Wallpaper for Kitchens

With more than a dozen types of wallpaper to choose from, not to mention the thousands of designs available, do you know how to set about choosing wallpaper for kitchens?

The first thing to say about wallpaper for kitchens is that with this being one of the rooms in your home where moisture is inevitably present, paying that bit extra for a good quality wallpaper will pay you back in the long run. Also, bearing in mind that you’ll want to keep the wallpaper clean and hygienic, avoiding an ornately embossed paper is probably best too.

Types of Wallpaper to Avoid

The most important point to consider when selecting the type of wallpaper for your kitchen is that it can be wiped clean with damp cloths and even some gentle cleaning products. Although something like a flocked wallpaper or supaglypta can be cleaned with a sponge, these wouldn’t be suitable for a kitchen as they can become easily stained.

New foil wallpapers would be fine, providing the kitchen walls are in good condition. Foil wallpaper has a metalized plastic film on the side that adheres to the wall which, if your kitchen doesn’t have a lot of natural light, will be quite reflective improving the sense of lightness in the room. This wallpaper is very easy to wipe clean and, when fitted and is quite hardwearing. However, it is also quite fine wallpaper, so when being pasted onto a poor wall finish it can be prone to tearing. You’d also be well advised to avoid an expensive hand-printed wallpaper in the kitchen. These can only be lightly wiped and do not like to be in the presence of steam/condensation.

Recommended Wallpapers for Kitchens

Three types of wallpaper can definitely be recommended for use in a kitchen; these are novamura, vinyl and washable ones.

Made from a foamed polyethylene, novamura is available in a wide range of colors and patterns. As there is actually no paper in novamura it is both light and easy to fit. The surface is very durable and easy to clean, it is suitable for both kitchens and bathrooms as it is highly resistant to the effects of condensation.

Vinyl wallpapers are paper backed with the pattern/colors printed onto a vinyl surface. The vinyl surface is again easy to keep clean and can even be lightly scrubbed if necessary. Vinyl wallpapers are often lightly embossed, but are still very hard wearing in the kitchen.

Particularly suitable for kitchens is wallpaper that is marketed as being washable, which means it can be cleaned with damp cloths and light detergents. These wallpapers are similar to vinyl ones being a paper backing over which is a layer of PVA - polyvinyl acetate, on to which the design is printed using waterproof inks.


The kitchen wallpapers recommended above are all relatively light-weight ones, compared to something you might put in a lounge or bedroom. If the wallpaper is ready pasted and only needs wetting to fit, then you don’t need to be concerned with what type of adhesive to use. If the paper is not ‘self-pasted’ then, a cellulose paste is always the best type to choose as the paste itself will not stain the wallpaper when you’re fitting it.

However, by being impervious and resistant to moisture, these wall papers are prone to mold attacking the paste. So make sure you choose a paste that is clearly labeled as having a fungicide to prevent mold from forming and follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding mixing the paste and preparing the walls.

Our Most Popular Online Tips