Types of Wallpapers

Various types of wallpaper are available ranging in price from under £1 to many hundreds per roll. Knowing the types of wall paper will help you choose the right one for your needs.

  • Lining Paper. As the name suggests, this type does not give a decorative finish, it is used on bare walls and ceilings in preparation for painting or papering. The advantage of Lining paper is that it will cover strong colours already on the walls or ceiling. As a general rule, lining paper is hung in the opposite direction to the top paper.
  • Woodchip. A relatively cheap wallpaper with small chips of wood on the finished side. Woodchip wallpaper is available in a number of grades from fine to coarse (referring to the size of chips). It is ideal for hiding defects in walls but can be used on most surfaces. Normally it is painted (after the paper has dried) to give various colour schemes - depending upon the type of paint used, it can be repainted later to give an inexpensive facelift.
  • Pulps. Probably the cheapest type of wallpaper, it is just paper with a pattern printed upon it. It is easy to hang (and strip off) although you need to be careful not to over stretch it when hanging it as this can cause problems when trying to match patterns.
  • Washable. Not to be confused with Vinyl coated below, Washable wallpaper has just a thin coat on transparent plastic over the pattern on an underlying pulp paper. The coating make them more resistant to stains and marks and means that they can be regularly wiped down.
  • Vinyl-coated. Normally a thin skin of vinyl (plastic) with a paper backing, with any pattern printed onto the vinyl. Easy to hang and fairly easy to strip. Washable and tough, ideal for kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Vinyl. These tend to be tougher than vinyl-coated wallpapers as the vinyl skin is thicker. When hanging Vinyl wallpaper, the paste is normally applied to the wall first and then the wallpaper fixed to it. Vinyl wallpaper can be hard to strip as the vinyl is largely impervious to water. Washable and tough, ideal for kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Anaglypta. These are plain embossed patterned papers which are normally painted over. The patterns vary - from light, random 'line' patterns (like the grain of leather) to heavily embossed geometric patterns which need to be lined up strip to strip - the range of patterns is enormous. Like Woodchip, Anaglypta wallpapers are ideal for hiding defects in walls and, depending upon the type of paint used, it can be repainted later to give an inexpensive facelift.
  • Embossed. These are embossed colour patterned wallpaper with a decorative finish. They can, however, be overpainted either from day one, when the pattern becomes faded or just to give a facelift to a room.
  • Blown vinyl. These are like the embossed wallpaper above except that the finish is vinyl giving a tough surface finish.
  • Flocks. These are one of the oldest types of wallpaper having a raised patterns in fibres which look and feel like velvet. Traditionally widely used in pubs, restaurants, clubs, etc., but can be used in any house subject to taste. They can become easily marked as the natural tendency when one sees this type of wallpaper is to reach out and feel it.
  • Hand-printed. Hand-printed are still available but cost a lot of money. Generally they are supplied untrimmed and are not very widely available. They should only be hung by professional paperhangers as, being untrimmed, a lot more skill is required. Definitely not a job for the weekend diy'er.