Alternative Interior Wall Coverings

Painting interior walls is the most common treatment for houses. The finish of painted walls can be burnished, textured, sponged-on or creatively finished in any number of other ways, such as painting stripes or circles. In addition to paint, or instead of paint, there are alternative interior wall coverings that will give your home a designer's touch.

Tile, Mirrors, Brick, or Stone

Going with a hard surface like tile, mirrors, brick, or stone has its ups and downs.  Mirrors can be in 12 to 16 inch squares, large 4 x 8-foot sheets or pieces cut to fit. Ceramic tile and mirror can be wiped clean while brick or stone only need nothing an occasional vacuuming.  Painted walls can be repainted a different color if you decide your first color choice isn't working. When it comes to tile, mirrors, brick or stone, they are adhered to the wall for permanency.  Removing them and repairing damaged walls will be costly.


Unlike the popular wood paneling of the 1960s, wall paneling now comes in a wider variety of designer options, many with washable surfaces making them suitable for kitchen or bath.  Often found as sturdy Masonite sheets, the panels could have the appearance of bead board or even that of wallpaper. Wall panels are an easy way to cover flaws or holes in an interior wall.  The panels are usually glued to the wall for permanency.


There are wallpaper designs to fit every design taste making it a popular choice for interior wall coverings.  Murals created as wallpaper can capture a glimpse of a tranquil setting. Textured wallpaper can look like tile where you can feel the "grout" grooves on the paper.  This faux paper can mimic many wall treatment options like stone, brick and embossed tin. Most wallpaper, when applied according to manufacturer's directions, can be peeled off if you choose. 

Fiber-based Products

Cloth can be hung from rods or stapled to tack strips running along the top of the wall.  Color options are limitless when using cloth for wall coverings; however, keeping it clean can be difficult. Foam back fabric, adhered to panels that are secured to the wall are a good acoustical choice for a home entertainment room.  Rugs, [tapestries](https://society6com/tapestries?utm_source=SFGHG&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=7412) or quilts can be hung from poles or specifically designed tapestry holders. These types of wall coverings can be vacuumed periodically. 


For a modern, industrial-type of d├ęcor, sheets of metal, copper, tin or stainless steel can be adhered to the wall.  Depending on the size and weight of the material, it may be secured to the wall with adhesive or screwed into the wall studs.

Natural Products

Leather or wood veneer are each available in rolls or tiles that can be glued to the wall.  Leather or wood veneer wall coverings make a masculine statement that is suitable for a den or bachelor's home.

About the Author

Barbara Raskauskas's favorite pursuits are home improvement, landscape design, organic gardening and blogging. Her Internet writing appears on SASS Magazine, AT&T and various other websites. Raskauskas is active in the small business she and her husband have owned since 2000 and is a former MS Office instructor.