Wallpaper is a very common alternative option to paining a room. It provides a very large variety of patterns, colors, and finishes to choose from. The wallpaper can be dramatic, whimsical, comforting, stimulating, formal, casual, and on and on. Wallpaper has the largest selection to allow you to show your personality in any form, be it traditional, transitional, contemporary, or just plain 'off the wall'.
There are 10 basic types of wallpaper from which to choose:
- Printed wallpaper - general category with printed patterns.
- Unbacked fabric - most difficult because you have to work carefully to smooth out the fabric as you apply it to the wall.
- Relief - raised texture that you can feel.
- Solid vinyl - most durable wall covering and because it's waterproof it's ideal for very humid areas.
- Vinyl coated - most common, made of paper but with a protective coat of vinyl that makes it ideal (and allows scrubbing) for kitchens, bathrooms or wherever kids or pets might brush against a wall. Vinyl coated wallpaper is usually strippable, which makes it easy to pull off a wall and re-paper with a new pattern.
- Flocked - usually considered "old fashioned" which includes a raised felt pattern that contrasts with the background color.
- Foil - known best by the brand name "Mylar" can be difficult to work with because it shows imperfections in the wall surface and because it wrinkles easily.
- Cork-faced - thicker because they have a surface of cork. They give a room a cozy, dark and woodsy effect.
- Grass cloth/burlap - exotic, but shouldn't be used in high-traffic areas or where there's high humidity, because they can stain.
- Paper-backed fabric - high quality looks of a fabric wall covering but can be installed with the ease of a vinyl-coated paper.
Helpful tips: Consider pasting a liner on the wall before applying the wall covering. The liner hides many imperfections and makes it much easier to strip later. If you choose a wallpaper pattern that repeats, you'll have to order more than you would for a random pattern, a vertical pattern (like stripes) or a solid color because you'll have to shift each strip of the wallpaper to match up the patterns at the edges, which makes for considerable waste.
Wallpaper is back in a big way
Wallpaper is now very common again. The top trends of the modern day are murals and textured walls. Examples of these are streets scenes, baseball fields, and children's storybook fantasies. Murals have become a highly chosen option in customizing a room. Pretty much anything that can be glued can be put on the walls and turned into a mural: cloth, sand, glass, and etc. Wallpaper averages $20 to $30 per roll, but specialty wall coverings can cost more than $200 a yard.