How to choose an eco-friendly wallpaper

Whether you're a DIY veteran or a newbie in home improvement, this article will equip you with all the knowledge you need to install wallpaper over tiles successfully.

Tropical Eden - PWB

Tropical Eden - PWB

When it comes to home decor, creativity knows no bounds, including the idea of learning how to wallpaper over tiles. Whether driven by the desire to avoid the messy and time-consuming process of tile removal or to cover outdated tiles cost-effectively, many homeowners are intrigued by the possibility of wallpapering directly on tiles. 

However, this process involves a different approach than wallpapering on regular walls. It includes various considerations and stages, such as tile preparation, understanding wallpaper types, and precise application. In this comprehensive guide, we'll detail each of these aspects. 


Factors to consider when choosing eco-friendly wallpaper

Choosing eco-friendly wallpaper involves understanding various aspects of wallpaper production, from the wallpaper types available to the materials used in their manufacture. Here, we'll explore these factors.


Navigating wallpaper types: What wall covering is environmentally friendly? 



Wallpapers come in a variety of types, and each comes with its unique environmental impact. Let's explore the most common ones:

Non-woven wallpaper: Made from a mix of natural and synthetic fibers, non-woven wallpapers are a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional vinyl wallpapers. More importantly, they are free from PVC and breathable, aiding in the prevention of mold and mildew. 

Peel-and-stick wallpaper: Self-adhesive wallpapers are easy to install and remove, which reduces waste generated during the installation and removal process. They are also more reusable than traditional wall coverings since they can be carefully removed and then used for other crafts after their removal from walls.

Vinyl wallpaper: This type is environmentally unfriendly due to its PVC content. PVC does not naturally break down and can release toxic chemicals over time. Its production and disposal contribute to air, water, and soil pollution. As a result, sustainable alternatives are replacing vinyl wallpapers in the market.

Foil wallpaper: Foil wallpaper involves applying a thin layer of metallic foil to a paper backing. Its production can be environmentally taxing, involving high energy consumption and pollution from mining and refining. Moreover, foil wallpaper is typically neither recyclable nor biodegradable.

Mylar wallpaper: Mylar, a type of polyester film, is derived from melted polyester resins. Like other plastic types, it is not biodegradable, and its production often involves harmful chemicals.

Embossed wallpaper: These wallpapers can contain PVC, depending on the embossing materials, which lessens their eco-friendliness.

Fiberglass wallpaper: Fiberglass is a type of plastic. While it's not as harmful as PVC, it is not biodegradable. This means that when they are disposed of, they will not decompose naturally and will remain in landfills

Cellulose wallpaper: Derived from plant fibers, cellulose wallpaper uses renewable resources. However, its production process often requires substantial water and energy. Plus, its final product is not very durable, implying frequent replacements, which could negate its eco-friendly potential.


Navigating materials: What is eco-friendly wallpaper made of? 


Beyond the type of wallpaper, the materials used in its production extensively impact its environmental footprint.


Eco-friendly inks


When it comes to coloring wallpapers, the ink used plays a significant role in determining eco-friendliness. Biodegradable, water-based inks are a far greener choice than their solvent-based counterparts. They decompose naturally over time and reduce the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), making them less harmful to indoor air quality.


PVC-free material

A critical query often posed when discussing eco-friendly wallpapers is, "What is PVC-free wallpaper?" PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is a plastic used in some wallpapers. However, it can contribute to poor indoor air quality and isn't biodegradable. Thus, PVC-free wallpapers are those that don't contain this potentially harmful material, providing a safer, more environmentally conscious choice. 

The following frequently asked question is, "Is PVC wallpaper safe?" While PVC wallpaper may not pose immediate hazards, its environmental impacts and potential contribution to diminished indoor air quality make PVC-free wallpapers a preferable option. 


Biodegradable wallpaper pastes


The environmental impact of wallpaper is not only about the material or ink used but also the adhesive that affixes it to the wall. Biodegradable pastes, particularly those with low to no VOCs, are preferable as they maintain better indoor air quality and degrade naturally over time.

