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Types of Wall Coverings

Wallpaper: Wallpaper, with its variety of patterns, colors and finishes, is a popular alternative to painting a room.

There are 10 basic types of wallpaper you can choose from:
* Printed wallpaper is the general category of manufactured wallpaper with printed patterns.
* Unbacked fabric is one of the most difficult styles because you have to work carefully to smooth out the fabric as you apply it to the wall.
* Relief has a raised texture that you can feel.
* Solid vinyl is the most durable, waterproof and is ideal for very humid areas.
* Vinyl coated is the most common type of wallpaper, made of paper but with a protective coat of vinyl that makes it ideal (and scrubbable) 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 is the type of wallpaper (usually ornate and considered “old fashioned”) which includes a raised felt pattern that contrasts with the background color.
* Foil (some people call it by the brand name “Mylar”) can be difficult to work with because it shows imperfections in the wall surface and because it can get wrinkled easily. But the silver, reflective surface and the patterns on many foil wallpapers can be strikingly contemporary.
* Cork-faced wallpapers are thicker because they have a surface of cork. They make for a cozy, dark and woodsy effect and can often be seen in family rooms or offices.
* Grass cloth/burlap wall coverings are exotic because they evoke the faraway cultures of Asia, but they can be surprisingly easy to work with because they stay stiff while pasting on the wall. They shouldn’t be used in high-traffic areas or where there’s high humidity, however, because they may not wear as well as other types and can stain.
* Paper-backed fabric shows the high-quality look of a fabric wall covering but can be installed with the ease of a vinyl-coated paper. The backing adds a stiffness that both hides defects in the wall and makes it easier to manage the fabric.

Need a liner?: You might consider pasting a liner over your wall before applying the wall covering of your choice. The liner will hide many imperfections in the wall and make it much easier to strip the covering off in the future for a new look.

Damage: Most wallpaper damage is inevitable with people and pets around, scratches and gouges are bound to appear, and any number of accidents and natural disasters can cause water or smoke damage. But a couple of common repairs are easy to make without having to call a Service Professional.

If the paste wasn’t evenly spread over the back of a strip, seams can come apart or corners can peel. You can buy wallpaper seam sealer (paste in a tube) for the job at your local paint and wallpaper dealer, and re-roll the edges.

Bubbles in wallpaper are caused by improper pasting and smoothing during the installation. You can pierce the bubble with a razor blade, squeeze in some seam sealer paste, roll over the bubble and wipe it clean. The spot should dry flat.

Order extra: Whether you’re using tiles, carpet, paint or wallpaper for your home services projects, it’s a good idea to order more material than you need. The extra supplies may come in handy if you change your mind and add more to your project, and for future use in repairs and maintenance.

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