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If part of your home renovation includes wallpaper application, this home design tips post is a must-read!
Installation is everything when working with wallpaper. You can have the most beautiful wallpaper selected, but with improper installation, the end result can be entirely ruined. Believe us, we’ve learned the hard way.
We’ll spare you the horror stories and instead, we’ve asked our interior designers to share their top tips for flawless wallpaper installation. Continue reading to get the insider knowledge, step by step.
STEP 1 – FIND A PROFESSIONAL OR DIY AT YOUR OWN RISK!
We cannot stress enough how important it is to find a good installer. Ask for references and go see their current projects to make sure the person you hire has the skills to complete the installation you’re looking for.
The other option is to do the installation yourself, finding tutorials online. Beware though, installing wallcoverings is not easy, especially if your wallpaper has a pattern — aligning it correctly and assuring a perfect lay can be a hassle if you attack this yourself. All in all, we do feel that hiring a professional is worth it!
STEP 2 – ASK YOUR INSTALLER FOR HIS PROFESSIONAL OPINION ABOUT YOUR SELECTION
Set up a meeting with the installer prior to the installation. Ask questions and explain your design intent so he/she can guide you. Make sure you get a sample of the material you selected to show the installer.
First, review the wallpaper manufacturer’s installation instructions together. Secondly, check quantities for each wall, and have the installer approve the amount you will purchase.
Most importantly, get a confirmation that the actual options you have selected work for the surfaces you have in mind. For example, at our interior design firm, we like to specify wallcoverings for ceilings. The installers typically recommend using thinner and lighter material if possible, so that it does not weigh down and peel off after some time. As a result, they advise us to use natural paper rather than vinyl, which is heavier.
Basically, trust your installer’s professional knowledge about surfaces and materials. Let him/her guide you or steer you in another direction if needed.
If you do decide to DIY your wallpaper installation, make sure you read our previous posts on decorating with wallpaper. Moreover, read the wallcovering manufacturer’s information and installation instructions carefully before you start your project.
STEP 3 – PURCHASE THE CORRECT WALLPAPER FOR YOUR PROJECT
Once your installer has approved your material selection, it’s time to purchase your wallpaper. Find a vendor that you can trust and rely on if you have any issues down the road. At DKOR, we head to our sister company, DKOR Windows & Walls, who has the greatest wallpaper sample selection we have seen in Miami!
When ordering wallcovering remember to always purchase a little more than the exact quantity. We discuss this in our home design tips for decorating with wallpaper blog post. Triple check with your installer the quantity you will need.
Lastly, keep in mind that some wallpapers are made-to-order or need to be shipped, so ask the vendor what the lead time is (time between purchase and delivery) for the product you’re looking at. Review your project timeline, especially if you’re on a tight schedule!
STEP 4 – DO A SITE VISIT WITH THE INSTALLER
Our designers always plan an initial visit with the installer at the job site. Although photos can work, and now video conferencing helps tremendously with projects that are located further away, our designers still prefer touring the space with the installer in person. In doing so, the installer can point out things you didn’t notice. This is something we always do during our interior design projects and it saves us from unexpected problems during the installation process.
Additionally, our interior designers take this opportunity to make sure measurements are accurate. It never hurts to double-check! They walk the space and spot any items needing consideration: corners, air conditioning vents, light fixtures, transitions to other materials, etc.
Furthermore, the installer should check the walls with the project’s general constructor in order to avoid any imperfections. Having a straight, clean and perfectly flat surface prior to installation is key for a wallpapered area to be flawless.
STEP 5 – PUT ON THE FINISHING TOUCHES
Before starting the wallpaper installation, check with your installer if he/she needs the surface that will receive wallcovering to be painted a certain color. We have had installers ask us to do so for dark wallpapers especially. If the base surface is painted or primed a color matching the wallpaper, you can avoid seeing the white wall peeking from inside the seams.
During installation and particularly with natural material (silks, grass cloth, etc.), our designers like to supervise the actual installation because these types of materials are delicate and expensive.
After the installation, inspect the wallpapered surfaces in detail, review to see if there are any air bubbles and have your installer fix any imperfections.
Last but not least, check that the finishing elements around your wallcovering enhance the installation. At DKOR Interiors, for example, we specify the moldings (mainly baseboards) to match the wallcoverings color.
FINAL HOME DESIGN TIPS
It may seem that wallpaper installation is a big project to undertake. And yes, it’s true, if you want the end result to be perfect!. But if you choose professionals to lead you in the right direction, the process will be much more pleasant. Although we understand that hiring an installer is an added cost and has to be considered in the overall budget, we firmly believe that it’s worth every penny!
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