Choosing the right pro to install your wallpaper can take a big task off of your plate
Wallpaper installation can be a sticky project. To end up with paper that’s smooth and straight without any seams showing, you’ll need to hire someone vetted for the job. Below, we’ve listed some tips to find and work with the right professional to apply your wallpaper and brighten up your space.
How to Find a Wallpaper Installer
Ask friends and family members for recommendations, get referrals from stores that sell wallpaper, or search online to find a vetted professional wallpaper installer near you. You can also ask painters, carpenters, and other contractors you trust for a list of names.
When conducting your search, don’t assume that painters can hang wallpaper. A painter who's inexperienced at this type of work should be able to refer you to someone who is more qualified. Once you’ve gathered a list of prospects, narrow it down to three or four contractors to look into further.
Before Hiring Your Wallpaper Installer
Make sure to do some prep work to ensure that you and any potential pros are on the same page about your wallpaper project.
Plan Your Wallpaper Project for Accurate Quotes
In general, hanging new wallpaper typically costs between $290 and $735, or $510 on average, with the labor cost ranging from $1 to $7 per square foot. That said, different wallpaper installation projects can have very different costs. For example, coated-fabric wallpaper tends to be more expensive than regular vinyl-coated, paper-backed, or solid-sheet options.
Planning out what you want the room to look like ahead of time can help you get the most accurate quotes. Consider these factors during the planning stage:
How many square feet do they need to wallpaper? The area’s square footage can have a big impact on cost.
What is the condition of the walls? If the pro needs to make significant repairs, that could add to the price.
What type of wallpaper are you using? Certain types are more difficult to install than others and will raise the price.
Do you have custom requests, like covering all outlet covers, switch plates and closet interiors, and having the pattern begin at a certain location? If so, discuss these with your contractor ahead of time so they can plan properly and, if need be, adjust the estimate.
Interview three or more pros. Talking to multiple prospects will let you compare bids. During these meetings, you might also get a few ideas on the best ways to tackle your project. Come prepared with a list of questions to ask, such as:
How long have you been in business?
Have you had any formal training?
Can I see photos of your past work?
Are you familiar with the wallpaper material I plan on using? Especially if you purchased a more delicate, unique wallpaper ( bamboo, grasscloth, string, or silk), be sure they have installation experience with that type of material. A poor adhesive application can damage and stain the surface of your walls.
What kind of prep work should I expect? A pro should always remove old wallpaper, spackle and sand walls until smooth, and apply the right primer among the preliminary steps
How long will the project take to complete?
Are you willing to provide a written estimate and contract? If they won’t, you should work with a different contractor.
Is client satisfaction guaranteed? For instance, with finished work, you should not see air bubbles or excess glue. The paper should be completely smooth and straight, with the seams perfectly aligned and difficult to spot. If not, you need to know that your contractor will return—free of charge—and fix things up.
Will you clean up and remove all trash each day?
Check Your Pro’s Qualifications and References
A great way to scout out potential pros is to talk to people they’ve worked with and maybe even visit their past projects. This step can help you see the quality of their work firsthand—and maybe even get some design inspiration along the way.
When assessing their work, look for wallpaper that lines up perfectly and is smooth, with no bumps, gaps, or bubbles. On the other hand, seams opening can mean the contractor didn’t apply adhesive to corners when pasting or allowed paste to dry on edges. Be on the lookout for other red flags like streaks and blisters and the design dropping or rising at the ceiling line (this occurs if the initial plumb line was not vertical).
You should also make sure wallpaper installers are insured and licensed, especially if you live in an area where it’s required. You may also want to ask business owners how they vet their employees and who exactly will be doing the job if it’s not the owner themselves.
Hiring and Working With Your Wallpaper Installer
It’s almost time to get the ball rolling on your wallpaper project. From here, you can make the hire, sign the contract, and arrange a start date.
Get a Contract and Arrange Payments
Make sure to get a signed contract that documents your agreement. A wallpaper installation contract should feature the following:
The terms of the project
The down payment amount
The payment structure
The final payoff terms
Keep Records of Your Wallpaper Project
As your wallpaper installer completes the job, keep track of the hours they work, the progress they make, and whether they’re on schedule. Maintaining accurate records can help you make sure that the project runs on schedule.
After Your Wallpaper Installer Has Finished
Once the project is complete and your walls look stunning, all that’s left to do is remit the final payment. If you’re satisfied with your installer’s services, consider giving them a positive online review. You can also serve as a reference for future clients if you’re ready to rave about your design.