Types of Wallpaper

Choosing wallpaper is difficult enough, but choosing it when you don’t know the different types of wallpaper available can be even more difficult.  What’s available in wall coverings:

Vinyl Wallpaper

Solid vinyl wallpaper can be pooh-poohed by many, but it is the most durable and waterproof wall covering.  Ideal for humid rooms such as the bathroom or kitchen, it’s scrubbable and easy to clean, making it a good choice for playrooms as well.  But removability is a problem, as the removers can't penetrate the covering.  Consider vinyl coated instead.

Vinyl Coated Wallpaper

The most common type of wallpaper, it’s a wallpaper with a protective coat of vinyl that gives it the same quality of easy cleaning and durability as vinyl.  Vinyl coasted wallpaper is preferred over vinyl wallpaper because it’s strippable, making it easier to remove and more user-friendly.

Paper Wallpaper

Paper wallpaper is just that – paper with no protective coating, it’s fairly uncommon to find today, and it was used ‘back in the day’ when wallpaper paste was actually a flour mixture!  If you do try a paper wallpaper, be forewarned – it doesn’t hold up well in humidity, and is hard to handle as wet paper is difficult to handle and tears easily.

Embossed Wallpaper

Embossed wallpapers obviously have a textured design to them and are the best choice for hiding damage to walls.  Embossed wallpapers with no design except the texture are often referred to as Anaglypta, which was actually a trade name popular back in the 1900’s, and it is usually painted after installation. Other embossed wallpapers also have a colored pattern along with the texture.

Embossed papers can also be used to simulate ceiling tiles from the Victorian era, and are a good option for covering problem ceilings, as the Anaglypta style can be painted over.  They can also be an option for a backsplash.

Flocked Wallpaper

Flocked wallpapers have patterns with a felt-like fiber that resembles velvet. Since they’re one of the oldest styles of wallpaper, they fell out of favor for many years as being too busy and old-fashioned.  New styles and designs are bringing them back into fashion, but they're best for low humidity and low traffic rooms such as dining rooms.

Fabric Wallpaper

There are two types of fabric wallpaper, fabric with a vinyl front that is often used in commercial areas and a fabric based wallpaper for residences.  The fabric based wallpaper is usually a paper backed fabric.  It is difficult to hang and a special paste must be used, not to mention difficult to clean.  But it sure looks nice.

Grass & Burlap

Grass cloth and burlap wall coverings are hot right now because of the environmentally friendly trend.  They can’t be used in high traffic or humid areas and don’t wear very well and may become stained.