How to choose wallpaper - Misc. AU
How to choose wallpaper

How to choose wallpaper

Wallpaper is creative way to bring colour, texture and pattern to your home. In a vast range of options, wallpaper provides an effective and personal touch to your décor. Easily washable, wallpaper can work in combination with painted walls with paint being matched professionally to your wallpaper. With minimal effort compared to paint, the one coat process means you can move back into the room on the same day.

Words by Zepel

Easily washable, wallpaper can work in combination with painted walls with paint being matched professionally to your wallpaper.  With minimal effort compared to paint, the one coat process means you can move back into the room on the same day. Suitable for every room, you can make a statement with a bright bold print, create a feature wall or choose from a textured or neutral option.

Before you select our wallpaper you will need to consider the following:

  • What size is the room you are wall papering?
  • Make sure your walls are in good condition and prepped well before hanging.
  • Buy a few extra rolls just in case there is a problem.
  • Vinyls are the best choice for a beginning wallpaper hanger. Not only are they the easiest type of wallcovering to hang, but they’re also easy to live with — they’re durable, soil resistant, and easy to clean. They’re even easy to remove.
  • Flocked papers have raised, velvety patterns and are good choices for covering walls that have minor surface imperfections. Washable flocks are easier to install than non washable ones, but both are expensive, and installation generally requires a professional.
  • Take a home a sample to see how the pattern and colours suit the room.

What to consider in regard to design:

One of the most important factors in choosing wallpaper is selecting a pattern you like.  You will need to make sure that the pattern works in the space that you plan to paper.  Here are some basic style guidelines:

  • Vertical stripes or patterns make the ceiling appear higher.
  • Horizontal stripes or patterns seem to widen a room and bring ceilings down.
  • Large patterns generally don’t look good in a small room because they tend to overpower the space and make it seem smaller. A large, open pattern looks best in a larger space.
  • A mini-print or a paper with a small pattern or geometric design suits smaller dimensions.
  • Dark colours make a room seem smaller.
  • Wallpaper with a light background makes a room look larger.

Type of wallpaper

Commonly used paper types:

Paper is measured in grams per square metre (GSM) and will typically be described by a number, i.e. 120, 130, 150 GSM, etc. A PVC vinyl on the other hand is made up of two distinct layers and consequently will be denoted by two figures, such as 80/90, 100/120, 120/200, etc. The first figure denoting the paper weight, the second the vinyl.

The logic of paper being measured by weight is in that it is not possible to accurately measure it by thickness. All paper is processed through a series of rollers during manufacturing that effectively squashes the sheet as thin as desired. However, the weight of the paper, regardless of how many times it is squashed, remains constant.

Uncoated Papers

An uncoated paper is a wood fibre sheet that has no discernible surface coating on it. The face of the paper is therefore relatively rough when compared to coated papers. The paper face is calendered (flattened) to give it a degree of smoothness for printing. Uncoated papers are normally valued and appreciated for their soft aesthetic qualities, as they are not particularly serviceable once hung. They should easily allow surface paste contamination to be wiped off during hanging, however no attempt should be made to remove surface glue once dry.

They’re generally best suited to a room that has relatively low pedestrian traffic and no moisture issue, e.g. living rooms, dining rooms or bedrooms.

NOTE: As a general rule of thumb, uncoated papers would be spongeable with a damp cloth.

Coated Papers

A coated paper has the same fibrous backing layer as uncoated paper, but with a very smooth day/light vinyl coating laid on top that will readily accept the majority of print processes.

Coated papers are a good compromise between uncoated and heavy vinyls. They can be used in most environments as the coating gives a reasonable level of protection against moisture. However, it may not be appropriate to use them if the intended area is high in humidity, such as small, poorly ventilated bathrooms or kitchens.

They offer reasonable protection against the likes of grubby finger marks and general soiling and it’s possible that some of these marks may be removed using a soft damp sponge and a mild detergent solution. Absolutely no abrasives or cleaning detergents should be used.

It’s also unreasonable to expect them to withstand anything solvent based, such as pens, ink paints etc. Neither should there be an expectation for anything fatty, like cooking oil or peanut butter to be removed.

NOTE: As a general rule of thumb, coated papers (light weight vinyl) would be washable.

PVC (Heavy Vinyl Coated Papers)

PVC coated papers, or vinyls as they’re commonly known, consist of a heavy fibrous backing layer with a soft, flexible PVC coating laid on top. The vinyl wallcovering is printed with the design when it is still in a smooth state; it’s not until after it’s been printed that it is ‘embossed’ to create the textured finish.

Vinyls have significant advantages when it comes to their performance on the wall. Vinyls are generally much heavier than standard papers because they have two layers. Given also that the top layer is PVC it makes the paper particularly easy to handle when hanging.

Vinyls are hard wearing and beautiful to hang, due mainly to the combined weight and strength of the PVC and paper layers. Vinyls have a PVC coating that is resistant to moisture, and when used in conjunction with a light ready mixed adhesive they become particularly suitable for high humidity rooms, such as bathrooms and kitchens. They offer some degree of impact resistance and are therefore better suited than any of the other papers if there are young children in the house.

Heavy vinyls generally have very strong fire ratings. Whilst this makes them particularly suitable for contract use, hotels, office blocks, hospitals etc., their opportunity for use around the home should not be underestimated. Another benefit of vinyl over paper is when the consumer chooses to redecorate. The PVC top layer is peelable and will pull off, if not in one complete strip, at least in big pieces. Once this is removed the backing layer can be made wet and easily scraped off.

NOTE:As a general rule of thumb, heavy vinyl wallcoverings would be washable or scrubbable.

Non-Woven Uncoated Substrates

Non-woven, often referred to as ‘paste-the-wall’, products do not have paper as the base or web but instead are made of a synthetic blend, making this more dimensionally stable than the paper base products discussed above.

Non-wovens tend to have a comforting soft fabric-like feel to them and have the aesthetic qualities of an uncoated paper.  Their real benefits however, are in the hanging. Because there’s no expansion when adhesive is applied, there is no need to leave the paper to soak-out like conventional papers.

So you can paste the wall instead of the back of the paper. This allows it to be hung directly from the roll, making hanging simpler and less messy.

NOTE: Non-Woven Uncoated bases can be layered with a vinyl layer and be printed or embossed, just like the conventional paper based products discussed above.

Have a browse through our great selection of wallpaper here.

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