Like every industry, wallpapering can sometimes bring up some words and phrases which might leave you scratching your head. Here at World of Wallpaper we’ve created a glossary of terms to help you better understand some of the lesser known ones.
Adhesives - different types of glue or paste for installing wallpaper and borders.
Batch Number - the individual number given to different colour runs (see Colour Run). When reordering extra rolls be sure to refer to the number on the package to guarantee perfect colour match. Where possible we will always do our best to match batches for you on additional orders. All multiple roll orders will be sent from the same batch.
Blind Corner - a part of a room where mismatched wallpaper strips can easily be hidden, usually by large furniture objects.
Blister - an air bubble which forms between the wallpaper and the wall during or after installation.
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 centre point. During this time,the glue will be activated.
Borders - a narrow, decorative strip of wall-covering. Generally, wallpaper borders are used at the ceiling line or across the centre of a wall. Borders can also be applied on top of wallpaper.
Butted Seams - a seam in which wallpaper strips meet exactly, edge to edge, without overlapping.
Chair or Dado 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.
Colourway - if a wallpaper comes in a number of different colour schemes, each variation is a colourway.
Colour Run - a batch of wallpaper rolls printed at the same time using the same inks. Since colours may vary from colour run to colour run, each printing is assigned a run number. Colour run is also referred to as dye lot number or run number. When reordering extra wallpaper be sure to refer to the number on the package to guarantee perfect colour match. Before installing wallpaper make sure you check to see if all run or dye lot numbers are the same, because colours may vary.
Coordinating Wallpapers - wallpapers designed as a collection and meant to be used in combination with one another. The combination may include several different prints, a complementary stripe or plain wallpaper, borders, and fabric. Also know as Companion Wallpapers
Directional Wallpaper Print - a wallpaper pattern with an obvious top and bottom that cannot be successfully installed upside down.
Drop Match - drop match patterns are the most complex pattern matches. These wallpapers require a good deal of planning because the pattern needs to be aligned both horizontally and vertically with the wallpaper on either side. Because of the dual alignment, dropped patterns require a good deal of waste in order to have enough wallpaper to make all the necessary pattern matches.
Half-Drop Match - half-drop patterns repeat at the ceiling line on every other strip and the design tends to run diagonally. It requires three strips of wallpaper to repeat the vertical design. A half-drop match is a straight match that has been split in half. You’ll need to lay out the room and determine which strips will go where ahead of time.
Multiple Drop Match - multiple drop match is the most complex pattern match. It can take four or more strips to repeat the vertical design. A good example of this is a dense paisley pattern. The multiple drop match pattern looks great, but you may not want this to be your first attempt at wallpapering.
Embossed - a pattern or design which is raised up from the paper. Alternatively, if the pattern sinks into the level of the paper, this is called debossed.
Flock Wallpaper - flock wallpaper has a fuzzy or a velvet like texture
Liner Paper - a thick paper installed underneath decorative wallpapers to help cover or smooth out rough, uneven and damaged surfaces.
Mica - A mineral formed out of a chemical reaction between quartz and granite. Exposed to extreme heat, the mineral expands into pieces up to 3000% of their original size, in a spectrum of brilliant colours. After the mica has been heat-expanded, it is crushed into small pieces and stuck on a non-woven backing. Finally, the surface is coloured. This gives the wallpapers a high quality luxurious finish and gives off a brilliant metallic sheen which is great at reflecting light around a space.
Match - the point where the design matches on each sheet.
Matte Wallpaper - wallpaper that has a dull flat, finish.
Murals - wallpaper designed as an image, pattern or scene. This is re-created in several panels to show the full design and normally used on only one wall.
Non-woven - a type of wallpaper which is made from a special blend of natural and synthetic fibres which allows the paper to be washable and breathable. Because the paper is breathable it helps to stop the build up of mould and mildew and therefore non-woven wallpapers are great for bathrooms and kitchens. They are also tear resistant.
Paste-the-paper - a type of wallpaper which requires the paste to be applied to the back rather than the wall.
Paste-the-wall - a type of wallpaper in which you apply the paste to the wall rather than the back of the wallpaper.
Pattern Match - the alignment of a design on wallpaper strips at the seams to ensure a pattern that matches horizontally all around the room.
Pattern Repeat - the number of inches/centimetres between identical points in a pattern design.
Peel and Stick - peel and stick wallpaper is a self-adhesive material that can be applied straight from the roll. Peel and stick wallpaper can be applied to most smooth, flat surfaces, so you can get creative with your walls, furniture and more. Peel and stick wallpaper is also very easy to remove without damaging the surface below.
Print to Order - these wallpapers are printed by the manufacturer only when an order is received by a customer, specifically for that customer. Please take extra care when measuring for a print to order wallpaper.
Reverse Hang - every strip of wallpaper must be installed in opposite directions from how it comes off the rolls.
Scoring - the process of perforating before removal so that removal solution can penetrate the surface. Specialist tools can be bought to carry out scoring.
Soak Time - is the period of time it takes the wallpaper to expand out to its maximum width once the adhesive has been applied to the reverse. The soak time is normally indicated on the label as a specific time, such as 4-5 minutes. Under soaking may lead to expansion bubbles forming after hanging. Over soaking may lead to the paper becoming difficult to handle and tearing.
Spongeable - adhesive or excess paste can be wiped from the surface of the wallpaper using a damp cloth or sponge at the time of hanging without causing any visible damage.
Straight Match - a straight match means that the pattern matches across the width of the wallpaper. The label of the wallpaper will tell you how often the pattern repeats.
Super Washable - The symbol formed from three wavy lines identifies the paper as extra washable. This means that you can use a slightly damp sponge with soapy water to lightly rub it clean. This wallpaper can be used in kitchens and bathrooms as it is more resilient to damper environments. However, please do remember that it is not waterproof so must be kept away from direct water sources such as an area that may be affected by splashing water.
Random Match - a type of wallpaper with no matching seams. This means that it can be cut and installed in any order. Also known as free match.
Vinyl-coated - a wallpaper with a pattern printed onto a thin layer of vinyl on a paper background which makes them relatively tough and washable.
Vinyl wallpaper - similar to vinyl-coated (above) but with a much thicker vinyl top sheet which increases their durability.
Washable wallpaper - papers with a thin transparent plastic coating over the top of the design which allows them to be more resistant to stains and to be cleaned with a damp cloth.
Let us know if there are any other words or phrases which have had you stuck and we will add them to the list!