Abrasion Resistance Federal standard for measuring the ability of a wallcovering to withstand mechanical actions such as rubbing, scraping, or scrubbing that may progressively tend to remove material from the surface.
acoustical wallcovering Products predominantly made of man-made polyester and olefin fibers that absorb sound into a wall. A Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) rating indicates the amount of sound absorbed—the higher the number, the more noise absorption. Acoustical wallcoverings are designed for use on vertical surfaces, panels, operable walls and any place sound reduction is a primary factor.
ASTM International (formerly American Society for Testing and Materials) Global organization recognized for publishing voluntary, consensus-based technical standards for a wide range of materials, systems, and services.
ASTM D5034 (see Elongation)
ASTM E84 (aka Steiner Tunnel Test) Standard test method for measuring the flame spread and smoke density of surfaces such as walls and ceilings when exposed to specific fire conditions. Class A wallcoverings have a Flame Spread Index of 0–25 and a Smoke Developed Index of 0–450; Class B have a Flame Spread Index of 26–75 and a Smoke Developed Index of 0–450; Class C have a Flame Spread Index of 76–200 and a Smoke Developed Index of 0–450.
BildenWood™ Reconstructed veneer wallcoverings assembled from different components of genuine wood species. Each veneer has a consistent, repeatable arrangement, making it appropriate for interior applications where a more uniform look is desired.
booking When applying adhesive onto wallcoverings, the process of temporarily folding (not creasing) pasted surfaces to each other for easier handling. Booking allows time for the adhesive to soak into and relax the paper, keeping it tacky until ready to hang.
breathable Wallcovering that allows water and air to pass through to reduce the possibility for mold and mildew to grow. Vinyl wallcoverings can be perforated to reduce the risk of moisture accumulation.
burlap Woven fabric usually made from fibers of the jute plant that are spun into coarse threads. Both the warp and weft may be made from jute, or the fabric can be woven together with another natural fibered yarn. The woven material may be dyed, and is laminated to a paper backing to produce a wallcovering.
Cal 01350 (California Section 01350) Standards developed by the State of California that cover environmental performance and public health considerations in the selection of building materials. Materials are screened based on emissions testing protocols, hazardous content, and avoidance of mold and mildew.
Cal Prop 65 (California Proposition 65) As of October of 2018, this regulation requires that products sold to California, which may expose individuals to chemicals known to the State to cause cancer and/or reproductive harm, must provide a warning notice. There are currently over 800 chemicals and substances on the Prop 65 list, which includes seven phthalates: BBP, DBP, DEHP, DIDP, DINP, DnHP, and DnOP. The majority of mills that produce vinyl wallcoverings and upholstery distributed by Wolf-Gordon have eliminated, or are in the process of eliminating, these harmful phthalates. Products that are determined by our manufacturers to have a Prop 65-listed chemical present, at a level above the determined threshold, will have the following warning indicated on Wolf-Gordon’s Order Acknowledgement:
WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm—www.P65Warnings.ca.gov Prop 65 requires this warning if this product is shipped to California, as it may result in exposure to harmful chemical(s).
calendering Process of compressing a material into a film or sheet by passing it through a series of precision rollers. Vinyl wallcovering is made by calendering a vinyl compound into a film or sheet, then backing it with a textile material.
CFFA (Chemical Fabrics and Film Association) International trade organization that represents manufacturers of polymer-based fabric and film products used in building and construction, and many other industries. CFFA established the quality standards for vinyl-coated commercial wallcoverings.
chevron pattern (see herringbone pattern)
CLAIR® PVC-free wallcovering that meets all the performance standards for Type II. The olefin composite material can be cleaned with a 1:10 bleach/water solution, 70% isopropyl alcohol, 4.5% hydrogen peroxide, as well as cleaning and disinfecting agents that meet the EPA's criteria for use against Covid-19.
clay adhesive Starch-based paste that has clay added as a filler to increase the wet-tack and level of solids, having the lowest water content (40-50%) of any adhesive in general use. Developed for hanging fabric-backed, commercial vinyls and heavy wallcoverings that require superior tack.
