Original article by Wallcovering Association (WA)

Wallcovering Types & Usage:

  • When selecting wallcoverings the first variable to consider is the amount of traffic the area will receive.
  • Paper and natural wallcoverings are most appropriate where traffic is minimal. They are more delicate than their vinyl counterparts.
  • Vinyl and synthetic wallcoverings offer maximun durability and ease of cleaning.
  • Wallcoverings are categorized as either contract (commercial) or residential.

Commercial Wallcoverings:

  • Commercial wallcoverings are manufactured to meet or surpass performance characteristics set forth in Federal Specifications CCC-W-408.
  • Primary uses include, but by no means are limited to, hotels, apartment buildings, office buildings, retail outlets, schools, and hospitals.
  • Most common types commercial wallcovering: Paper Backed Vinyl, Fabric Backed Vinyl, and Vinyl Coated Paper.

General Categories of commercial products:

  • Type 1 (Light duty) – Designed to be used in areas of light to moderate traffic. Weights between 12 – 19 ounces/linear yard.
  • Type 2 (Medium/Heavy Duty) – Used in high traffic areas such as corridors, public spaces, schools, ect. Weights between 20 – 28 ounces/linear yard.
  • Type 3 – Offers maximum protection for high traffic areas. Typical weight is between 20 – 28 ounces/linear yard.
  • The weight of a specific wallcovering is directly proportionate to the type of paste used in the installation process.

Specialty Wallcoverings:

  • A special category of wallcoverings is used in highly specialized circumsatances or for areas of light traffic. Many of these types of walllcoverings have been replaced by vinyl wallcoverings that simulate the same look with greater durability. Nonetheless, many of the types of wallcoverings outlined below have historical importance, and can be produced by specialty manufacturers or firms. They are highly decorative, and appropriate for use in any commercial area where a dramatic look is desired.
  • String Effects
  • Natural Textile Wallcoverings
  • Polylefin/Synthetic Textile Wallcoverings
  • Acoustical Wallcoverings
  • Cork and Cork Venner
  • Digital Wallcoverings
  • Wood Veneer
  • Foils
  • Mylar
  • Flocks
  • Underliner or Liningpaper – Comes in light, medium, and heavy weights. liner can be used on almost any surface such as plaster, sheetrock, paneling, and cinder block.