The patterns, colors and designs of today's wall coverings create a background for your furnishings while adding texture and personality to the room. The biggest challenge is going through the stacks of enormous sample books to choose the wall covering that's right for your room.
Once you choose your wallpaper, it's time to decide whether you want to hire a professional paperhanger or do it yourself. We recommend you base that decision on the cost of the material and your time and talent.
If you've never hung wallpaper and want to do it yourself, choose an inexpensive paper so you're learning on a manual Chevy not a stick-shift Ferrari. Hang it in a bedroom or back room where you can learn by doing, and practice the basic techniques of measuring, hanging and cutting. Make it easy by choosing a room with straight walls -- not a bathroom or kitchen with tight spaces and tricky corners to negotiate.
A professional paperhanger will charge $797 to hang a moderately priced wallpaper in a 12-by-15-foot room. That includes the labor and material. You can buy the paper and tools and do the job for $175, saving 78 percent.
Figure you'll need more time if you have to remove existing wallpaper or repair damaged walls. If you plan to paint the woodwork and trim in the room, schedule painting before hanging the wallpaper.
Pro Cost -- DIY Cost -- Pro time -- DIY Time -- DIY Savings -- Percent Saved
$797 -- $175 -- 11.1 -- 14.5 -- $622 -- 78 percent
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