clear adhesive Paste based on natural polymers such as wheat or cornstarch, or on synthetic polymers, with water content ranging from 60-70%. Developed for all-purpose use, ranging from very light vinyl to heavy wallcoverings. May be designated for use on bare sheetrock to allow for future stripping. Generally considered to allow for more open-time and ease of clean-up than clay-based adhesives.
cork/cork veneer Wallcoverings with a variegated texture and no definite pattern, made from cork stripped from the bark of a cork oak tree, which regenerates every 9-10 years. The natural cork is formed and laminated to a nonwoven substrate or paper that may be colored.
Corner Burn Test (see NFPA 286)
cotton Soft, fluffy staple fiber harvested from the plentiful and rapidly-renewable cotton plant, which is spun into yarn or thread and woven into fabric. Used for woven textile wallcoverings and for the weft of some grasscloths.
Cradle to Cradle Framework developed by McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC), a global sustainability consulting firm, that can be applied to assessing the human and environmental health characteristics of materials throughout their life cycle. The framework considers product recyclability/biodegradability, effectiveness of recovery and recycling, renewable energy use, water stewardship, and social responsibility. This criteria is used to recognize a product as Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM—in four levels: Basic, Silver, Gold, and Platinum—making it eligible for LEED credits.
Declare™ Transparency tool that supports the Living Building Challenge sustainability certification program. Also relevant to other programs seeking product health and source location information. Declare provides a label similar to the Nutrition Label seen on food products, as well as a publicly accessible database of building products.
digital printing Process where an image or pattern is generated and/or finalized by electronic systems, and printed by a computer-controlled printer. Images are generally printed with UV-resistant inks on a washable, latex-reinforced substrate, which is clear coated for long-lasting protection. Substrates include a wide variety of vinyl-embossed textures, Mylar™, canvas, window film, self-adhesive, natural, and fabric materials.
directional print Printed pattern or embossed texture that is intended to be installed and viewed from only one direction in order to be aesthetically pleasing. Also used to describe a pattern in which motifs are oriented along one or several directions.
double cutting Technique to obtain perfectly fitted seams, used in situations where it is necessary to overlap two strips of wallcovering while avoiding a raised ridge. A straightedge is placed at the center of the overlap and a razor knife or blade is used to cut through both layers. The top cutoff section is removed followed by the bottom cutoff portion, leaving a tightly butted seam.
drop match Hanging technique used for patterns with elements intended to align, but not in a straight-across manner. With a Half-drop Match, each adjoining strip aligns halfway between the vertical pattern repeat, so every other strip will start at the same ceiling line, and the design elements will run in a diagonal direction. A Multiple Drop Match is similar to a half-drop match, except that it takes more strips before the pattern on the first strip is repeated.
dry-erase material (aka whiteboard) Vinyl or polyester laminated substrate used for creating a writing or drawing surface for non-permanent markings made with a dry-erase marker. Material is prepared to be easy to erase and resistant to inks, stains, and solvents. Surface is commonly white, and is also available in light and neutral colors, printed with light guidelines, or suitable for projection use.
durability Ablility to resist long-term wear and maintain original appearance. With vinyl wallcoverings, the appropriate level of durability is measured by type, e.g., Type I is for light duty, low-wear applications; Type II is for medium to heavy duty, high-traffic applications.
dye lot (aka run number) Set of numbers and/or letters that represent a particular batch of wallcovering rolls that were printed on the same print run. Since slight color variances can occur with each reprinting, it is important to ensure that all rolls of the same pattern have the same dye-lot number before beginning a job.
