Estimating Commercial Square Footage

After the wallcovering has been determined from the specification, now figure the square footage and how much is needed for the job. Once the width is known, the number of square feet in a lineal yard for that particular wallcovering width can be determined. An important formula to remember is:

  • Width divided by 12 = number of feet
  • Number of feet multiplied by 3 (1 yard) = square feet/width (square feet per lineal yard)
  • Divide square feet of wall space to cover by square feet/width

For example:

  • 54-inch wide material used to cover 1500 square feet is figured
  • 54 divided by 12 = 4.5
  • 4.5 multiplied by 3 = 13.5 square feet per linear yard
  • 1500 divided by 13.5 = 111.11

1500 square feet of wall space would require 112 yards without waste.

Once the width and the square footage for the width is known, any amount can be determined. If the yardage for a particular width is known, and the width of the material is changed, to convert from one width to another, work backward to determine the yardage.

For example:

  • 150 yards of 54-inch wide material
  • 54 inches is 13.5 square feet per yard (54/12 = 4.5 X 3 = 13.5)
  • 150 yards multiplied by 13.5 = 2,025 square feet of wall space to cover

New width is 36 inches wide

  • 36/12 = 3
  • 3 X 3 = 9 square feet
  • 2,025 divided by 9 = 225 yards of 36-inch wide wallcovering instead of original 150 yards of 54-inch material.

These are exact yardage amounts and do not allow for waste caused by pattern repeat. A 10 percent waste factor is a good figure to consider; however, a matching pattern with a large repeat would require additional material compared to a textured pattern without a match. All contractors should be aware of the pattern, width, and match before submitting final cid and figures.

Content Provided by the Wallcoverings Association (WA).