Top 5 Wall Covering Ideas and Tips for Bar Design

Cabaret Design Group

What are the top wall covering ideas and tips for bar and nightclub design? This article discusses the top 5 types of wall coverings, advice and cost.

WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON WALL COVERINGS IN BAR AND NIGHTCLUB DESIGN?

The following list constitutes today’s most common wall covering types. These are used in nightclub and bar design in a variety of price points (low-high):

  • Wallpaper
  • Three-Dimensional Thermoplastic Laminates
  • Sculpted Wall Panels
  • Architectural Metal
  • Laminated Glass

WALLPAPER

My top choice is Koroseal, who has an unlimited array of vinyl wall covering products. Their products are very popular among all clients.

  • Their vinyl products are popular among installers.
  • Excellent durability.
  • The majority of patterns cost $18 per square yard ($2 per square foot).
Koroseal Wallpaper
TWO EXAMPLES OF KOROSEAL WALLPAPER

THREE-DIMENSIONAL THERMOPLASTIC LAMINATES

I never considered products in this category until I visited a recent tradeshow. I was impressed by the array of products exhibited by Advanced Technology (ATI). This is the perfect solution for those with a limited budget! Originating in the ceiling tile business, ATI created a viable alternative to traditional boring gypsum-based products. Over time, ATI expanded their concept to include decorative wall covering solutions.

MIRROFLEX BY ATI LAMINATES

Today, ATI Laminates offers numerous thermoplastic wall covering products in sheet and roll form. ‘MirroFlex,’ (shown in the photo below) is a 3-dimensional thermoplastic. They have many attractive finishes at the affordable price of $3 – $5 per square foot. Additionally, this product only requires a level-2 substrate finish. Its lack of durability limits applications.

Advanced Technology offers other value-added solutions. ‘NuMetal’ is a high-pressure laminate with a thin metal surface. Priced from $3.50 – $19 per square foot, this product is excellent where skilled labor is incapable of producing high-level finishes.

 

Bar wall covering using MIrroFlex by ATI Laminates
MirroFlex Laminate Wall Panel by ATI Laminates

WALL COVERINGS WITH SCULPTED WALL PANELS

This product consists of flame retardant MDF plywood sculpted in various patterns. Several companies manufacture this product. My favorite is Interlam. Patterns are machined from thick board, creating a dramatic appearance. Factory finishes are limited only by one’s imagination.

 

According to Mike Allendorf of Intersource Specialties, Interlam now has over 200 patterns. The product can be purchased with or without a factory finish. Unfinished (unprimed) product ranges from $10 – $15 per square foot. Finished product ranges from $20 – $25. Sanding and finishing on-site is difficult and isn’t recommended. This is one wall covering product that should be factory-primed and prefinished.

 

HOW TO ORDER SCULPTED WALL PANELS

Firstly, standard panels are either 4’ x 8’ or 4’ x 10’. When I specify Interlam panels I want a custom installation! For example, let’s consider a 52’ long wall. Some may prefer six eight-foot panels and one  four-foot panel. Others might prefer 13 four-foot panels. The latter option would incur a slight cutting charge, but field touch-up would be unnecessary. This makes for a more-professional installation!

 

Bar wall covering featuring art fusion sculpted wall panels by ATI
Sculpted wood wall panels for bar design

WALL COVERING WITH ARCHITECTURAL METAL

For a truly unique wall covering solution, architectural metal offers beauty and durability. My preferred source for architectural metal is Rigidized Metals. Fabricated primarily from stainless steel, it is available in numerous patterns, textures and finishes. Pricing ranges from $20 -$25 per square foot. Architectural metal is very impressive. When used as wall coverings, it is laminated to MDF plywood.

Architectural metal wall panels and columns by Rigidized Metals
ARCHITECTURAL METAL WALL PANELS AND COLUMNS

LAMINATED DIGITAL IMAGERY

At the top of the wall covering spectrum is laminated digital imagery. High-quality artistic prints are used to create murals on substrates such as architectural glass, glazed tile and fabrics. 

 

Laminated digital imagery is very effective in high-end solutions. The photo below features this application by designer Leslie Ann Wigon of Infinitypix. Pricing is dependent on the substrate and the artistic print.

Photo of laminated digital imagery on glass
LAMINATED DIGITAL IMAGERY ON GLASS

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