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How to measure and calculate the amount of wallpaper required

How do I calculate how much wallpaper I need?  It's something we hear on a regular basis, so The Pattern Principle have put together this great method to getting it right every time.

You will need: a tape measure, paper, pencil and a calculator.

With each step we will run though an example based on a wall measuring is 5m wide by 2.5m high, using wallpaper which has a 64cm pattern repeat and is a standard width and length, and will appear in italics.

Step 1: Calculate the number of drops needed

Measure the width of each of the walls you want to cover in your room and divide by 52cm (our standard wallpaper width, which is in line with the UK standard, please check individual wallpaper widths first which can be found in our product descriptions).  This will give you the number of drops, round this up to the next whole number;

Example : 5m (wall width) divided by 0.52m (wallpaper width) = 9.62 drops, round up to 10 drops

Step 2: Calculate the length of wallpaper needed

Measure the height of your room and multiply the height by the number of drops to get the meterage required.

Example : 10 drops x 2.5m (room height) = 25m wallpaper length

Step 3: Calculate roll length taking any pattern repeat into account

Subtracting the stated pattern repeat of the design from the actual roll length. Our wallpaper is normally 10.05m long per roll, but check your wallpaper length first, referring to our product descriptions.

Example : 10.05m (roll length) - 0.64m (pattern repeat) = 9.41m roll length

Step 4: Calculate the number of rolls needed

Divide the wallpaper length by the roll length, you should have these figures from step 2 and 3.  Round up your answer to the nearest whole number and this will give you the number of rolls required.

Example : 25m (wallpaper length) divided by 9.41m (roll length) =  2.65 rolls.  Round up to 3 complete rolls.

Step 5: Allow extra for any wastage.

This is a personal choice, but we would always recommend purchasing at least 1 additional roll and sometimes more if it is a big or challenging room.  Consider how difficult the walls are, how skilled you are at wallpapering and how much or little you rounded up in Step 3. Please bear in mind that it’s best to have extra rolls of wallpaper handy in case of mistakes/miscalculations or future damages that you cannot predict. This way you always have some extra paper in reserve from the same supplier batch.

Example : Order 4 rolls to cover wastage, accidents and damage.  Some customers also prefer to order a further additional roll from the same batch to cover any future damage, taking your total to 5 rolls.

Step 6: Choose the perfect wallpaper for you.

Why not look at our growing range of great wallpaper by visiting our wallpaper section.

NB: This is a guide only and we would always recommend consulting your interior designer or decorator in the first instance to check your requirements, please consult our returns policy regarding wallpaper returns.

How to measure for curtains

Accurately measuring for curtains is a must if you want to get the right fit when briefing made to measure.  Curtain width measurements depend on the length of your curtain track or pole.  Measuring curtain length or 'drop' is determined by where you'd like your curtains to finish.  We recommend using a metal tape measure to be accurate. Follow our guide below on how to measure for curtains to ensure you get dimensions correct.

Measuring a curtain track or pole

We would suggest that you always fit your pole or track before you measure for curtains.

To fit this correctly, measure the width of the window and allow for an extra 30/40cm (8-10"), this will ensure your curtains will cover your window. Position and fit your track or pole approximately 15cm (6") above your window recess and centre it, ensuring you have 15-20cm (6-8") left at either side of the window.

Measuring curtain width

For best results, position your curtain track or pole approximately 15cm (6") higher than the window, and wider than your window by 15-20cm (6-8") either side.

Step 1:

If you are using a curtain track, measure its full length. For curtain poles measure the length of the pole only, minus the finials (the decorative end pieces).

Step 2:

Use your curtain pole or track length to calculate the width of your curtains. To achieve a soft gathered look when your curtains are closed, use the header type to calculate the following:

Pencil pleat or Eyelet: pole or track width x 2

Tab top: pole or track width x 1.5

Please remember:

To add an additional 2.5cm (1") to the width measurement to ensure that your curtains to overlap in the middle when drawn together.

Measuring curtain length

Step 1:

Decide where you want your curtains to finish.

Sill length: Curtains should finish 1.25cm (1/2") above the window sill to avoid wear on the hems

Below sill:  Curtains should finish 15cm (6") below the window sill to block out the light and draughts

Floor length:  Curtain should finish 1.25cm (1/2") above the floor to avoid wear on the hems

Please remember:

If there is a radiator below your window we would recommend that your curtain sits 3cm (1 ½ ") above the top of it so that the heat can disperse into your room and not rise up behind your curtains.

Step 2:

To measure the 'drop' or length of your curtains, please bear in mind the type of curtains you wish to hang.

Pencil pleat curtain measurements:

Curtain track: measure from the top of the track to your chosen end point (e.g. windowsill, floor as detailed above)
Curtain pole: measure from the bottom of the pole rings to where you want the curtain to end

Eyelet and tab top curtain measurements:

Measure from the top of the curtain pole to where you want the curtain to end. Remember that eyelet and tab top curtains can only be used with a curtain pole, not a track.

For pencil pleat:

If you have a track measure from the top of the track and if you have a pole measure from the eye of the curtain hook as it sits on your pole

For tab top: 

Measure from the top of your pole

For eyelet:

Measure from the top of your pole and add 2.5cm (1") to account for the fabric that will sit above the eyelet of the curtain

If you'd like your curtains to drape or 'pool' onto the floor or sill for a fuller, more relaxed feel, add a bit extra to the length.

Please remember:

Windowsills and floors are not always level, so measure at 2 or 3 points and use the smallest measurement to ensure the best fit.

NB: This is a guide only and we would always recommend consulting your interior designer or manufacturer in the first instance to check your requirements, please consult our returns policy regarding fabric returns.