What is the difference between paper, coated fabric and vinyl coated wallpaper?

We are all looking for to make an instant transformation in our spaces, but there are so many options to choose from. Where do you even start? We look at the best three wallpaper material options, the positives, negatives and the best place for you to use them.

Paper wallpaper

The most well known of the papers and refers to a wall covering make from a printed pattern/design straight on to paper without any coating on it. Because of the lack of coating it can get easily damaged and is difficult to clean. If you try and clean it with a damp cloth or sponge it will more than likely tear. If the ink used is not UV protected, it is also more likely to fade in direct sunlight.

Positives: Cost effective, large selection

Negatives: A faff to hang, easily damaged

Ideal for: Bedrooms/Dining room/Library

Coated vinyl wallpaper

Vinyl wallpaper is composed of a paper layer on which the design is printed. The paper is then coated (with either acrylic vinyl or polyvinyl chloride coating) which then makes the material resistant to water and water vapour, making it suitable for kitchens, bathrooms and playrooms. The great thing about vinyl coated wallpapers/decals is that it can be cleaned with soap and water or cleaning sponge.

Coatings may also contain chemical additives such as dispersants and resins to give water resistance and wet strength to the paper or to protect against sunlight. Coatings can also give extra qualities to the wallpaper such as surface gloss, smoothness or reduced ink absorbency.

Positives: Water resistant. Easy to clean. Easy to hang.

Negatives: Added chemicals used. Cost.

Ideal for: Play rooms/Bathrooms/Kitchens/Hallways

Coated fabric vinyl wallpaper

Instead of printing on paper, the design is printed on a coated fabric. Unlike the vinyl coated paper (where the coating goes on top of the design), coated fabric has the design printed on top of the coating - not the fabric, therefore not giving your wallpaper as much protection as the coated vinyl. Coated fabric is a beautiful product and should be used in rooms which you entertain in (living rooms or dining rooms). I would not advise you use them in bathrooms or kitchens.

If you order a vinyl products through Squark Design, please let us know which room you plan to use them. This way we can ensure you have the right product for your room.

Positives: Beautiful look. Tactile. Easy to hang.

Negatives: Cost.

Ideal for: Living rooms/Dining rooms/Bedrooms

Further information

How often should I refresh or update my wall decor or coverings?

How do I work out the square meter area of my wall?

How do I measure my walls correctly for rolls of wallpaper?


If you would like to contact us…

Phone: 01476 245052

Email: info@squarkdesign.co.uk

Website: www.squarkdesign.com