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Cheat Sheet

DIY and Home Maintenance All-in-One For Dummies

Tackling DIY jobs and renovations around the house, and keeping your home in tip-top condition, is made easier with the metric system calculators on this handy Cheat Sheet.

DIY Wall Paint Calculator

To determine how much paint to buy for your DIY job (if you're in a country that's adopted the metric system), find the square meterage of the area you plan to paint and divide by the number of square metres covered by a litre of paint.

  • Total wall area: Total length of all walls x wall height

  • Unpainted areas:

    • Window area = window height x window width x number of windows

    • Door area = door height x door width x number of doors

  • Paintable wall area: Total wall area – window area – door area

  • Paint to order:

    • Paintable area 1500 = number of litres needed for smooth walls

    • Paintable area 1350 = number of litres needed for rough, textured walls or unpainted wallboard

DIY Wallpaper Calculator

When you’re doing some DIY wallpapering, determine how much wallpaper to purchase by calculating the area you plan to paper and dividing that number by the usable yield per roll of paper. (Measurements here are for countries that have adopted the metric system.)

  • Wall area: Total length of all walls x wall height

  • Unpapered areas:

    • Window area = window height x window width x number of windows

    • Door area = door height x door width x number of doors

  • Wallpapering area: Wall area – unpapered areas

  • Wallpaper to order: Wallpapering area ÷ usable yield = number of single rolls needed

Usable Yield Chart for Wallpaper
Pattern Repeat (Drop) Usable Yield
0 to 150 mm 2.5 sq. m
175 to 300 mm 2.2 sq. m
325 to 450 mm 2.0 sq. m
475 to 600 mm 1.8 sq. m

DIY Flooring Calculators

Make DIY floor-laying simple with a bit of forward planning. When you’re laying a floor yourself, figure out how many tiles or how much carpet you need with these handy calculations (if you choose to measure in metres and millimetres):

  • Floor area: Length of floor (m) x width of floor (m)

  • Vinyl tiles:

    • 225 mm: Floor area ÷ 0.5625 = number of 225 mm tiles needed

    • 300 mm: Floor area = number of 300 mm tiles needed

  • Sheet vinyl: Floor area ÷ 10 = number of square metres of floor covering needed

  • Carpeting: Floor area ÷ 10 = number of square metres of carpeting needed

For ceramic tiles, use the following calculations:

  • Total area of floor, wall or worktop: Length (m) x width (m)

  • Number of 100 mm tiles needed: Total area ÷ 0.1

  • Number of 150 mm tiles needed: Total area ÷0.25

  • Number of 225 mm tiles needed: Total area ÷ 0.5063

  • Number of 300 mm tiles needed: Total area ÷ 0.9

  • Number of 450 mm tiles needed: Total area ÷ 2.03

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