What was once a sign of elegance and high social status centuries ago, wallpaper is now a form of wall décor that many homeowners hesitate to use. Many of us have encountered outdated or poorly condition wallpaper at least once. Certainly, we don’t want our homes looking like that.
Before you decide against adding wallpaper to your home decor, there are plenty of benefits that paint simply doesn’t provide. Choosing the right kind of wallpaper can transform a room. With the right application and modern style, you can add a unique element to your house. Here are a few things to consider to help you decide if wallpaper is right for your home.
What to Know
When it comes to wall décor, wallpaper provides a solution to completely change the look and feel of a room. Similar to paint, you have plenty of choices when it comes to wallpaper. Before you decide between the two, you have to understand the many variations of wallpaper.
Types & Textures
The type of wallpaper you choose is very important. To determine what type will be best, consider the room it’s going in. Some wallpapers, like vinyl, are best for areas with higher moisture, like the kitchen or bath. The types and textures of wallpaper available are:
- Coated Wallpaper: Like the name sounds, this wallpaper is paper coated with acrylic or vinyl. Another ideal choice for bathrooms or kitchens.
- Embossed Wallpaper: This type of wallpaper has a raised design surface, some made out of paper and some made out of linoleum. Embossed calls for a special, clay-based paste for application.
- Flock Wallpaper: If you’re looking for elegance, this wallpaper gives your room a raised velvet-textured look. This type of wallpaper takes more maintenance than most and should be carefully applied.
- Foil Wallpaper: By combining a thin sheet of foil with a paper backing, you can get a metallic look that makes a room sparkle. However, this wallpaper is very delicate, so hanging can be difficult.
- Grasscloth: For the green home, this wallpaper is made out of all-natural materials such as grass, roots or bamboo. It’s an environmentally-friendly style that will add a unique look to your walls.
- Removable Wallpaper: For renters or the indecisive, this peel-and-stick wallpaper is the easiest to apply and comes in many styles.
- Vinyl Wallpaper: The most common type available and usually an easier application compared to other wallpapers. Good for areas with higher moisture.
Unless you’re using removable wallpaper, you’ll likely have to adhere it to the wall. If you have chosen a non-pasted, or dryback, wallpaper you’ll need to choose what wallpaper glue or paste to use. Sometimes, the roll will have specifications on what paste will work best.
Here are the common types of wallpaper paste:
- Cellulose Paste
- Clay Paste
- Clear Paste
- Wheat Paste
- Vinyl-based Paste
If you don’t want the mess of working with paste, some wallpapers come pre-pasted or self-adhesive. See if the style you choose comes with these applicators to keep the job easy, if you plan on hanging yourself.
When looking at the room you plan to decorate, make sure the walls are smooth. If your wallpaper of choice has a pattern, watch for the match type. Random pattern match is great because you don’t have to pay attention to how the design matches. Drop match and straight across take more planning to make sure the pattern stays consistent. Measure the room to see what you need and plan to get extra as mistakes do happen. To see the total amount you’ll likely need, check out our wallpaper calculator.
Many homeowners worry that their choice of wallpaper is a permanent fixture in their room once installed. However, wallpaper can be removed.
Wallpaper removal can be a DIY project if you have some time and patience, as it must be carefully done. When stripping wallpaper, the key is to keep the wall as damage-free as possible. There are various products available based on what type of wallpaper is installed.
Advantages of Wallpaper
Today’s wallpaper is not your grandma’s wallpaper. Current trends point to accent walls with vibrant wallpaper patterns. With the variety offered, you can find wallpaper that fits your unique style and create a cozy atmosphere. If you’re room has a modern feel, go with a bold color. Topical and vignette patterns are making a bold appearance in homes again as accents to contemporary rooms. The use of wallpaper is acceptable in almost any room of your house, allowing for so many possibilities.
Wallpaper is also relatively inexpensive, depending on the style you choose. Many people think that it’s hard to maintain and clean, but newer styles are washable with a bit of soap and water. Wallpaper is known for being durable and some can last up to 15 years if properly cared for, unlike paint that needs to be touched-up every few years.
Disadvantages of Wallpaper
The biggest drawback of wallpaper is the time-consuming installation. As you can see from above, there are many factors in adhering the wallpaper to the wall just right. With paint, if you make a mistake, you simply can paint over it. But with wallpaper, a mistake can mean you may have to re-do some of your work. Installing wallpaper takes a careful eye and correct preparation to ensure the final product is just as you’d like.
Wallpaper also requires very careful and specific removal, which is often a factor that deters homeowners from installing. If you decide you don’t like the wallpaper chosen, it can’t be painted over. It must be removed without damaging the wall. The average cost of professional wallpaper removal is $624, depending on the type of wallpaper that was installed and the type of walls you have. Recently however, there have been some innovations in wallpaper design, such as removable wallpaper, that allows for easier flexibility in wall décor.
New wallpaper designs and applications are not what they once were. With modern innovations and contemporary patterns, it can be an easy DIY project. If your room needs a makeover, wallpaper could be the perfect solution. Look at the room’s function and current décor, along with the above information, to decide if it’s right for you.
Ready to change the look of your room with wallpaper? Call a pro and receive up to four free quotes today.