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 that really depends on what your individual needs are; Which room the wallpaper is being hung. How much you want to spend. The overall aesthetic you are hoping to acheive. And whether you are hanging it yourself.

So lets break all the wallpaper types down…

What is Vinyl wallpaper?

A 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 vinyl wallpaper choices on the market. Vinyl wallpaper is washable and sometimes even scrubbable.

A vinyl wallpaper type will need to installed using a good quality paste and may be paste the wall or paste the paper.

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. It is the answer to not having to steam and scrap wallpaper from walls when you want to remove it. As it is usually strippable. And is resistant to mould.

A Non woven wallpaper type is a breathable material that contains a combination of natural and synthetic fibers. It is easier to install as instead of pasting the paper you paste the wall. 

Navy bedroom wallpaper

What is the difference between wallpaper and a mural?

A mural is a wallpaper. The main difference is the visual impact and the way they are hung.

A mural is 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. Each panel will be the right the height for your wall. A roll of wallpaper will need the pattern matched for each drop. You can start from whichever is the most appropriate place. And you use whatever you need from that roll. Cutting the right size lengths as you go.

bridge mural
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 a 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 also 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, restuarant or bar. Some murals can feature the company logo or branding.

Most murals will still have a prodiment 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.

But 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?

A 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 as the finished look is more rustic than a traditionally hung wallpaper. There will be tags, frays and differences in colour. 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. 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. And while it it more expensive than many non woven wallpapers its worth it if you love this look and appreciate that is was hand made.

Pre Pasted wallpaper

Prepasted wallpaper is made with a paste already applied to the backing. For installation water just needs to be 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. 

What is Anaglypta wallpaper?

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

It is usually in a traditional style pattern as 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?

A 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.

It is literally a roll of white wallpaper. This serves as an extra layer of thickness to smooth the surface so the top wallpaper 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. They may well still show through. In this scenario a lining paper is recommended. If horsehair plaster is present it is also recommended to have lining paper 1st.