Wallpaper was used to cover walls before the 18th century. Particularly during the Renaissance period, it emerged as an affordable alternative to tapestries, which were then used by the wealthy classes to cover stone walls, keep out the heat and add more color to the interior. Wallpaper used to be characterized mainly with beautiful paintings of environments and landscapes, instead of patterns. The largest two manufacturers were England and France. And in the late 17th century, China also started producing high-quality wallpaper. The wallpaper was very expensive, because it was painted by hand. That’s why you usually saw wallpaper in palaces.

Around the 20th century, patterned wallpaper became an essential wall finishing material for homes. However, it became less popular in the mid-century as many people chose to paint the walls in the house. But wallpaper seems to be back with a vengeance. Nowadays there are also different types of wallpaper that can be used for different situations. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about modern wallpaper. Why wallpaper is a good idea, and why not sometimes. We also discuss the different types of wallpaper, and what the advantages and disadvantages are, so that you know what wallpaper is most suitable for your situation.

Why choose wallpaper?

You can cover walls in different ways. Wallpapering is only one way, but you can also plaster a wall or cover it with wooden wall coverings, for example. Below you will find a number of reasons why you choose wallpaper:

  • It is available in a wide variety of designs, patterns, colors and textures;
  • With wallpaper you can easily create a different atmosphere and appearance in your interior;
  • Wallpaper is durable;
  • Many wallpapers are washable;
  • Papering walls is quite easy;
  • With wallpaper you can cover damaged walls with cracks and crevices;
  • Wallpaper can be considered environmentally friendly, as it can be made purely from natural materials and the adhesives do not contain harmful chemicals.

Why not use wallpaper?

Of course, wallpaper does not always have to be the best solution. In fact, in many cases it is even a much better idea to choose a different wall finish:

  • Wallpaper is generally more expensive than paint;
  • Traditional wallpaper is difficult to maintain and remove;
  • Moisture can be problematic for certain types of wallpaper;
  • Patterns need to be well matched. That requires a lot of precision;
  • It cannot be applied to rough concrete and textured walls;
  • Colors can be affected by light and shadow;
  • The more delicate types of wallpaper do not have a long lifespan.

Paper wallpaper

Paper wallpaper is a very paper type of wallpaper, mainly because it is cheap. You can also easily apply it yourself to an even wall. And if you don’t like it anymore, paper wallpaper is also relatively easy to remove. You have simplex wallpaper and duplex wallpaper. Simplex wallpaper consists of one layer of paper, so that irregularities can become visible. That is why it is important to make the wall evenly smooth first. You can also opt for duplex wallpaper that consists of two layers of paper. Due to the second layer, imperfections will be less visible. Because duplex wallpaper is also a lot stronger, it is often used for wallpapering damaged walls. Is the wall in very bad shape? Then you can even opt for curved wallpaper, which contains air between the two layers of paper. This makes the wallpaper even thicker and has a springy character.

This Gamma paper is available here .

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  • Cheap;
  • Easy to apply yourself;
  • Easy to remove;
  • Breathable;


  • Not suitable for damp areas such as the bathroom, toilet or kitchen;
  • Not washable

Non-woven wallpaper

Non-woven wallpaper is a so-called non-woven wallpaper. It is made from a special blend of natural and synthetic fibers, making them washable and breathable. You can find these fibers in many household products, such as tea bags, coffee filters and gauze. Because non-woven wallpaper can breathe, it is very suitable for walls in the kitchen and bathroom. In addition, it also offers a number of practical advantages, which make non-woven wallpaper very popular. Non-woven wallpaper, for example, does not tear as quickly, does not shrink when it comes into contact with glue, is easily washable and difficult to ignite. What is also nice is that you do not smear the glue on the non-woven wallpaper. Instead, you spread the glue on the wall. This makes wallpapering a lot easier.

Non-woven wallpaper is available in many different types of colors and designs. Most decorative wallpaper is non-woven wallpaper, including the wallpaper from major brands such as Cole & Son, Ferm Living, Pip Studio, Piet Boon and Piet Hein Eek. Click here for a large collection of non-woven wallpaper.


  • Decorative;
  • Sturdy and tear resistant;
  • Does not shrink when in contact with glue;
  • Easy to apply
  • Easy to remove
  • Washable;
  • Suitable for walls with small cracks;
  • Breathable.


  • Some non-woven wallpapers are so transparent that stains can become visible;
  • Non-woven wallpaper is slightly more expensive than paper wallpaper.

Vinyl wallpaper

Vinyl wallpaper is very popular due to its strong character. It consists of a top layer of vinyl, while the bottom layer is made of paper or textile. You can choose from foam vinyl and hard vinyl. Foam vinyl has a thickness of about three centimeters, is very elastic and therefore very strong. Hard vinyl is also provided with an extra plastic top layer. This makes hard vinyl wallpaper super strong, making it very suitable in rooms where walls can be affected. Think of a narrow hall or, for example, the children’s room. The top layer also ensures that the wallpaper is moisture resistant, which is ideal for damp areas such as the kitchen, the bathroom and the toilet. The downside is that Vinyl wallpaper is not breathable.

Wallpaper Living inspiration

This vinyl wallpaper from Gamma is available here .


  • Sturdy and tear resistant;
  • Unevenness in the wall is covered;
  • Washable;
  • Sustainable;
  • Repaintable;
  • Moisture resistant.


  • Not breathable;
  • Difficult to remove.

Glass fabric wallpaper

As the name suggests, fiberglass wallpaper is made of fiberglass, which is bonded together. Thanks to the way the wallpaper is produced, they are incredibly strong and provide great reinforcement for any wall or ceiling. Glass fabric wallpaper is made from natural non-toxic materials such as quartz, soda, lime and dolomite. That is why the wallpaper is also considered a green eco product. It is also available in different structures. Another big advantage is that glass fabric wallpaper can easily be painted over several times without being damaged. Ideal if you plan to regularly change wall color. Since it is both flame-resistant and moisture-resistant, fiberglass wallpaper is suitable for old damp houses.

Wallpaper Living inspiration

Click here to view the different glass fabric wallpaper from Gamma.


  • Strong, impact resistant and tear resistant;
  • Sustainable;
  • It is made from natural materials;
  • Easy to paint over;
  • Moisture resistant;
  • Flame resistant;


  • Difficult to remove;
  • Relatively difficult to apply, due to the coarse structure.

Also watch:
15x Wallpapering tips
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Wallpaper Living inspiration

Wallpaper Living inspiration


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