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Wallpaper Types


In addition to choosing a wallpaper design, you should know a little about the different types before making your purchase

Wallpaper choices have expanded so much in the last ten years and their popularity remains as they become easier for do-it-yourselfers to install. Here is an overview of wallpaper types and styles.

Removable papers: These are a lot easier to install and take down than previous papers. They may be packaged as pre-pasted or unpasted (with some new styles, you coat the wall with paste - not the paper).

Peelable: These papers have two layers. When you are ready to replace the paper, just peel back the decorative top layer. A plain paper layer remains. Some manufacturers state you can simply reapply new wallpaper over this layer, but experts recommend that this liner be removed the old-fashioned way before putting up new paper.

Vinyl: many of these are durable papers and some are deemed scrubbable and stain resistant (solid vinyls). Some are vinyl-layered with a fabric or paper backing. Ask the dealer when you are shopping; some of these papers are prone to tearing during installation; some offer no pre-pasting options.

"True" paper - these are the papers we remember from grandma's home and are the most difficult to apply when wet. Some newer styles do have a light vinyl coating for protection.

Before you decide on one of the above papers, there's more to know about the surface that will be exposed to you and your family's lifestyle.

Colorfast papers: these papers will stand up well in a sunny room, especially if you have selected brightly colored prints. Most papers are designed to hold their colors.

Washable: this indicates a paper that can be lightly sponged (use a recommended cleaning solution). Apply washable papers in living rooms and dining rooms if kid traffic is minimal.

Scrubbable: these are workhorse papers and can live through a good brush cleaning with detergent or approved cleaning solution. A perfect choice for bathrooms, kitchens, and kids' rooms.

Stain resistant: Can be used in the same places as scrubbable papers.

Within any of these categories, you'll find so many textures: metallic, grass, flocked, and faux painting finishes. Some wallpaper types are easy to clean; others are dust-catchers. The grassy and cloth papers, such as burlap, do not wear well in areas with high-humidity and are not stain-proof.

Be sure to ask questions and check the labels on all papers before you make that final decision.

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