The sum of .45(x) is greater than the sum of (1.79)x…. Bear with me, it will make sense in a minute!
“Wallpaper is too expensive.”
This is a line often used by painters and builders. Homeowners sometimes say the same thing when they look at the upfront cost of paint versus vinyl wallcoverings. But as in so many other areas, the total cost lies in the maintenance fee not the purchase price.
A recent study found that wallpaper lasts, on average, for 15 years. The average coat of paint, on the other hand, lasts about three years before needing another coat. So with a lifetime five times as long, wallpaper brings with it an added value. We can break this down with some simple math.
Let’s say you’re going to paint your bedroom. The room is 14 x 20 and the ceilings are eight feet high. So we add together the length of all four walls: 14 + 20 + 14 + 20 and come up with 68. We then multiply that by the height of the ceiling to get the total area of the room (68×8= 544).
Industry standard costs for painting professionals are about $.45 per foot*, so the cost to have this room painted would be 544 x .45 = $244.80. Now, in order to maintain the look of this room you will have to paint about every three years. Over a 15-year period, this will amount to six times, which comes to (244.80 x 6 = $1,468.80).
Let’s compare this to the cost of wallpaper. The industry average cost for wallpaper, including professional installation costs, adds up to about $1.79 per square foot.* We can calculate this using the same method we used to determine the total wall area. We come up with the same 544 square feet. (544 x 1.79 = $973.76) As you can see, this is much more expensive than the initial painting of the room. But when you factor in the longevity of wallpaper, which lasts 15 years, it’s not only cheaper than paint but considerably so. Over the 15 years, the savings in this room alone would amount to (total cost to paint $1,468.80 – cost to wallpaper $973.76 = $495.04). That’s a savings of almost $500 for just one room!
Now if it were just about dollars and cents, our argument would be made. But we are not bankers. We are interior designers. Our argument must include talk of décor, of aesthetics, of the beauty of the room. For that reason we must look at the styles, patterns and textures available with modern wallpaper. The industry has advanced so far in the past ten years with new technology that the options wallpaper can bring to a room are practically endless. If you want woven cloth, the look and feel of marble or a 12-foot wide artistic mural – it is all easily created with wallpaper. So for financial reasons and for aesthetic concerns we can see that the cost of wallpaper is not only cheaper than other wallcoverings, it is also a great aesthetic value!
*Rates provided by the National Guild of Professional Paper Hangers