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We understand that our customers range from experienced property developers to new homeowners who are decorating their home for the first time – you are a beautifully diverse bunch! However, like any industry wallpapering can sometimes bring up some words and phrases which might leave you scratching your head.

Fear not though, we’ve all been there and so, in order to help make life a little easier for you, we have put together our very own wallpaper glossary of terms. Read on if you’d like to know your Bolts from your Dado.

Different Types of Wallpaper 

There are many different types of wallpaper and it can be easy to get confused and overwhelmed. Here, we have given a short description into the types and their features. If you’d like more information on types of wallpaper see our guide which gives a detailed description of each type.

Random match wallpaper 

A type of wallpaper with no matching seams, so however you apply the wallpaper, it always looks great. This means that it can be cut and installed in any order. This is also known as a free match and it is a great option for beginners as no cutting and aligning experience is necessary. 

Vinyl-coated wallpaper 

A wallpaper with a pattern printed onto a thin layer of vinyl on a paper background which makes them relatively tough and washable. This wallpaper usually has a paper base layer.

Vinyl wallpaper 

Similar to vinyl-coated (above) but with a much thicker vinyl top sheet which increases their durability. This means it can be scrubbed and cleaned quite vigorously without the need to worry about damaging the wallpaper. 

Embossed wallpaper 

A pattern or design which is raised up from the wallpaper. Alternatively, if the pattern sinks into the level of the paper, this is called debossed.

Liner Paper

A thick paper installed underneath decorative wallpapers to help cover or smooth out rough, uneven and damaged surfaces. It’s a great option for older households where the walls are damaged or plagued with holes.

Non-woven wallpaper 

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.

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. You can keep this wallpaper looking as good as new for a long time.

Paste-the-paper wallpaper 

A type of wallpaper which requires the paste to be applied to the back rather than the wall. Once the paste is applied, you can then hang the wallpaper on the wall.

Paste-the-wall wallpaper 

A type of wallpaper in which you apply the paste to the wall rather than the back of the wallpaper.


A continuous roll of wallpaper which is the equivalent of two or more single rolls. Wallpaper is usually sold in bolts rather than single rolls.

Practical Terms Relating to Wallpapering 

If you’re installing wallpaper, you’ll likely come across a bunch of ‘technical’ terms that you won’t know about. So, next time you’re putting up wallpaper, take a look below for some quick terms and definitions.

Blind corner

A part of a room where mismatched wallpaper strips can easily be hidden, usually by large furniture objects.


An air bubble which forms between the wallpaper and the wall during or after installation. Blisters often occur when the wallpaper fails to successfully attach to the wall or if you don’t smooth the wallpaper correctly.

Colour way

If a wallpaper comes in a number of different colour schemes, each variation is a colourway.


The process of perforating before removal so that removal solution can penetrate the surface. It involves creating small holes in the paper. Specialist tools can be bought to carry out scoring.


This means 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.

Pattern Repeat

The distance between identical points in a design. Wallpaper with a pattern repeat design needs to be matched effectively which means carefully measuring how much paper you’ll need.

Other Terms You’ll Come Across When Applying Wallpaper 

Skirting Board 

A wooden board which runs around the base of an interior wall. Also known as a baseboard, skirting or mopboard.


An area of wooden panelling on the lower part of the walls of a room. Historically, a wainscot is installed to prevent damage to the walls by a table or chair.


A cut out material design which is applied to a wall on top of wallpaper or paint to give a decorative aesthetic.


The area of a wall which makes up the lower third of a wall. Usually accompanied by a dado rail or chair rail. Also known as a chair rail (see below). A Dado is similar to a wainscot.

Dado Rail

A decorative waist-high moulding around the wall of a room. Forms the top of the dado area and protects the wall from damage. It is traditionally around 36” high.

Looking for More Information on Wallpapering and Related Terms?

If there are any other words or phrases which have had you stuck and we will add them to the list! Please let us know by contacting us and we will happily get back to you! Alternatively, if you’re looking for the best wallpaper for your home and you have any questions about our products, we will be happy to answer any questions.