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How to Buy Wallpaper - Single Vs. Double Rolls
How Many Rolls Do You Need?

If you’re shopping for wallpaper, in order to make sure you get the right amount, you need to understand how wallpaper is packaged and sold.

Single Roll Pricing + Double Roll Packaging

Here in North America, for decades the wallpaper industry standard has been to package wallpaper in a long double roll.

BUT -- you purchase wallpaper according to single roll pricing.

This means, when you start shopping for wallpaper, you will see it offered in terms of a single roll.  For example, you might see a single roll of wallpaper that is advertised at a price of $40 for dimensions of 20.5 inches wide by 16.5 feet long (this is one of the most common standard measurements for wallpaper).

The thing is, you can’t buy just one single roll.  Wallpaper can only be ordered in multiples of two and will come in the form of a long double roll.  So, if the above example is the wallpaper you want, you will pay $80 and what you will receive is a long double roll that is 20.5 inches wide by 33 feet long (twice the length of the single roll).

Sometimes this takes shoppers by surprise.  Because they ordered a double roll after seeing the pricing and dimensions for a single roll, shoppers often expect they will receive two single rolls. Then they become concerned when their order arrives and they see only one roll….

Don’t worry.  Even though it’s packaged as one long double roll, you will have received the equivalent of two single rolls.

It’s just all rolled into one!

How Much Wallpaper to Buy

Now that you understand how wallpaper is priced and packaged, the next question is: how much wallpaper do you need to buy?

Here’s a guide to help you figure it out:

Wallpaper Roll Sizes

  • Width most commonly is 20.5, 27, or 36 inches.
  • Length most commonly is 16.5, 13.5, or 12 feet for a single roll (this means what you’ll receive is a long double roll that is 33, 27, or 24 feet long).

Wallpaper Roll Coverage

Here’s the wall surface coverage you will get for the three most common double roll sizes:

  • 5 in. x 33 ft. = 56 sq. ft.
  • 27 in. x 27 ft. = 60 sq. ft.
  • 36 in. x 24 ft. = 72 sq. ft.

Why is Wallpaper Packaged This Way?

By now you may be wondering: if the wallpaper is priced in terms of a single roll, why is it packaged so that you always have to buy a double roll?

The reason is, if you only had a single roll of wallpaper, it would give you only one 8- or 9-foot ceiling-to-floor drop (which is the standard height for most walls).

However, a long double roll can give you three and sometimes four 8- or 9-foot ceiling-to-floor drops.  Which, overall, makes it easier and more economical for you to cover your entire wall surface.

With this information in mind, you should now be ready to shop for wallpaper like a pro!  To check out Going Décor’s collection of wallpaper designs here!