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Pattern matching

From the wallpaper problem solver - quick reference guide

When installed properly, the wallcovering will not shrink back to its original state. Therefore, in order to make an accurate comparison from one strip to another, each strip must be allowed to expand for the same length of time. Once they are aligned, they should match perfectly, unless there is a trimming defect or there is more than one batch or lot number.

This phenomenon is also very visible when working with borders.

Wallpaper problem solver - pattern matching
When wallpaper patterns don't match after installation

When installing a wallcovering and the top of the sheet is matching but the pattern doesn't match at the bottom, this is not a fault of the product. If the product was at fault, the pattern would not match at the top or the bottom.

If any pattern matches at the top 700mm/900mm, but mismatches at the bottom, the wallcovering has been stretched.

When wet does not match wet

There are times when installers will install two strips of wallcovering together that have been pasted and allowed to soak (relax) for the same amount of time. However, they still do not match.

In this case check that all wallcoverings are of the same batch or lot number. Identical batch or lot numbers should align properly.

It is possible for wallcoverings to be overworked or overstretched during the installation process. This can be avoided by the installer not brushing downwards too hard.

With extra long lengths, the installer should fold the paper in a concertina fold which is draped over a part roll of wallpaper. Folding and holding long lengths of paper in this way will reduce the stretch caused by the natural weight of the paper being suspended for an excessive amount of time.

It is recommended not to try and join a wet strip against one that has dried completely.

Note: If the job cannot be finished in one period of time do not stop in the centre of a wall. Always stop in a corner so that next day the job can be restarted from this point. If there is any mismatch this will be hidden by the natural shadow of the corner.

When wet strip does not match dry

It is possible for an installer to align a dry strip of wallcovering against a previously installed strip on the wall and discover the pieces don't match or align properly.

The reason for this is simply because the previously installed strip expanded when the adhesive was applied or the wallcovering was immersed in water.

During the wallcoverings soaking time, it is common for a product to expand as much as 1 to 2 per cent over a period of from 2 minutes to, and in the case of Anaglypta, 25 minutes.

Trimming errors

Refer to this page for detailed information on trimming, which can affect pattern matching. Overtrimming, undertrimming and scalloped edges can be the causes of problems matching patterns: the installer should identify this problem within the first wall hung; the remaining product should be returned for replacement.

Wallpaper problem solver


Thank you to Aspiring Walls for providing the information for this quick reference guide.

Wallpaper problem solver topics   Ask an Expert   How to wallpaper


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