There's nothing more frustrating
for a do-it-yourself paperhanger than
to run out of wallpaper just a few
feet short of finishing a project.
Proper measuring and calculating at
the outset of a project can eliminate
Here are some tips for estimating
Whether you do the calculations yourself
or have a retail salesperson help
you, the first step is to have accurate
measurements. Use a yardstick or steel
tape measure, never a cloth tape measure.
Take measurements in feet, rounding
off to the next highest half foot
Next, draw a room diagram, showing
ceiling height, doors, windows, fireplaces,
built-in bookcases and the like. Measure
wall height from floor to ceiling,
excluding baseboards and moldings.
Measure length of each wall, including
doors and windows. If hanging the
entire room, add all wall length measurements
to get the circumference.
Find the total square feet of the
wall(s) by multiplying ceiling height
by room circumference. Subtract areas
that will not be covered. Standard
doors are about 3 by 7 feet, or 21
square feet. Standard windows are
about 3 by 5 feet, or 15 square feet.
These calculations give you the total
number of square feet to be covered.
With this information, you or your
retailer can determine how many rolls
Calculate Your Rollage-Use
the online calculator
There is no simple method for calculating
rollage needs that is always 100-percent
accurate. A pattern repeat, room of
unusual shape or size, greater-than-normal
waster during hanging, or other special
circumstances can throw off any estimate.
In order to calculate accurately,
you need to determine the length of
the pattern repeat, if any.
Using the following chart, find the
usable yield for the wallcovering
selected. Then, divide the square
footage figure you have previously
calculated by the usable yield for
the wallcovering selected, rounding
up to the nearest whole number. This
will give you the number of single
Usable Yield Chart
| 0" to 6"
|| 25 sq. ft.
|7" to 12"
||22 sq. ft.
| 13" to 18"
||20 sq. ft.
|19" to 23"
||18 sq. ft.
These figures work well for normal-sized
walls. For unusually short (under
3 feet, such as over kitchen cabinets)
or high (above 9 feet walls), they
do not apply. Talk to your dealer
for those special circumstances.
With the measurements, you have made,
you find the room has a total of 340
square feet. Your selection has a
9-inch repeat, giving you a usable
yield of 22 square feet. Dividing
340 by 22 gives you 15.45, which you
round up to 16 single rolls.
Keep in mind that wallcovering is
sold in double-roll bolts. So, if
you need 15 single rolls, you should
order 16 single rolls, which is actually
eight double-roll bolts.
Note that with wallcoverings, it's
always better to have a little too
much than not enough. Even the most
experienced do-it-yourselfer can make
an occasional hanging mistake that
may necessitate using more wallcovering
than originally planned.
Copyright © 1995 Paint &
Decorating Retailer is published by
Paint and Decorating Retailers Association
403 Axminister Drive St. Louis, MO