Types Of Wallcovering
Fabric Backed Vinyl- Ideal for areas that take a beating and scrubbing may be desired, such as kitchens, bathrooms, hallways, etc. Usually this wallpaper will last for 10-15 years. Clients usually grow tired of the paper long before it needs replacing. This paper is ideal for walls with multiple layers of paint on the walls or walls that have lots of cracks, etc. An additional benefit of this paper is when it’s time to redecorate, the wallpaper can easily be pulled off the wall, no need for scraping. The only downside to this paper is the lack of fine style since it’s difficult to print on the vinyl. In the last few years choices have improved dramatically. Imitation Grasscloths are excellent as well as plain backing or architectural reliefs.
Paper Backed Vinyl-Almost as good as the Fabric Backed. In homes with steam showers we would not recommend as the paper can wick moisture and lead to a seam issue or delamination. Great for hallways and all other rooms. This paper is fine for bathrooms without showers.
Vinyl Coated Wallpaper- This wallpaper has a light coating of vinyl sprayed or applied to the facing of the paper. Not recommended for bathrooms, hallways or areas that take a beating. Great for kids rooms, bedrooms etc. Many dark papers are printed on this paper.Can be difficult to remove when it’s time to redecorate.
Pulp Paper- Generally British import papers, typically high style and very popular with decorators. Not particularily good for traffic areas that would require cleaning.
Non Wovens-There are two types: Unsealed non wovens and solid vinyl non wovens. The solid vinyl non wovens do everything that fabric backed vinyls do but give you a much larger selection of “fashion papers” to choose from. Popular with decorators and easily removable when it’s time to redecorate. Unsealed non wovens are breathable wallpaper; manufacturers claim they are more resistant to mildew.
Grasscloths, Hemp, Reeds, Burlap, etc; Grasscloths has always remained popular and currently is the “hot” wallpaper item. Grasscloths hide wall imperfections and add a rich look to any decorating project. On natural Grasscloths there is almost always a great deal of shading from panel to panel. We make every attempt to blend the panels but usually there is a fair amount of difference. Be very careful when selecting dark tinted grasscloth; they generally have extreme color differences, some also have tinting which cannot have any water on them or the tint will stain. Dark grasscloths are time consuming to install. People often call hemps, reeds, burlap,etc. grasscloths. They are not the same. For example, reeds require special techniques to install them. Sometimes reeds require cutting with a saw and coloring the wall surface in corners and around window cuts.
You need to poke around the wallpaper store to find out what types of wallpapers are available in sample books. Don’t be misled by salespeople who may have limited knowledge about pros and cons of various wallcoverings. There are tons of wallpaper books that indicate paper is for Kitchen and Baths, where the paper will not hold up well in real life situations. Remember they are trying to sell the paper. Given the cost of wallpaper today be sure you are getting the most bang for your buck. If you are in doubt ask them to order a sample of the wallpaper.