Is Vinyl Safe for Walls?

Vinyl is a popular type of wallpaper, but a lot of people are hesitant to use it thinking that it can damage the walls. When renovating your home, you have many wallpaper options. However, you need to consider different factors before you can decide on the best wallpaper for your walls. In this article, we will discuss vinyl wallpaper. If you are thinking about using this type of wallpaper for your wall renovation, you can check out the rest of the article below for more tips and information.

Is vinyl safe for walls? When properly installed, vinyl is a safe wallpaper option for your home. It is a good alternative for covering walls and breathing new life into the room. There are some talks about vinyl being toxic as it is made of dangerous chemicals that can put your health at risk. Make sure that you carefully check the manufacturers guide to find out what chemicals are included in the production.

Vinyl is a type of wallpaper that has become popular in the last few years. If you want to try something new aside from the regular wallpaper, you can use vinyl ones. To help you make a decision, we have answered common questions asked about vinyl wallpaper below.

Is vinyl safe for walls
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What Makes Vinyl Wallpaper Unsafe?

The chemicals that are used in the production of vinyl wallpaper make it unsafe. A common chemical that is used is dioxin which is considered as one of the most dangerous chemical that is made. Furthermore, using vinyl wallpaper in rooms that have high levels of moisture can trap moisture between the walls and wallpaper which causes mold growth.

Why Use Vinyl on Walls?

You can use vinyl as decorations on walls. They can provide a new and unique look to your otherwise dull looking walls. Vinyl is affordable and comes in a wide array of designs, patterns, and colors. They are a good alternative if you do not want to use paint or other material on your walls. Vinyl is also easy to clean and maintain.  We have also shared this article that discusses if wallpaper is hard to maintain. You can check out the article for more tips and information about the topic.

Is Vinyl Peel and Stick Wallpaper Toxic?

Vinyl wallpaper can be toxic depending on the chemicals and level of chemicals that are used in producing the wallpaper. Most vinyl wallpaper contains toxins that can be considered as health risk when exposed for long periods of time.

Three Types of Vinyl Wallpaper

The three types of vinyl wallpaper are vinyl coated, solid vinyl, and fabric-backed vinyl. Each type has a different durability when it comes to withstand wear and tear. Make sure that you check the type of vinyl wallpaper so that you can determine the best option for the room that you will be decorating. Let us learn more about the tree types of vinyl wallpaper below.

Solid Vinyl

This type of wallpaper is entirely made from vinyl. The pro of using this wallpaper is that it is tear and scratch resistant. Moreover, you can clean with water. You can use this type of wallpaper when decorating your kitchen and bathroom. However, the con of using this wallpaper is that it looks like plastic which produces a cheap appearance. Fortunately, you can choose from a wide array of designs and styles that are available. They are usually pre-pasted for easy wall installation.

Vinyl Coated

The paper base of this type of wallpaper is treated with a chemical form of vinyl. It has a coating which makes it ideal for humid and high-moisture level rooms. You can use vinyl coated wallpaper in bathrooms as long as it is placed above the wainscoting. It is considered as the weakest of the three types of wallpaper and can easily scratch and tear.

Fabric-Backed Vinyl

For this type of vinyl wallpaper, a thick woven fabric base is used rather than paper. It is further categorized into two groups which are the light duty fabric backed vinyl and the medium to heavy fabric backed vinyl.

  • Light duty fabric backed vinyl – It is commonly referred to as the Type I or 15 Oz.
  • Medium to heavy duty fabric backed vinyl – Is usually called the Type II or 20 Oz.

How to Install Vinyl Wallpaper

To install vinyl wallpaper, you need to prepare the wall, prepare the wallpaper, apply glue to the wall, install the wallpaper, and make sure that there are no air bubbles stuck in the wallpaper. You can choose from a wide array of vinyl wallpaper available on the market. Below are the steps on how to install vinyl wallpaper.

Step 1 – Prepare the Surface of the Wall

The first thing that you need to do is to prepare the surface of the wall. Remove any existing wall covering from the wall. Make sure that the wall is smooth and even so that the glue will properly adhere to the wall and wallpaper. Fill out any cracks and hole with plaster. Use a sandpaper to even out the walls.