Elongation Test method that evaluates the ductility of a textile wallcovering, by measuring the increase in length after it is subjected to stretching. ASTM D5034 (aka Grab Test) is the standard method where a specimen is gripped in a machine under a specified amount of tension until it ruptures. Test results measure the breaking strength along with the elongation, in both the warp and weft directions.
embossing Raised effect created by impressing a pattern, grain, or design into a wallcovering using either pressure or heat. Can be done during the film formation process or at a later operation. An in-register emboss is a technique where the ink colors are applied at the time the paper is being embossed, generally resulting in an embossing that duplicates the printed pattern.
end match Used to extend the apparent length of wood veneer wallcoverings. Wood strips are book- or slip-matched and installed end-to-end and side-to-side, producing the most pleasing continuous grain pattern.
fabric-backed vinyl Wallcovering with either a woven or nonwoven fabric laminated to the solid vinyl decorative surface. Woven backings are most common and are made of scrim, osnaburg, or drill cloth. Nonwoven fabric backings are made from a mixture of cellulose, textile fibers, pigments, and binders that form a very stable substrate, which allows for dry hang applications where the adhesive can be applied directly to the wall with a roller.
Federal Specification CCC-W-408D Manufacturing and performance standards for vinyl wallcoverings established by the US Government together with the Chemical Fabrics and Film Association (CFFA) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Federal specifications define the following categories by strength (not weight): Type I—Light duty: generally produced on a scrim or nonwoven backing, minimum weight is 7 oz per square yard (10-1/2 oz per linear yard for 54" width); Type II—Medium duty: backing is osnaburg, drill cloth, or nonwoven fabric, minimum weight is 13 oz per square yard (19-1/2 oz. per linear yard for 54" width); Type III—Heavy duty: usually produced on a drill cloth backing, minimum weight is 22 oz per square yard (33 oz per linear yard for 54" width).
Flame Spread Index Federal standard (ASTM E84) for measuring the ability of a wallcovering to resist flames spreading at a fast rate along walls and ceiling when wallcovering is exposed to a source of ignition. The Flame Spread Index for Class A wallcoverings ranges from 0–25; Class B ranges from 26–75; and Class C ranges from 76–200. Federal Specification CCC-W-408D requires a maximum Flame Spread rating of 25 for all vinyl wallcovering types.
flexographic printing (aka flexography) Process that utilizes flexible cylinders (usually rubber) that print a design with raised areas onto a substrate, with much less ink than surface printing. This technique allows for more delicate designs and some tonal effects that aren't possible with nonflexible surface rollers.
FSC certified Signifies that a product comes from environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable sources. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international, not-for-profit organization that promotes responsible management of the world’s forests.
FSC Controlled Product from sources that meet the FSC categories of acceptable material. These sources have not been FSC certified, but follow regulation allowing product to be mixed with FSC Certified material.
grasscloth Handcrafted wallcovering made by weaving dried native grasses or plant fibers, such as abaca, hemp, or sisal, on a loom that is strung with cotton threads for the warp. This yields netting that is laminated to a paper backing or substrate, and the wallcovering is generally trimmed to a 36" width. Grasses and backing may be dyed. Grasscloths are intended for areas where no moisture or grease is present, as they cannot be scrubbed or washed. For high traffic areas, there are a number of vinyl wallcoverings that are excellent imitations of grasscloths.
gravure printing (see rotogravure printing)
HAP-free ink (hazardous air pollutant-free) Printing inks that are recycled in an oxidizer that reduces energy consumption. This generates heat that is returned to the printing process, virtually eliminating any hazardous emissions of carbon dioxide.
Health Product Declaration (HPD) Third-party tool used for reporting the contents of building products and the potential human and ecological health impact once the products are installed. The HPD defines the critical information needed to support supply chain disclosure by manufacturers and suppliers, and informed decisions by building designers, specifiers, owners, and users. LEED v4 includes credits that require a manufacturer to disclose material ingredients in HPDs.
