The best wallpaper
If you want a new look for your home and are sick of plain paint jobs, let wallpaper come to your rescue. With thousands of patterns to choose from, there's a perfect wallpaper for everyone, whether you want to wallpaper a full room or opt for a more subtle feature wall.
The world of wallpaper can be confusing for anyone not in the loop, so we've compiled the information you need, including some reviews of our favorites at the end. Our top choice is Blooming Wall's Extra-Thick Textured Wallpaper, which is very durable and looks extremely modern with its gray finish and embossed pattern.
Considerations when choosing wallpaper
It might be called wallpaper, but today, much of it isn't made from paper at all. Here are some of the most common materials, plus their advantages and disadvantages:
Paper wallpaper has fallen out of favor somewhat as it isn't the most durable option and can be difficult to strip when it's time for a change. It is affordable, however, and you can find vinyl-coated paper wallpaper for added durability.
Fabric wallpaper is thick, strong, and doesn't scratch easily the way paper does. It can be woven or non-woven. It offers great soundproofing and insulation, plus it tends to be easier to hang than other kinds. The drawback is its high price.
Vinyl wallpaper has a smooth finish that's easy to wipe clean, making it a great choice for families with young children. It's extremely easy to remove, too. Not everyone likes the texture, however, and it isn't the most environmentally friendly option.
Some wallpaper comes pre-pasted, which means it has dried wallpaper paste already on it, so you just need to moisten it and paste it to the wall. This sounds great in theory, but it doesn't always adhere as well as using standard wallpaper paste on non-pasted wallpaper. Another option is self-adhesive wallpaper, which has a peel-off backing with an adhesive underneath, a bit like a sticker.
It's possible to choose from all manner of designs, from classic stripes and damask to florals and modern geometric prints. It's worth shopping around to find a design you love and are likely to be happy with for years to come.
You can find embossed and textured wallpapers that add an extra dimension to a room. Textured options don't have any particular advantages or disadvantages, it's purely aesthetic.
Recoatable wallpaper is designed to be painted on top of, so it generally only comes in white. It may be easier to hang recoatable wallpaper than to attempt to take dark-colored walls back to white to prime them for painting.
Wallpaper can cost anywhere from $5 per roll to over $100 per roll, but most costs somewhere between $20 and $50 per roll. Roll size varies, so factor this in to see whether you're getting a good deal.
Q. I've never hung wallpaper before -- is it difficult?
A. Hanging wallpaper is a little tricky. If you have no experience and aren't particularly handy, consider enlisting help from a friend or family member who has plenty of experience, or hire a professional to put it up for you.
Q. How many rolls of wallpaper will I need?
A. This depends on the length of the rolls of wallpaper and how much wall you have to cover. Wallpaper manufacturers generally list the square footage that a roll of wallpaper can cover -- if you figure out the square footage of any walls you need to cover, it isn't hard to determine how many rolls of wallpaper you need. However, we recommend having a little to spare, as you may waste some wallpaper, especially if it has a pattern that must line up.
Wallpaper we recommend
Best of the best: Blooming Wall's Extra-Thick Textured Wallpaper
Our take: Made from strong non-woven fabric with a textured finish. The contemporary design makes your house look on-trend.
What we like: Antimicrobial protection helps prevent mildew growth under the paper. Easily strippable when you want a change. Water-repellent and flame-retardant.
What we dislike: You may need a roll or two more than you think so you can properly align the pattern.
Best bang for your buck: Brewster's Anaglypta Iron-Like Paintable Wrought Wallpaper
Our take: Don't be fooled by the low price, this is a high-quality wallpaper that's versatile, too.
What we like: It's recoatable, so you can paint over it in any color or leave it white. The embossed design makes it stand out. Strong and easy to clean.
What we dislike: Non-pasted, so you need to buy wallpaper paste separately.
Choice 3: Norwall's French Faux Damask Wallpaper
Our take: Gorgeous wallpaper with a mottled aqua background and gold damask print.
What we like: Pre-pasted for easier hanging. Vinyl coated for durability. Lovely vintage-style design that would work well for a whole room or a feature wall.
What we dislike: Pattern can be difficult to match over adjacent panels, so you end up with some wasted paper.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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