How to Choose Your Material: Wallpaper

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In the realm of renovation materials, new technology emerges everyday and old, inefficient ways get eliminated. To catch up with trends, manufacturers in Hong Kong look for new materials to introduce to the local market.

But the myriads of novel materials did not eliminate this well-seasoned member of renovation materials, the wallpaper.

Its key to survival lies in evolution: the wallpaper you can find nowadays looks so polished that you can hardly tell that it’s printed paper.


What’s so good about wallpaper?

How to Choose Your Material: Wallpaper


Wallpaper is durable, cost-efficient, easy to install and easy to change. Be it plastic, fabric or 3D textured wallpaper, the material allows the designer’s creativity to fully take form, and matches itself to the interior’s design structure at a relatively low price.

Since installing wallpaper is not complicated, the incurred fee is relatively low. You might want to consider printing a complicated design on wallpaper for installation, instead of hiring artists to paint your walls with expensive wall coatings.


An option for special effect walls

How to Choose Your Material: Wallpaper

Wallpaper can imitate the visual effect of paint, porcelain tiles and timber. The printing can be grooved and texture while the option of colours is unlimited.

Some special effects of artistic wall coating like mineral-like texture, metallic texture, and sandy, grainy texture cannot be imitated by wallpaper.

Try to have realistic expectations, though. Wallpaper can be printed to look like stone and timber, the coolness of minerals and the warmth of wood cannot be accurately copied.

But for home owners on a budget, wallpaper does appear to be a balance between cost and aesthetic demands.


Cultural elements

How to Choose Your Material: Wallpaper

Imported wallpaper sometimes inherits the cultural characteristics of their manufacturing countries.

For example, Japanese wallpaper often features the texture of washi (和紙), the traditional Japanese paper.

Italian wallpaper is embossed with intricate patterns reminiscent of oil paintings and Italy’s abundant history of art.

English wallpaper sometimes carries a vintage vibe, which is a must-have item for the Country interior style.


Wallpaper VS paint

How to Choose Your Material: Wallpaper

Now that we know wallpaper can be printed with the most intricate shapes and design, you might wonder how wallpaper compares to ordinary printed materials.

In fact, the tiled and wooden walls we often see are actually decorated by very realistic-looking wallpaper, so realistic that you might not notice even at close scrutiny.

Paint and wallpaper are similar in the sense that their colours can be customised. But wallpaper is a more versatile choice since patterns can be embossed on paper but not paint.


How about wallpaper VS artistic wall coating? Artistic wall coating contains a mixture of special ingredients in order to yield inimitable visual results, the comparison between these two materials might not be so meaningful.


Wallpaper can be flame-retardant and moisture-resistant

Wallpaper does not easily catch fire even when you burn it with a naked flame (Do not try at home).

You might think that wallpaper cannot resist moisture.

In fact, while this holds true for substandard products, some manufacturers have developed high-quality wallpaper containing plastic or fabric.

And with this addition, the wallpaper manufactured can withstand bathrooms’ extreme humidity. Some hotels do install this kind of wallpaper in the bathrooms since the material is moisture-resistant and affordable.


Wallpaper stain easily

While some wallpaper do not attract dust, most are not resistant to stains and dirt. Even fabric wallpaper are not stain-resistant.

When wallpaper is stained, cleaning has to be done immediately, or else the stains will leave traces behind.

Remember, though fabric wallpaper is more moisture-resistant, cleaning directly with water is not advised. Wipe with a damp cloth instead.

PVC wallpaper is not completely waterproof, but stains on PVC surface are easier to clean. We advise using dry cleaning tools to clean your wallpaper regularly, since water can potentially shorten the paper’s lifespan.

In addition, wallpaper is not soundproof, so if noise reduction is one of your renovation objectives, you might be considering installing additional soundproof foam.

Finally, wallpaper is never suitable for outdoor use.


In conclusion, why wallpaper?

Wallpaper can serve as a protective coating to the wall.

Although damaged wallpaper cannot be repaired, wallpaper can protect the wall from scratches, compared to paint and other liquid coating. For landlords leasing their property, wallpaper is a great renovation option, both aesthetic and protective.

On average, the usage lifespan of wallpaper is around 6 – 7 years. The ones with better quality can last up to 10 years. If peeling occurs, use white glue to repair the opened seams. Do not leave the peeling areas unattended, since the paper can harden over time and become irreparable.

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