Learning From 22 Year Old Installations

In a past post, I mentioned revisiting homes where I had installed wallpaper as long as 22 years ago.

I am pleased to say that virtually all of these jobs were still in perfect condition.

When there is an issue, though, I like to understand just what happened, because once you understand what went wrong, you have the chance to take steps to prevent it in the future.

One home had a tiny little bit of curling where the wallpaper hit the top of the sink backsplash. I did that job before I learned a little trick … Nowadays, once I finish a job in a kitchen or bathroom, I always run a bead of clear caulk around any edge that will come in contact with water. That prevents any water that may puddle up on the ledge from wicking into the paper, which could cause curling over time.

In another home, the wallpaper was still in good shape, but there were a few seams that showed some minor curling. This is most common problem with solid vinyl papers, and is exactly the reason I try to steer people away from these papers. Yes, they are “water resistant” when water splashes on the surface, and yes, you can “scrub” them if a something splashes on them. But they are the MOST likely to curl at the seams, almost always due to humidity in the room. And where do you have humidity? In bathrooms! Manufacturers try to sell these solid vinyls as “bathroom papers,” but, at least down here in the Humid South, in my opinion, they are NOT suited. In fact, I am so passionate about this topic, that I give prospective clients a hand-out explaining my point of view.


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