best to check the return policy before purchasing. Unopened and undamaged rolls are more likely to be accepted for return.

Q 12: What if my measurements don’t match the standard roll size?
Answer: Wallpaper rolls usually come in standard sizes. If your measurements do not align perfectly, choose the nearest roll size and adjust your calculations accordingly. Remember to round up.

Q 13: Can I save money by purchasing fewer rolls?
Answer: It is not recommended to purchase fewer rolls as it may lead to a shortage of wallpaper during installation. It is always better to have extra rolls to account for any errors or adjustments.

Q 14: Is there a standard method for pattern matching?
Answer: Pattern matching can vary depending on the wallpaper design. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions or seek professional advice for the best pattern matching technique for your chosen wallpaper.

Q 15: Can I calculate wallpaper for a textured wall?
Answer: Yes, you can calculate wallpaper for a textured wall by measuring the width and height of the textured area. Subtract the textured area from the total wall measurement before calculating the total square footage.

Q 16: Do wallpaper rolls come with adhesive included?
Answer: Wallpaper rolls do not typically come with adhesive included. You will need to purchase a compatible adhesive separately. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for recommended adhesive types.

Q 17: Can I calculate wallpaper for ceilings?
Answer: Yes, you can calculate wallpaper for ceilings using the same measurement and calculation principles as for walls. Measure the length and width of the ceiling, determine total square footage, and consider pattern repeats.

Q 18: Can I use an online wallpaper calculator instead of manual calculations?
Answer: Online wallpaper calculators can be helpful, but it is always recommended to understand the manual calculation process. This allows for better accuracy and flexibility when accounting for specific circumstances.

Q 19: What if my wallpaper has a border?
Answer: If your wallpaper has a border, measure the height and width of the wall, excluding the height of the border. Use the wall’s measured dimensions to calculate the required wallpaper, as the border will be applied separately.

Q 20: Can I hire a professional to calculate wallpaper for me?
Answer: Yes, hiring a professional can ensure accurate measurements and calculations, especially for complex or challenging installations. Professionals also have the expertise to handle pattern repeats and irregular walls effectively.

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