Wallpaper is an extremely popular wall decoration with a long tradition and a rich history, dating from Renaissance times. Used as a replacement for the more expensive and exclusive woven tapestries, wallpaper slowly gained more and more attention, becoming one of the most successful home interior items in the Western European world. In fact, England and France soon became the top European countries to manufacture wallpaper, but nowadays the general market is dominated by German brands A.S. Creation and rasch.
Usually made of paper, vinyl, or nonwoven fabric, wallpaper is extremely easy to install without much mess. It thus allows you to instantly elevate the look of any room and effortlessly make huge changes in terms of interior design. No wonder this product is so sought after! With a great variety of designs ands qualities, these wall coverings are guaranteed to fit any trend. Be it elegant or bold, pale or vividly colourful, wallpaper is the go-to item for an instant uplift of your home, and you can even reconnect with your inner decorator by mixing and matching different patterns, zoning wider spaces, and actually installing the wallpaper yourself. It's that easy! All you need is special wallpaper paste or glue, measurement and cutting tools. In addition to their exquisite appearance, some wallpapers will also provide added protection for the walls, or hide existing dents and imperfections. Read on to see some of the more popular types of wallpaper, what sets them apart and some highlights from our online shop.
Different materials, different types
If you try to look online for all the different types of wallpaper out there, you'll be facing tonnes of information on many different websites, some more detailed than others. Moreover, manufacturers and big retailers alike seem to use their own classification systems that differ from one another, so in the end the system seems fully arbitrary. For instance, Graham & Brown split their wallpaper into "paste the wall" and "paste the wallpaper", depending on where you need to apply the gluing paste, while rasch and A.S. Creation give you 10 different classifications, depending on the material the wallpaper is made of. On BRICOFLOR UK, we tend to go for the latter option, but in a simpler and more user-friendly way. Still, we will give you a few details on our wallpaper type filter, so when you browse the shop, you will know exactly what to look for.
What to keep in mind
Given the fact that all these manufacturers classify their products in such different ways, it is almost impossible to come up with a set number of materials that would fit every product out there. Nonetheless, broadly speaking, the three materials that you need to keep in mind are paper, non-woven materials and vinyl. Generally, these three are the most used ingredients in producing wallpaper. However, many times they will be combined layer by layer into an end product. For example, most vinyl wallpapers come with a paper or non-woven backing, while non-wovens and papers might have a thin vinyl layer for added protection. Of course, if you want to get extremely technical and detailed, you can find information about all the different variations and the specific names they bear. But for the normal consumer, the broad categories below should be enough to make a great choice.
Vinyl is unique within the wall coverings world, because it allows for three dimensional designs and texturized options, making it a unique design option. Types of vinyl wallpaper include expanded and satin, depending on the manufacturer. For instance, rasch Aqua Reliev IV is listed as vinyl on our website, and its products offer a glossy vinyl look. They are mostly intended for commercial use, given their sturdiness, resistance and the fact that they are washable.
These are printed with a special kind of ink or foam that, when heated, expands to create a 3D effect. That's why this type of material will most likely be used to emulate three-dimensional surfaces, such as brick or stone walls. The vinyl coating usually adheres to a paper or non-woven substrate, but when it comes to removing it, it can either be strippable (no residue left behind) or peelable (the paper layer is left behind and can be separately removed with soap and water). You should check the product specification to see the wallpaper's removal options. Additionally, the vinyl will usually allow for a waterproof surface that can be easily washed, but again, check all the specs to ensure that's the case. A few examples of such wallpaper can be found in the Dekora Natur 6 collection from A.S Creation. In the photo on the right you can see item number 6621-25, but if you want a darker and redder shade, you can opt for 6621-18.
They are characterised by a silky shininess that creates an elegant and light atmoshpere in your space. This effect is achieved by having a top layer made from fabric such as polyester, silk or viscose, on top of a paper or non-woven backing. Satin wallpapers are extremely durable, flame resistant, and washable. Thus, they are not only elegant, but also safe and practical. The A.S. Creation Swing Line features satin wallpapers with bold geometric designs, as well as solid colours, which you can mix and match into unique and playful combinations of silky geometry.
These are a relatively new product, but the most popular one by far, with more than 80% of our wallpaper range being non-wovens. This type builds on the classic paper type by having synthetic fibres added to the wallpaper fabric, thus creating a higher-quality product. This means that non-wovens are more breathable and easier to clean thanks to their washable surface. Compared to purely paper-based wallpapers, non-wovens are resistant to tear and are generally easier to install. All you have to do is paste the wall and then lay the wallpaper on top. No soaking required and thus no waiting times. Additionally, their removal is equally easy, as it can be done dry by simply peeling off the sheets. Other advantages include their dimensional stability (no expanding or contracting), eco-friendliness, as well as user-friendliness overall, due to easy installation and maintenance. If you are more of a DIY type of person, then non-woven wallpapers are definitely the best way to go.
Typically, this type of wallpaper is cheaper than the other varieties, as it is made from 100% cellulose fibres, but that also makes it environmentally friendly. It is produced using printed, embossed, and woven paper, and is usually composed of two layers, with the top one being printed with the design. However, they tend to tear easily both during installation, as well as removal, so you need to be a bit careful when manoeuvering paper wallpaper. Nonetheless, many products in the paper variety are still wash-resistant. Our shop has quite a big variety of paper wallpaper to choose from, but if you're looking for a particularly special and elegant look, you should have a look at the rasch Sensual 2015 collection.
Borders and trims
Some collections will also offer borders and trims alongside their wallpapers.
These are wallpaper strips that often feature a printed design with more detail or colour, and can be applied horizontally or vertically to add an accent to the wall. Some borders are even self-adhesive, making them extremely easy to install. They are usually made from the same materials as the collection they are part of.
Wallpaper - your decor buddy
Wallpaper creates endless design possibilities, as it can feature almost any design, colour, or texture. Additionally, it can be used as a dab of creativity in a larger design. This can be anything from an entire stylish wall featuring your favourite pattern or style, to an intricate border within a larger composition. Either way, wallpaper creates a unique opportunity to be creative and inventive with your room design. Browse our online shop to see the unique wall options we offer.