The term wallpaper repeat describes the type of pattern on the wallpaper. Some wallpapers have
a very random repeat pattern that you won’t need to watch and match as you apply the wallpaper.
Other wallpapers have very regimented repeat designs that are easy to follow and match as you
apply the wallpaper. The most complex types are very tricky and require you to pay attention
throughout the duration of the hanging. The most expensive types of wallpapers do not have a
wallpaper repeat, such as the Guinness World Record holder, “Les Guerres D’Independence.”
This wallpaper is 32 panels of different depictions of the French Revolution.
All of the types of wallpapers that are commonly hung in businesses and residence have repeats.
The repeat lets you know how long the vertical distance is between the first instance of a specific
part of the pattern and the next time it appears on the wallpaper and where you need to match the
pattern as you hang the paper.
Depending on the type of wallpaper repeat, generally the more complex the design, the more
waste you will have at the end of the project. This is one reason to pay attention to the details of
the wallpaper length and repeat length when shopping for wallpaper. You can always use a
border if you really like a particular wallpaper but the repeat is a bit shorter than the length of
Why It Matters
Apart from the length of the repeat compared to your wall, the wallpaper repeat lets you know
how much wallpaper you will need to purchase to complete a full room or several rooms.
Easier patterns will require very simple calculations because the repeats won’t really affect the
amount of wallpaper. Things like stripes and random patterns won’t need to be restarted at set
intervals to properly align each new strip, so you can calculate the total wallpaper required based
on the length and width of the wallpaper without considering the repeat.
The more complex the design, the more wallpaper you are likely to need, and the more important
it is to know the repeat length. Most are measured in centimeters, so you will need to take this
into account for each wall as you calculate the amount of wallpaper required to completely cover
the room (including the corners).