Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequent questions Arthouse are asked. If your question is not listed below, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

What checks should I undertake when decorating?

Any faults in wall coverings will be apparent either before hanging or during hanging. Arthouse make every effort to ensure that our wall coverings are perfect but variations in the production process do sometimes occur. Before hanging check that the rolls are undamaged and that they are all the same batch number. Check the design and colour matches both edge to edge and roll to roll. Please retain all roll labels until decorating is complete. We will need these in the event of a complaint. The person decorating should inspect the paper after hanging 3 lengths to check for any faults or defects. The decision to continue decorating is then their responsibility. Arthouse cannot be held liable for consequential loss (e.g. decorator’s costs) in respect of defects apparent prior to hanging. No claims in excess of 1 roll (3 lengths) can be allowed for defects which were visible at the time of hanging. Some faults, like shade variation may be noticeable prior to hanging but are enhanced when the paper has been pasted. If a fault is found then no more wall paper should be hung on the wall. Please return any defective rolls and all the labels back to the retailer where the rolls were purchased. The retailer will return the labels and samples of the defect back to Arthouse. The complaint will be investigated and the product tested, if necessary.

Should I size my walls?

No! We do not recommend that you size your walls, however we do recommend that you use a good quality primer/sealer, as this is more compatible with the ready mixed ‘tub’ adhesive and acts as a suitable sandwich or ‘key’ coat on both porous and non-porous wall surfaces.

Why do you recommend a ready mix ‘tub’ adhesive?

Ready mixed ‘tub’ adhesives contain additives, which improves the initial grab of the wall covering on to the wall surface and also improves the long term bonding qualities of the adhesive.

What are the benefits of lining and in particular cross lining?

Lining paper without question is the best surface you can hang a wall covering onto, as the face of it has the same fibrous texture as the back of the wall covering, therefore they are absolutely compatible. Other major benefits of lining are that it improves the finished results, covering any minor imperfections in the wall and eliminates any possibility of ‘show through’ from light or dark patches underneath. Lining also reduces shrink back (joins opening up).

Cross lining is recommended because if the lining paper is hung vertically there is the temptation to use the join on the lining as a ‘plumb line’ starting point for hanging wallpaper onto. Secondly, even if you start hanging the final wallpaper in the middle of the lining paper you may find that because the lining paper is often a wider width to the wallpaper, that as you work round the room the joins catch up with each other. In either case, you will find that if you hang one join on top of another you will have great difficulty disguising the top one.

Should the design on wall covering always come off the correct way up?

No. Whilst manufacturers will generally look to ensure that the wall covering does come off the correct way it cannot be guaranteed and should never be assumed to always be the case. It has been wrongly believed for many years that a wall covering comes off the roll with the top of the design going to the top of the room. This has absolutely no official foundation and is not a recognised procedure under European legislation on manufacture.

Is there a difference between pattern ‘repeat’ and pattern ‘match’?

Yes, the two must not be confused.

Pattern Repeat, is the distance measured before the same part of the design is reproduced (repeats itself) in the wall covering.

Pattern Match, refers to the matching half of the design (given most wall coverings are trimmed through a motif for ease of hanging) falling in relation to the opposite side of the wall covering.

Why can’t I get the pattern to match?

Problems with pattern matching can be due to one of 2 things:

  1. Over stretching the paper when hanging. Pasting the wall covering makes it more pliable and easier to handle. However, it also makes it more susceptible to stretching when ‘brushing out’ to remove air bubbles and flattening the paper to the wall. Extra care is required to ensure that the paper isn’t stretched lengthways as this will affect the pattern match. It is highly unlikely that the paper will contract in length when drying and any attempt to manoeuvre the pattern back will result in creasing.
  2. Manufacturing fault. The edges of all wall coverings are trimmed as part of the production process. If the rotary trimmers are not set to the right position and correct distance apart, then the position of the pattern on the edges of the paper will be affected.

What is the importance of soak times?

The wall covering ‘soak time’ is the period of time it takes the wallpaper to expand out to its maximum width (across the width not down the length) once the adhesive has been applied to the reverse. The soak time is normally indicated on the label as a specific time, such as 4-5 minutes. Under soaking may lead to expansion bubbles forming after hanging. Over soaking may make the wall covering may lead the paper becoming difficult to handle and tearing.

What causes bubbling or creasing on the wall after hanging?

There are generally two types of bubbles associated with hanging wall coverings which are either due to trapped air or more seriously, continued expansion.

