How to Measure and Install Wallpaper



How Much Wallpaper Do I Need?

Follow our easy wallpaper measurement guide or if you prefer to kick back and choose a wallpaper pattern without the fuss of calculating, let a pro take care of everything. It's not nearly as expensive as you might think! See our local Wallpaper Hanger Referral Service.

There are three key factors to determine how much wallpaper you will need.

  1. Dimensions of the walls you are covering.
  2. Roll size
  3. Pattern Repeat
Let’s Break it down!

How to Calculate The Dimensions of Your Walls

Measure wall width Measure wall height Wallpaper display scenery

  1. Measure the width of each wall where you would like to apply the wallpaper and add them all together ("Combined Width").
  2. Measure the height of the walls.
  3. Multiply the Combined Width by the height of the walls – this is the total square footage ("TSF") of wall space you need to cover with wallpaper. To keep things simple and to ensure you have enough paper do not make any deductions for windows, doors, cabinets, etc.
  4. The final step is to factor in the pattern repeat. If the pattern repeat is 18" or less then divide the TSF by 23, if pattern repeat is 19" to 25" then divide the TSF by 20. This final number is the total number of single rolls of wallcovering that is required for your project. If the pattern does not have a repeat (random match) then just use the TSF from step 3 above.

Roll Size

Most wallpaper is priced and selected in single roll quantities but will ship in double roll bolts (hyper link to s/r d/r video). The size of the single roll may vary, but the most common is 20.5” wide x 16.5’ feet. A single roll of wallpaper that is 20.5” w x 16.5’ contains approximately 28 square feet of wallpaper. The amount of coverage will vary based on your pattern repeat.

The Pattern Repeat Effect

The pattern repeat is how frequently the pattern appears in a strip of wallpaper. To create a seamless look, each strip of wallpaper needs to be lined up with the pattern repeat of the previous strip. The bigger the repeat the more waste and the need for more wallpaper.

Let’s put it back together!

Divide your total square feet by the number below based on your pattern repeat. random match (no repeat) divide by 28 pattern repeat is up to 18” divide by 23 pattern repeat is over 18” divide by 20 The final number will give you the number of single rolls recommended for your project. *Please note calculations are estimated based on a 20.5” wide roll with a pattern repeat over 18”.

For a quick estimate use our wallpaper estimator.


Wallpaper Estimator

based on 28 sq ft per single rolls
18" or less pattern repeat or random match
Total Square Footage to Cover # of Single rolls Required # of Double rolls Required
up to 50 sq ft 2 single rolls 1 double rolls
50 to 100 sq ft 4 single rolls 2 double rolls
101 to 150 sq ft 6 single rolls 3 double rolls
151 to 200 sq ft 8 single rolls 4 double rolls
201 to 250 sq ft 10 single rolls 5 double rolls
251 to 300 sq ft 12 single rolls 6 double rolls
301 to 350 sq ft 14 single rolls 7 double rolls
351 to 400 sq ft 16 single rolls 8 double rolls
401 to 450 sq ft 18 single rolls 9 double rolls
451 to 500 sq ft 20 single rolls 10 double rolls
501 to 550 sq ft 22 single rolls 11 double rolls
551 to 600 sq ft 24 single rolls 12 double rolls

Steve's Tip

Our philosophy on wallpaper purchases is it’s better to have extra than not enough. It is difficult at times to get the same run and dye lot numbers. Using a different run and dye lot could lead to some color variation. To make sure you have enough wallpaper we recommend

  1. Do not deduct for windows and doors or
  2. Order an extra roll.
If you are unsure of how much to order, feel free to call in to speak to a wallpaper specialist at 1-800-548-5711 and provide the dimensions of the walls and your selected pattern for a roll estimate. We are also happy to get you in touch with a professional. It's not nearly as expensive as you might think! See our local Wallpaper Hanger Referral Service.

What's the Story with Border?

The majority of border is packaged and sold in 15-foot spools as a single unit. To determine how much border, your project requires:

    Measure wall width
  1. Measure the width of each wall where you would like to apply the border and add them all together ("Combined Width")
  2. Divide the combined width by width of the spool selected, in most cases this will be 15.
  3. Round up to the nearest whole number.

Some border comes in a mural size and they are sold by the unit. Typically they are 12’ feet long.

Do You Have Problem Walls? Wall Liner is the Solution!

Wall liner is a cost-effective alternative to repairing or replacing damaged walls. Wall Liner can be used for lining over plaster, cement block, paneling, and cracked walls. It provides a smooth base that you can then wallpaper over. However, depending on the condition of your walls, you may need to fill in deeper cracks or holes for best results. See our wall liner.

Hanging Your Wallpaper

Wallpaper ships directly from the manufacturer to you and when ordering multiple patterns, it may arrive in different packages at different times. When ordering multiple wallpaper patterns, you should wait to schedule your wallpaper hanger, or wait to hang the wallpaper yourself, until the entire order is received and inspected by you. Some contractors may charge a fee to cancel or reschedule an appointment. Steve’s Blinds and Wallpaper does not cover installation fees for any reason.

Click here to continue to installation guide.