If you’ve spent a lot of time looking at the same wall, it’s only natural that you get tired of it. Perhaps your tastes have changed, or you’re simply tired of the same old wallpaper and want something new and fresh. Well then, it’s time to upgrade! But wait – paint and wallpaper aren’t the only types of wall coverings out there! So, before you set your heart on that design with the cool shapes, consider all your options. Luckily, we’re here to guide you through some common (and some less common) wall covering types, so you know you’ve made the right choice!
Are eager to learn more about the different wall covering types;
Want to design a unique room that suits your style;
Then this is the post for you!
Are you ready? Let’s start with the classics.
Paint is one of the most common types of interior wall coverings, and for good reason. It’s on the cheaper side of the spectrum (depending on the paint, of course), and it can suit every single room out there.
So, to help you make the best choice, we’ll go over the different kinds of paint finishes, from matte to full gloss. Let’s dive in!
Flat This is perhaps the most common interior paint finish. You can usually use it for uneven surfaces, as its flat finish makes them less noticeable. However, this type of paint is prone to scratches and needs regular retouching. It can be a bit more difficult to clean than the glossy kinds. There are some durable matte paint options available, but they can be pricier.
Flat enamel This paint type, often called “matte” by retailers, is basically the same as regular flat, but with a few key differences. It’s far easier to clean, more durable, and doesn’t need retouching as often, making it a good choice for high traffic areas, such as hallways.
Satin Moving on to the glossier types, satin paint is somewhere in the middle between flat and gloss finishes. It has a soft sheen, making it easier to clean, but not too reflective and noticeable. Its downside is that it can highlight imperfections in your walls, so use it on smooth surfaces.
Eggshell This type of paint finish is slightly less shiny than satin, but just as easy to clean and maintain. Its decreased sheen makes it a better option for walls with slight imperfections, as it doesn’t make them any more noticeable. Both eggshell and satin finishes are suitable for kitchens and bathrooms, where you want to keep the look neutral and clean-up simple.
Semi-gloss You won’t see semi-gloss paint used on walls too often. It can commonly be found on the trim to add depth to a room. It’s glossier than satin and eggshell finishes, super easy to clean, and, naturally, with an increased tendency to showcase any imperfections in your walls.
Gloss If you want a statement wall that you can see your reflection in, then gloss paint is the one for you! It’s perfect for kitchens, accent walls, doors, window frames, and trim. It’s the easiest and most durable paint finish out there, extremely shiny, and very unforgiving when it comes to imperfections. So, use it wisely.
There are a variety of other paint types, like undercoat and primer, but that’s a topic for another day.
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Now that we’ve covered the different types of paint finishes, let’s move on to the second most common choice when it comes to wall covering types.
If paint is too “basic” of an option and you don’t mind spending a bit more on your walls, then wallpaper might just be what you need. With durable, long-lasting options on the market, you can put your wallpaper in and forget about it for the next 10-15 years or so. Or, if you’re prone to changing your mind or you’re renting a home that doesn’t allow for much customisation, removable wallpaper can be the way to go.
Wallpaper doesn’t have to be more restrictive than paint! It offers just as much variety, with its numerous colours, designs, finishes, textures, etc. So, what kinds of wallpaper are there?
Lining paper The most basic wallpaper type out there, lining paper, also known as liner wallpaper, is a thick, durable wall covering type. It’s made of either paper or fibreglass and is mostly used for covering imperfections, or as a base for other, more delicate wallpaper types. It’s pretty straightforward to install, too.
Anaglypta Anaglypta wallpaper is a thick, durable wall covering option that is embossed with a 3D pattern. It usually comes in white, as it’s made to be painted over, but you can find it in colour, too. It’s not challenging to install and is perfect if you need to cover up any wall imperfections.
Printed Wallpaper can be printed either digitally, or by hand, with digital print being the cheaper option. Printed wallpaper offers a wide range of designs and colour, making it easy to find one that suits your taste. However, it’s not very durable and you shouldn’t use it in kitchens and bathrooms, as the water-based inks can’t withstand the moisture.
Vinyl This is one of the most common types of wall coverings when it comes to wallpaper. It consists of a layer of printed paper, covered by another, vinyl layer that protects it and makes it a lot more durable and easy to clean. You can safely install vinyl wallpaper in your kitchen or bathroom.
Foil Foil gives the room a metallic shine, making it great for accent walls that aim to make a statement. However, foil wallpaper can be delicate and is prone to highlighting any defects. It needs very precise application, which can be challenging for some.
Flock If you’re looking for a soft, velvety finish, look no further than flock wallpaper. Its texture and 3D patterns printed on a paper base make it a luxurious option. It comes as no surprise that flock is one of the most expensive wallpaper types out there. It’s not for everyone, though, as it’s pretty tricky to maintain, and just as hard to remove. It can easily be damaged, too, so it’s best used in areas with low traffic.
Mylar This wallpaper type consists of a paper base with a polyester film over it. It has a shiny finish, so it can put any wall defects on display, meaning you need a smooth wall. One of the best parts is that it’s washable, making it a good choice for your kitchen or bathroom. It’s super easy to remove, too.
Grasscloth This is a woven, very textured wallpaper, perfect if you want to achieve a natural look. It looks great, but is pretty difficult to clean, so steer clear if you’re looking for a low-maintenance option.
Non-woven This type of wall covering is becoming increasingly popular in recent years due to how environmentally friendly it is. It consists of a mix of natural and synthetic fibres, is washable, very easy to put up and take down, and a perfect choice for kitchens and bathrooms.
Tiles are the classic wall covering type when it comes to kitchens and bathrooms. Granted, they don’t offer as much variety as paint or wallpaper, but that doesn’t make them restrictive at all. Tiles can be made from various materials and cut into different shapes and sizes, meaning that you can create a personalised design.