Heat Aging Resistance Federal standard for measuring the ability of a wallcovering to resist deterioration of the coating or decorative surface when exposed to elevated temperatures over an extended period of time.
hemp Common name for the coarse fibers extracted from a high-growing variety of the Cannabis plant, which closely resemble other grasses used for grasscloth wallcoverings, except with a much finer weave. As with other grasscloths, hemp contains irregularities in color and pattern.
hue Pure state of any color, without a tint or shade. Colors with the same hue are often distinguished with adjectives referring to their lightness and/or colorfulness, such as with "light blue," "pastel blue," or "vivid blue.”
intaglio printing (see rotogravure printing)
INVISICAP Clear protective film that can be applied to certain wallcoverings, so they can be cleaned and disinfected with virtually any cleaning, disinfecting, or other chemical agent, including solvents, acids, oxidizers, and salts.
jute Long, soft, and shiny fibers from the rapidly-renewable jute plant, which are spun into strong, coarse threads used for making burlap. For a jute wallcovering, the woven burlap is often backed with paper. Jute is considered the most sustainable of fibers since it is durable, colorfast, insulates against sound and heat, and can be recycled more than once.
kenaf Fibers cultivated from the stem of a rapidly-renewable plant of the Hibiscus family, with similar characteristics to jute. Kenaf can be used as the core component of a sustainable, organic wallcovering when combined with PLA and backed with recycled paper.
kill point Inconspicuous area in a room where an installer will arrange to have the final strip of wallcovering placed. This is important when working with patterns, to avoid a miss-match at this junction.
LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Third-party green building certification program developed by USGBC, which recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. To receive LEED certification, building projects must satisfy prerequisites and earn points (credits) to achieve different levels. Projects may earn one of four levels of LEED certification (Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum) by achieving a given number of credits within one of the five rating systems.
linear yard (LY) Measurement of the length of a material, while a square yard is a unit of area. Example: If a wallcovering has a width of 54" and it is sold by the linear yard (36”), when you buy 2 linear yards you get a 72" x 54" piece.
linen Finely woven textile made from the spun fibers of the flax plant, which is backed with paper to form a wallcovering. Textile wallcoverings with a linen-weave texture, even when made of non-flax fibers, are sometimes referred to as "linens.”
Living Building Challenge (LBC) Advanced sustainability certification program for building products that requires compliance with seven areas (known as “petals”)—Site, Water, Energy, Health, Materials, Equity, and Beauty. The petal was created to encourage transparency, non-toxicity, and socially equitable use of materials. LBC can be applied to both new construction and renovation of buildings, and is more rigorous than green certification schemes such as LEED.
microventing (see perforation)
mix & match This method of creating a wood veneer wallcovering can incorporate any variety of woods in a specified stripe pattern. WonderWood works best for this application, due to its consistent, linear finish.
Mylar™ Trademark of DuPont for a polyester film made of metal sheeting, which can be applied to the decorative print of a wallcovering. Although similar to foil wallcoverings, Mylar will not tear very easily, but will burn; foils will tear easily, but will not burn. Both Mylars and foils will show any imperfections in a wall surface, so extreme care should be taken in wall preparation.
NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) International nonprofit organization recognized for publishing voluntary, consensus-based technical standards for reducing the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life.
NFPA 265 Standard method for determining the contribution of interior textile wallcoverings to room fire growth and fire spread beyond the room, during specified fire exposure conditions.
Noise Reduction Coefficient Average rating of how much sound an acoustic product can absorb. (How much quieter a product can make your space.) Like a sponge absorbs water, an acoustic product absorbs sound, and the NRC indicates how much sound that product can soak up.
non-directional pattern Design that looks the same when viewed from any direction.
nonporous (aka non-breathable or non-permeable) Characteristic of vinyl wallcoverings that have little or no ability for moisture vapor to pass through. Can be an important benefit in terms of durability, cleanability, and wall protection.
NSF/ANSI 342 Comprehensive sustainability standard for wallcovering products developed through a partnership between the Wallcovering Association, NSF International (a public health and safety organization), and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). This standard takes into account the environmental impact of all types of wallcovering products across their entire life cycle, from raw material extraction through end of life disposal. Both the manufacturer and the distributor must qualify to bring a certified product to market.
olefin (see polyolefin)
paperweave Wallcovering with characteristics similar to a grasscloth, but woven from paper products composed of cellulose that are cut into thin strips. Strips are then twisted and/or spun into lengths of yarns (hanks) that are woven and laminated to a paper backing. The paper yarns and backing may be dyed. Paperweaves are intended for areas where no moisture or grease is present, as they cannot be scrubbed or washed.
