NON-WOVEN UNCOATED SUBSTRATES
Non-woven, often referred to as ‘paste-the-wall’, products do not have paper as the base and instead are made of a synthetic blend, making this more dimensionally stable than the paper-based options.
Non-wovens tend to have a soft fabric-like feel to them and have the design qualities of an uncoated paper. Their real benefits, however, are in the hanging. Because there’s no expansion when adhesive is applied, there is no need to leave the paper to soak-out like conventional papers. So, you can paste the wall instead of the back of the paper. This allows it to be hung directly from the roll, making hanging a lost easier and less messy.
An uncoated paper is a wood fibre sheet that has no noticable surface coating on it. The face of the paper is therefore fairly rough when compared to coated papers. The paper face is calendered (flattened) to give it a degree of smoothness for printing. Uncoated papers are valued and loved for their soft aesthetic qualities. They’re generally best suited to a space that has relatively low foot traffic and no moisture issues, e.g. living rooms, dining rooms or bedrooms. Generally uncoated papers can be sponge cleaned with a damp cloth, however care needs to be taken not to damage the surface.
A coated paper has the same fibrous backing layer as uncoated paper, but with a very smooth light vinyl coating applied that is simple and can be printed upon.
Coated papers are a good compromise between uncoated and heavy vinyls. They can be used in most interiors as the coating gives a reasonable level of protection against moisture, marking and general wear. They can be lightly sponged with a mild soap if scuffed. However, they cannot withstand rough abrasives or cleaning detergents. They will also not react well to solvents, fats and greasy foods. This, combined with everyday moisture resistance, makes coated papers generally unsuitable for bathrooms, kitchens and anywhere with high humidity.
Coated papers are an excellent general-purpose wallpapering option for most areas of the home.
PVC (HEAVY VINYL) COATED PAPERS
PVC coated papers, or vinyls as they’re more commonly known, consist of a heavy fibrous backing layer with a soft, flexible PVC coating on top. The vinyl wallcovering is printed with the design when it is still in a smooth state; it’s not until after it’s been printed that it is ‘embossed’ to create the textured surface.
Vinyls are hard wearing and hang beautifully, due mainly to the combined weight and strength of the PVC and paper layers. Vinyls have a PVC coating that is moisture resistant and are suitable for high humidity rooms, such as bathrooms and kitchens. They offer some degree of impact resistance and are therefore better suited than any of the other papers for the rough and tumble of family life or high traffic zones. Generally heavy vinyls can be scrubbed clean without damage.
Vinyls perform exceptionally well and are generally much heavier than standard papers because they have two significant layers. Popular in commercial use due to their good fire ratings and durability, their opportunity for use around the home should not be underestimated. Another benefit of vinyl is during redecoration, the PVC top layer is peelable and will pull off, if not in one complete strip, at least in big pieces. Once this is removed the backing layer can be made wet and easily scraped off.