Solid Vinyl Wallpaper = Not a Good Choice in Humid Rooms

I hung this wallpaper 30+ years ago in a 2-room bathroom. In the sink room, the paper held up beautifully. In the toilet / tub room, over the shower and in a few areas up high (where humidity collects), some seams had curled back.

What’s the difference? Two main things – composition and humidity.

In the sink room, the wallpaper was a solid vinyl. But the backing was a thin paper, or possibly a thin non-woven (part synthetic) material. In the tub room, the backing was a gritty yellowish manilla type material.

This stuff is thick, and it will continue to wick up humidity through the seams, and that leads to expansion and then shrinking as the moisture dries. Over time, that will cause the paper to curl back on itself. Sometimes, the vinyl surface actually delaminates and separates from the paper backing. In this case, both backing and surface have curled away from the wall.

I really dislike these low-end papers, and encourage clients to not purchase them. Especially not for wet areas in bathrooms. In addition to the potential to curl up, the seams never look good.

Luckily, there are plenty of viable alternatives. Wallpapers with a paper backing, or a non-woven , will hold up much better.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Responses to “Solid Vinyl Wallpaper = Not a Good Choice in Humid Rooms”

  1. Mary Jones Says:

    I love, love, love reading your blog email every morning. So interesting. I used to hang paper for myself and some friends and neighbors long, long ago so I can relate to your stories. Some papers are just junk.

    Here’s the last job I had hung by someone else. It turned out really pretty with the metallic gold on the paper.

    I have wallpaper jobs every now and then, so I’ll definitely call you next time I have a job.

    BTW, I am the event coordinator for the Interior Design Society, Houston Chapter and I would love to have you as a guest speaker at one of our meetings. Is that something that you would be interested in? Just let me know. If not, no problem. Keep up the good work and writing all about wallpaper.

    Best regards, Mary Jones


    • thewallpaperlady Says:

      Hi Mary. Thanks for reading my blog, and so cool that your experience helps you relate to all this. It also helps you guide your design clients toward better quality papers … and price or high-falootin’ brand name don’t necessarily equal good quality material. I’ve got some more involved jobs that I want to post about … soon’s I get time to type them up. So keep posted. Please contact me privately re the IDS.

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 )

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: