Wallpapers can be eco, but how eco are they really?

CLD Pure Wallpaper Collection Pattern: Zen from http://crownwallpaper.com

How can wallpaper be environmentally sound? In several ways actually and you have to know what you’re looking for when you’re looking at it.  There are adhesives that are low VOC now. Primers for wall coverings too can be low VOC too.  Then you have the actual paper involved, some are from recycled papers or from managed forests.  A few use their scraps to actually heat their production plant. Others limit their production of product so that they can produce only what is needed. These wallpapers have the same quality as other wallpapers equal to their costs.  Though selection is limited currently, but as demand continues to rise the selection will increase.

Just remember wallpaper can be made of recycled materials but still have a vinyl coating.  The vinyl does off gas but it will also be washable.  A purely paper or fabric based wallpaper will have problems with cleaning and is not good in a kitchen, bathroom or high traffic area. Fabric based wallpapers need a liner before they can go on the wall.  If you’re going to spend the money on high quality wallpaper, it’s not that much more to get a qualified installer.

There are two general types of wallpaper and they have different purposes. Residential and Commercial and these both can be purchased through an Interior Decorator or Designer.  Commercial is designed to meet the needs of larger spaces, both in width, the amount of traffic in the spaces, fire codes and health regulations.  The benefit of putting this in a residential home is the codes and regulations are higher for commercial spaces. Downside, not all installers are able to hang it as the size changes how it goes into a space as in the need for more than one person to install it, estimating the amount needed for the job.

Another type of wall covering that’s taking on an interest is. Paste the wall and then apply the wallpaper dry. It seems to be faster, as the wall paper doesn’t need to be soaked or pasted. Cutting and trimming the wallpaper is far less trouble some in that the paper doesn’t bunch, wrinkle or tear as much.  The key to this application is that wallpaper is much easier to remove which makes it a great application that’s temporary (5 yrs or less).  This type of application is great for apartments or if you need something to a wall treatment for the present.

http://us.farrow-ball.com

Farrow & Ball Wallpaper collection: The Lotus Papers pattern: BP 2020 http://us.farrow-ball.com

Common problems people come across:

–          Difficulty removing old wallpaper? (Commonly because the walls were not sized and primed properly in the first place.)

–          Plastic or vinyl covering on wallpaper making it hard to remover? (Uses a steamer rather than heat and score the wall covering a lot before using the steamer.)

–          Wall covering sometimes will shrink slightly leaving gaps at the top or bottom (draperies can do this too.) if the space is very dry fabrics and paper can shrink as they dry, that’s why it’s better to remove molding on the wall and put it back when you’re done. Be mindful of the ventilation of the room. (If you have time during your project or the ability.)

With today’s market, the price of wallpapers varies greatly.  This medium has changed greatly and it’s not like paint at all. The wallpapers pictured here can’t truly be appreciated fully because you can’t feel the texture or three dimensional qualities of them.  With this ability the wallpaper manufacturers are now making available the finishes of yesterday and the designs of tomorrow by creating convincing reproductions of things like stucco or panelled walls.

Rollout.ca (http://rollout.ca) works with designers making unique murals and wallpapers.  They use latex which is water based.  They run only what’s needed for a project and thereby lowering their impact. Their product is commercial grade and they recommend a clear coat finish to be added after the wallpaper is on the wall for high traffic areas. (This is a product that must be installed by a professional as recommended by Rollout and me.)

Carey Lind Designs produces a product line called CLD Pure. (Sold through your Interior specialist. See Crown Wallpaper & Fabrics (http://www.crownwallpaper.com) for those in the trade.) This wallpaper collection is one of the wallpapers that cross into commercial grade.

These are just a few Farrow & Ball wallpapers for instance I’ve been personally by a company representative that their papers are all 30% recycled paper. These wallpapers can be purchased at retailers of Farrow & Ball products (http://us-farrow-ball.com).

Papyro02 by Don Cleland from Artist Series One http://www.rollout.ca

Wallpaper can be so many things today and yes it can be complicated to install.  But once it’s up properly, you can enjoy it for a long time.  A space can be made even better with the right pattern.  Be fearless and enjoy the fruits of it in the years to come.

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