Choosing wallpaper for your home is a significant design step – and one you should research.
Not only do you have designs, colors, and patterns to worry about, but also the various types of wallpaper.
Yes, not all wallpapers are created equal. You have various mediums used to create these papers, and some are better than others depending on where you apply them. So, before you pick the one with a pattern that speaks to you, you also need to consider the types and then start narrowing it down by style.
What are the Various Types of Wallpapers and What Makes Them Unique?
Technically, you have eight mediums to choose from, but some are not as popular as others. These eight types of wallpaper materials you can choose from include:
- Vinyl – Vinyl is the most popular and easiest to find. It is also incredibly versatile. You can install it with ease, and remove it pain-free.
- Solid Sheeted Vinyl – Solid sheets are the more durable type of vinyl, and they are incredibly thick. The solid sheet works well in areas where you may have to clean frequently, such as a child’s playroom, and the designs come embossed for extra texture.
- Vinyl Coated Fabric – Some homeowners prefer the feel of fabric, but the fabric itself is not easy to clean. That is why they opt for fabric with a vinyl coating on top. Now you have the durability of ordinary vinyl, but the look of fabric wallpaper.
- Vinyl Coated Paper – Vinyl-coated paper works just like it sounds. It is a paper variety with a thin vinyl coating that adds more durability and lets you wash it without tearing the paper surface. It also works well in high humidity, like bathrooms and laundry rooms, making it more versatile for applying throughout the house.
- Non-Woven Wallpaper – Non-woven has no vinyl, which works if you want an eco-friendly wallpaper. Even without vinyl coatings, it is durable, washable, and breathes well. It is resistant to mold, and it will not tear easily like others.
- Easy Walls – Easy walls is another eco-friendly option that contains no PVC or VOC. The ink to create the print is water-based; not oil-based too. It has a pre-applied adhesive, so you just peel off the protecting coating and smooth it up onto the wall with ease. Removal is just as easy.
- Prepasted – Any variety of wallpaper can come prepasted, which means that you do not have to manually brush-on adhesive when applying it to the wall. Instead, you pull off the backing and gently apply to the surface.
- Grasscloth – Grasscloth is growing in popularity, and it is made 100 percent natural. It is not easy to clean, however, so you want it in a room without heavy traffic and absolutely no moisture. The texture is rough, which means it does pick up a lot, and the only way to clean it is to treat it like carpeting – which means spot cleaning and gentle vacuuming.
How Do You Choose the Right Wallpaper for Your Home?
Now that you know the types and what they feature, the next step is narrowing down your choices. You will have numerous patterns, colors, and styles, but it is all about the room where you plan to install it.
1. How Do You Plan to Use the Wallpaper?
First, you need to decide how you will use your wallpaper. Are you covering all four walls? Will you just create an accent feature? Maybe you have a chair rail or wainscoting in place, so you only need half the wall covered?
When covering all four walls, avoid going overboard on patterns. Instead, you want something classic, fresh, and contemporary. You can still do lines, but keep them broad. Anything with a small print may leave you with a cluttered finish.
For accent walls, you have more to work with on the design. You can create something bold, dramatic, and use just about any pattern or color you wish. Just make sure you consider what will be up against it, such as a sofa or bed. Pick a design that matches the furniture you accent with in the room, so everything comes together perfectly.
If dealing with wainscoting or chair rails, opt for a solid color or very simplified pattern (like stripes). You can still be bold with your color choices, such as pairing teal paper with a dark wood or bright white wainscoting. Dark navy is also popular against chair rails, and offers a classic look.
2. Do You Want Flat or Textured Paper?
Next, you need to consider the surface itself. Wallpaper comes in various designs and patterns, including those that are embossed, textured, and elevated on the paper, along with those that are printed onto a smooth surface.
Textured patterns are casual, but can still be elegant depending on the pattern itself. Textured wallpaper also gives a sense of dimension, and if the wall beneath has minor imperfections, it covers them well. The only drawback is cleaning. They may have more delicate designs that you cannot clean as aggressively as flat, which is something to consider.
Flat paper has delicate detailing, and it can include glossy finishes, metallics, and solid colors. Unlike textured paper, your flat paper will show any imperfections beneath – including those accidental bubbles when using adhesive.
3. Picking the Roll Width
You have the design, and you know where it will go, but now you need the roll width. This is just as important as the total square feet you need. Wallpaper comes in American and English width. American is 27 inches, while English is 20.5 inches.
The width will determine how many rolls you need to cover the wall fully, and how many overlaps you will have to line up perfectly as you cover that wall.
Now You’re Ready to Embark on a Wallpaper Shopping Journey
You’ve been armed with the information you need to pick out your perfect wallpaper. While shopping, keep in mind the various types, the room placement, textures, and widths, and you should be able to come home with a roll that suits your design just right.
When in doubt, lean on the professionals at your retailer of choice. They can offer insight if you are not sure which material is best for a specific room, or when you’re trying to match patterns and colors to furniture.