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Square Footage Calculation

How many yards of commercial wall covering product do I need?
How does the professional Installer calculate 54”, 48”, 36” yardage required?

We are asked these questions regularly by Interior Designers, Architects, and Facility Managers, General Contractors and even paint & wall covering Contractors. It is really easy to determine for estimating purposes, but when just using square footage, you can be short. You would be amazed at how many “professionals” just use square footage – and wonder why short on the job, or why too much left over, which in either case results an incorrect dollar budget.

Why should you CARE ?

CEU Credit = 0      Overall Professional competence = Significant

The following is a step-by-step method to the correct yardage required.

Guidelines to Keep in Mind when calculating wallcovering yardage.

  • The perimeter of the area is only important if all walls are to be covered.

  • Corridors are where more mistakes are made resulting in short yardage.

  • When yardage is SHORT that creates possible problem of different dye lot. or mill now being out of stock on that item.

  • When yardage is TOO much over, results in more expense of restock charge and Freight back to the mill, if it is returnable yardage.

  • Smart property owners require extra material for future repairs or “Attic stock”.

  • Do not ASSUME all rolls ordered from any mill will be 1 continuous piece of vinyl.

  • The vinyl wallcovering industry standard allows for the mill to have 2 cuts per roll, that means there could be up to 3 pieces in a roll. Ask any distributor to confirm. While no one talks about this fact when selling product, it is a fact of life that can change your calculations. Does not always happen, but it does happen. The cut pieces are not always the length required, so more waste can result.

  • Figure your yardage, if ready to order NOW check stock. If in stock, is your yardage all in 1 lot#, or how many yards in each lot. Will this work for the job. If many broken up areas, or full height doors, most jobs can accept different dye lots without a problem. However, if you do not ask, likely will not be told. Always consider the color of the material, and if attic stock will be required. May have to wait for a production run.

  • NEVER assume the mill will have stock when you are ready to order, just because the book or deck states Quick Ship or there was stock last week. Plan ahead.

Now with these Guidelines in mind and pen in hand – Calculate.

• Measure the running length of each wall to receive the same product.
• Measure thru doors and windows.
• If doors or windows have any Headers, they will require a full strip on material.
• If you try to patch in Headers above Doors or Windows, shading can or WILL occur. All manufactures installation instructions state, do not patch in Headers.
Round off all measurements to FULL Feet.

(A) Total running feet of wall to be covered rounded to full feet = ______FT.

Ceiling or Wall Height:
Will it just be a wainscot or above a chair rail or floor to ceiling, how high a base?

Wainscot – most are 30” to 48” high, determine if covering above or below?

Chair Rail - most are 36” to 48” high, determine if covering above or below?

Floor to Ceiling – most wall heights are 7’6”, 8’, 9, 9’6”, 10’, 11’, 12’.

Wall Height to be covered translated to lin.Yards : Where 3’ high or 36” = 1 lin yd

3’ to 4’ = 1 lin. yard - 1.4 lin yds. 9’6” to 10’ = 3.40 lin. yds.
8’ = 2.67 lin yds. 11’ = 3.67 lin. yds.
9’ = 3 lin. yds. 12’ = 4 lin yds.

(B) Select the Height in linear yards above to use per wall area = ________

Determine number of strips required for the wall(s). In the field most installers, just before installing material measure the walls, and place a pencil mark every 48” –50” ( if using 54” goods) so they know where seams will hit and know for sure enough material is on hand for the job. You can do the same NOW.

(C) Wallcovering material Width and Linear yards.
A LINEAR yard is always 36” in Length x the Variable Width of goods.
Most widths in commercial wallcovering are: 36”, 48”, 54” ,60”.
To Allow for Seams select one: ( 36” material is usually pretrimmed).
36” = 3 Feet 48” = 3.67 Ft. 54” = 4 Ft. 60” = 4.75 Ft.

FYI- Note: Another variable is to determine if the material is Trimmed or Untrimmed. Fabric and Vinyl can be either. Adjust the width accordingly.

Divide Total running wall length (A) by C (strip width) = ____= (D) Number of strips required to cover the wall area.

Multiply the B Total (the selected wall height in Yards) by C Total ( # of strips required) =_______Actual number of lin. yards required to install the job correctly with that width of wallcovering. Most experienced installers ADD about 10% to the Total yards. Note: when you add more yards make sure to keep the yardage in same terms or strips lengths as required for installation, and pay attention to the bolt or roll size or length. This will save or cost you money.

Summary: Determine A and B values.

Then Divide A by C = D # of Strips required. Then Multiply B x C = Total Yds

Contact Us sales@wiusa.com  Call Us 800.527.9014

Of Course, we hope you are using our material. Good Luck.

Remember, the above is only an estimating tool for yardage. Any yardage ordered is totally your determination and responsibility, not WIUSA.com


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