The different types of wallpaper: Which should you choose?

The two most commonly wallpapers used globally are PVC and Non-woven. While these look almost identical, there are some small distinctions to consider.

See below for comparisons and explanations of these wallpaper types, and which type we recommend for different rooms.

At a glance: PVC versus non-woven wallpaper

Characteristic PVC Non-woven
Average life 11-15 years 8-11 years
Durability High Moderately-high
Durability in moisture-rich rooms Moderately-high Moderately-low
Environmental impact High Low
Finish Shiny Matte
Embossing Yes No
Mould/mildew resistance Low High
Washability High Low
Fade resistance Moderately-high Moderate
Cost Low Moderate

PVC (Vinyl) wallpaper

PVC wallpaper is made by layering vinyl (a plastic) over paper or fibre backing. The thicker this layer is, the greater the durability of the wallpaper. This layering also creates a reflective, shiny surface.

Given its plastic coating, PVC wallpaper can be used in high-moisture rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms on walls without direct contact with water. PVC wallpaper is also easier to wash and fades less over time in the sun.

PVC wallpaper can be embossed, creating a textured surface. Embossing is the process of pressing patterns into the plastic layer.

Embossed PVC wallpaper

Non-woven wallpaper

Non-woven wallpaper has no plastic coating. It is considered more environmentally friendly than PVC wallpaper because it is made from compressed wood and plant fibres. It feels more fabric-like to touch. The overall finish of non-woven wallpaper is less shiny than PVC.

Non-woven wallpaper is also more breathable, preventing the growth of mould or mildew on the wall behind.

While non-woven wallpaper cannot be embossed, digital printing technology can be used to create intricate designs that still look textured.

Non-woven wallpaper is generally more expensive than PVC because of the material used.

Non-woven textured wallpaper

Which wallpaper is recommended for which room?

High-traffic hallway PVC
Kitchen PVC
Bathroom PVC
Living room PVC or non-woven
Bedrooms PVC or non-woven
Office space PVC or non-woven
Children’s rooms PVC

At FEDORA, our current mid-range catalogue INDUS provides a vibrant range of PVC wallpapers. Stay tuned for our non-woven catalogue coming in December 2021. Contact us if you would like to see samples or know more.

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