Skimpy Info on On-Line Wallpaper Retailers

A gal contacted me today for a quote on labor, and said she already had a source for her wallpaper – one of the on-line so-called discount retailers. I used the site’s Search feature to check the patterns she had selected.

I was pretty surprised to see that there is virtually no info about the paper… I mean, to the layman, it would look like there is adequate info, but if you don’t understand the terms, it doesn’t mean much.

First, there is only a very small bit of the pattern to view, even when you click-for-larger-image, so you don’t really know what the whole pattern looks like, nor the scale.

Here are some statistics provided by the website:

Product Information
Book Name: Black and White 2
pattern #: BW287XX
pattern name:
page #: 21
Product Details
Prepasted: yes
Scrubbable: yes
Peelable: yes
Washable: no
Strippable: no
Match Type:Straight Match
Material:Solid Vinyl
Repeat Length:21 0″
Pattern Length:16 1/2 inches
Pattern Width:20 1/2 inches

You will note that there is no brand name. That is so you can’t go find and buy the paper somewhere else.

The “book name” is not the name of the manufacturer’s book – it is the category under which this on-line seller arranges patterns, in this case by color, which makes it easy for shoppers to find something in their color scheme.

Now let’s see…The paper is scrubbable, but it’s not washable. How is that?? And it’s peelable but not strippable. I know what those terms mean, but I bet the average homeowner has no clue.

And the repeat is 21″, but the pattern length is 16.5″. That doesn’t make sense even to me! The pattern length and repeat should be the same. And is a “straight match” good or bad? Does it mean you need to order extra paper?

What does “solid vinyl” mean? Sounds nice and strong, doesn’t it? But to me, “solid vinyl” generally means CRAP – especially when it’s only $11.23 a roll. To the shopper, this price probably sounds fantastic. But I have hung these types of papers before, and I can tell you, it’s likely to be a very difficult install of some very low-quality paper.

Much better to select paper from a book you can see and touch, and from someone who knows paper, as well as knows the vendors and can help you if there should be a problem. Yes, you will pay more, but it’s worth it for quality, durability, and service.

Tags: ,

2 Responses to “Skimpy Info on On-Line Wallpaper Retailers”

  1. Suzy Grubbs Says:

    I am a wallpaper installer in Longview, TX. I just wanted you to know I have followed your blog for quite sometime and wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading and keeping up with you. I did recommend you to a designer from here in Longview not sure if she contacted you or not. Suzy’s Paperhanging.

    • thewallpaperlady Says:

      Hey, Suzy, thanks for contacting me, and thanks for reading my blog. I go to Dallas once or twice a year, and maybe one time we can try to meet. It would be cool to see what people are installing in your part of Texas.

      Say, we have a pretty involved group of people in the Texas area, who get together every couple of months or so (1-2 times a year). We sure would like you to join us. Please contact me at

      I also encourage you to join the Wallcovering Installers Association. We have our annual convention coming up, where we get together with other installers from not just acorss America, but around the globe, and we have topics ahd discussions and workshops and vendors showing their wares. Also, please consider joining our Facebook page, which is open to anyone. You have to ask permission to join, and then you get on. Simple. There is a massive exchange of information on tht page, and you can learn a lot. You can even “lurk” for a while, before you decide to officially join up. Here is a link to the page I want you to join: Here is the link

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: