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A guide to buying wallpaper

Monday, 20 March 2017

a white chair beside a wooden tableIn the current day and age of continuous innovation and modernization, it can be difficult to keep up. Even buying wallcovering can be a head-scratching task, looking at the wide range of designs, patterns, fabrics and brand-new aspects you might never even have thought of. Unless you deal with wallpapers regularly, it can be quite a challenge to understand the array of icons and terms accompanying the wallpaper you want to get!

These icons and their meaning are standardised by, what is called, DIN EN 235. It specifies all the characteristics of the wallpapers. Think of water and wash resistance, light resistance, how to handle the patterns when applying the wallpapers, decorating and removing the wall coverings. These all are important characteristics you should take into consideration when buying new wallcovering. It depends on which room you want to place the wallcovering. Bedroom wallpaper will not get dirty as fast as kitchen wallpaper. So for the kitchen, you should buy washable wallcovering. In addition to the washability of the wallpaper, does your room have many windows? Then you would want to have good lightfastness of the wallpaper. Would you be someone to redecorate repeatedly? Choose a wallcovering that is easy to remove.

Washable or scrubbable wallpaper?

While living, it is common for stains to occur. Especially in children’s rooms, kitchens or living rooms. How nice would it be if you could remove these stains without damaging the wallcovering? The following icons will explain to which extent the wallpapers can withstand water, soap sponges or even brushes. Higher-quality wallpaper will usually be more washable than their more affordable counterparts.

Water resistant Water Resistant: You can dab fresh stains with a slightly damp sponge.
washable wallpaper Washable wallpaper: You can remove light marks with a damp sponge.
highly washable wallpaper Highly washable: You can remove soiling (except for oils, greases solvent-containing stains, etc.) with a mild soapy solution and a sponge.
Scrubbable wallpaper Scrubbable wallpaper: Use a sponge or a soft brush to remove water-soluble soiling with a mild detergent or a light soapy solution.
abrasion resistant Abrasion-resistant: You can remove water-soluble stains with soap or abrasive detergent with a sponge or a brush.

What does lightfastness mean for wallcovering?

The lightfastness is the extent to which the colour of the wallpapers will last. Sunlight is notorious for causing the colours of wallpapers to fade. The ranking goes from moderate to excellent. Most wallpapers have the mark: Good lightfastness. This means that under normal circumstances the colours would last for approximately 50 years. Under normal circumstances means indoors and under indirect sunlight only. It's a common occurrence that around windows the wallpaper is always a bit lighter. However, this is not very noticeable because there will always be more light around the window. Look for these symbols so you do not have to worry that your beautiful colourful wallpaper will fade.

moderate lightfastness Moderate lightfastness
satisfactory lightfastness Satisfactory lightfastness
good lightfastness Good lightfastness
very good lightfastness Very good lightfastness
excellent lightfastness Excellent lightfastness

Pattern wallpaper: What should you pay attention to?

several rolls of wallpaper

During redecorating you will notice wallcovering has different patterns. The icons below will show you how to consider these patterns. If you bought a nice pattern to decorate your home with, naturally you want it to look perfect on your wall. These icons will help you plan how you should apply the wallcovering for optimal results.

free match Free match: You do not have to pay attention to the pattern when applying the wallpaper.
straight match Straight match: You must stick the same pattern next to each other at the same height.
offset match Offset Match: To apply the next strip of wallpaper, you should closely pay attention and use the centimetres provided.
reverse alternate lenghts Reverse alternate lengths: Every next strip of wallpaper should be applied upside down.

Removable wallpaper: which one is easy?

If you want another look, feel or atmosphere in your home and you want to redecorate, these icons will indicate how to remove the different types of wallcovering. Some may be easier to remove than others. Maybe something to take into account the next time you buy wallpaper?

removeable wallpaper Removable wallpaper (or Strippable): These can be removed completely without using water. It also does not leave any residues.
peelable Peelable: You can remove the upper layer completely. The lower layer remains on the wall as protection of the wall.
remove when humid Remove when humid: During removal, the wall covering should be moisturised and then removed with a spatula.

How should the wallpaper be applied?

These icons will tell you how to apply the different types of wallcovering. For example how you should use the glue, or maybe you don't have to use separate glue at all.

apply adhesive on wallpaper Apply adhesive on wallpaper: The adhesive should be applied to the backside of the wall covering
paste the wall wallpaper Paste the wall wallpaper: Apply the adhesive to the wall, and then apply the covering to the wall.
prepasted wallpaper Prepasted wallpaper: The backside of the wallpaper is already coated with a layer of glue. You only have to apply some water to activate the glue.

Keep in mind that not every glue is suitable for wall covering applications.

General characteristics of wallpaper

impact resistant surface Impact-resistant surface: Especially robust wallpaper with an elastic surface.
overlap and double seam cut Overlap and double seam cut: With heavy wallpapers, you have to overlap the seam by approximately 5-8 cm and then cut the seam with a wallpaper knife.
duplex embossed wallpaper Duplex embossed wallpaper: The wallpaper consists of two paper layers. These layers stay intact during decorating, and give a special look and feel. These are to be known as high-quality wallpapers.

Now you know everything about wallcovering symbols and how to care for your wallpaper. We always advise you to follow the recommendations from the manufacturer to be sure. The characteristics of these wallpapers will make it easier to choose the best wallcovering for the room to place it in.

This applies to all the wallpapers available in our online shop. Think about A.S. Creation wallcovering with its beautiful collections filled with creative, colourful and real-life designs. They will amaze you with their many different patterns. A.S. Création have worked together with various designers to create luxury wallpapers, that definitely will be the perfect completion for your room. Or take a look at the Rasch collection, this brand has been around for more than 150 years, you can buy children's wallpaper or choose the most suitable decoration for your living room and kitchen. We have at BRICOFLOR UK even more to offer. We invite you to take a look around at our webshop and buy your new wallcovering online now!

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