Wallpaper is a most popular finish material. In order to not get confused with a huge range of available products and to limit the task to choosing the colour and pattern only, be sure to know wallpaper types and their differences.
Wallpaper consists of a substrate, a decorative coating and a protective outer layer, if provided by the manufacturer. The substrate is directly coated with adhesive and contacts the surface that the wallpaper is applied to. Therefore, the choice of an appropriate substrate is necessary to ensure good result and the lifecycle of the wallpaper stipulated by the manufacturer.
Wallpaper classification by materials:
Paper based. Advantages: hygroscopicity, breathability, relatively low price. Disadvantages: low resistance to humidity and temperature fluctuations, mechanical stress, cleaning; risk of deformation, low strength and, therefrom, troublesome handling.
Vlieseline based. Advantages: strength, tolerance to building settlement, neat smooth surface capable of masking wall defects. Disadvantages: heavy weight, relatively high price.
Textile based. Advantages: hygroscopicity, elasticity, no deformation. Disadvantages: troublesome handling, relatively high price.
Paper. Paper materials are thin, susceptible to easy deformation and breaking, even if composed of two or three layers. However, it is a popular option thanks to a great variety of patterns and colours, as well as low price.
Vinyl – PVC coated paper substrate; can be foamed, compact, silk screen. Vinyl wallpaper is readily washable, resistant to moisture and sunlight, suitable for painting.
Acryl – a thinner vinyl-like coating with similar properties, but more durable and cheaper.
Vlieseline – a textured wallpaper, durable and slightly elastic which ensures great performance properties at high price. Special adhesive is required.
Cellulose or cotton mass, aka liquid wallpaper, that creates a one-piece canvas without seams in the finished surface. It is environmentally friendly, perfect for children's rooms, easy to repair locally, can be painted. The disadvantages include relatively high price and vulnerability to moisture.
Textiles – jute, hopsack, flax, velor, felt, synthetic materials. Luxurious appearance and pleasant tactile qualities are balanced by a high price, vulnerability to moisture and sunlight, as well as difficulties in application.
Glass fibre is one of the most durable wall coverings, suitable for painting. It can be used in high-humidityenvironments, but is relatively expensive, and also requires skill in application, being heavy.
Natural vegetative matters – bamboo, jute, cork. These are cco-friendly, aesthetic, pleasant to the touch, with excellent sound insulation properties. Disadvantages: high production cost, limited range of colours and patterns.
Linkrusta is a unique covering made from a mixture of wood flour, plasticisers, pigments and additives to achieve the desired surface texture. Linkrusta imitates embossed wall tapestries and looks very impressive. Disadvantages: high price, complicated handling.
Mineral or quartz wallpaper is a plastic mass with the addition of quartz chips. It is demanding as toapplication skills, and quite expensive. The finished coating is durable, looks solid and resembles a sand or stone surface.
Photo wallpaper. Whatever the covering material, the pattern makes not a repeating ornament, but a solid large image. Generally, photo wallpapers are used to emphasize a certain part of the room, and can be personalised.
There are smooth and embossed wallpapers. Smooth surface accentuates every wall defect, but lays particular emphasis on the wallpaper colour and pattern. Textured wall surface can visually mask minor imperfections, but the pattern of an embossed wallpaper is far not as readily recognisable as of a smooth one.
53 cm is a popular width of a wallpaper roll, and 1.06 metre is also available, usually for Vlieselin and paintable fiberglass wallpapers.
Wallpapers can be used not only to decorate walls, but also to cover the ceiling, to distinguish separate areas of a room, to conceal or, on the contrary, emphasise architectural elements (columns, corners, arches, stepped vaults, etc.).
According to the special properties, wallpapers can be moisture-resistant, washable, durable, “breathable” natural, imitating the texture of various materials (stone, fabric, metal, etc.), noise-absorbing, fluorescent-patterned, coatable (paintable, varnishable).