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Wallpapering tips

Updated on March 31, 2016

Even the most basic choice, white wallpaper, comes with a variety of possible options to suit different purposes: it can be sealed for wet areas like bathrooms and kitchens or painted in either muted or colourful tones for the living room or the dining room. More exciting wallpapering options include plaster that can be painted and smeared with a sponge to obtain a decorative pattern, photo wallpapers of any size or designer wallpaper in either modern, antique or retro styles.

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Wallpapering – how to start?

First of all, the room that is to be wallpapered has to be chosen. Living rooms will require different designs and materials for wallpapering than bathrooms. The size of the room is also important: calulate the wall length times the wall height to find out how much wallpaper you will need – the cost of wallpapering will largely depend on the room’s dimensions. You will have to make sure the wall underneath is fit for the new wallpaper, old wallpaper has to be removed carefully and the wall needs to be clean. Mould stains underneath the old wallpaper need to be dried and cleaned. Sometimes it can be useful to have a layer of paper fitted underneath the new wallpaper to improve its stability.

Choosing the wallpaper

The most important criteria for choosing among the many different possible designs for wallpapering are your design ideas and the costs for the required material as well as for fitting. The basic types of wallpapers are:

  • Plain wallpapers with paint
  • Plain or decorated plaster
  • Photo wallpapers (elements or whole walls)
  • Design wallpapers (modern or antique, elements or whole walls)
  • Other types of wall covering, like wood planks or tiles

Often there is also a choice of different materials for wallpapering, ranging from paper, bamboo, cotton or silk to synthetic materials like vinyl. All these materials result in a different appearance, from natural to luxurious. A decorator can advise you on the right choice for your home. Rather expensive wallpapering options even include wall coverings made of minerals or crystals or wallpapers with a pleated surface. But even a simple and not so expensive wallpaper can be enhanced with decorative elements or painting.

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Wallpapering: costs and fitting

Basic white wallpaper can cost from a few pounds up to £150 per square metre for luxury options. The final cost will depend on the size of your wallpapering project: a large room with 50 square metres of wall space might require a reasonably priced wallpaper – even using plain white wallpaper in a room like this could cost around £100-£150. Having a smaller wall covered with a more expensive wallpaper can be affordable: a five square metre wall covered with flock wallpaper could cost less than £150. Installation cost will be around £1 per square metre for basic wallpapering, and up to £2-£3 per square metre for premium options. It will save you a lot of time and effort and guarantee you the best results if you hire a professional decorator to do the job. Additional work like wall preparations and removal of old wallpapers will cost between £1 and £5 depending on how much work is necessary.

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