Types of Commercial Wallpapers

There are many different types of commercial wallpapers. Commercial papers are manufactured to meet or surpass minimum physical and performance characteristics set forth in Federal guidelines (Federal Specifications CCC-W408). The guidelines focus on requirements for flammability, tear strength, abrasion resistance, washability, scrubbability, and stain resistance.

Below are explanations of the most typically used commercial wallcoverings:

Vinyl coated paper: Wallcovering that has a paper substrate on which the decorative surface has been sprayed or coated with an acrylic type vinyl or polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Paper backed vinyl/solid sheet vinyl: Wallcovering that has a paper (pulp) substrate laminated to a solid decorative surface. This type of wallcovering is very durable since the decorative surface is a solid sheet of vinyl. It is classified as scrubbable and peelable.

Fabric backed vinyl: Wallcovering that has a woven substrate of fabric or a non-woven synthetic substrate. In either case, the substrate is laminated to a solid vinyl decorative surface. General categories of this type of wallcovering include:

Type I: Light duty commercial grade wallcovering weighing between 7 and 13 ounces per square yard. Generally produced on a scrim or non-woven backing.

Type II: Medium grade commercial wallcovering weighing between 13 and 22 ounces per yard. It is produced on an osnaburg, drill, or non-woven fabric backing.

Type III: Heavy duty commercial grade wallcovering, weighing in excess of 22 ounces per square yard. Usually produced on drill fabric backing. 

Natural textile: Wallcoverings are usually laminated to a backing to enhance dimensional stability and to prevent the adhesive from coming through to the surface. These backings are usually acrylic or paper. Textiles are manufactured in a variety of widths and are constructed of natural fibers. Natural textiles can be finely designed or coarse in texture depending on the desired look.

Polyolefin/synthetic textile: Wallcoverings are woven and non-woven looking and were developed to give the aesthetic appearance of a natural textile while adding an increased value in stain and abrasion resistance. These products are generally put up with an acrylic or paper backing. Many of these products are comprised of polyolefin yarns which are olefin fibers made from polymers or copolymers of propylene.

Acoustic wallcoverings: Designed for use on vertical surfaces, panels, operable walls and any place sound reduction is a primary factor such as meeting rooms, offices, theaters, auditoriums, restaurants as well as corridors and elevator lobbies. These products are predominantly made of man-made polyester and olefin fibers, and are tested for a special sound attenuation rating known as a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NCR) rating. This rating indicates the amount of sound absorbed into the wall. The higher the number, the more noise absorption.

White board: This style of commercial wallpapers has a white plastic coating that enables the wallcovering to be used as a writing surface or as a backdrop for video displays or slide presentations. Erasable markers are used to draw presentations or notes. Generally utilized in board rooms or conference areas. 

Information provided by the WallCovering Association

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