How much wallpaper do I need: learn how to calculate

Posted on by Walls by Me

How much wallpaper do I need: learn how to calculate

Even decor solutions that promise to make your life easier pose their fair share of challenges. Take wallpaper, for example. After the fun of imagining your walls in a range of styles, and selecting the perfect design, color, pattern and texture, comes the tricky part - how much wallpaper do you need?

This is one of the most common questions that our customers come to us with, and not without reason. Traditionally, wallpaper has been sold as rolls, and measuring, cutting, and pasting it on the wall - without miscalculating the size, creating creases or messing up the pattern - sounds like a job best left to the pros. Peel and stick wallpaper promises to make your life a lot simpler, but you still need accurate measurements in order to calculate your requirements.

Let’s break the process down into a few simple pointers to help you sail through.

Measuring for wallpaper: things to know

1. Surface area to cover

This goes without saying - you need to measure the height of your wall. After that, measure the width - this will tell you how many panels you need. Important: if you measured in feet, divide by 2. Now, if you measured in inches, you can divide by 24, and finally, if you measured in centimeters, divide by 60.

Surface area to cover

2. Panels 

By choosing wallpaper in the form of fixed dimension panels, you have a product that you can buy according to the size of your wall. Here at Walls By Me, we offer this option much easier to install. Our wallpapers are 2 feet (24 inches or 60 centimeters) wide and either 4 feet, 8.5 feet, or 10.5 feet long.

Panels

If your room has woodwork in the lower half of the wall, leaving the top 3 feet to be wallpapered, you can go for the 4 feet panel option. On the other hand, if your home has 10 feet high ceilings, the 10.5 feet panel length will work best and involve minimal hassle for you.

3. Pattern repeats

Going for a patterned wall covering, say one that flaunts a floral or geometric design? You need to be careful about overlapping adjacent strips of wallpaper so that the end result is perfectly seamless. Though this sounds tricky, you won’t face issues if you follow the vendor instructions accompanying your wallpaper. For example, our wallpaper patterns repeat every 2 feet, or 24 inches.

Pattern repeats

Measuring for wallpaper: the process

Now that you know the basics to keep in mind while calculating how much wallpaper you need, the process itself is quite simple. We’ll go with the assumption that you’re opting for Walls By Me wall coverings, which are available as panels of:

  • 2 feet width and 4 feet; 
  • 8.5 feet;
  • 10.5 feet height.
Measuring for wallpaper: the process

Step 1: Measure the height of your wall. Based on this, choose a panel size.

Step 2. Measure the width of each wall. Divide this by 2 feet (or 24 inches or 60 centimeters) to get the number of panels you would need for each wall.

Measuring for wallpaper: a few tips

1. Don’t over-calculate!

By this we mean don’t start subtracting door and window areas in order to reduce a few panels in your order. It may not be possible to create a seamless pattern if you have to do too much cutting and repositioning. It’s far easier to calculate the number of panels as per the width of each wall, and cut away the portions where doors, windows and other obstacles appear. These “extra” sections of wallpaper can be used in a variety of fun DIY projects!

Don’t over-calculate!

2. In case of slopes or inclined surfaces…

If you are wallpapering a sloped surface, measure its length and width just as you would for a standard wall. If your standard wall has a stairway or other inclined surface cutting into it from one or both sides, simply measure the maximum width of the wall. Extra portions of wallpaper can be cut and removed during installation.

Width em height

3. Measure twice, cut once

This is the age-old wisdom that keeps us from making mistakes while calculating how much wallpaper we need, and also while installing it. Don’t be in a rush to cut away extra portions of wallpaper.

4. Always buy some extra wallpaper

Even if you know exactly how much wallpaper you need for your project, it’s always best to buy some extra. This will ensure that in case of an installation error, you won’t have to put everything on hold till a fresh batch of wallpaper arrives. Plus, you wouldn’t want to be stuck in a situation where the wallpaper of your choice is out of stock! We also recommend buying extra because two different production batches of the same wallpaper design will not be 100% alike. Even minor tonal variations in the print would compromise the look of your wall.

We hope this post has simplified the process of measuring for wallpaper. Now that math is clear, why not take a look at some of our latest wallpapers and murals that are all set to stylize your home this season? Besides the three standard panel sizes, we also offer smaller samples that you can buy to see how any given design will look in its actual setting. Shop now!