How To Measure Your Room For Wallpaper In 7 Easy Steps

After looking at loads of wallpaper samples, you have finally chosen the design you like and now it’s time to order.

But how much wallpaper do you need to order? In this article I will make things easy for you and show you how to measure your room for wallpaper and what the different symbols stand for.


Please note that this post does not have affiliate links, these are purely products I like from various suppliers which will be linked under each image. You can read my privacy policy here.

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Manilla Edge wallpaper by Arte

Step 1 - Measure the Walls

Grab a tape measure and measure the width and the height of the walls you wish to wallpaper. Measure from the ceiling down to the floor and across each wall to get the height and width measurement.

Write down your measurements as you go because you will need to add them up at the end.

  • Always double check your measurements to avoid under ordering.

  • Leave skirtings out of your measurements but include doors and window for the moment, we will subtract them later.

Step 2 - Getting the Square Meterage

To obtain the amount of wallpaper you require take the wall width divide that by the width of your wallpaper and multiply by the height to get the square meterage.

Multiply the width and height of each wall to obtain the m2 amount.

  • For example, if your wall is 2m wide and your wallpaper is 90cm width and the height of your walls are 2.4m the sum is as follows: 2m\0.9m = 2.22m x 2.4m = 5.3m2

  • The same applies for any width, when you have a 1 meter wide wallpaper its a little easier as you simply have to multiply the width of the walls by the height. For example, 2m x 2.4m = 4.8m2

The narrower the wallpaper the more you need to cover the wall.


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Manilla Spiral wallpaper by Arte


Step 3 - Totals of Each Room

Add the total square meterage of each wall to get the square meterage of the room.

If you are planning on wallpapering more than one room, break it down to one room at a time, even if you are doing the same wallpaper in different rooms.

  • For example, if you have 3 walls in a room that are all 4.8m2, add 4.8m2 + 4.8m2 + 4.8m2 or (3x4.8m2) to get 14.4m2 for the whole room. (before wastage)

  • Wallpaper suppliers often have wallpaper calculators on their websites, but always do your own measurements and check them against the calculators.

Click here to view a good wallpaper calculator from Amara.


Step 4 - Subtracting Areas You Don’t Need

You can subtract any doors and windows from your calculations.

Doors and windows are the typical examples of wall fixtures that would not need to be wallpapered. You can measure the width and height of each object and then take that away from your final calculation to avoid buying too much wallpaper.

  • These calculations do not have to be exact and you should take into account the sizes of doorways and windows.

  • You will want to have some wastage as having to order extra wallpaper mid way through a job can be stressful.


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Selva Corteza wallpaper by Arte

Step 6 - Wastage

Always add 10% on to your total square meterage to allow for some wastage.

Remember that you have to trim the wallpaper around corners and doorways.


Step 5 - Calculate how many rolls/meters you will require

The format in which wallpaper is sold with vary from supplier to supplier.

Often they are sold by the roll size and sometimes by the liner meter.

You can calculate how many rolls you will need by finding the exact amount of square meterage your wallpaper roll will cover, which is usually listed on a website or in store, and adding those numbers until you cover your entire room square meterage.

  • For example when buying a roll, if your room is 14.4m2, (+10% wastage = 15.84m2) and the roll covers 4m2 you will need 5 rolls of wallpaper to cover your entire room, so you will need to order 16m2.


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Takara Harmony by Arte

Step 7 - Different Pattern Matches

When buying a wallpaper with a pattern that matches up both horizontally and vertically on your wall, you’ll need to find out the wallpaper’s pattern repeat.

This number is the distance between the two matching parts of the pattern, and can usually be found on the back of wallpaper samples or on the suppliers website.


Straight match: A straight match is when the missing part of the pattern is at the same horizontal level of the length.

Watch the instruction video on wallpapering with a straight match here.


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Takara Air wallpaper by Arte


Drop match: A drop match is when the missing part of the pattern is not at the same horizontal level of the drop.

The number of centimetres stated at the match is the number of centimetres by which the match is dropped.

Watch the instruction video on wallpapering with a drop match here.

For example the number may read 64/32.

The first number, is this case 64cm refers to the height of the pattern repeat, the second number 32cm refers to how much the pattern will shift.

  • This type of patterned wallpaper creates the most waste, since you will have to cut a lot off while trying to line up your pattern.

  • Often, these types of wallpapers are installed by professionals, but you can do them yourself with patience and planning.


Free match: the wallpaper has no pattern, so that the different drops can be placed freely next to each other.

It is better to place the drops in the same direction.

With a free match, it is sometimes necessary to hang the drops in reverse to avoid slight colour differences.

If so, this will be clearly indicated on the rolls.

Read more about reverse hanging here.


See below for the different wallpaper symbols that will appear on the product information of wallpaper.

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Remember that each wallpaper when it is produced has a batch number.

This is important as should you need to buy more, you ideally need to buy from the same batch number to reduce the risk colour differences between dying batches.

So be sure to include your wastage and round up to the close meter or roll size therefore giving yourself room for error.


I hope you found this article helpful and best of luck with your wallpaper project.


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