What is Textured Wallpaper?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

Textured wallpaper is a home decorating product that has a three-dimensional finish or a three-dimensional effect. For example, textured wallpaper made out of bamboo might actually have a rough texture to the touch. On the other hand, there are wallpapers that are simply printed or painted in such a way that they look like they have a three-dimensional texture. These kinds of faux textured wallpaper are actually smooth to the touch. Understandably wall paper that is actually textured is often more expensive than faux textured wallpaper, especially the variety that is printed in mass quantities.

Textured wallpaper has a three-dimensional effect.
Textured wallpaper has a three-dimensional effect.

Sometimes a textured wallpaper is used to make a wall look as though it is made of a natural, textured material. This is true in cases where wallpaper creates faux effects of marble or stucco. This is an inexpensive alternative to actually building with natural materials such as stone that can be quite expensive, especially when they are installed in large slabs to cover an entire wall. This kind of textured wallpaper can be used in homes but is also often used in commercial or public buildings. Restaurants often use textured wallpaper to make their walls look as if they are made of more expensive materials.

There are some kinds of textured wallpaper that are embossed so that there is actually a three-dimensional quality to the product. It is most common for embossed wallpaper to be made from vinyl rather than from a paper product. Sometimes these kinds of vinyl wallpapers are used to mimic natural building products just like wallpaper options made from paper products. There are a number of kinds of vinyl wallpaper that are embossed to make walls look as if they are made of bricks.

In addition to simply creating a textured look, textured wallpaper — whether faux or otherwise — can be used to mask unevenness in walls. A wall that has received years of uneven paint jobs and sloppy spackling may be covered by a layer of textured wallpaper. This sort of wallpaper with a three-dimensional effect can hide roughness that may be the result of many layers of wallpaper being put up and then removed. Therefore, wallpapers with faux textures or real textures can be used as a quick fix when people are unable to resurface their walls or even replace their walls.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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