Posts Tagged ‘waste’

1″ X 5′ = 9 sq ft of Lost Paper

July 18, 2021

For all the prospective clients who think they can pull out their calculator and slide rule and then meticulously calculate that they can cover their walls with 186.7 sq ft of wallpaper – WRONG!

Here is a good example of waste, and why you can’t purchase wallpaper based on square feet alone.

Here we are working with a non-woven material that is packaged in 21″ wide x 33′ long.

In the photo, that narrow 1″ wide strip of wall on the left needs to be covered with wallpaper.

That’s 1″ wide x 5′ tall. That comes out to .41 square feet of wallpaper.

Sounds negligible, doesn’t it? But in real life, a whole lot more wallpaper will be called into play – and tossed into the trash – in order to cover this miniscule space.

Although I stockpile all scraps, there is nothing in my remnant pile that is long enough, nor the correct pattern match, to cover this space.

So I must cut a new length from a bolt of wallpaper.

The pattern has a 25″ repeat, so I had to cut off almost this much in order to come up with the correct pattern match. That’s 25″ long x 21″ wide … so already, we are nearly 4 square feet cut off and thrown onto the trash pile.

Now that I have the pattern matched correctly, I need 5 running feet of it to cover the length of wall in the photo. That’s 60″ long x the 21″ wide width of the wallpaper. That calculates to 8.75 square feet of paper.

Of those 8.75 square feet, remember that I need only a 1″ wide strip. As previously mentioned, that comes to .41 square feet.

So, 8.75 sq ft – .41 sq ft = 8.33 sq ft of paper that can’t be used anywhere else, and will be tossed onto the discard pile.

That’s 8.33 sq ft of waste. Considering that the average single roll of wallpaper contains 28 square feet (but in reality, only 22 square feet of useable paper), this leaves you with only 19.75 square feet of useable paper.

In double roll speak, this means a bolt with 56 square feet, which is better calculated at 44 useable square feet, after hanging this one puny 1″ wide strip, you are left with 47.7 sq ft of useable paper – nearly 10 sq ft lost for just one 1″ wide strip!

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. I haven’t even gotten into pattern repeats, trimming at ceiling and floor, going around windows, vaulted ceilings, stairs, multiple drops, expansion when wet with paste, and all sorts of other factors.

Bottom Line: We paperhangers know the ins and outs of this stuff.

And homeowners don’t. Nor do contractors, painters, handymen, nor even engineers. Most of all, NOT engineers. (I love ’em all,,,, but they tend to get bogged down in details, and overlook the grand scale.)

Bottom, Bottom Line: Let the paperhanger measure the space and calculate how much wallpaper to order.

20″ of Waste x 2 x 4 Double Rolls

May 9, 2021

“Calculating how much wallpaper you need is not just about square feet. It is much more about how many strips you need to cover the walls, and how many strips you will get out of each double roll bolt. Do a Search here to learn more.

In this example, the wallpaper has a 24″ pattern repeat. That means that as much as 24″ of the wallpaper can be lost while matching the pattern from one strip to the next. Today, the amount I cut off and threw away between each strip of paper was about 20.”

Usually, that “waste” goes into the trash. But today, since the 20″ was long enough that something could be done with it, I saved it for the homeowners and suggested they use it for drawer liner or to cover a trash can or lamp shade, or as a mat in a picture frame.

This is another reason to keep in mind to let the PAPERHANGER measure your space and determine how many rolls to purchase.

The homeowner originally thought that four rolls (two double-roll bolts) would be sufficient for this accent wall. In actuality, they needed eight rolls (four double-roll bolts).

Waste from One Day’s Job

July 7, 2020


People often don’t realize that you can’t use every square foot of paper that the label claims to include. Much paper is lost to ‘waste.’

Today, I hung a 14-single roll breakfast room with three large windows.

This is a picture of all the wallpaper that was cut off and thrown into the trash, in order to match the pattern, turn corners, and etc.

The large roll on the floor, and the one behind it, are both rolled tightly and are larger than they appear in the photo. LOTS of paper that ends up being unusable.

Always consult the paperhanger for accurate measurements, before ordering your paper.

Wallpaper Coverage …. Not What They Lead You To Believe

June 25, 2020

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Photo: Waste from one 2-wall room; all this paper is going into the trash.

For all those folk who think they can figure up how much wallpaper they need without first consulting a professional installer, and they try to calculate based on square footage, along with “calculators” found on vendor websites … Here is a good example of why square footage is NOT an accurate calculator.

Referencing yesterday’s post …. I’m not going to get into a whole lot of math re square footage. Let’s focus on the Strip Count method. Let’s just say that this accent wall required 12.3 strips. Effectively, that is 13 strips.

Due to the 11′ height of the wall and due to the length of the pattern repeat, each 33′ long double roll bolt yielded two strips.

After I used those two strips, I was left with a “tail end” that was about 8′ long. Since my wall height was 11′, here was nothing I could do with a strip 8′ long. So it went to the scrap pile.

The paper was about 2′ wide. 2′ wide x 8′ long = about 16 square feet of waste. Multiply that times the 13 strips it took to cross the wall, and you get 208 square feet of paper that is going right into the trash bin.

That’s roughly equivalent to FOUR DOUBLE ROLL BOLTS of wallpaper. Bought and paid for, but not available to put on your wall.

In real life, measuring is even more complicated than that.

In addition, the photo above shows the waste from today’s install of a 14 single roll breakfast room. The large roll lying on the floor, and the roll behind it, are tightly wound up and are both WAY bigger than the photo makes them appear… A whole lot of paper cut off and thrown away, in order to match the pattern.

So, folks, please let the professional measure, before you order your wallpaper. There are many, many factors to be considered, aside from raw square footage.

More info is available on my page to the right.

Waste Factor – For All The People Who Order Wallpaper Based on Square Footage

May 17, 2020

To come up with how much to buy, lot of people carefully measure and calculate the square footage of their room, and then divide that by the square footage on a bolt of wallpaper. WRONG!

This does not allow for the “waste factor.”

Wallpaper is not like paint. You can’t grind it up and put it in a bucket and spread every square inch onto your walls. You will lose some – often a lot – to waste.

In the photo above, I have only papered 1/4 of the room. Yet look at my discard pile – all this paper was cut off in order to match the pattern, or to go around a window or door, etc.

By the end of the day, this pile was a whole lot larger.

If you are trying to calculate how much wallpaper to purchase, please click the link to the page on the right “How To Measure For Wallpaper” for more details.

Really Long Pattern Repeat

November 23, 2019


This wallpaper pattern by Justina Blackeney has a really long pattern repeat – 45″. That means that any given design motif appears only about every four feet!

See photo, where I have rolled the paper out on my table.

Depending on the height of your walls, matching the pattern could result in a tremendous amount of waste. Indeed, I was cutting off and throwing away about 2′ of paper for every strip I put on the wall.

That’s why a strip count is a more accurate way to measure for how many rolls of paper you need, instead of going strictly by square footage.