pattern match (also see straight match, drop match, and random match) Area on a wallcovering where the pattern repeat matches at the seams. The pattern repeat and match should be considered when determining how much wallcovering to order. For instance, a large repeat with a straight match will require more wallcovering than a small repeat with a drop match. A random match has the least waste factor because no allowances need to be made for matching the pattern.
perforation (aka microventing) Process of creating tiny holes in the surface of a vinyl wallcovering to allow the passage of water vapor, increasing permeability. The nearly invisible holes allow the wallcovering to "breathe" so water vapor is not trapped behind the surface where it can contribute to mold growth.
permeability rating Measure of the amount of water vapor (moisture) that can pass through a specified material in a specific amount of time, expressed in units referred to as Perms. Materials with high Perm levels will allow more moisture or water vapor to pass through than those with lower Perm values. Although no specific test procedure has been officially sanctioned, the ASTM E-96 is used by many wallcovering companies to measure permeability.
phthalates Group of chemicals used in vinyl to make it soft and flexible. These seven phthalates: BBP, DBP, DEHP, DIDP, DINP, DnHP, and DnOP are currently listed on California Prop 65 as being "known to cause reproductive harm." Safe harbor levels have been established to determine whether a consumer warning is required. The majority of Wolf-Gordon's vinyl wallcovering and upholstery manufacturers have developed products that replace these harmful phthalates with other plasticizers. This will help reduce human exposure to avoidable chemical hazards.
pigmented primer/sealer Wall primer that dries white (instead of clear) and bonds to most difficult surfaces, and promotes strippability. A pigmented primer can be used to hide drywall joints or patterns, and can be tinted to match a wallcovering color for gaps at seams.
plumb bob Weight, usually with a pointed tip on the bottom, that is suspended from a string and used as a reference to produce a vertical line on a wall to assure that each wallcovering strip is hung perfectly straight.
polyolefin Fibers made from polymers or copolymers of propylene used to form yarns that are woven to give the aesthetic appearance of a natural textile, while adding increased value in stain and abrasion resistance. Polyolefin textiles are backed with an acrylic or paper backing to make textile wallcoverings.
polylactic acid (PLA) Biodegradable, thermoplastic polyester derived from renewable resources such as soy and corn. This thermoplastic component acts as a structural element and topcoat for organic wallcoverings composed of kenaf and backed with paper. PLA provides the ultimate fire rating, since it turns to water vapor when heated or burned.
polyvinyl chloride (PVC) Polymer essentially derived from petroleum and salt, which through several chemical processes results in a fine, white powder or resin. The vinyl resin is combined with chemical additives and modifiers into a compound, in order to achieve the properties required for wallcovering. These additives dictate the needed performance criteria, including color, flexibility, thickness, and UV resistance. The vinyl compound is made into thin and flexible sheets through calendering, and can be clear or opaque, or made to match any color. PVC's relatively low cost, biological and chemical resistance and workability have resulted in its use for a wide variety of applications.
primer Paint applied to the walls or ceiling to provide a more uniform surface prior to installing wallcovering. The primer can also improve the removability of wallcovering and decrease the chances of wall damage.
quarter cut A wood veneer cutting method, where a log is cut parallel to a radius line through the log segment, yielding veneers of graduating widths. Quarter-cut veneers have a straight, consistent grain pattern.
railroading Technique of hanging wallcovering horizontally (side to side) rather than from ceiling to floor. Can be used with non-directional wallcovering patterns when installed above or below windows and doors.
RAMPART® Flexible wall protection product engineered to provide abrasion and impact resistance comparable to rigid sheet goods.
