The choice of commercial wall covering types, styles and substrates will depend on the space, the context and must be fit for purpose. Wallpaper, wall vinyl and other wall coverings offer vast design options, from subtle plains and textures to beautiful pattern and murals.

Get to know your wall covering types

Internal linings of commercial buildings in Australia and New Zealand need to meet certain requirements for building codes. Flame retardancy will, in most cases, have to meet the Australian / New Zealand standards in accordance with AS/NZS 3837 and AS 5637.1:2015. A Group rating is also required. All our wall coverings range from Group 1 to Group 2 (there are 4 fire ratings, Group 1 being the highest classification.)

1. Wall Vinyl / Vinyl Wall Covering

A wall vinyl is a durable, low maintenance wall protection and highly recommended in heavy traffic environments such as corridors, hotel guest rooms, bathrooms, cafes, restaurants etc. It is sold by the linear metre.

Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines vinyl, wall covering types
A selection of Magnolia Homes by Joanna Gaines vinyl wall covering

Wall vinyl usually has inherent properties such as being bleach cleanable and anti-mildew. Environmentally friendly options are also available for more sensitive projects such as Green Star rated buildings.

Vinyl wall covering is available in either pre-selected designs and colours or, digitally printed at Materialised to accommodate more bespoke requirements with our state-of-the-art printer, the swissQ Karibu S. This highly energy efficient machine prints direct-to-substrate in either large format (up to 3.4 metres) or with a dual roll option that allows parallel production of two identical or different designs. Thanks to LED technology, toxic waste is eliminated, whilst inks are VOC-free and Greenguard Gold certified.

Vinyl wall covering all printed at Materialised – find all projects and credits in case studies.


Many environmentally friendly vinyl wall covering options are available for projects requiring sustainable products, such as Green Star rated buildings. Options include low VOC, phthalate-free, recycled content and Crypton Green. The below images feature Elise Hermatite, Linum Sandstone and Bach Gilded. All are phthalate-free, feature no heavy metals, are low VOC and use recycled raw materials, manufacturing waste and water based inks.

Elise Hermatite wall covering
Elise Hermatite
Elise Hermatite
Linum wall vinyl, Sandstone
Linum Sandstone
Home Beautiful October issue
Styling Fiona Gould; Photography Nic Gossage; for King Living | Home Beautiful
Bach Gilded sustainable walls
Three Birds Renovations, House 13
Bach Gilded
Bach Gilded

Patterns can be a design repeated both horizontally and vertically, or a wall mural which does not usually have a pattern repeat and is scaled specifically to fit the space where it will be installed. You can learn more about the differences between wall covering and wall mural designs on our blog.

Paros Wall Char, wall mural
Grace Garrett’s Paros Wall Char mural which is printed on a choice of vinyl substrates
vinyl wall mural sampling
Sample of Joy Dawns wall mural printed on Silk Road, married with furnishing textiles from our collections

2. PVC-Free Wall Covering

If sustainability properties are critical to the project, then a PVC-free wall covering is a fantastic option.

Of note in this category is TPO wall covering, a type of PVC-free wall covering. Greenguard certified and made from 100% Thermoplastic Olefin, a TPO wall covering is also bleach cleanable, durable, and easy to maintain. It is sold by the linear metre. Read more about TPO here.

PVC free TPO wall covering
Dupioni, Hightower, Keystone and Layout
PVC free TPO wall covering, wall covering types
Accord, Layout, Hightower, Keystone and Layout

3. Wallpaper

Wallpaper can be printed in a number of different ways – digital printing, hand silk screen printing, gravure printing, surface printing and rotary printing. Each technique transfers the ink onto a high quality paper. Wallpaper is often sold by the roll (for example our Florence Broadhurst and Handcrafted wallpaper collections) or by the linear metre (such as Woods.)

Florence Broadhurst wallpaper
Handcrafted wallpaper, wall covering types
Woods wallpaper

Clockwise above: Florence Broadhurst Turnabouts Twig; Woods and Handcrafted wallpaper

4. Textiles & Panels

Textiles are also a wall covering type.

We offer a range of woven fabric wall covering that use polyester and polyolefin yarns, providing beauty, durability, function, and value.

textile wall covering Momentum
WALL COVERING CLOCKWISE FROM TOP CENTRE: Classy WC Sol; Allure WC Ember Glow; Venice WC Hotel Castello; Venice WC Clock Tower; Brilliance WC Sparkling.
textile wall covering types
WALL COVERING CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Brindle Taupe; Facet WC Vanity; Classy Neptune; Venice WC Byzantine; Brilliance Radiant; Allure WC Edgewater.

(HARD FINISHES ABOVE: Rattan – House of Bamboo; Stone offcut – Oh Marmo; Pottery colour chips – Robert Gordon Interiors; Atlas pull handles – Mapio Designs; Tiles – Teranova; Brushed copper and brushed gunmetal samples – ABI Interiors)

If there is adequate backing then textiles can also be installed directly onto the wall, or wrapped around panels.

Yi by Jereme Leung, Raffles © Owen Raggett
Florence Broadhurst The Cranes, printed on Arizona and applied to the flat skimmed surface for panelling like wall covering. Designed by Aedas. Photography © Owen Raggett.

Wall panelling can be particularly effective when using acoustic panels, combining visual effect and sound absorption. Our WhisperWall® product is a tracking system that enables tightly stretching fabric over acoustic absorbers. It is custom designed to fit the space, as an integral part of the design.

The acoustic absorbers are manufactured from thermally bonded polyester fibre with up to 80% recycled fibre content from post-consumer PET packaging such as empty drink bottles. They are flame retardant and offer various NRC ratings depending on the thickness of the absorber used.

A range of plain or digitally printed flame retardant fabric with a modified weave is used for the ‘skin’, allowing air to freely pass through, whilst maintaining printed integrity. Corfu, Arizon and Linen Look are some of the most popular.

WhisperWall Boutique Cinema
Acoustics double as art! Custom imagery printed onto Corfu for WhisperWall at Boutique Event Cinemas

5. Acoustic Wall Covering

In addition to the acoustic panels details above, specialty wall covering types with acoustic properties are also available. In our collection we house Nufelt which is a high-performance, flame retardant wall covering, with the high-end look of wool felt. It’s ideal for wall covering, screens, ceiling panels and pinboards. Nufelt is a 25 oz, Type II wall covering made from recycled bottles and can be recycled through reclamation.

Nufelt Wishful Thinking
NuFelt Pinwheel Wishful Thinking, acoustic felt wall covering
recycled content

Clockwise above: Nufelt Wishful Thinking; Nufelt Pinwheel Private Jet and Nufelt Bowtie Dublin; Nufelt Pinwheel Wishful Thinking.

Book A Consultation

Whatever your wall covering need, we have the type! The best place to start is by contacting your local Materialised Project Manager to discuss your brief and ideas. From there you can visit one of our Design Studios, request samples or meet the team. We’re experts at finding solutions to even the most complex of projects.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.