What is Vinyl Wallpaper and What Makes it Different?

What is Vinyl Wallpaper and What Makes it Different?

Vinyl wallpaper is an Acrylic Coated Paper and is backed with paper making it a wonderfully durable wallpaper.

When it comes to the world of wallpaper there are many options to choose from when you’re looking to add an extra decorative element to your favourite space. Should I use vinyl? Is vinyl better than paper and what is the difference? To answer these questions, we first need to explain how wallpaper is made.

Let’s start at the beginning. Wallpaper can be divided into two sub categories:

Nonwoven and Woven.


Non-woven wallpaper is backed with a paper.
Non-woven (paper backed) wallcovering substrates are produced on a paper machine using a combination of long fiber cellulose pulps, fibers, binders and other additives to re-enforce the product.
Non-woven wallpaper is usually, but not always, installed using a “paste-the-wall” technique.


Woven wallpaper is backed with fabric.
Examples of woven fabric backings are scrim or drill cloth and this depends on the weight of the wallpaper.

Vinyl Wallpaper, or as it should be called Acrylic Coated Paper, is backed with paper making it fall into the non-woven wallpaper category. In this case the wallpaper surface has been sprayed or coated with an acrylic coating and the decorative pattern is then printed on, which means it can be considered “scrubbable” and suitable for higher traffic zones like corridors and living rooms.

It is important to remember, however, that the wallpaper manufacturer’s idea of “scrubbable” and yours may differ somewhat. Vinyl wallpaper shouldn’t be scrubbed with a scrubbing brush nor should any type of detergent be used on it. All you have to do to keep your vinyl wallpaper clean is wipe it down with a damp cloth on occasion.

This type of wallpaper is more resistant to grease and moisture than plain paper, but doesn’t do too well in bathrooms where there is a lot of steam. Though vinyl wallpaper is considered hardy, this type of wallpaper will not endure physical abuse so it’s best to be a bit gentle with it over time.

When you visit Sasi, you’ll have the opportunity to feel the difference between the paper products and the vinyl coated ones. The vinyls almost feel like they have a plastic texture to them. The weights of vinyl wallpapers differ with heavy weighted vinyls often being the choice for hotels and high traffic zones.

Vinyl wallcoverings usually have a sheen and texture to them and they are excellent choices for entrance halls, kitchen’s, guest loos, offices, hospitals and passages. Installing Vinyl coated wallpaper is a dream- the glue wipes off easily and whether the paper calls for paste-the-wall or paste-the-paper method, it goes up beautifully!

Sasi Wallpaper has a wonderful range of vinyl coated wallpapers, have a look at our following ranges, Anka, Marcel, Istanbul, Cyber 9. Alternatively, pop into our showroom to take a look for yourself, we are always happy to assist in any way.

For more information on wallpaper contact us on 011 262 4202 or 011 262 4948.