how much to wallpaper a room

How Much to Wallpaper a Room in 2022? (UK Cost Guide & Money-Saving Tips) – Updated

There’s more involved in wallpapering a room than simply applying your favourite print to the walls. You first need to assess the current condition of your walls and whether any prep work needs to be done. These factors will help answer the question; ‘how much to wallpaper a room?’.

Cleary, the cost will heavily depend on whether you’re going to do it yourself or hire someone to do the work for you. Whichever option you go for, it’s important to know what to expect so you can make an informed decision.

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Why Wallpaper? 

The wallpaper trend is proving popular with the rise of online stockists and social media. With a range of colours, patterns, finishes and designers widely available, wallpaper provides the perfect opportunity to personalise your home. It provides the same softening touch that you get from soft furnishings and can give a room character and warmth. 

Of course, another reason for wallpapering your walls might be for the need to cover not-so-perfect walls, which of course can be another cost factor for any preparatory work. 

What’s Involved in Wallpapering a Room?

Wallpaper needs to be applied to a clean, smooth surface, so there may well be a certain amount of prep work to do before you can get the wallpaper paste out. 

Moving Furniture

Depending on whether you’re creating a feature wall, or covering an entire room, you will need to move any furniture away from the walls. There may be a cost included for this, so check when asking for quotations if you’re not doing it yourself.

Stripping Walls

If you have existing wallpaper, this will need to be stripped with a wallpaper steamer, and as such, your carpet and furniture will need to be protected from condensation and mess. Your walls will also need to be cleaned to remove any glue residue. Bare walls will need to be washed to get rid of any grime, oil or stains which may affect the adhesion and finish of the wallpaper.

Can You Cover Over Old Wallpaper? 

While it isn’t uncommon to apply a new design over existing wallpaper, it could make it harder to remove the next time you want to change it. Previous patterns may show through if the new paper is of lower quality. Also, given that many types of wallpaper these days have a vinyl finish, there may be a risk of mould developing between the layers

Remedial Work

Any holes or blemishes in your walls or plasterwork will need to be resolved before the wallpaper can be applied, to ensure a smooth and even finish. You can look at doing this yourself, or if hiring someone, ask if the cost of any repairs is included in your quotation.

Lining Paper

Sometimes it might make more sense to apply lining paper – a type of paper applied to the walls first – to smooth over any imperfections, especially if there are quite a few. You’ll need to decide whether it’s more cost-effective to have remedial work done or have lining paper put up, depending on the condition of your walls. 

Finishing Touches

New wallpaper can transform the look of your room. To really give it the ‘wow’ factor, you might want to clean or touch-up skirting boards, doors and window frames. If hiring someone, you can ask them if simple touch-ups can be included in the work. 

What Can Go Wrong When Wallpapering a Room?

Any well-meaning novice can try their hand at applying wallpaper, and there’s a risk you may end up with unsightly creases, air bubbles or lumps beneath the paper. 

In addition to that, any errors will result in wasted paper, time and money. If the job is done poorly, consider that you might need to strip it all and start again.

How Much to Wallpaper a Room – Costs to Consider in 2022

Your material cost will depend on your chosen wallpaper, with prints ranging from plain to patterned, glossy to embossed, and basic to designer. Prices range from £5 to £60+ per roll. The coverage will depend not just on the size of the room, but the pattern-repeat and trickier areas such as windows

To calculate the cost of your chosen wallpaper, check out this handy calculator from B&Q.

When it comes to labour rates, awkward spaces that need complex cuts and patterns to be correctly matched could take longer. Your location will also determine the hourly or day rate of your chosen labourer, with London prices being naturally higher than in other areas. 

As an indicator, the cost of stripping existing and hanging new wallpaper in a medium-sized room costs around £350 for labour, plus material, and will take approximately 1-2 days. 

The below labour cost table has been put together with data obtained from the website and has been provided for comparison purposes only, to give an indication of what you might expect to pay prior to requesting your own written quotations.

Job TypeRoom SizePotential Labour CostApprox. Duration
Hang wallpaper 10m2 £1004-6 hours
Hang wallpaper 20m2 £1501 day
Hang wallpaper 30m2 £2251-2 days
Hang wallpaper 50m2 £3001-2 days
Strip and hang new wallpaper 10m2 £1501 day
Strip and hang new wallpaper 20m2 £3002 days
Strip and hang new wallpaper 30m2 £4002-3 days
Strip and hang new wallpaper 50m2 £4503 days

Can You Hang Wallpaper Yourself? 

Wallpapering a room is down to individual skill level. The ease of getting the job done will also depend on the pattern repeat, your ability to match it up correctly, and a steady posture when smoothing out any imperfections. 

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How Much to Wallpaper a Room – Final Thoughts

Doing it yourself should be OK if it’s a basic pattern, as long as you’re happy to live with any possible errors such as air bubbles or creases. 

Ultimately, you need to consider the potential cost of any mistakes and possibly having to do it again, vs. the cost of hiring someone.

If you’re considering hiring a professional, you can get quotes through Rated People. Ensure you ask for testimonials and ask to see some photographic examples of their work. Obtain at least three quotations and ask for a breakdown, ensuring any of the above steps (if required) are included.