Glossary of Wallpaper Terms
Accordion Folding: A technique of "booking" or gently folding a long section of wallpaper, usually used in reference to a wallpaper border. The section of wallpaper is folded accordion style, gently, without creasing the seams, so that it can be transported efficiently from a work space or water tray to the wall.
Acrylic Coated/Vinyl Coated Paper: Acrylic Coated/Vinyl Coated wallpapers are printed on paper and treated with a coating for durability and washability/scrubbability. These wallpapers are easily maintained and are unaffected by long tern exposure to humidity making them ideal for kitchens and baths.
Bolt aka Double Roll: A bolt is equal to a double roll of wallpaper. Single rolls of wallpaper are not typically sold. A bolt is one continuous roll of wallpaper equivalent to the length of two single rolls.
Booking: This refers to a relaxing period where wet, pre-pasted wallpaper or a freshly pasted strip of wallpaper is allowed to rest in a gently folded position. The wallpaper strip is laid on a clean work surface, pattern facing down. The top edge and bottom edge are both folded in to meet at the center point. During this time, the glue will be activated.
Chair Rail: Named for a molding installed around the room to protect the walls from nicks and scratches from chairs, a chair rail creates an elegant, finished look in a room. Wallpaper, especially wallpaper borders, can create an authentic or a stylized chair rail border. In general, a chair rail is installed at or just above 1/3 the height of a room, or around 32 to 36 inches from the floor in an 8 foot ceiling room.
Color Way: Most wallpaper patterns are available in multiple colors. The color way is the particular color of a pattern.
Cross Seaming: In some cases, such as when hanging wallpaper over paneling, a wallpaper liner will be installed horizontally rather than vertically. This will help prevent the seams of the underlying material to show through.
Double Cut: When installing wallpaper in certain situations, such as when repairing a tear or installing a border around a doorway, it may be best to overlap the wallpaper and then cut through both layers. In these instances, this can ensure the best method for hiding the seams. The extra wallpaper is peeled way and discarded, and any glue is wiped off with a damp cloth or sponge.
Double Roll aka Bolt: The traditional unit of wallpaper that you can purchase is a double roll, also known as a bolt. Although prices are sometimes listed by the single roll, typically only double rolls are available for sale.
Drop Match: This type of wallpaper pattern match will line up at the ceiling line with every other strip. It creates a diagonal rather than a horizontal pattern sequence.
Dye-Lot Number aka Run Number: Also sometimes referred to as the "batch-number" this number refers to each batch of your wallpaper that was printed at one time. Using wallpaper from the same dye-lot number will ensure that your colors match up continuously.
Expanded Vinyl: Expanded Vinyl wallpapers are printed with a special ink that expands with heat giving them a raised surface effect known as "blown" creating a soft but dimensionally textured wallpaper. Most "Paintable" wallpapers are examples of an expanded vinyl wallpaper, but also is common printing technique used to create faux effects like bricks, woods and stones.
Free Match aka Random Match: Some wallpaper patterns, such as grasscloth or certain textures, have no particular match at the seams. This type of wallpaper is the easiest to install and will not generate any waste.
Fabric-Backed Vinyl: Fabric-Backed Vinyl wallpapers have a fabric backing which makes them highly durable. Because of their ability to be bumped and scratched without being damaged, these are most commonly used for commercial jobs where high levels of durability are a must.
Grasscloth: Grasscloth wallpapers are hand crafted and unique; made of natural and exotic materials harvested throughout Asia. Grasscloth's create a natural and highly textural look on walls that is understated and timeless. Most grasscloth wallpapers are made of 100% natural materials making them environmentally friendly. It is recommended that stains on grasscloth wallpaper be attended to with clean water a damp white cloth/sponge. Professional cleaning may be necessary.
Heavy-Weight Vinyl: Heavy-weight Vinyl wallpapers are deeply embossed using a thick vinyl material. These wallpapers offer a very luxurious look and feel and are commonly used in Italian wallpaper manufacturing.
Kill Point: When installing wallpaper on all 4 walls of a room, the "kill point" is the place where the last strip is hung to join the first strip, finishing the project. This will usually result in an uneven pattern match at this point. We recommend hanging the first, and subsequently the last, strip in the least conspicuous area of the room to minimize the effect. This is often the corner behind you when you enter the room.
Liner Paper: Available where wallpaper is sold, liner paper is a thick vinyl wallcovering to be installed under decorative wallpaper. These liners are available in a variety of weights to help cover wood paneling, or smooth out rough, damaged, or textured walls. They are sometimes installed horizontally rather than vertically to help hide seams.
Match: The match means the place where the design matches at the seams. Check the back of your wallpaper for the match information. Random match is the easiest to work and will not create any waste when measuring strips as these wallpapers line up randomly at the seams. Drop-match and straight match wallpaper may incur some waste as you have to start each strip at a certain point to ensure the pattern matches up at the seams.
