Wallcoverings are printed on various ‘materials’, referred to in the industry as ‘substrates’. Listed below are those most commonly used for the production of residential, hospitality and light commercial Wallpapers and Murals. The substrate is key to the quality, strength and long term performance of a wallcovering.

coconut pattern mural

Non Woven

This is a relatively new and fastest growing substrate that is a special blend of natural and synthetic fibers. It exhibits advanced properties of tear resistance, breathability, washability and greater ease of installation and removal. This quality substrate does not shrink during the drying process. It can be produced with a prepasted backing, peel & stick or non-pasted for ‘paste the wall’ application. An ideal substrate for kitchens, bathrooms and high traffic areas. Non woven substrates are the most user friendly and eco-friendly on the market today.

All Distinctive Wallcoverings are digitally printed on non woven substrates. Wall Liner, providing solutions for cracked or problem walls is also Non Woven.

Paper Backed Vinyl/Solid Sheet Vinyl

This wallcovering has a paper (pulp) substrate that is laminated to a solid vinyl decorative surface which is very durable and is scrubbable. When removing, the vinyl top layer can be peeled from the wall leaving the paper backing intact. This can be dampened and removed separately. Paper Backed Vinyl is light – resistant and durable. Vinyl wallpapers vary greatly in color and pattern, they can be embossed and imitate wood, stone, concrete, etc. However, they do not allow the walls to breathe and may trap mold and mildew in or behind walls, thus they should not be used in bedrooms and badly ventilated spaces.

Textile Wallcoverings

This is an elite product. Its premium quality creates a sense of wellbeing. It can be made of: silk, cotton, linen, felt, raffia, twines or feathers or other natural material and produces a gorgeous effect. Textile/Fabric wallpapers are breathable. However they are not flame-retardant or stain-resistant. They are extremely expensive and hard to apply on walls.

Vinyl Coated

This paper substrate is coated with an acrylic type of vinyl or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) making it washable and removable and suitable for most areas in the home. It is more durable and stain resistant than the plain paper wallcoverings of old. However, it is not as durable or heavy as paper backed, solid sheet vinyl. Vinyl coated paper is usually a less expensive option.

black pattern mural


This substrate refers to wallcoverings with a paper substrate/ground combination on which the decorative layer is printed. They may be coated to seal the inks for added protection. Check the label to verify this. Paper wallcoverings are very ecological, they let walls breathe, therefore they are widely used for bedrooms and dining rooms. They are very affordable, however, the colors fade in direct sunlight and they are not washable.

Fabric Backed Solid Vinyl

Fabric backed vinyl is a high quality, strong, solid sheet of heavyweight vinyl. It has a sturdy fabric backing and is highly resistant to light, dirt, moisture and heavy traffic. It is most often used for commercial installations where durability and flame resistance are specified by building codes and architectural requirements. It is seldom, if ever, used in a residential application because of the long production runs required. A few manufacturers do make it available for such, on a limited basis.

Expanded Vinyl

Expanded vinyl can be printed on either a paper or solid vinyl base. The expanded vinyl effect is printed and contains a special agent that expands when heated following the printing process. This yields a highly dimensional and thick surface that can have its own color or can be white and painted (Paintable Textured Wallpaper). Because of the thickness and dimensional properties of expanded vinyl it can be used to cover cracked damaged walls and even paneling.

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