First is quite obvious. Self adhesive basically explains it self in this point. In very simple words it works as a giant sticker. The self adhesive material consists of two parts - the wallpaper itself and backing paper. To install this kind of wallpaper you have to gradually pull back the backing paper, while applying the wallpaper.
With the traditional wallpaper it is a different story. In order to apply this material you will need heavy duty PVA based glue and another twist - it has to be applied to the wall, instead of pasting the wallpaper. The glue or paste has to be applied for each panel individually, so it doesn't dry out while you apply the panels.
Texture and finish
There is also differences in the texture. The peel and stick wallpaper is fabric based material, so it accordingly has fabric texture. At first glimpse it is actually not very noticeable, however it is there. The traditional wallpaper, on the other hand, is non-woven paper based material, that has no texture whatsoever. It is completely smooth. One thing that is in common for both is the matte finish.
When the two materials are compared the color difference is quite obvious, as you can see in the picture below. Self adhesive material is crisp white, the traditional is little bit off white, I like to call it a milky white. However, if you don’t have the two to compare they are both simply white.
Texture and the background color also effects how the colors sit on the wallpaper, so the same colors on different materials will in most cases look little bit differnetly. As you can see in the picture below, the traditional material sample seems a bit more vivid, the self adhesive one looks little dimmed in comparison.
As the example below perfectly demonstrates the pattern scale is also not the same on both materials. This happens due to the fact that at the moment the standard width of each material is different. So basically the pattern is made to sit on 19” panel and is stretched to fit the 25” panel. So on the traditional material pattern is simply bigger in scale.
I hope this article explained and demonstrated the differences clear enough and helped to make your wallpaper choice easier. If you still have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us