What are the different wallpaper types?

  • Vinyl wallpaper
  • Non Woven wallpaper
  • Murals
  • Natural fibres like Grasscloth
  • Pre pasted wallpaper
  • Anaglypta wallpaper
  • Lining paper

Which wallpaper type is best?

The answer to this really depends on what your individual needs are; for example which room the wallpaper is being hung. How much you want to spend. And the overall aesthetic you are hoping to achieve. Also whether you are planning on hanging it yourself.

So lets break all the wallpaper types down to help you decide which wallpaper type you need.

What is Vinyl wallpaper?

Vinyl wallpaper comes in a few forms. The most common has a paper back and a decorative vinyl top layer.

A vinyl wallpaper type is durable and hardwearing this makes it a perfect product for a commercial venue. However contemporary wallpaper manufacturers understand that many residential buyers want a quality wallpaper that can withstand more than a paper based wallpaper. And so there are many choices on the market. 

For wallpaper going in a bathroom or toilet this is generally the recommended type to be used. This is because the front can be wiped however be aware that the backing is still paper based, susceptible to mould and not waterproof. 

Wallpaper made of vinyl is washable and sometimes even scrubbable during installation and for aftercare.

Vinyl wallpaper types will need to be installed using a good quality paste. It may be paste the wall or paste the paper application method.

tropical leaf wallpaper

What is a non woven wallpaper?

Non woven refers to the backing of the wallpaper. It is the biggest leap in modern wallpaper innovation. Meaning it is the answer to not having to steam and scrap wallpaper from walls when you want to remove it. This is because it is usually always strippable. It also usually applied using the easier paste the wall method.

Another great feature is being resistant to mould.  Wallpaper that is non woven means it is a breathable material that contains a combination of natural and synthetic fibers. Non-woven wallpaper is often considered more environmentally friendly than vinyl. Some manufacturers use environmentally friendly inks and sustainably sourced materials.

This type of wallpaper also has excellent dimensional stability. Meaning it does not expand or contract when exposed to changes in humidity or temperature.

In a nutshell it is easier to install as instead of pasting the paper you paste the wall. 

Black wallpaper Burnt Wood by NLXL faux timber effect
Burnt Wood

What is the difference between wallpaper and a mural?

A mural is a wallpaper. The main differences when we talk of what makes a mural are the visual impact and the way they are hung.

Murals are typically a digitally printed non woven wallpaper of a scene or a single image in a large scale design. It is printed in panels and is customised to fit your wall.  Whereas a wallpaper is a repeating pattern usually bought in rolls.

A mural is hung in panels from left to right on the wall. Each panel will be the right the height for your wall. Rolls of wallpaper need the pattern matched for each drop. And you can start from whichever is the most appropriate place. You use whatever you need from each roll cutting the right size lengths as you go.

Custom wallpaper mural of a bridge and city at night
A Bridge Mural
tropical palm tree wallpaper
A repeating pattern

How to choose a wallpaper mural

One of the best advantages to ordering a mural for your wall is that it is a great chance to let your individuality shine. It also allows you, as any feature wall, to draw the eye to a specific point in the room. A mural creates a dramatic backdrop and a great talking point.

It allows you to tell a story about that room; a movie themed mural for a cinema room. A beach themed mural for a coastal home.

Murals are very popular in a commercial setting such as a cafe, restaurant or bar.

We can custom make murals to feature the company logo or branding.

Most murals will still have a promiment colour and this colour is the one you want to ensure works with the colours already in the room such as furnishings or window dressings.

Ensure the wall you choose for you mural has as little on it as possible in the way of windows, air conditioner units etc. This firstly ensures as little as possible detracts the eye. As well as not having part of the image cut away during installation to allow for a door cavity or something.

My top tip for choosing a mural is to ensure the design suits the size of the wall. For example don’t choose an image that is horizontal (like a sweeping landscape) on a wall that is taller than it is long as you will loose much of the image. As well as loosing much of the grand effect.

Ocean mural

What is Grasscloth wallpaper?

Grasscloth wallpaper is a natural fibre which is hand woven and has a wallpaper backing. Other similar products that come under the same umbrella are grassweave, sisal, bamboo, jute, seagrass and raffia.

These differ as a wallpaper type because the finished look is more rustic than a traditionally hung wallpaper. There will be tags, frays and differences in colour. And the joins will show.  Each panel may be different or offset. These “imperfections” are what make the look and are to be embraced. If you are looking for a seamless finish this wallpaper type may not be for you. In this case you may want to know more about a faux grasscloth.

The best thing about grasscloth wallpaper is it creates a wonderful layer of texture to the room without necessarily being the main focus. This allows you to interchange furnishings etc while keeping the wallpaper. Grasscloth lends a definite air of luxury and warm to a room. However while it it more expensive than many non woven wallpapers, it’s worth it if you love this look and appreciate that it’s hand made.

A Grasscloth wallpaper is not washable and should be cleaned with caution. Any moisture can cause the natural fibers to discolor or warp, so it’s best to dry-dust gently.

Pre Pasted wallpaper

Prepasted wallpaper is made with a paste already applied to the backing. To install this wallpaper type water just needs to be liberally sprayed on to activate the paste.

This is different to a Peel and Stick product which is literally a giant sticker. Whereby you peel off the backing to expose the glue.

The plus side to these are that you dont need to buy additional glue if you are installing it yourself. The downside is you are reliant on whatever glue is on there to do a good job. Sometimes if not tacky enough bubbles can appear. Some stickers are too tacky and don’t allow for movement of the paper to line up sheets. So you have 1 shot at getting it right. 

Kingdom Home pre pasted wallpaper featuring jungle animals in a childcare ventre
Kingdom Home Pre Pasted wallpaper

What is Anaglypta wallpaper?

Anaglypta, if you cant pronounce it, is also known as paintable wallpaper. So it comes as a white embossed patterned wallpaper that can be painted in any colour after installation.

It is usually in a traditional style pattern because it is a classical wallpaper technique. Anaglypta is one of the best known and oldest wallpaper brands, starting in 1887.

Anaglypta wallpaper

Do I need lining paper?

Lining wallpaper is another traditional wallpaper type. It needs to be used if the condition of the wall substrate is not of a good enough standard to hang wallpaper directly.

This comes as a roll of white wallpaper that will be hung underneath the chosen wallpaper. Serving as an extra layer of thickness to smooth the surface so the wallpaper that is hung over the top has the best result.

It is a common misconception that wallpaper itself will cover imperfections in a wall. Depending on the extent of imperfections as well as the thickness of the wallpaper, imperfections may well still show through. In this scenario a lining paper is recommended if the wall itself can’t be repaired.

If horsehair plaster is present it is also recommended to have lining paper first. 

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