They can take a long time to install, but their durability and how easy they are to clean more than makes up for it. Well, cleaning tile grout can take a bit more effort, but that’s another story.
Now then, what are your options when it comes to wall tiles?
Ceramic or porcelain These are the most common tile materials out there. Porcelain has a slower water absorption rate than ceramic, so it’s more common in bathrooms. Both ceramic and porcelain tiles are durable and pretty easy to maintain.
Glazed Glazed tiles are usually ceramic or porcelain. However, due to the glazing, they’re more durable and moisture resistant. They also come in brighter colours, and the glazing makes them shinier. They’re not the best choice for all walls, though, so consult a professional to make sure they’re right for you.
Mosaic These tiles are made of small pieces, arranged in a pattern. They are available in a variety of styles, materials, designs, shapes, and colours. Mosaic tiles are mostly found on walls, and even more so as kitchen backsplashes.
Glass You can find glass tiles as both individual tiles and as a mosaic pattern with a mesh base. They’re great both for designing patterns and achieving a plainer, more basic look. Glass tiles are a good option for kitchen backsplashes, as well as bathrooms, as they’re durable, moisture resistant, and super easy to clean.
Natural stone These types of wall coverings are extremely durable and capable of holding on to their good looks. Natural stone tiles can be made of slate, granite, travertine, or marble. However, due to their porous nature, they’re not the best option in rooms where moisture is an issue. Sealing is an essential part of their installation process.
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Now that we’ve covered the classics, let’s move on to some less common wall covering types that deserve your attention.
“Wood” you like to give your home a cosy feel? Then wooden panelling is what you need – “axe” anyone!
All jokes aside, wood is a great wall covering option, and not only due to its looks. It’s a great way to give a room some extra insulation, too. There are many types of panelling on the market; let’s take a look at some of the most common ones.
Planks If you want to feel like you’re in a warm forest cottage, you don’t need anything fancy – simple wooden planks are often enough. They’re a pretty basic choice, the wall is easy to construct, and you can use any type of wood you want! You can find planks in various sizes and, depending on the look you’re trying to achieve, there’s no shortage of colours and finishes.
Flat panels These are a great way to give your walls a clean, polished look. As with most wooden panelling, you can cover the whole wall or only a part of it.
Shiplap Another clean, modern, durable option is shiplap. It consists of horizontal, grooved boards that fit tightly together. The grooves can make it a bit hard to clean, though. To make sure the wood doesn’t rot or warp, shiplap needs to be installed properly. This is best done by a professional.
Tongue and groove This type of wall covering is not too different from shiplap. However, it has different connections. It’s a bit pricier, too. This wooden panelling type consists of a tongue and groove connection, as you can probably guess from the name. This connection helps keep the panels together tightly, making it less likely that they will trap any dirt or dust. Tongue and groove panelling can take a long time to install because the panels need to be placed and connected one by one.
Beadboard Beadboard panelling has wider, evenly spaced grooves along the boards. You can find beadboards with tongue and groove connections or as sheets. This panelling type is paintable, so you can easily customise it to suit your taste. The grooves are prone to catching dirt, though, so it can be a challenge to keep it clean.
Board and batten This type of wooden panelling consists of panels, called “boards”, and narrow wooden strips – “battens” – hiding the seams between them. It’s an excellent way to add a 3D texture to your walls and usually only covers a part of the wall. Board and batten panelling is paintable, easy to maintain and long-lasting when adequately taken care of. It’s quite costly, though.
Raised panels This 3D panelling option has bevelled wood panels, placed over horizontal and vertical rails. Raised panels are another great way to add a classic, 3D look to your walls, providing depth to a room.
If you’re renting your home and are looking for a temporary decorating solution, or if you’re prone to changing your mind often, fabric is one type of wall covering that can make your decorating dreams come true!
It’s super easy to put up and take down, it’s often cheaper than wallpaper, and – best of all – it’s breathable, which means air can easily pass through it, making it essentially mould resistant!
That being said, keep fabric wall coverings out of your kitchen, as the heat can damage it. Bathrooms are not a great place for it, either, as the moisture can loosen the glue and make the fabric fall right off your wall.
If you’re thinking of using fabric to decorate your walls, opt for lightweight fabrics, like cotton and polyester. Materials like wool and velvet are way too heavy to be kept in place by the glue.
Want to make a small room look bigger? Thinking of an unusual accent wall? Why not go for mirrors? True, a mirror wall is not a traditional type of wall covering, but it’s a great one if you’re looking to make a tiny room feel much larger and brighter than it is.
Naturally, you wouldn’t cover the whole room with mirrors, but a properly placed accent wall can breathe new life into your room. Keep mirror walls in areas with low traffic, though, as you wouldn’t want to damage the glass.
Need a hand decorating your room?
If you’re not sure how to go about decorating your room, or you just want to spend your free time doing something you love instead, why not look to the professionals? The expert painters and decorators at Fantastic Services can transform your room in the blink of an eye! No need to worry about the mess, either – your home will be left looking spotless and better than ever. So, use our simple booking form and book your service today!
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The most common types of wall coverings are paint, wallpaper, and tiles.
Some less traditional options are wood, fabric, and mirrors.
Paint and wallpaper come in a variety of colours and finishes.
Tiles are the best choice for kitchen backsplashes and bathrooms.
Wooden panelling is a great way to give a room a cosy atmosphere.
Fabric is the perfect choice for renters and people who often change their minds.
Mirrors can make a room look brighter and more spacious.
And now, you are probably sitting there wondering whether to go with paint or wallpaper? If so, it’s time to learn which is better – wallpaper or paint.
Did you find this post interesting? Got any other home decorating questions? Let us know in the comments below!