Searching for Wallpaper On-Line

There has been a recent explosion of sources to buy wallpaper on-line. Many of these offer well-known brands, good prices, good quality products, and good service.

But there are things to beware of….

– A pattern may look pretty on your monitor screen, but it may be difficult to see the accurate color and scale of the design.  Best to order a sample.

– It’s impossible to tell the quality of the paper without actually seeing and feeling it, and many retailers don’t provide complete or accurate information.  Even when such information is provided, the average homeowner hasn’t a clue what all those words actually mean!  One of my least favorite brands (Norwall) pops up all over the Internet, and the patterns are lovely on the screen.  But I cringe every time a customer buys it, because it’s a bear to work with, never looks great, and tends to perform poorly in humid conditions (like bathrooms and Houston in general).  Best to order a sample before buying.

– Just like micro-breweries are popping up all over the place, “boutique” ateliers are creating stunning new wallpaper patterns and colors.  The problem is, not all of these folk have investigated essentials like paper stock, ink stability, adhesives, matching patterns, trimming, etc.  I’ve seen some  papers that looked absolutely gorgeous as they were unrolled, but simply were not engineered to stick to a wall.

– So you fell in love with a wallpaper you found on-line.  But did you notice that it is made in Great Britain?  Are you willing to pay postage to have it shipped here?  Is the paste that the manufacturer specifies available in the U.S.?  What if there’s a problem with the paper?  Can you return it?  How long will that take?

– Most companies that sell on-line are honorable, and will work hard to provide excellent merchandise and service.  But others are more interested in getting your money and, once they have it, should there be a problem with their product, it can be mighty hard to get their attention to fix the problem.  I remember the poor lady who had to host her husband’s company Christmas party at her house, with kitchen walls clad in drab green primer, because the no-longer-in-business back-of-the-magazine 1-800 / Internet-only company sent a defective paper and took THREE MONTHS to replace it.

– Which brings up another point – Some of these companies buy manufacturer’s close-outs and turn around and sell them at a greatly reduced price.  The problem is, some of these papers were closed out for a reason … They may be mixed runs (slightly different colors from roll to roll), have been damaged, have manufacturing defects, or some other problem that is impossible to correct.

– For the above reasons, I recommend buying from an actual store with an actual sales person who knows the brands and products and who can help you, and will run intereference if there is a problem.

If you do find something on-line that you simply have to have, order a sample, and do your research before hitting “Check Out.”

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2 Responses to “Searching for Wallpaper On-Line”

  1. Maggie van ert Says:

    Have you ever used Gracie paper? I hear it’s beautiful but that hangers hate it? Do you have any experience with it?

    • thewallpaperlady Says:

      Hi Maggie
      Thanks for visiting my blog.
      Gracie is a very high-end paper, mostly hand painted murals with fine inks on delicate papers and silk.
      Not all paperhangers “hate” working with it – you just need to choose your installer carefully.
      Go to the WIA Website (below) and find the “Find an Installer” feature to find someone in your area, and ask his / her comfort level working with these products.
      http://www.wallcoveringinstallers.org/

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