How To/Wallcoverings

How to Measure

Begin by drawing a room diagram showing doors, windows and ceiling height. Next, measure wall height from floor to ceiling excluding baseboards and moldings. Measure length of each wall including doors and windows. If hanging entire room, add all wall measurements to get circumference. To find total square feet of wall(s) multiply ceiling height by wall length or room circumference. Now subtract areas not to be covered (standard doors are 3 x 7 feet or 21 square feet; standard windows are about 3 x 5 feet or 15 square feet).

How to Calculate How many Rolls You'll Need

Wallcoverings come in various lengths and widths. The most common is the European/Metric roll at 20 1/2″ wide by 16 1/2 feet per single roll. Wallcoverings are packaged in double rolls (two continuous rolls) which provide more usable square footage. To accurately determine the usable square footage yield of your wallcovering selection find the pattern repeat on the back of the sample book page or measuring the repeat on an opened roll if a bin stock selection. Next refer to the Usable Yield Chart below. If your wallcovering has a pattern repeat length of 13” to 18” you can expect a usable yield of approximately 20 square feet per single roll. You will use this figure in the next step.

Repeat Length
 Usable Yield
0″ to 6″
25 sq. ft.
7″ to 12″ 
22 sq. ft.
13″ to 18″
20 sq. ft
19″ to 23″
18 sq. ft.


Estimating Example:

Let’s say the measurements you made in the first step were for a 12′ x 12′ room with 8′ ceiling that has 2 doors and two windows and that you plan to wallpaper all four walls. Multiply circumference by ceiling height: 48′ x 8′ = 384 square feet, subtract openings of 72 square feet, leaves 312 square feet of wall space to paper. Divide by Usable Yield per single roll (in this example we will use 20 usable sq. ft. per roll:. 312÷20=15.6. Which means you need 16 rolls (8 double rolls).

Our sales staff will be happy to calculate the number of rolls you need for your wallpaper project. Just bring in your measurements.


Borders come in various widths but almost all come in 15 foot spools. To calculate the number of spools of border you’ll need, measure the length of the wall(s) and divide by 15 feet. If hanging a border at chair rail height, openings such as doors should be subtracted. Our 12 x 12 room would require 4 spools at the ceiling line or 3 spools at the chair rail height.