Compare the Highlights and Challenges of Wallpaper vs. Vinyl for Environmental Branding

When it comes to environmental branding solutions, the walls of your space play a significant role in conveying your brand message. The right wall decor can create a lasting impression on your customers and clients, as well as boost your team’s morale. While there are a ton of options when it comes to wall decor, nothing stands out more than a complete wall covering. Whether it’s a company logo, product display, or just something unique to your business, there are no limits to what you can do.  A full wall covering is also a great way to cover any paint jobs that don’t fit your company’s brand. But with so many wallcovering options, choosing the right mural material can be challenging. Whether it’s wallpaper or vinyl, knowing the benefits and drawbacks can help you make an informed decision that works best for you and your company.

Digitally printed photo vinyl wall mural at The Flight at Dayton in Dayton Ohio
Digitally printed photo wallpaper mural at the BMW Group office in Columbus Ohio


Cost is usually the first thing that comes to mind when dreaming up ideas to change and elevate your space. It’s especially significant when choosing between wallpaper or vinyl. With a price difference of about 30% to 40%, the higher price of custom-printed wallpaper might be the deciding factor in choosing vinyl over wallpaper. While the cost of each can vary depending on the quality, installation, and design of the material you choose, there are other variables to consider before selecting a vinyl wall covering or wallpaper for walls in your office space. The main component for pricing out wall graphic installation is the square footage of the surface area. Using a wallpaper coverage calculator can help with your estimations.


Both wallpaper and vinyl have similar life spans of 10-15 years. Wallpaper, however, is more durable and can potentially last longer than vinyl. Made of a thicker and, in most cases, eco-friendly material, wallpaper is better suited for high-traffic areas like hallways or lobbies. While it has some flexibility, wallpaper works best on straight, simple walls.

On the other hand, vinyl works great on walls with intricate cuts or unique curves. Although vinyl may not be the best choice for high-traffic areas since it’s made of thin, plastic material, it is still an excellent option for wall graphics that won’t be affected by heavy foot traffic. Consider vinyl wall art for wall murals in hard-to-reach wall spaces or behind a reception desk.

Unlike wallpaper of the past, high-quality wall mural paper won’t destroy your walls if you decide to remove it. While removing both vinyl and high-quality wallpaper will leave some touch-up requirements after removal — like glue residue or some repainting — vinyl is more accessible to remove safely and effectively than any wallpaper.


Although someone other than you might be installing the wall mural, knowing what to expect from an expert installation may be helpful. 

No matter the quality of the vinyl or the skill of the installer, vinyl is not seamless and will show where the panel begins and ends on the walls. Due to its temperature sensitivity, vinyl contracts and expands often, which means all vinyl installations will have an overlap where the panels meet. The overlap protects the vinyl from peeling and showing any gaps when it contracts. Depending on the complexity of the wall mural graphic, this might not be a problem, but simple, darker graphics will catch the light and may suffer from it.

Unlike vinyl, wallpaper has many seamless options. Additionally, wallpaper also has dozens of different finishing options—metallic, suede, linen, canvas, etc. In contrast, vinyl has only two or three like gloss, matte, or satin.

Overall, both wallpaper and vinyl have their pros and cons. While wallpaper is more durable, has more finishing options, and is better suited for high-traffic areas. Vinyl is easier to install, remove, and is better suited for intricate walls. The choice between the two ultimately comes down to your business’s specific needs and preferences. Choose the wall covering option that best fits your brand message and budget.

Contact Atchley Graphics to get started on rebranding your office space! Our team of designers, printers, and installers will get your space reimagined from start to finish.

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