Before-After installing wallpaper

Can you install wallpaper in a Rental Apartment?

Do you remember when people thought that wallpaper was a thing of the past? Well, that phase is over. If you look at most homes today, wallpaper adorns the spaces. This effect is not only in homes but in schools, restaurants, offices, and a ton of other settings. With the various designs like cute flower wallpapers in tow, it’s easy to feel like it’s time to jump in on this trend. But should you do it? Most importantly, is it a good idea to install wallpaper in a rented space?

Before-After installing wallpaper
Photo: Before-After installing wallpaper

Let’s find out:

Distinguishing Traditional and Temporary Wallpaper

What’s so different about traditional and temporary wallpaper for apartments? Why would one choose one over the other?

Traditional wallpaper is what people in previous centuries used. It did not come with adhesive. So, people had to use a paste to adhere the paper to the wall. The work was not easy, and often, professional help was necessary. Sometimes, you even had to soak the panels before starting the installation. As a result, the installation required quite an effort in terms of money and time.

The goal, in this case, was to paper a wall and have it in place for decades. People installing this wallpaper were not hoping to move for quite a while. You know that a decade of commitment is quite a long time for renters. But that’s not all that was complicated with this wallpaper.

Removing traditional wallpaper was also quite a task. When it was time to take the paper off the wall, you had to use quite a lot of effort. Most people had to ask professionals to help with the task. Again, this consumed money and time. Oh, and because of the paste, there was quite some damage to the wall. You had to repair the damage before painting the wall or even adding more paper.

To homeowners, this was okay. After all, they mostly changed the wallpaper when they were remodeling. But to renters, this was another reason to avoid the wallpaper. They could not grapple with the loss of their deposit because their landlords would not have been too happy with the repairs.

Was temporary wallpaper such a significant find? It sure was! Unlike traditional wallpaper, it boasted of:

  • Self-Adhesiveness: You don’t need to make a paste to paper this wallpaper on the wall. It comes with an adhesive on its backing, which aids in its installation. You might think that this self-adhesive feature might weaken its durability, but that is not the case. If you install the paper right, it will remain in place for up to 15 years.
  • Ease of installation: This paper does not require many skills. Even beginners in DIY can install this paper without breaking their backs. All you need are a few tools, some resolve, and a good tutorial. Of course, when papering a large area, you could do with some help!
  • Ease of removal: This perk makes this wallpaper a good idea for renters. You see, unlike traditional wallpaper that features paste, the self-adhesive on temporary wallpaper is easy to handle. If you no longer want the wallpaper on your wall, you peel it off. Just like that, your wall will be back to the state in which you got your house.
  • Protection: Most renters dread the day they need to move out. When the landlord comes and inspects the house and finds things out of place, the deposit reduces. Who would want to lose that money? It’s hard to think of someone who would be nonchalant with their money. But how can you avoid paying for damages? – By papering your wall with temp wallpaper! The wallpaper protects the wall from dirt, dust, splashes, and impacts. So, when you remove it, the wall will look as good as it did when you installed the paper. As such, it’s a good option for homes with pets and children.
  • Ease of cleaning: There’s also the fact that cleaning wallpaper is an easy task. All you need is a wet cloth or sponge to dab on the dirt on the surface. You don’t need to use detergent or scrubs, and the wallpaper will still be clean.

Read more: Why wallpaper is better than paint

So, what’s the better option for your home? Traditional wallpaper makes more sense for homeowners who will probably be in their homes for decades. On the other hand, if you’re renting, you are better off using temporary wallpaper. Besides, it’s flexible, and you can keep changing it with each trend. That’s a perk you will not enjoy when using traditional wallpaper.

Can You Install Wallpaper in a Rental Home?

Should you use temporary wallpaper in your home now that you know how easy it is to install and remove it? How about if you’re still intent on going the traditional way? Well, here’s the answer:

  • Check Your Lease: All rental agreements go into what you can and cannot do in your home. Installing removable wallpaper does require some changes to the walls. You must prep them, and you need to check if this is okay with your landlord. The same goes for traditional wallpaper. Does the agreement okay this move? If you are unsure, ask your building manager or landlord for clarification. You do not want to lose your deposit because you prepped your walls and used paint that your landlord does not want. Ask.
  • Be Clear About Where You Will Use the Wallpaper: Are you only covering one wall? Do you want to paper the entire dining area? It’s time you figured this out. It’s crucial when dealing with traditional wallpaper. Your landlord might look the other way when it’s a small project, but there might be an issue for big ones. Decide how much space you will cover beforehand.

Most landlords will be okay with temporary wallpaper. However, they will want a say in how you prep the walls. Follow their guidelines on the paint to use and the extent of the coverage. Else, you will lose out on your deposit. What happens if you want to use traditional wallpaper? Your landlord will likely raise an issue about this. You are better off sticking with wallpaper you can use in your next home. Enjoy!

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