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What’s New in Wallcoverings?

Now, more than ever, people are conscious of cleanliness and good health. The industry is taking a hard look at disinfecting protocols and product cleanability while also maintaining good design. Luckily for hospitality, many companies are already ahead of the curve. Here, industry professionals gave InspireDesign a closer look at some wallcovering products that are not only antimicrobial, but sustainable and trendsetting:

Create Wallcovering (Hexagon pictured): Hexagon’s faceted appeal—created through lenticular embossing—is guided by the tenets of geometry. Hexagon’s deeply embossed, intersecting lines play with light sources resulting in a superb textual affect.

“Geometric patterns are really coming on trend now and I don’t think they’re ever going to go away,” said Moneah Ronaghi, marketing manager, National Solutions. “It’s close to the roaring ’20s era and high embossing is great for high-traffic areas in hotels or any commercial space where they’re moving carts around if you want to protect your walls. It can also cover any imperfection on the existing walls.”

The Aqua-Clear top coat is a water-based, Teflon-free top coat with resistance to abrasion and staining. Recently, the formula has been modified to reflect the growing demand for an ultra-low emitting, water-based protective top coat with improved abrasion resistance; scrubability with sanctioned commercial cleaners (including bleach when diluted in water); and a non-yellowing surface. Create wallcoverings are also eligible within the LEED rating system for both new-construction and commercial interiors and certified for indoor air quality.

Level Digital Wallcoverings (Crystaline pictured): Level acoustic wallcoverings are antimicrobial, coated for cleanability, absorb sound and are biophilic-inspired. Additionally, Level acoustic felt is made from 100% post-industrial recycled polyester, are highly resistant to shrinking and stretching, don’t absorb moisture making it durable and long-lasting, have silver and copper ions incorporated into the polyester fiber that naturally attack microbes and the WallMax coating provides stain resistance.

“We bring creative content for designers and specifiers; instead of having to source their own visuals, they can choose from our collection. We’re trying to debut new ways to take our gallery of images and instead of putting them on a traditional vinyl, put them on materials that have functionality,” said Greg Koeberer, creative director, 4Walls.


York Wallcoverings (To the Point pictured): This offers a geometric, fine point design that looks like it’s floating. The topcoat is certified by the CDC exceeding its requirement and is bleach cleanable, a standard on all York products.

“Geometric with an embossing tool and a washcoat makes it looked aged or antique. Sometimes designers can’t even identify what they love about a pattern, but it’s that extra touch like subtle color in the crevasses and attention to detail,” said Sharon Becker, director of business development, York Wall.

Becker added, “We have been bombarded from distributors their customers are asking them, ‘How can we clean this; do you meet the standards?’ So, we very quickly did more internal testing as well as looked at our existing third-party lab testing and reformatted that around CDC requirements and always sending that out and getting quick feedback.”

Hytex (Woven Textile & Acoustical wallcoverings pictured): The marriage of performance product innovation and design sophistication brings a bold, modern mix of durable, exciting design to the world of high-performance woven textile wallcoverings. The woven textile wallcoverings are created using up to 100% recycled content.

As for Hytex’s acoustical wallcoverings, all are made in the U.S. from 100% post-consumer BPA-free plastic bottles. The wallcoverings contribute LEED credits for recycled content, low emissions and 80 plastic bottles create one yard of acoustical wallcovering.

“When people brought out the sustainability statement years ago, we felt as a company, go big or go home and that’s why we went 100% with the acoustical products—we also went 100% with our woven fabrics—but there are levels of business that are price driven, so we made a commitment to make sure that we’re at minimum 15% recycled content,” said Paula Lewis, EVP, Hytex. “The sustainable side of the antimicrobial is why we always went with the natural product. Silver ions is a natural product. It’s not an additive; it’s part of the component and not washed off. I think in the future when people are looking for what they want to specify, they should look at those things. They will be there for the life of the product.”