Those are some factors that you need to consider when looking for eco-friendly wallpapers for your office or home interior. Nevertheless, apart from environmental considerations, there are also aesthetic and practical considerations when choosing wallpaper. Here is a complete guide on that: How to choose wallpaper


Photowall: An eco-conscious choice in wallpaper

Exquisite Tropical Plants and Animals - PWP

Exquisite Tropical Plants and Animals - PWP

More than just the materials mentioned above— Photowall distinguishes itself in the wallpaper industry with its responsible and eco-friendly practices at every stage of production and delivery. Their commitment to sustainability is a core principle, evident in their manufacturing process, packaging strategies, reforestation efforts, and careful selection of supply chain partners.


Waste-conscious manufacturing process

Photowall operates with a commitment to efficiency and waste reduction. The company adheres to a made-to-order production model, producing only the required amount of product and eliminating the need for excess inventory and associated waste. Moreover, any waste material resulting from their production process is conscientiously recycled in collaboration with environmental entrepreneur Hans Andersson Recycling AB.


Environmentally-friendly materials

Photowall’s wallpapers are free of PVC and CE labeled, ensuring control of heavy metals and formaldehyde. Notably, their premium wallpaper comes with an additional biodegradable layer, and their peel-and-stick wallpapers are recyclable,  a testament to Photowall's commitment to sustainability. Even the wallpaper glue is derived from natural raw materials and is biodegradable, reducing its environmental impact. Also, the biodegradable, solvent-free printing inks used by Photowall further minimize their ecological footprint and contribute to healthier indoor air quality.


Eco-friendly packaging process

Photowall's dedication to sustainability extends to its packaging process. The boxes they use are made wholly or partially from recycled material, with starch being the only additive. Additionally, to maximize efficiency and reduce carbon emissions, products are transported only on fully loaded trailers.


Reforestation efforts

Every purchase at Photowall supports its work with Vi Agroforestry, a Swedish development cooperation organization. Together with Vi Agroforestry, Photowall plants trees every year in the area surrounding Lake Victoria in East Africa. 


Partnering with environmentally responsible suppliers

Photowall’s supply chain reflects the same commitment to environmental stewardship. They actively partner with suppliers who share their sustainability values and have demonstrated high environmental standards. Photowall has also developed guidelines for conducting due diligence in their supply chain in accordance with the OECD guidelines for responsible business conduct. These measures allow them to target CO2 emission reductions more effectively and ensure the overall sustainability of their products.

In choosing Photowall, consumers are making a choice that marries aesthetic appeal with environmental responsibility. They offer thousands of vibrant and unique wallpaper designs, ensuring you never have to compromise your style for your environmental values. 


Is wallpaper more environmentally friendly than paint?

Wallpaper's durability is a significant factor contributing to its sustainability compared to frequent wall repainting. A high-quality wallpaper can last up to 15 years, making it a long-lasting solution for your walls. Over that same period, a painted wall would likely require several fresh coats, each application involving labor and additional resources.

Photowall's wallpapers notably contribute to this longevity. Crafted from high-quality, PVC-free materials, its wallpapers are designed to withstand the test of time, reducing the need for regular replacements. This significantly lessens the environmental impact over time, proving an innovative and sustainable choice.


Why choose environmentally friendly wallpapers?

Maritime Pines - PWP
Maritime Pines - PWP

Better indoor air quality:  Eco-friendly wallpapers have a positive effect on your home's indoor air quality. Many wallpapers, especially those made from PVC, emit VOCs that can compromise indoor air quality and impact health over time. On the other hand, eco-friendly wallpapers, particularly those printed with water-based inks, emit fewer VOCs, ensuring healthier indoor air quality.

Positive environmental impact: Traditional wallpapers often contribute to environmental pollution through the release of harmful chemicals during production and disposal. In contrast, eco-friendly wallpapers are consciously manufactured using processes and materials that have minimal environmental impact, making them a sustainable choice that helps protect our planet.

Eco-conscious and waste-reducing: One notable characteristic of eco-friendly wallpapers is their commitment to waste reduction. These wallpapers are specifically engineered to be repurposable and decomposable, allowing for minimal accumulation of trash. By offering environmentally friendly alternatives for discard, eco-friendly wallpapers play a crucial role in promoting sustainability and reducing waste in our homes and landfills.

As consumers, the choices we make can significantly impact the sustainability of our planet. By prioritizing eco-friendly products, we can contribute to reducing harmful emissions and managing waste. Indeed, it's not just about the aesthetic upgrade that wallpapers can bring to our homes; it's also about taking part in a larger effort to protect the environment.