Wallpaper: Trust the Experts

Wallpaper is an art AND a science. Wallpaper installation is a lot more complicated than most people think. Trust the experts when they tell you how much wallpaper you’re going to need.

Buy More. Always.

There are a few reasons you always want more wallpaper than you need. First, mistakes do happen. What if something is cut incorrectly? You want to make sure you have extra paper for that. With a professional installer, that’s going to be a rare occurrence, but it still can happen!

But more importantly, life happens after the wallpaper is installed.

What happens if you have a wall with wallpaper on it and then…

  • You have a leak in the ceiling. Water gets on your wallpaper and it ruins it.
  • Someone lights a candle too close to a wall and the flame discolors or burns part of the paper.
  • Your toddler gets a hold of your Sharpie and draws all over the paper.

There are a lot of scenarios in which you can lose your wallpaper. If you have extra wallpaper, it’s not a huge deal for a talented installer to come in and repair your paper. However, you have to actually have the paper. That’s why it’s so important to have at least a partial roll left over!

Blue Wallpaper, gray patterned Couch with blue and red Accent Pillows Hudson Oh Lindsey Putzier Design Studio

Your Wallpaper Probably Won’t be Available Forever

Wallpaper designs change often. Most wallpaper designs are available for around 5 years and then are retired. If something happens to your paper 10 years from now, chances are you won’t be able to purchase the same paper again.

Even if you can get the same wallpaper, it will likely not match. The color tones can vary between different runs of the same paper – that’s normal. (Side note: This is why it’s really important that all of the wallpaper rolls come from the same dye lot for a room!)

When the paper installers are calculating for the number of rolls you need, they’re taking into account that you do need a little bit of extra paper. I promise we’re not trying to sell you too much wallpaper! The fact is you do need more than exactly what’s on the walls.

Dark floral themed wallpaper in Independence, Ohio hallway and stairway looking into Red sitting room Lindsey Putzier Design Studio

Wallpaper is Sold in Increments, Not by the Inch

Wallpaper is usually sold by the double roll, which consists of two tiny single rolls put together. If you need seven single rolls for your walls, you most often still have to purchase eight rolls. If the paper is priced by the yard, it’s still sold in increments, such as 8- or 10-yards. Chances are, you won’t be able to only purchase precisely what you need, which is ok, since you should always have extra!

Patterns Don’t All Start at the Same Place on each Roll

Wallpaper companies do not cut the wallpaper pattern eat exactly the same place for every single roll they sell. It’s a complete crapshoot where the pattern starts on each roll. Wallpaper installers have to take the pattern into account when calculating how much paper they’ll need. The pattern could start at a very different place on the various rolls, which will require a lot more paper. If you get lucky and the patterns align well roll to roll, sometimes you do end up with a lot of extra paper, but that’s the risk you run when you’re doing a large scale pattern.

The Schumacher paper below has a 30″ vertical repeat. What happens if one roll is cut like the image below and the next roll is cut 28” down or 15” down?

Schumacher Wallpaper with a 30" Vertical Repeat Lindsey Putzier Design Studio
Schumacher Wallpaper with a 30″ Vertical Repeat

If the pattern repeat is really tiny, then you don’t need to worry as much. The Phillip Jeffries paper below has a small repeat. It doesn’t really matter where it’s cut on the roll, since the pattern repeats every two inches.

Phillip Jefferies Wallpaper with a small repeat Lindsey Putzier Design Studio
Phillip Jefferies Wallpaper with a small repeat

Wallpaper is a lot more complex than most people think! Hiring a good wallpaper hanger is well worth the money because it’s so easy to mess up a wallpaper install. Don’t forget, the wallpaper itself costs money too! Depending on the wallpaper, it can cost anywhere from $100 per 4.5-yard roll to $400 or more per YARD. Pasted wallpaper is NOT the same as peel and stick; real wallpaper is meant to stay in place, permanently. Make sure you do it the right way, and trust the professional’s estimate for how much paper you’ll need!

classic master bath white tile blue walls Lindsey Putzier Design Studio

Book a Discovery Call if you’re interested in adding wallpaper to your home!

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