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Wallpaper buying guide

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Choosing your wallpaper

Wallpaper is a great way of giving a room a stylish new look with the minimum hassle. Modern wallpapers are easy to hang, and with a vast range of designs and textures to choose from, you’re sure to find a great style to brighten up your home.

These wall coverings are a good choice for beginners: 

  • Heavy paper - easier to hang than lightweight paper, which tears easily when wet.
  • Good-quality paper - cheaper paper can stretch or tear easily.

Always make sure that the batch numbers match when you buy your paper, or you could get some colour variations between rolls.

What are the different types of wallpaper?

Textured vinyl

Also known as blown vinyl, you can get a textured finish with this screen-printed or painted option. This type of wallpaper is easy to apply and remove, and is perfect for hanging on cracked walls or uneven surfaces.

Embossed

This type of wallpaper is made with an imprinted raised pattern. Take a little extra care when hanging it so that you don’t flatten the pattern.

Flock

Flock is an expensive, premium wallpaper that is created when fibres are bonded together in patterns on the paper.

Screen-printed

A delicate type of wallpaper. Screen-printed wallpaper is fashionable but expensive because it’s printed one roll at a time.

Lining paper

This is a type of plain wallpaper that goes on bare surfaces before the end product, making it ideal as a form of preparation if you are planning on painting or wallpapering your walls.

Paste the wall

This type of wallpaper has a special backing that means you can paste the wall instead of the paper. It’s quick and easy to hang, and you can choose from a variety of textured and printed finishes.

Standard wallpaper

These machine-printed choices give you a wide range of designs at prices to suit all budgets.

Vinyl

Often used in kitchens and bathrooms, this easy to clean option is a printed PVC surface on a paper backing.

Some other key features to look out for and take into consideration when selecting your wallpaper ...

What are the different styles of wallpaper?

Damask

Damask is a sophisticated and luxurious option that adds an elegant touch to any room. It works well in a traditional or modern setting, and looks great when it is used to create a feature wall.

Floral

Brightening any room, floral wallpaper is a vibrant option for a stylish makeover. It comes in a range of different colours and prints, meaning you’re sure to find something that will look great in your home.

Conversational

Add a bespoke backdrop to any room with conversational wallpaper. From quirky patterns to photo-realistic images, this style will bring a real energy to your room and makes for a different approach with an attractive finish.

Plain

Plain wallpaper is the perfect choice as an understated addition to a room that complements the other elements. Whether you’re looking to give your room an open space feel or set off a feature wall, plain wallpaper is a simple yet stylish solution.

Stripes

This timeless classic gives you the option of going for an adventurous or sophisticated design. Whether you’re looking for style and substance to work with the room or practicality to make a space look taller or wider, stripped wallpaper is a versatile option.

Browse our wallpaper galleries

What should I consider when buying wallpaper?

How much do I need?

Once you have chosen the style, you’ll need to measure the room and find out how many rolls of wallpaper you need. You get around 10m x 52cm with a standard roll of wallpaper. By calculating this exactly you can reduce wastage and simplify the job.

Get a head start with our quick estimate calculator.

What should I use in the kitchen or bathroom?

Both bathrooms and kitchens suffer from the issues of steam and condensation. These can be major concerns when fitting wallpaper because they can affect the longevity and look of a wall. With this in mind, it’s best to use a washable, vinyl wallpaper that is easy to wipe down – always check the paste for these because it can make a big difference. This is a good choice in nurseries and playrooms too.

How does light affect the wallpaper I need?

Use the light to your advantage when picking wallpaper and create a feel that works with the kind of light a room enjoys. Artificial light has a different look from natural, and darker rooms are generally better suited to deeper, warmer tones of paper.

What wallpaper is best for my room size?

Finding the right wallpaper is a combination of what scheme suits you and which style can transform the room. Wallpaper is great for creating illusions of space – light paper will make a room feel bigger, while vertical stripes add height to a room, pastel shades and horizontal stripes add width, and a large print will make a room feel smaller.

Should I use a feature wall?

Feature walls are rising in popularity and are commonplace in many contemporary homes. There are certain styles of wallpaper, like Damask, that do this job wonderfully, but you should always consider the room first. A feature wall should be the natural focus with wallpaper helping to accentuate that point.

How do I prepare for wallpapering correctly?

Preparation is crucial before you get started hanging wallpaper. To get the best results you need to check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the different types of paper in terms of what adhesive and paste you should use and whether the walls should be lined.

Get some inspiration with our decorating tool

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If you are ready to start hanging wallpaper, use our expert advice on how to make the job easier.

How to hang wallpaper

Measuring up

Step 1: Measure your room

Measure the total perimeter of the room in metres, including doors and windows, and divide by the width of the paper. Standard wallpaper rolls are 0.53m wide therefore divide by 0.53.

Step 2: Do a little maths

Multiply the height of the room (in metres) by the number of widths needed to get the total length of wallpaper required and divide this by the length of a roll. Standard wallpaper rolls are usually 10m in length therefore divide by 10. This is the number of rolls you'll need.

Always buy an extra roll or two. We'll refund any unopened rolls!

Helpful hint…

Use our Wallpaper calculator to help with your maths

How much wallpaper do I need?

Starting point for any room is preparation and here is a short guide to how many rolls of wallpaper you need.

Let us help you complete your decorating project


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