RAMPART® Resolve™ Flexible wall protection product engineered to provide abrasion and impact resistance comparable to rigid sheet goods, but without polyvinyl-chloride (PVC).
random match Installation technique used for a pattern with no specific match point, where each strip is positioned randomly. Stripes, textural patterns, and grasscloths are examples of this type of match. The top and bottom of each successive strip are generally reversed to minimize visual effects from edge-to-edge, such as shading or color variations. In cases where a design has a directional quality, a Straight Hang may be indicated. Note: Random match wallcoverings will produce less waste because there is no repeat distance to take into account.
random plank A wood wallcovering design where veneer strips from a specific species are cut a specified width and varied lengths, and then assembled in a random pattern similar to wood-plank flooring. Wood species with pronounced grain and color variation work best.
rapidly renewable resources Raw materials from plants and other natural sources that typically are harvested within a ten-year cycle. Examples include bamboo, straw, cork, cotton, hemp, and wool. By producing materials using these rapidly growing plant-based products, the number of forests and other resources that take decades to regenerate can be reduced.
REACH A European regulation that aims to improve the protection of human health and the environment through the identification of the intrinsic properties of chemical substances. This is done by the four processes of REACH: registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals. Manufacturers have the responsibility to gather information on the properties of their chemical substances, which will allow their safe handling, and to register the information in a central database.
ready-to-use cellulose Adhesive recommended for hanging delicate papers, strings, and grasscloths where bleed-through or staining is a concern. Since this adhesive is very low in solids and strength, it should not be used to hang vinyl wallcoverings.
recyclable Ability for a product to be recycled into the same or different product, generally preventing the waste of potentially useful materials and reducing the consumption of raw materials and energy usage.
recycled content Pre-consumer (aka post-industrial): materials generated by manufacturers or product converters, such as trimmings, overruns, and obsolete products, which are incorporated back into the manufacturing process of a similar or different product. Post-consumer: a material or product that has served its intended use and has been diverted or recovered from waste destined for disposal. Simply, it is the waste that individuals routinely discard into a receptacle or landfill.
Red List Materials and chemicals that the International Living Building Institute has designated may not be used in construction that seeks to meet the Living Building Challenge, due to health/toxicity concerns. The Red List is updated as new science emerges.
reedcloth Handcrafted wallcovering in which individual reeds are inserted into a warp of cotton threads on a hand-made loom, similar to that of grasscloth. Like other natural materials, the reeds vary in thickness and color.
Regional Materials Credit category used by the LEED 2009 rating system, defined as materials that are extracted, harvested, and manufactured within a certain distance of a project site, historically within a 500-mile radius.
rift cut A wood veneer cutting method, where a log is sliced at a slight angle from the radius of the flitch. This method is most often used with oak woods to minimize the "ray flake" effect that can occur.
rotary screen printing (see screen printing)
rotogravure printing (aka gravure or intaglio) Machine printing process where chrome-plated copper cylinders (rollers) are engraved with a design, and the recessed areas of the rollers pick up the ink and deposit it on the wallcovering surface. There is a separate roller for each color, and the depth of the engraving determines the strength of the color. This process allows for very fine detail and reproduction of images with photo quality. Rotogravure is the most costly manufacturing process.
rushcloth Handcrafted wallcovering in which rush—a juncaceous plant—is inserted into a warp of cotton threads on a hand-made loom, similar to that of grasscloth. Like other natural materials, rushcloth has a natural shading effect.
screen printing (aka silkscreen printing) Process using either flat or rotary hand screens, where the design image is reproduced onto a flat mesh screen held within a frame. The screen area is covered with a resist, such as wax, which blocks all of the screen openings, except in the area of the design image. A rubber squeegee is used to push ink along the screen surface, forcing it through the openings in the design area onto the wallcovering substrate. One screen is needed for each color. This process is most often used for specialty and customized products.
selvage Blank strip along the edges of a wallcovering roll that may include register marks used to ensure color registration. Wallcoverings with a selvage must be hand trimmed on a table or double-cut on the wall after installing.
shading Effect that can sometimes be seen along the seams of plain all-over designs or textured wallcoverings due to color variation during printing. A reverse hanging technique will eliminate this appearance.
