You can use vinyl wallpaper wherever hard-wearing surfaces are required. The wallpapers are used especially in kitchens and bathrooms, but also in the hallway. The surface of the wallpaper is washable and scrub-resistant, has a high lightfastness and can withstand many an impact without the wallpaper suffering. Stains can be easily removed with a damp cloth or a soft brush. The variety of patterns and colours seems limitless. However, vinyl wallpaper is one of the heavier wallpapers. When wallpapering, make sure you have a good base and the right paste.
What is vinyl wallpaper?
Vinyl wallpapers are made with a paper backing or a non-woven backing. These supports are provided with a plastic coating. This is why the wallpapers are also called PVC wallpapers or plastic wallpapers. The coating has fallen into disrepute somewhat in times of ecological living. However, the wallpapers can no longer be compared to vinyl wallpapers of yesteryear. The ingredients used are subject to strict regulations.
Vinyl wallpapers require a well-prepared substrate
Check the surface carefully before you start wallpapering. For vinyl wallpaper, the surface should be firm, clean and dry. It must also have good absorbency. Many vinyl wallpapers are only slightly textured. A smooth substrate is therefore important so that unevenness does not push through and affect the wallpaper appearance. Plasterboard and gypsum plaster should be prepared with a coat of deep primer when wallpapering on them for the first time. Fine maculature is not suitable for vinyl wallpaper. If your substrate has defects that you cannot remove because you live in a rented flat, then roll maculature is the better choice.
The right paste for vinyl wallpaper
Vinyl wallpaper is available on non-woven backing and paper backing. Depending on the type, you should choose a paste for paper wallpaper or non-woven wallpaper. Many pastes can be used for both.
In any case, use a special paste for vinyl wallpaper. Vinyl wallpapers have a lower water vapour diffusion capacity than other wallpapers. Therefore, apply the paste exactly according to the manufacturer's instructions. If the surface is difficult, you can add adhesive strength enhancers. However, you should bear in mind that the wallpaper will have to come down again at some point. A lot does not help much here. You should also follow the manufacturer's instructions.
With paper wallpaper, the paste is applied to the wallpaper. With non-woven wallpaper, you can paste the wall and apply the wallpaper dry.
Wallpapering vinyl wallpaper is no magic trick
Vinyl wallpaper is applied differently depending on the backing material. With non-woven wallpaper, you only need to paste the wall thickly and place the dry wallpaper in the glue bed. If you are not comfortable with this gluing technique, you can also paste the wallpaper strips. In this case, no soaking time is required. The wallpaper strip is pasted and goes on the wall immediately.
It is different with paper wallpaper. If the vinyl wallpaper has a paper backing, the wallpaper strip is pasted. Now fold the strip of wallpaper and roll it again. This prevents the edges from rolling up and drying out. Now the wallpaper must soften. Vinyl wallpaper has a long soaking time. Depending on the thickness of the backing, it takes between five and ten minutes. Then the wallpaper strip is applied to the wall.
Make absolutely sure to glue the strips butt to butt. Air pockets are smoothed out with a wallpaper scraper. A very good pair of scissors and a sharp cutter knife are needed to cut the vinyl wallpaper. Make sure that the blade is always sharp, as this is the only way to cut the vinyl wallpaper properly. So it's better to break the blade off once more. By the way, a seam roller is not necessary. You can simply close the seams of the wallpaper with a wallpaper scraper. In addition, it can happen that you literally flatten the pattern at the seams of raised wallpaper with the seam roller and thus damage the wallpaper. This would also be visible later.
If paste accidentally gets on the wallpaper, you should remove it immediately with a damp cloth and clean water. If the paste dries on the wallpaper, it leaves unsightly spots that are not easy to remove once they have dried.
Vinyl wallpapers - are they still trendy?
There is certainly an increasing trend towards natural, sustainable and ecological interior design with natural materials, especially in the home. However, you should be aware that only "natural" is not always possible, as various properties are simply missing and are also not easy to implement. Ecological wallpapers are recyclable and manufactured without PVC, softeners and harmful substances, but they are not abrasion-resistant and not as robust as vinyl wallpapers. Be aware that even paint is rarely free of artificial substances. The plasticisers that are mostly used in vinyl wallpapers today are also contained in baby and children's products. Quality marks and seals indicate that the wallpapers can be used in the living space. In addition, manufacturers have also become more aware by refraining from using certain harmful substances in the production of wallpapers and still voluntarily remaining below the specified limit values.