An Introduction to Wallpaper Terms

Wallpaper terms can be confusing, especially if you aren’t familiar with the industry. Wallpaper is growing in popularity around the world, thanks to its versatility and the beauty it adds to any style of décor, but it’s not always the easiest product to select and order. If you’re considering adding wallpaper to your home or business, take a moment to review some standard terminology that you may encounter in your search for the perfect pattern.

All-Over Design — This refers to any pattern that covers the entire sheet of paper, without any specific area of emphasis. All-over design may come in geometric, scrollwork, floral or abstract patterns.

American Roll — A single roll of American wallpaper typically contains 34 to 36 square feet. Compared to a European (metric) roll, an American roll is more difficult to handle based on its width, but allows for fewer seams and potentially less waste.

Anaglypta — Paintable embossed or textured wall covering, typically made from paper or vinyl. Similar to Lincrusta but less expensive.

Blister — An air pocket that forms beneath the wallpaper during installation, potentially caused by low temperatures, porous or improperly sealed walls, or insufficient soaking before application.

Butt Joint — Also known as a butted seam, this occurs when two adjoining strips of paper have no overlap but when their edges just meet. In an overlapping butt joint (known as a double-cut seam), the sheets overlap, but the excess is cut off, creating a butt joint. The alternative is known as a Lap Seam.

European Roll — Euro rolls are sized using metric measurement (versus American measurement), providing approximately 29 square feet per roll. This smaller roll is easier to work with, but will require more seams in the room based on the paper’s more narrow width.

Kill Point — Also known as a dead corner, this refers to the least noticeable area of the room, where the project should begin and end. As the last sheets often don’t match properly, they must be located where it is least noticeable.

Match — This describes the place where wallpaper designs match at the seam, based on pattern size and how often the pattern repeats. Matches are either straight, random or drop. The amount of extra paper your job will require depends on how large the pattern’s repeat is and the type of match it has.

These basic wallpaper terms are just the tip of the iceberg, and wallpaper selection and installation can be complex. No matter what your level of knowledge or experience, having an expert to consult with can make all the difference in the success of your wallpaper project. The experts at Kolbeh Building innovation & Design Inc. can answer all your questions, help you select the perfect wall coverings and explain any wallpaper terms.

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