Understanding your Wallpaper Options Understanding your Wallpaper Options

Wallpapering OptionsOne of the quickest way you can change the appearance of any room is installing wallpaper. Now many people may think wallpaper is an old fashioned wall covering and totally out of style these days, but the reality is wallpaper is actually coming back into style and many trendy homes are now incorporating wallpaper into their décor. If you haven't had any previous experience with wallpaper, here's a quick overview of types of wallpaper available plus some pros and cons for each type.

Common wallpaper options

  • Unbacked fabric – reportedly the idea of wall paper came from tapestrys the rich hung on their walls to provide decoration and warmth. As years went on, the “not so rich” couldn't afford tapestries, but they could afford to cover their walls with fabric, so unbacked fabric was the first kind of wallpaper. While unbacked fabric wall coverings are pretty, they are difficult to work with (the fabric needs to have glue applied to it) and it's hard to make the fabric smooth when you apply it to the wall.
  • Printed paper wallpaper is the most common type of wallpaper. It comes in literally thousands of patterns and is either pre glued (you activate the glue by wetting it before applying) or without glue and you apply the glue yourself.
  • Relief (raised) patterns can also be built into heavy duty paper wallpaper during the manufacturing process and provides texture in addition to a pattern for walls.
  • Vinyl coated wallpaper is simply printed paper wallpaper with a vinyl coating or surface layer applied to the paper. The protective vinyl coating makes the wallpaper a good choice for high traffic areas such as hallways or where kids or pets might scuff the walls. The vinyl coating also makes the wallpaper both water proof and scrubbable, so it can be safely used in bathrooms or kitchens as well. Solid vinyl wallpaper is even more durable than vinyl coating paper and is a good choice for areas where high humidity is common.
  • Flocked wallpaper is similar to embossed paper but it has a raised felt like pattern that feels almost like velvet. Flocked wallpaper has been used for years, but it had fallen out of style as being “old fashioned”, but new patterns and designs are now bringing it back into favor.
  • Foil wallpaper makes a bold fashion statement and is very contemporary, but it's very thin, making it difficult to work with and it will show virtually any imperfections in a wall.
  • Grass, burlap and cork backed wallpapers are becoming increasingly popular as wallpaper makes it's reappearance as a decorative element. These natural elements on a paper backing are relatively easy to work with and because they are relatively thick they'll hide imperfections in a wall. Plus, since the surface is natural and renewable, they help reflect a homeowners concern for the environment. The downside to these natural wallpapers is they will stain over time, so shouldn't be used in high traffic areas.

Murray Anderson is a veteran freelancer whose work has been appeared in books, newspapers and newsletters as well as on numerous web sites in both the United States and Canada. He writes on a wide range of topics including home, consumer, and personal subjects as well as general business and Marketing specific topics.

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