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Most roll wallcoverings are all made to a standard size - 10.05m long and about 530mm wide. A few, such as lining paper and woodchip paper (see below) also come in longer rolls.
The cheapest patterned wallpaper you can buy is simply printed, so it's very vulnerable to stains and physical damage. Avoid this type except for ceilings and for walls in protected locations - the back wall of an alcove, for example.
Washable or spongeable wallpapers are a little more expensive, but have a plastic coating applied over the design so they'll withstand staining and can be sponged down without wetting the paper. The waterproof coating makes them difficult to strip, however - you may need a steam stripper. Hang them in rooms subject to moderate daily wear, using a paste containing a fungicide to stop mould growing as the paste dries out. Some washable papers are sold ready-pasted - with a layer of dried paste on the back which you activate by soaking each length in a trough of water before hanging it.
Vinyl wallpaper has the design printed on the plastic surface layer, and this is bonded during manufacture to a paper backing for ease of hanging. This makes vinyls much tougher than washables - you can scrub them if necessary - and makes them easy to strip too. You just peel off the plastic surface layer, then soak and strip the plain paper backing from the wall. Hang them in steamy rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms, and in areas where heavy wear or marking are expected - stairwells, for example. Hang them with paste containing a fungicide. Ready-pasted vinyls are also available.
The vinyl surface layer of this wallpaper contains tiny air bubbles that expand its thickness and allow it to be embossed in register with the surface design - for example, to resemble ceramic tiling. Plain textured vinyls are also available, intended for overpainting once hung. They're tougher than relief wallpapers.
Relief wallpapers are plain papers embossed with regular or random designs and are intended to be overpainted once hung. They are ideal for covering up defects such as cracks and lumps on wall and ceiling surfaces, but need hanging with care to avoid flattening the emboss. Use any type of paste
Woodchip paper has small chips of wood sandwiched between two layers of paper, giving a surface texture resembling coarse porridge. It's a very inexpensive paper that covers wall defects well, and is intended to be overpainted once hung. Use any type of paste.
This plain smooth paper is used to line walls that contain a lot of cracks or are of uneven porosity. It comes in two grades - 800 (standard) and 1000 (heavy-duty trade) - and is hung horizontally with butted joints. It can also be used as an economy coverup wallpaper, hung vertically and then painted with emulsion paint.
Borders are narrow rolls of printed washable or vinyl wallpaper used as a contrast to the rest of the wall finish - at ceiling level, for example, or next to picture or dado rails. They're hung on painted walls with paste containing a fungicide. If they are being hung over a washable or vinyl wallpaper, you need to use a special readymixed border adhesive.
The equipment you need for paperhanging includes the following:
Papering round corners
Turn about 25mm round the corner, then hang the trimmed off width to a plumbed line on the next wall.
Papering round windows
Trim the first length over the window reveal as shown, then paste and hang pieces in the numbered order.
Papering round switches and sockets
Electricity should be switch off at the fuse box. Mark the out line through the paper, then cut and trim as shown. Tuck the paper in behind the face plate and ensure the paper and socket are fully dry before re-fixing.
Distance round room (including doors and windows)
|Wall height||- metres||10m||12m||14m||16m||18m||20m||22m||24m|
|2.1 - 2.3m||(7ft - 7ft 6in)||5||5||6||7||8||9||10||11|
|2.3 - 2.4m||(7ft 6in - 8ft)||5||6||7||8||9||10||10||11|
|2.4 - 2.6m||(8ft - 8ft 6in)||5||6||7||9||10||11||12||13|
|2.6 - 2.7m||(8ft 6in - 9ft)||5||6||7||9||10||11||12||13|
|2.7 - 2.9m||(9ft - 9ft 6in)||6||7||8||9||10||12||12||14|