Is Woodchip Wallpaper Illegal in the UK? Exploring the Truth Behind the Rumours

If you’re a homeowner in the UK, you may have heard rumours that woodchip wallpaper is illegal. But is there any truth to this claim?

The History of Woodchip Wallpaper

Woodchip wallpaper first became popular in Germany in the early 20th century. It was created as a way to cover up imperfections in walls and ceilings, and to provide insulation.

Woodchip Wallpaper

The wallpaper is made from small chips of wood that are mixed with adhesive and then pressed onto a paper backing. Once installed, it can be painted over or left as is.

In the UK, woodchip wallpaper became popular in the 1970s and 80s. It was often used in council houses and other affordable housing as a cheap and easy way to cover up uneven or damaged walls.

The Popularity of Woodchip Wallpaper in the UK

Woodchip wallpaper remained popular in the UK throughout the 80s and into the 90s. It was often used in homes of all sizes, as well as in schools and other public buildings.

However, by the late 90s, the popularity of woodchip wallpaper began to wane, as people began to favour smoother and more modern wall coverings.

Today, woodchip wallpaper is still used in some older buildings and is sometimes chosen for its retro aesthetic. However, it’s no longer the go-to choice for most homeowners or decorators.

Is Woodchip Wallpaper Illegal in the UK?

Is Woodchip Wallpaper Illegal in the UK?
© Build It Fine

Despite the rumours you may have heard, woodchip wallpaper is not illegal in the UK. However, it’s important to note that there are regulations in place around the installation of wallpaper in general.

For example, if you’re planning to install wallpaper in a rental property, you may need to seek permission from your landlord or housing association.

Additionally, if you’re doing any electrical work in conjunction with wallpaper installation, you’ll need to follow electrical safety guidelines.

When it comes to removing woodchip wallpaper, there are also some things to keep in mind. If the wallpaper was installed before the 1980s, it’s possible that it contains asbestos.

In this case, it’s important to hire a professional asbestos removal company to safely remove the wallpaper and dispose of it.

Is There Asbestos in Woodchip Wallpaper?

Woodchip wallpaper itself does not typically contain asbestos. Woodchip wallpaper is made from wood fibers or pulp mixed with adhesive, and it’s applied to walls for texture and decoration.

However, if you’re dealing with an older property, it’s possible that other materials used in the construction or decoration of the building could contain asbestos.

These materials might include insulation, ceiling tiles, or textured coatings. If you’re unsure whether your property contains asbestos, especially if it’s an older one, it’s recommended to consult with a professional asbestos surveyor or removal specialist to assess the situation and ensure proper safety measures are taken if needed.

The Short Answer

So, is woodchip wallpaper illegal in the UK? The answer is no. While it’s not as popular as it once was, it’s still used in some homes and buildings for its unique aesthetic.

However, it’s important to follow proper installation and removal procedures and to be aware of any potential safety hazards. 

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