shrinkage Problem that may occur when hanging some wallcoverings, since the substrate expands slightly when wet and shrinks somewhat when it dries. Shrinkage can be avoided by applying the correct amount of adhesive—too much can keep the wallcovering from grabbing properly; too little may prevent wallcovering from sticking to the wall. Improper booking time can also cause shrinkage, since the adhesive may not have had time to fully activate. Another common cause is when seams are rolled too soon, forcing out paste prematurely. Waiting as long as two hours for the adhesive to set before attempting to roll seams, is often recommended.
silk wallcovering Fabric woven from yarn that is produced from the cocoons of a silkworm. The fine strands of raw silk that make up the yarn are woven on a loom, and the material is commonly backed with a paper substrate.
silkscreen printing (see screen printing)
Smoke Developed Index Federal standard (ASTM E84) for measuring the concentration of smoke a material emits when exposed to a source of ignition. The Smoke Developed Index for Class A, B, and C wallcoverings ranges from 0–450. Federal Specification CCC-W-408D requires a maximum Smoke Development rating of 50 for all vinyl wallcovering types.
straight match Technique used when design elements of a wallcovering are arranged in a repeat pattern that should align on successive strips. The same area of the pattern will start at the same ceiling line.
surface printing Process used to reproduce a stencil-like effect through the use of lightweight urethane print cylinders. The print design coincides with raised areas on the roller. Once inked, the roller is pressed against the material to be printed, transferring the design onto a moving web of wallcovering. One roller is required for each color.
sustainability (see NSF/ANSI 342)
textile wallcovering Wallcovering produced by laminating a woven material made of natural or synthetic fibers to a backing. Backings are usually acrylic or paper and are used to enhance dimensional stability and prevent an adhesive from coming through the surface. Textile wallcoverings made of natural materials, such as linen or cotton, are commonly used in low traffic areas. Polyolefin/Synthetic textile wallcoverings, which offer increased stain and abrasion resistance, are appropriate for higher traffic areas.
TPO (thermoplastic olefin) PVC-alternative wallcovering composed of a polymer/filler blend, which yields performance and cleanability similar to Type II vinyl without chlorine chemistry. TPO wallcoverings also possess sustainable attributes such as extremely low VOCs, no phthalates or formaldehyde, and printing with waterbased inks.
U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Membership-based nonprofit organization that promotes sustainability in how buildings are designed, built, and operated. USGBC is best known for its development of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating systems.
vinyl (also see polyvinyl chloride) Man-made material formed by the polymerization of vinyl chloride into a compound that is made into thin, flexible sheets used for wallcoverings. Because of its many performance attributes, including durability, flexibility, fire resistance, colorfastness, and easy maintenance; as well as its design versatility and relatively low cost, vinyl wallcovering is a popular choice for commercial interiors.
vinyl-over-vinyl adhesive Paste specifically designed to bond fabric- or paper-backed vinyl wallcovering to an existing vinyl. Extra care needs to be taken to clean these adhesives off while they are wet because of their added bond strength.
VOC (volatile organic compound) Compound chemicals, such as formaldehyde and benzene, that off-gas readily into the air and are associated with a range of health effects. Short-term effects include dizziness, headaches, and eye, nose and throat irritation; longer-term exposure can lead to cancer, damage to the liver, kidney, and nervous system.
Wallcoverings Association (WA) Trade association dedicated to representing and supporting manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers of residential and commercial wallcoverings, in North America. WA provides its members with information on market trends, leading business practices, and industry-specific education through national events, newsletters, and media partners.
WonderWood® Wallcoverings fabricated from slices of high-yield wood species sourced from sustainable tree farms, instead of harvesting mature trees from rainforests. These veneers are dyed and reconstituted to imitate both domestic and exotic wood species.
wood veneer wallcoverings Thin sheets of genuine or engineered wood, cut from a wide variety of tree species, that are laminated to a fabric backing. Veneers are cut from four major sections of a tree, which produce different graining. Leaves of wood may be arranged on a sheet in several different match types. Flexible, rolled sheets are customarily prepared in 18 to 24 inch widths, and in lengths up to 144 inches long. Wood veneer wallcoverings are applied with a special waterbased adhesive, and demand a delicate installation technique.