Molded Linoleum: Molded Linoleum wallpapers are used primarily in the Lincrusta Collection. Lincrusta wallpapers are a highly durable and dimensional wallcovering that replicates the feeling of custom molding or paneling which can be top-coated with any paint or stain for desired effects.
Non-Woven: Non-Woven wallpapers are an advanced technically improved wallpaper material that was introduced to the market over eight years ago and is fast becoming the preferred substrate for wallpaper. Made of a fibrous material, non-woven wallpapers are easier to install and even easier to remove! They will dry-strip from the wall, usually leaving the wall smooth and abrasion free. Many Non-Wovens are vinyl free making them an environmentally friendly wallpaper option.
Paper: Wallpapers printed on paper are not as common as in previous years, but are still present in the marketplace. Paper wallpapers are environmentally friendly and showcase flat inks and designs very nicely, but due to the delicate nature of paper, these wallpapers have proven to tear easily during the removal process.
Paste-The-Wall: This is a method of hanging wallpaper where wallpaper paste is applied directly to the wall. This technique saves the steps of wetting a prepasted wallpaper, or rolling adhesive onto the wallpaper strip before adhering it to the wall. Paste-the-wall wallpapering works with unpasted wallpaper.
Peelable: Peelable wallpapers will peel off the wall, leaving some of the backing behind. The backing can be often removed with soap and water, but sometimes a wallpaper removal solution may be necessary.
Plumb Line: Hanging the first strip of wallpaper on each wall straight is key to the success of the project. The plumb line is the line that you create, with a level, to be sure that you hang the wallpaper straight.
Priming: Wallpaper must be hung on a properly prepared wall surface and a primed wall is ideal. Priming the wall includes filling in any holes and cracks, smoothing out imperfections and painting the wall with primer.
Prepasted: When wallpaper already has the paste applied to the backing, it is called pre-pasted. This paste on this type of wallpaper is activated by dipping the wallpaper into water.
Random Match aka Free Match: Some wallpaper patterns, such as grasscloth or certain textures, have no particular match at the seams. This type of wallpaper is the easiest to install and will not generate any waste when cutting new strips.
Repeat: The distance of the vertical recurrence of the pattern or part of the motif in the wallpaper pattern. Patterns with no repeats (like textures) will have little waste, but larger designs (with repeats above 21") may require more wallpaper because there is more waste because you need to match the pattern from strip to strip and can lose up to the pattern repeat on each strip to match them properly.
Run Number aka Dye-Lot: Also sometimes referred to as the "batch-number" this number refers to each batch of your wallpaper that was printed at one time. Using wallpaper from the same dye-lot number will ensure that your colors match up continuously.
Scoring: The process of perforating old wallpaper so that wallpaper removal solution can penetrate the backing is known as scoring. Special tools, such as the paper tiger, are designed to roll over your walls, making small holes in the wallpaper.
Scrubbable: Scrubbable wallpapers can be scrubbed with a brush or sponge, which implies a high level of durability. You can use a soap or mild detergent on scrubbable wallpaper.
Seam Roller: This is an optional wallpapering tool used to tack down wallpaper seams together.
Single Roll: A single roll of wallpaper is a quantity of wallpaper equal to half of 1 bolt. Most wallpaper is only sold in double rolls.
Sizing: Like primer, sizing is a liquid that can be painted onto walls to prepare them for wallpaper. It creates a uniform porosity so that wallpaper glue will adhere evenly. Sometimes the terms priming and sizing are used interchangeably, although sizing is a different product. With the quality of today’s primers, sizing is rarely necessary.
Solid Sheet Vinyl: Solid Sheet Vinyl wallpapers are printed on a 100% vinyl material and are commonly embossed to give them a luxurious textural effect. These wallpapers are quite durable and are usually scrubbable, making them easy to clean and maintain. They are also peelable which means the wallpaper will peel off the wall easily, leaving some of the backing on the wall, which can typically be removed with soap and water or in some cases a wallpaper removal solution may be necessary.
Straight Match: Each strip of a straight match wallpaper pattern will match up at the ceiling line, creating a horizontal pattern sequence.
Strippable: Strippable wallpapers can be dry stripped from the wall without leaving any backing behind. These are the most removable papers in the market and usually are printed on a Non-Woven substrate.
Unpasted: Wallpaper that comes without any adhesive pre-applied to the backing is known as un-pasted wallpaper.
Washable: Washable wallpapers can be lightly cleaned with a sponge or a damp cloth. You should take care when cleaning washable wallpapers, but if you are gentle, they should clean easily.
Wipe with a damp cloth These wallpapers should be washed gently with great care, they are more fragile than others and you should be careful cleaning.