Step 2 – Prepare the Wallpaper

Vinyl wallpaper is usually sold in strips. Unroll a strip of vinyl wallpaper and measure it against the wall. Make sure that it is of the same length with the wall. Make sure that you carefully measure the length of the wallpaper with the height and width of the wall so that you can determine if you have enough wallpaper to cover the wall or not.

Step 3 – Apply Paste

Apply paste or glue into the wall or the wallpaper if the wallpaper that you choose is not peel and stick. Take note that the paste requires some time to get sticky. Let it sit for about five minutes before you install the wallpaper into the wall.

Step 4 – Install the Wallpaper

Once the paste has set, you can start sticking the wallpaper into the walls. Lift a strip of vinyl wallpaper making sure that the edge is aligned with the edges of the wall. Stick first the top of the wallpaper. Apply firm and even pressure as you continue to stick the wallpaper to the wall.

Step 5 – Remove Air Bubbles

Air bubbles that get stuck between the wallpaper and the wall can create a bumpy appearance and can also damage the wallpaper easily. Make sure that you smooth out any air bubbles or wrinkles as you apply the wallpaper. Trim out any excess wallpaper and use a damp sponge to remove excess glue that sticks on the wall and wallpaper.

✅ Video – Peel & Stick Vinyl Wallpaper Installation Video

Anewall shared the video below on YouTube. It discusses how to install peel and stick vinyl wallpaper. This type of wallpaper is easier to install because it has a pasted backing. All that you need to do is to install it to the wall. Check out the video below of the installation process.

Vinyl Wallpaper Alternatives

Some of the non toxic wallpaper materials that are ideal alternatives to vinyl include non woven, woven, and paper. Let us learn more about these types of wallpaper below.


Wallpapers that are made of natural paper are a good alternative for vinyl. They are PVC-free. Make sure that you choose the ones that are not coated with vinyl.

Non woven

Another alternative that you can have is non woven wallpaper. It is made of natural and synthetic fibers that are PVC-free. Moreover, non-woven wallpapers are breathable which reduces the growth of mold. They are easy to clean and maintain. Non woven wallpaper usually comes in pre-pasted, non-pasted, and peel and stick for various application options.


This type of wallpaper is usually made from fabrics like cotton, silk, sisal, polyester, and many more. Because they are made from fabric, they are breathable and reduce the growth of mold.

How Do I Know if My Wallpaper is Vinyl?

A simple test to determine if the wallpaper is made from vinyl is to use a damp sponge. Use the sponge to wet a small area of the wallpaper. If the wallpaper absorbs the water, then it is not made from vinyl. You can also check out this article that we have shared titled, should you wallpaper a whole room? We have shared tips and ideas that you can use when thinking about wallpapering a whole room.

Is Vinyl Wallpaper Water Resistant?

Vinyl is water-resistant and can be able to withstand water better as compared to other types of wallpaper. Moreover, vinyl wallpaper will not absorb water that lands on its surface. This can prevent damage and also reduce the risk of mold. We have also shared this article that discusses why vinyl wallpaper is bad. You can check out the article for more information about the topic.

What is a Vinyl Coated Wallpaper?

The decorative surface of this type of wallpaper is coated or sprayed using an acrylic type vinyl or polyvinyl chloride. Vinyl coated wallpapers are easy to clean and remove. They can be used in different rooms and they will not cause damage into the walls when installed properly. Moreover, they are ideal for the kitchen and bathroom because they are grease and moisture-resistant. You can also check out this article that discusses why wallpaper is so expensive. We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.


You have reached the end of this article that discusses is vinyl is safe for walls. We have found out that vinyl is safe to use on walls just as long as it is properly installed. You also need to make sure that you check the label of the wallpaper so that you can determine which types of chemicals are used in its production. Like any types of wallpaper, vinyl has its pros and cons that you need to consider if you want to use it for your wall covering. Thank you for reading!

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