Frequently Asked Questions

We are now operating back at full warehouse capacity, dispatching orders Monday-Friday. Please note, stringent safety measures are still in place, adhering to Government directives to ensure the Design House of Cole & Son is doing our bit to help in the fight against the COVID-19 Crisis and ensure the safety of our staff, whilst they continue to service you, our loyal partners and design hubs.

Whilst we endeavour to provide you with a distribution service of the level you have come to expect of us, we are regrettably unable to guarantee next day delivery, and there may be delays to standard delivery periods – this is dependent on our delivery service partners, however they have advised that they are operating as normal. We appreciate your support and patience whilst we all traverse this difficult and unprecedented time.

Some departments are still operational remotely but will endeavour to continue to deliver high quality service. Orders can be placed as normal via E-Sales as standard, or through our Customer Service Team via email & phone, 9:00am-5:30pm Monday-Thursday and 9:00am-5:00pm Friday. Responses may take a little longer than normal, however we will get back to each and every one of you.

This page will continue to be updated with any changes to the current situation.

Last updated: Tuesday 30th June 2020


Which wallpaper paste do you recommend for use with your wallcoverings?
We recommend Cole & Son Tub Paste for all of our non-woven wallpapers; a specially prepared ready-mixed starch based paste.  

How much will I need?
We supply 3 different tub sizes; 2.5 kilos, 5 kilos and 10 kilos. We recommend 1 kilo of paste per standard roll or wallpaper, so if you place an order for 5 rolls or wallpaper a 5 kilo tub of paste would be required. Extra paste will be required where wide width wallpapers are used.

Can I use your wallpaper in a bathroom?
As long as the room is well ventilated and the walls are in good condition, wallpaper can be used in bathrooms. However, with the exception of our contract only vinyl papers, they should not be placed in areas where they are likely to come into direct contact with water.  In order to help prevent against problems when using wallpapers in high humidity areas, we recommend using a sealer like Polyvine on top of the wallpaper which will provide better protection against moisture. We advise you test Polyvine on a wallpaper sample to check you are happy with the finish before applying to the wall.

Can I hang your paper on a newly plastered wall? 
It is always best to allow a newly plastered wall to fully dry out for two or three weeks before hanging wallpaper. If you need to decorate before the plaster has fully dried the walls must be ‘sized’ before hanging. Use a normal decorator’s size or diluted good quality paste and then follow the hanging instructions.

When hanging vinyl or textured wallcoverings please be aware that they do not allow the wall to breathe, and any moisture present in the walls will be trapped there and could create mould. The recommended paste (which includes a fungicide) will help to prevent this. Please check the hanging instructions for further information.

What size are your wallpaper samples? 
Our samples are A4 (21cm x 29cm). You can order a sample of wallpaper by adding a sample to your basket and following the checkout instructions.  

Please note that the following designs are automatically supplied as a larger, A3 sample (29cm x 42cm):
– Fornasetti Acquario, Macchine VolantiProcuratie con vista, Procuratie e Scimmie, and Libreria
– Botanical ~Botanica~ Lilac, Bluebell, Woodland, Wisteria, Fern, Forest, Rose, AlliumThistle, and Lilac Grandiflora
– The Pearwood Collection Aurora, Vines of Pomona, Midsummer Bloom, Woodvale Orchard
– SEVILLE Orange Blossom, Hispalis, Angel's Trumpet, Alfaro, Alcazar Gardens, Talavera, Jasmin & Serin Symphony, Flamenco Fan

Sample prices include VAT and postage. 

These are posted by first class post and should arrive within 1-2 working days (UK). For all destinations outside of the UK postage cost is quoted at checkout stage and delivery can be slightly longer.

If you have any queries regarding samples email us at

What is your Returns Policy? 
If you wish to arrange a return to Cole & Son, then please contact our Customer Service team on 0208 442 8844.

If the item is faulty or an order error has been made by Cole & Son, our Customer Services team will arrange a replacement and a collection of the goods. Cole & Son will arrange a full credit to a maximum of invoice value.

If the return is a result of a customer error, please note that a re-stocking charge of 20% of the invoice value will apply to goods being returned.  It will be the responsibility of the customer to arrange the return of the goods to Cole & Son, Lifford House, 199 Eade Road, London N4 1DN.

Goods can only be accepted for return by prior agreement with Cole & Son and must be returned within 60 days of invoice date.  We regret that we cannot accept returns of less than five rolls of wallpaper, unless faulty. The 5 rolls must be the same item reference and supplied on the same invoice.

Please note: we do not accept any returns of paste or cut to order fabrics.

Do I need to use lining paper and are there any particular lining papers that you would recommend? 
A good quality, 800 or 1000 grade lining paper is recommended.

Do I need to paste the wall or the paper when hanging your wallcoverings? 
Please always check the hanging instructions supplied with your wallpaper. Most Cole & Son wallpapers are non-woven paste the wall products.

Cole & Son Fabric: What is a Martindale Rub Test?
A Martindale Rub Test measures the durability of a fabric in order to determine how and where a fabric is best used.

Cole & Son Fabric: How do I understand the upholstery grades?
We have graded our fabric in order to make clear where they are most suitable to use:

  • Decorative use - suitable for items that will receive very light use including curtains, loose covers, pillows and spreads
  • Light domestic use - suitable for light wear such as curtains and blinds 
  • General domestic use - suitable for everyday items including upholstery, curtains and blinds
  • Light commercial use - suitable for light wear in a contract environment such as in hotels and restaurants

Cole & Son Fabric: Does my fabric need to be fire retardant? 
When using Cole & Son fabric for upholstery, a Schedule 3 Interliner must be used in conjunction with the fabric in order to meet UK domestic and contract fire regulations. Please ask your upholsterer for more information.

What is a Batch Number? 
A batch number indicates wallpaper rolls that have been produced together. Rolls from the same batch should be hung together to avoid any roll to roll colour discrepancies.

How do I order/Find a store in my area? 
Visit our Stockist Page to find your nearest retailer or visit our Distributor Directory for contact details of our international distributors and agents.

What are the hanging instructions? 
Hanging instructions are provided with every wallpaper delivery. They can also be found here.
Please read these instructions carefully before starting to hang.

How can I obtain a wallpaper fire certificate? 
Please contact with the product code you require certification for.

What is a ‘Random match’, ‘Straight match’ or ‘Half drop’? 

  • A ‘Random match’ is where there is no pattern at the joining edge to match, e.g. a vertical stripe. 
  • A 'Straight match' is when the pattern repeats side to side on the roll. The pattern joins in the same place on the next drop of wallpaper. 
  • A 'Half Drop' is when the pattern repeats diagonally across a wall, the pattern match from side to side drops down one half before repeating. 

Please note, patterns with a large pattern repeat or a half-drop require additional wallpaper to account for wastage.

How many rolls do I need? 
Ask your decorator to calculate the number of rolls required. Use our roll estimator or follow the instructions below to estimate.

Part 1
Measure the width of the wall and divide by the width of your selected wallpaper. This gives you the number of 'drops' required. This number should always be rounded up. 

Part 2
Then measure the height of the wall. Divide the length of the roll of your selected wallpaper (standard rolls are 10m long) at the height of your wall. This gives you the number of drops you will get by roll. 

Divide the number of drops required (part 1), by the number of drops per roll (part 2), equates to the number of rolls required. If you have a wallpaper that is marked as 'half drop', or has a large pattern repeat, add the size of the pattern repeat to the height of your wall to account for the additional wallpaper required.  

If you have any unanswered questions please contact