People spend a lot of time at work. On average, they are there for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Sometimes they are there longer, sometimes shorter. No matter how much time is spent in the office, having an area that is comfortable and pleasant to be in is important. Adding wall coverings is a way to accomplish that goal.
If a business caters to customers, they want to create a good first impression. Having an office that is clean, organized, and functional is important. But besides those elements, it also needs to be inviting. Times and workspaces are changing, and with that comes more freedom to be a little unique and stand out with different design ideas.
What Are Wall Coverings?
Wall coverings are any material that is added to the wall. It can be used as decoration, such as wallpaper or textured fabric, or to serve a purpose, such as temperature control or noise reduction. Wall coverings can serve the dual purpose of being functional and aesthetically pleasing. Below are a few different wall coverings.
Wallpaper comes in a variety of colors and styles. It can be solid or patterned, textured, or flat. It can be put up in any room or space with a little work and patience. There is regular wallpaper and washable wallpaper, which comes with a clear plastic sheet over the top.
Washable wallpaper would be ideal for spaces that get dirty often or are full of kids or other people that have a tendency to touch walls with dirty hands or fling other materials at the surface. This wallpaper is also ideal for rooms that get steamy, such as a bathroom or kitchen, because the coating will protect it from the wrinkling and bubbling effects of the moisture.
Placing fabrics on the wall is a practice that goes back to the Middle Ages when tapestries were hung up. The goal was to keep drafty rooms warmer and mute sounds that echoed throughout the space. That practice is still in place today.
Back in the day, having walls covered in fabric was also a sign of wealth. They were difficult to install and expensive to buy. Today, getting fabrics hung properly could be a challenge, but they still function to keep drafty rooms warm and absorb excess sound.
Wall fabrics are often low-maintenance, usually only requiring a vacuuming now and then to remove the dust. When choosing what type of fabric to hang, it's important to note how heavy the material is because over time, it will droop and sag. Wall fabrics also hold in moisture, so they probably aren't ideal for bathrooms or kitchens.
Acoustic Wall Panels
Acoustic wall panels are often put up to improve the sound in a room. They don't make the room soundproof, but they improve the sound quality by absorbing sound. They can also reduce noises within a room. These come in a variety of different types, sizes, and colors to match any color scheme.
These panels can be constructed from a variety of materials including acoustic foam, polyester, fiberglass, cotton, or polypropylene. They can be covered in fabric or perforated metal. The person's needs will determine which panel will work best.
Why You Need to Choose the Right Wall Coverings
For an individual deciding about wall coverings, they have the option of choosing whatever highlights their style and compliments their home. They can choose from a variety of colors and patterns and mix and match different coverings to satisfy different needs.
For a business, they technically have the option of choosing whatever they want too, but there are other things to take into consideration. Foremost, they'll need a wall covering that can stand up to wear and tear. Unlike homes, most businesses see a lot of traffic from many people. Having wall coverings that are tough is essential.
How Big Is the Business?
Another factor to consider is size. Most businesses are much larger than the average home, so while having fabric wall coverings sounds like an amazing idea, it might not be a practical option regarding cost. In addition, they must consider maintenance and daily care. If fabric walls have a tendency to attract dust, someone will have to clean them.
With acoustic panels, getting the right ones to reduce or improve noise pollution is a major deciding factor. If the wrong material is chosen, they might not do the job of reducing noise properly, and then they'd be a waste of both time and money.
What Type of Message Is the Company Trying to Convey?
While a business can pick any wall covering they want, finding something that can appeal to a wide range of people--both employees and customers--will make the space feel more inviting and comfortable. It's also important to focus on color. If the area is dark, choosing a lighter color will make it seem brighter.
In displaying an air of sophistication, there are several wall covering materials that can be both functional and pleasing to the eye. Taking the time to find these coverings, and know getting them installed right is worth the time, effort, and money.
Wall Coverings: Some Top Options for Businesses
When deciding what type of wall covering to install, businesses have an array of options. Again, these can be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Talking to an interior designer or another professional is a good way to get your questions answered and find the perfect material for your office space.
1. Acoustical Wall Coverings
These are designed to cover vertical surfaces, operable walls, and panels. They are used primarily in places that require noise reduction, including meeting rooms, auditoriums, single offices, theaters, and restaurants. They can also be installed in elevator lobbies or hallways.
2. Fabric-Backed Vinyl
This covering is a combination of a woven fabric substrate or a non-woven synthetic substrate. These come in two different types: Type I and Type II. Type I is often used in hotel rooms, office areas, and hospital patient rooms. Type II is often placed in high-traffic areas, including classrooms, hospital wards, lounges, offices, and foyers.
3. Natural Textiles
These wall coverings are often used to add depth and richness to any space. They are composed of natural textiles, silks, or wood pulp compositions that are laminated to a backing that enhances dimensional stability and prevents the adhesive from leaking through to the surface. Natural textiles are known for adding a touch of luxury to any space.
4. Wood Veneer
Wood veneer coverings can be found in many styles and are a way to enhance the visual value of a variety of rooms. Common business spaces that utilize wood veneer wall coverings include:
- Conference rooms
- Public meeting spaces
Depending on the covering purchased, they can come in sheets of 18 to 24 inches wide.
5. Unique Wall Covering Ideas
For covering an office wall, adding panels to reduce noise or brighten up the space is a functional idea. It can also add visual appeal and make a space warm and inviting. Besides the traditional wall coverings, businesses might consider adding a living wall to their space.
Living walls are various types of plants that are stacked in a brightly lit area of the office. Living walls are visually appealing, to say the least, but the good news about living walls doesn't stop there. This unique wall covering can improve office morale, improve the air quality of the office, reduce stress, boost creativity and increase productivity.
These benefits could also be achieved by placing potted plants around the office as these are benefits attributed to plants general. However, having a living wall can help to reduce noise and allow employees to feel closer to nature, giving them a mood boost when they are feeling low.
Plants can make a space more appealing to new employees and customers alike. It's not a conventional wall covering, but you'd be hard-pressed to find another wall covering with the impressive benefits offered by a living wall.
There are several wall covering options available for businesses to install in their workspace. They come in many colors and styles, so there is a wall covering for everyone. Besides serving as a design upgrade, they can reduce noise in areas that need it the most.
Wall coverings are a great way for a business to express their style and make their employees and clients feel welcome and comfortable. The traditional wall coverings have been tried and true throughout time, and they add sophistication and style where it was previously lacking.
The non-traditional wall coverings may not have found their way into businesses around the country yet, but as work practices change and people look for ways to make their spaces more environmentally friendly and reduce stress, they may become more popular and will probably be found in offices around the world, sooner rather than later.
If you believe wall coverings could add value to your business, be it aesthetic or functional, consult a professional to help you navigate the many choices available. The perfect wall covering can make a big difference.