Different Types of Wallpaper

Range of wallpapers

Selecting Wallpaper

When searching for the perfect wallpaper to transform your home, as well as colour, pattern and texture, you should also take into consideration what type of wallpaper to use. Here’s a guide to all the different types of wallpaper:

Vinyl Wallpaper

The versatility of vinyl wallpapers have made them the most popular option in wall coverings today. They are easy to install, easy to remove, and easy to clean. There are several different options of vinyl wallpapers available to choose from, depending on the needs of the room you will be decorating.

Solid Sheet Vinyl

This type of pure vinyl wallpaper is the most durable option because of its thickness, easy cleaning and easy removal. It is classified as scrubbable and peelable and can be used in most areas of the home since it resists moisture and is stain and grease resistant. Solid sheet vinyls are often embossed adding beauty to the print.

Vinyl Coated Fabric

Fabric wallpaper is very popular due to its natural feel and texture. The vinyl coating gives it a good degree of protection and durability. They are generally considered more “breathable” wallpapers which makes them a good choice for use in low moisture rooms, like living areas.

Vinyl Coated Paper

Better than plain paper wallpaper, vinyl coated paper offers the durability and washability that paper alone simply does not. These papers are better resistant to grease and moisture than plain paper, and are good for high-humidity environments like bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens.

Blown Vinyl Paper

Blown or expanded vinyl looks similar to an embossed or anaglypta paper, with a raised pattern, but the pattern is coloured. The plastic layer provides a tough finish but means they cannot be painted over.

Non-woven Wallpaper

Non-woven wallpaper is a vinyl free option made from an innovative mixture of synthetic and natural fibres. A washable and breathable wallpaper means there is no need to worry about mold. It is very easy to install and remove, peeling off the wall in one long strip.

Easy-Walls Wallpaper

Similar to non-woven wallpaper, they are made from a material that is PVC and VOC free. They are breathable and easily cleaned so again you do not need to worry about mold. This type of wallpaper usually comes with a pre-applied adhesive, so there is no need to paste the paper or the wall.

Pre-pasted Wallpaper

With “prepasted” wallpapers there is no need to purchase additional adhesive because it’s already on the back of the wallpaper. The glue is dry and just needs to be activated by wetting the back of the paper. A water tray is typically used to soak the wallpaper in.

Grasscloth Wallpaper

Most of the grasscloth in the world is hand-crafted in Asia. The most common materials it’s made from are arrowroot, bamboo hemp, jute, raffia, reeds, and seagrass. The fibers are hand-woven together in a complex framework typically using lightweight cotton threads and fastened on a thin rice paper backing.

Cleaning is a little more difficult with this type of wallpaper. Stains should be spot treated and dirt should be vacuumed with a clean vacuum cleaner brush. If it’s a specialty grasscloth then the overall cleaning may need to be handled by a professional cleaner.

Woodchip Wallpaper

Woodchip is a relatively inexpensive wallpaper consisting of small chips of wood on the finished side of the paper base. Good at hiding small defects in walls and ceilings, it is usually finished by applying paint after the paper has fully dried. Whilst it is typically an inexpensive option for covering imperfect walls, it is best avoided if possible.

Anaglypta Wallpaper

“Anaglypta” is Greek for “raised design” and the wallpaper has been embossed so that it’s covered in textured patterns. They are thick, durable papers designed to be painted (with emulsion) after installation.

They are easy to hang and the embossed surface makes them suitable for covering slight imperfections in the wall. A note of caution, they are prone to stretching, so care needs to be taken when hanging.

Anaglyptas have a tremendous selection of patterns available to choose from.

Suraglypta Wallpaper

Supaglypta is, as the name suggests, a super version of anaglypta wallpaper.

Made with a layer of tough reinforced textile and a layer of high quality paper to produce tough, long lasting wallpaper. The embossed effect is more complex and raised slightly higher than on an anaglypta, with most designs being vintage chic. They are very durable and are suitable for high-traffic areas such as hallways and stairways.

Flock Wallpaper

Flock wallpapers are one of the oldest types of wallpaper used. The pattern consists of fibres which feel and look like velvet and are one of the most expensive options for wallcoverings.

When hanging these papers it is essential to avoid getting any paste on the flock, as it will mark and potentially ruin the texture. For this reason it is recommended that a professional paperhanger is used as  much skill is needed to hang them carefully and perfectly.

