What are the different types of commercial wallcovering?

Commercial wallcoverings are produced specifically for use in hotels, apartment buildings, office buildings, schools and hospitals. They are manufactured to meet or surpass minimum physical and performance characteristics set forth in federal guidelines (Federal Specifications CCC-W-408). The guidelines focus on requirements for flammability, tear strength, abrasion resistance, washability, scrubbability and stain resistance.

Examples of various types of commercial wallcoverings include the following:

  • Acoustical wallcoverings are designed for use on vertical surfaces, panels, operable walls and any place where the need for sound reduction is a primary consideration, such as in meeting rooms, offices, theaters, auditoriums and restaurants, as well as corridors and elevator lobbies. These products are predominantly made of man-made polyester and olefin fibers and are tested for a special sound absorption rating known as a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) rating. This rating indicates the amount of sound absorbed into the wall. The higher the number, the more noise absorption.
  • Cork and cork veneer have a variegated texture with no definite pattern or design. Cork veneer is shaved from cork planks or blocks and laminated to a substrate that may be colored or plain.
  • Fabric-backed vinyl is a wallcovering that has a woven substrate of fabric or a non-woven synthetic substrate. In either case, the substrate is laminated to a solid vinyl decorative surface. General categories of this type of wallcovering include Type I (light-duty) vinyl, which is typically used in office areas, hospital patient rooms and hotel rooms, and Type II (medium-duty) vinyl, which is typically used in high-traffic/public areas, foyers, lounges, corridors, offices, hospital wards and classrooms.
  • Natural textile wallcoverings are usually laminated to a backing to enhance dimensional stability and to prevent the adhesive from coming through to the surface. These backings are usually acrylic or paper. Textiles are manufactured in a variety of widths and are constructed of natural fibers. Natural textiles can be finely designed or coarse in texture, depending on the desired look.
  • Paper-backed vinyl is a wallcovering that has a paper (pulp) substrate laminated to a solid decorative surface.
  • Polyolefin/synthetic-textile wallcoverings are woven and non-woven looking wallcoverings and were developed to give the aesthetic appearance of a natural textile while adding an increased value in stain and abrasion resistance. These products are generally put up with an acrylic or paper backing. Many of these products are composed of polyolefin yarns, which are olefin fibers made from polymers or copolymers of propylene.
  • Wood veneer wallcoverings are mostly laminated to fabric backing. They are usually made in sheets 18 to 24 inches wide and provided in any length up to 144.

Source: Wallcoverings Association (www.wallcoverings.org)


Product Search


Advanced Product Search

add LEED criteria

materials & resources


indoor environmental quality


Remember, existing wallcovering on jobs may be recycled and eligible for MR 2. learn more


Materials Estimator

wallcovering and wallcarpet estimation
*contact customer service for exact yardage