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Understanding the Different Types of Matches

Posted on: June 27, 2016 by admin

Because there are so many different wallcovering patterns with varying lengths of patterns and intended designs, it is necessary to hang them differently based on the type of pattern on the wallpaper. What you may not have realized is that each of these patterns falls into one of two primary matching types. The term match refers to how you align the wallpaper with each new strip. For example, if you have a wallpaper that is one solid color without any patterns, it really doesn’t matter how the strips of wallpaper align. However, if you have an intricate diamond pattern, you have to pay attention to each strip to make sure that the half diamonds at the end of one strip lines up with the other half of the diamond on the next strip you apply.

There are two primary types of matches and two subsets for the second matching type. Understanding how each pattern type hangs will help you determine how long it is going to take to hang your wallpaper. 

Random Match

As the name implies, you can line up the wallpaper however you like and it is not going to affect the final appearance of the wallpaper. If you haven’t applied wallpaper before or if you don’t want to dedicate a lot of time to installing the wallpaper, this is the best type to choose. Some of the most popular types of random match are vertical stripes, solid colors, linen, and grasscloth.

Straight Match

Straight matches require you to pay attention with each strip, and some wallpapers require adjusting the starting point of each new strip to get it right. Any wallpaper that has an intricate pattern (or something more complicated than stripes) is going to be hung as a straight match. However, the type of pattern will determine how difficult the process will be and how long it will take.

There are two subsets to this type of matching.

Half Drop Match

This is the easier of the two types of straight matches. Every other strip will be identical, the ones in between will be either slightly higher or lower than the first and will match. The most popular version of this type of matching is a diamond pattern and you have to drop the pattern down the length of a diamond to complete the shape on the next strip.

It means you have to plan your strips out carefully. You will need to determine how you want each strip to lie before you get started. Once you finish the first two, you will need to stop and evaluate the completed section to make sure it was done correctly. You will then be stopping to verify the alignment after every strip to make sure that every other strip is identical and that the ones in between align at the right points.

Multiple Drop Match

This is easily the most difficult and time consuming pattern, and is best left to a professional as it is easy to make mistakes. Like the half drop, there is repetition in how the patterns align, but it takes three or more strips to get the full pattern. A very dense paisley patterned wallpaper is a classic example of an intricate pattern that requires a lot of time and attention to detail to make sure it is correct.

The best way to hang these patterns is to actually create the strips and hang them without applying them. Mark them on the back with pencil so you know the order in which they should be hung. It is also a good idea to purchase more than you need in case there are mistakes.