How to Calculate How Much Wallpaper You Need

Residential Wallcoverings: Rough Estimate Guide

Square Foot Method:

  1. Measure the square footage of the wall, rounding up to the nearest foot.
  2. Do not take out any square footage for doors and windows unless it is a wall of windows or a wall of doors. If this is the case, measure the square footage of the header and add to the total SF.
  3. Determine the pattern match. A paper will be described as having one of the following matches:
    1. Random: Also called “reverse hang” – A “random match”, or “reverse hang” has virtually no waste as you match one strip of wallcovering to the next.
    2. Straight Match: A straight match uses the most, and the entire amount of the repeat will be lost from strip to strip.
    3. Half Drop: A half drop pattern drops down the wall, and uses half as much paper as a straight match. In other words, a 24 inch repeat with a half drop match will lose 12 inches per strip.
  4. Determine the pattern repeat: 6, 12 or 25 inch repeats are common.
  5. Divide your total SF in the room by the metric roll formulas below. For example:

For a pattern repeat of 0 to 6 inches divide by 25 square feet per SINGLE ROLL
-7 to 12 inches = 22 square feet
-13 to 18 inches = 20 square feet
-19 to 23 inches = 18 square feet

Most wallcoverings manufactured in the US or Canada are “metric or Euro rolls”. Residential wallcoverings are always ordered and priced in single rolls, but come packaged in double roll bolts, so don’t forget to round up or down to the nearest double roll bolt.