Air bubbles can generally be identified by their shape and will show themselves as a relatively ’round’ type bubble (diameter approx 4-8 inches). These are caused when the paper is smoothed unevenly. The best way to avoid air bubbles is to gently brush the paper down the centre and then out to the edges as you work down the sheet. If bubbles are immediately identified as the wall covering is being hung then simply lift the wall covering from the bottom and re-brush/smooth it back down. Air bubbles will reduce slightly upon drying, but will not disappear completely. Pricking them with a needle and then attempting to brush them out after they have dried will almost certainly result in creasing.

Expansion bubbles or creases are caused by continual expansion of the wall covering. This occurs when the paper has not been left to soak for the recommended time. They  normally present themselves as short elongated bubbles (approx 10/15cm long), running parallel to the length of the wall covering and tend to look staggered across the sheet. It is highly unlikely that these type of bubbles will reduce upon drying or be removable once dry.

What causes shrink back (joints to open)?

Shrinkage occurs when the wall covering does not adhere to the wall properly before drying. Most wall coverings expand when wet and will try to shrink back on drying if the wall adhesion is poor or the paper is over-stretched.

If the wall surface has been correctly prepared, the paper will soon adhere to the wall and should not shrink back whilst drying.

Poor wall adhesion can be caused by poor wall preparation or by too little/too weak adhesive and the wall covering starting to dry out before the hanging commences.

Shrink back also occurs when the room temperature is too high during the drying period. We always recommend that radiators are turned off to allow the wall covering to dry naturally. If the room temperature is too high, the rate of contraction (shrink back) will be accelerated and will exceed that rate of adhesion.

How long should it take for my wallpaper to dry out naturally?

For wall coverings to fully dry out it could take from 2 to 7 days, dependent upon the type of wall covering and other factors, such as wall surface, adhesive and atmospheric condition etc.

What effect can heat have when decorating?

Heat can play a significant part in the finished results when decorating – particular in shrink back. All wall coverings need to be allowed to dry naturally in a well ventilated room. Accelerating the drying process with excessive heat (e.g. central heating, fan heaters etc) will cause the paper to dry out too quickly putting the paper under severe tension, causing shrink back of the joins to occur.

The colour is coming off when I wipe the wall covering?

Our wall coverings are printed using water based inks. In order to ensure that the colours remain ‘fast’ after printing, a binding solution is added to the inks. All our printed wall coverings are classified as being ‘spongeable’ (as denoted by a single wavy line symbol on the front of the roll label). This means that the paper can be gently wiped with a sponge only moistened with clean water. Rubbing hard or using cleaning fluids will compromise the binding solution and cause the colour to come off. It is also recommended that any excess paste on the surface of the paper is removed immediately using a damp sponge. Again, the integrity of the binding solution will be compromised if excess paste is allowed to remain on the printed surface for longer than 5 minutes. Darker colours have more propensity to come off than lighter colours and therefore require extra care.

The wall covering edges won’t stick down, how do I stop them keep lifting?

This type of problem is normally an adhesion issue and the most common cause is ‘drying-in’ of the adhesive at the edge of the paper. When wallpaper is folded adhesive side in, the only area that is exposed to the atmosphere during the soaking period is the very edge of the sheet and it is this area that starts to dry out first. It is therefore important that an adequate amount of adhesive is applied particularly to the edges. The use of a seam roller may prove beneficial in such circumstances but be careful not to damage the surface of the wall covering

What adhesive should I use for hanging a border?

We recommend that you use a good quality border adhesive, specifically intended for this purpose and where required one that guarantees to stick ‘vinyl-to-vinyl’. The issue is never usually with the border itself, but the surface that it is being hung onto.

What if I have a complaint?

Under the Sale of Goods Act, you entered into a contract with the retailer when you purchased the goods. You have a legal right to a refund, repair or replacement from the retailer if the goods do not match the description, are not of satisfactory quality or are not fit for purpose. You do not have a legal right to a refund, repair or replacement if you have accidentally damaged the product, misused it and caused a fault (i.e. application error), tried to repair it or if you knew it was faulty when you bought it. Any claims for consequential loss will only be considered upon receipt of all roll labels, samples showing the fault and a thorough investigation of the complaint. Claims for consequential loss do not normally cover distress, inconvenience or disappointment.

Why do I need to return all the roll labels and samples in the event of a complaint?

The labels provide conclusive proof that all the same batch was purchased. We will not be able to justify any complaint if all the labels are not returned. Samples showing the defect are also required so that we can investigate the complaint thoroughly. Our Technical Department will often carry out tests on the samples to determine if the fault was caused during manufacture or whether it was caused by an application error.

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