Foil Wallpaper

Possibly the most varied, dramatic and exciting range of wallcoverings you can buy, but also one of the most difficult to hang successfully. They are made from thin metallic foil, in a range of plain colours or patterns screen-printed onto the surface. Any paste on the foil will ruin the reflective coating.

Before hanging foil wallpaper your walls will need to be as smooth as possible, as the reflective nature of foil wallpapers will show any lumps and bumps on the wall. Hanging lining paper first is probably a good idea.

Printed Wallpaper

Printed papers are available in a tremendous range of colours, designs and qualities, from mass-produced, machine-printed designs to high quality hand-printed patterns. Bespoke designs are available providing you the opportunity to have your own custom designed wall covering, that can’t be found anywhere else.

The inks used in printed wallpapers are often water based and so you should avoid installing these papers in areas where there is a lot of steam or condensation. Due to the delicate nature of the paper which can tear easily, care must be taken when hanging them.

Washable Wallpaper

Not to be confused with vinyl wallpapers, “Washable” wallpapers have a thin plastic transparent coating covering the pattern printed onto the base pulp paper. This coating makes them more resistant to stains and allows them to be regularly wiped down with a damp cloth. They are a great choice for kitchens, where steam and grease require the walls to be washed regularly.

Mylar Wallpaper

This type of wallpaper is printed on a paper backing. A polyester film is applied on top of a decorative design making them washable. The paper has a wet or shiny appearance similar to a foil wallpaper and so they will highlight any wall defects. It is advisable to hang lining paper prior to the Mylar wallpaper. They are most commonly used for kitchens and bathrooms.

Bamboo Wallpaper

Natural bamboo wallpaper is handcrafted wallpaper made with the environment-friendly natural material. This wallpaper is made by applying bamboo reeds or vines onto a paper backed with glue.

Care must be taken when installing as the adhesive can spoil its appearance, and it is not washable.

Vinyl Grasscloth Wallpaper

Vinyl grasscloth is made by machines and lacks the texture of the natural grasscloth wallpaper, though they can come close. While it lacks some of the elegance of natural grasscloth, it is usually less expensive and considerably more durable. Manufacturers have even found ways to create the illusion of a natural grasscloth so that the only way to tell that it is vinyl is by touching the wallpaper.

This type of wallpaper strips is easy to install, easy to remove, and easy to repair. The seams are barely noticeable, and you can install them in any room due to its washability and durability.

Natural Grasscloth Wallpaper

Grasscloth is one of the more expensive types of wallcoverings because it’s very time intensive to produce. The natural handcrafted wallpaper is made with a paper backing that has a layer of vine or grass fibers built into the wallpaper, so that when you touch it, you can actually feel all of the different textures that make up the wallpaper. They are delicate to work with and care should be taken when applying paste so it does not stain the front surface.

Fabric Wallpaper

It’s a luxurious wallpaper. These wallpapers are made of different fabrics like cotton, silk, raffia, felt, linens, feathers, or twines. Moreover, fabric wallpapers are fire-resistant, breathable, provide excellent insulation properties, and are also stain-resistant. They can be quite expensive, and require good maintenance.

Embossed Wallpaper

These are quite similar to Anaglypta but with a coloured pattern as a decorative finish rather than the plain paper finish. Normally they can be overpainted; either at a later time when the pattern has become faded and requires a facelift, or from the time it is first hung.

This wallpaper will add a sense of depth and contrast to your barren walls. The designs have been pressed onto a paper backing which creates a raised and textured effect, which makes them a great choice for hiding the most common wall imperfections such as cracks, scratches, and wall roughness.

Lining Paper/Liner Paper

Lining paper is a plain paper used to cover imperfections on a wall prior to wallpapering or painting. It is available in various grades, or thicknesses. The thicker grades are better at covering imperfections, easier to hang and less likely to tear. It is better to hang the paper vertically if you are planning to paint it once installed.

If using lining paper prior to wallpapering, it is often recommended that the paper be hung horizontally (cross-lining) on the wall, so that the seams of the lining paper don’t match up with the seams of the wallpaper you will be installing on top. This installation method is more difficult than hanging paper vertically and can be avoided with some simple calculations and the use of WallpaperBuddy.

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