How to Measure for Wallpaper

Once you’ve chosen the perfect wallcovering for your space, you will need to measure the room to determine how much wallpaper you will need. A good rule of thumb is that it’s always better to have a little extra in case you make a mistake. To measure for wallpaper, you will need to determine the total square footage the room has. To do this, you may need:

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Measuring tape
  • Calculator

If you’re planning on installing wallcoverings on more than one wall, then it may be helpful to draw a general picture of what the room looks like from an aerial view. In most cases, this is a simple box or rectangle. Then, use the measuring tape to measure how wide each wall is. For example, say a square room has two walls 11 feet wide and two walls 13 feet wide. Then, add these numbers up like so:

11+13+11+13 = 48

This means that your room is 48 linear feet.

Next, measure the maximum ceiling height of the room. For this example, we will say the ceilings are 8 feet tall. To calculate the total square feet of the room, multiply the room’s linear feet by the ceiling height. For example:

48 x 8 = 384 square feet

Therefore, you will need to make sure you have at least 384 square feet of wallcovering. To make sure you have plenty of wallcovering, don’t subtract any square footage for things like windows and doors. However, unless you choose a solid or random pattern wallcovering, then you will need to take a few extra steps to make sure you take the pattern repeat into account in your measurements.

Measuring & Figuring for Repeats

A pattern repeat is the distance between two matching design elements on a wallcovering. You will need to take the repeat into account when measuring for wallpaper, as you may need extra room to line up the pattern on each strip with the previous strip. You can use the pattern repeat number to calculate how many rolls of wallpaper you will need for your project.

If you’re using a no repeat wallcovering, also known as no match or random pattern repeat, then divide the total square footage of the room by 25. Then, round up the number you get to determine how many rolls of wallpaper you will need. For example:

384 ÷ 25 = 15.36

Therefore, you will need 16 rolls or 8 double rolls of wallpaper.

However, if you do have a pattern repeat to consider, then divide the total square footage of the room by that number. In most cases, the wallcovering manufacturer will note the pattern repeat for you. For example, they may say the pattern repeat is 20 inches. Therefore, continuing with our example:

384 ÷ 20 = 19.2

So, you will need 20 rolls or 10 double rolls of wallcovering. If your wallcovering manufacturer doesn’t note the repeat, then you can estimate whether it uses a small repeat or a large repeat. Small repeats use tighter, smaller pattern repeats, while large repeats use looser, less frequent repeats. If you have a small repeat, divide the square footage by 22 and larger divide by 18. Continuing with our example, you can find the number of rolls you will need:

Small repeat:

384 ÷ 22 = 17.45

Therefore, with a small repeat, you will need 18 rolls of wallpaper or 9 double rolls.

Large repeat:

384 ÷ 18 = 21.33

Therefore, you will need 22 rolls or 11 double rolls of wallcovering for a large repeat.

Once you’ve determined how many rolls of wallcovering you will need, then you will need to choose the right wallpaper paste for your application. ROMAN Products offers high quality, innovative formulations for all your wallcovering installation needs.