Grant Swinson launched Swinson Group in 1979. Now it’s the largest commercial-grade wallcoverings distributor in the country, with offices in Auckland and representatives in Christchurch and Wellington.

Before launching the business, Swinson worked in sales at a large manufacturing company and could not see how he could progress his career, so set out to start his own business. With decades of experience in the trade, he has gained an invaluable understanding of the industry. Swinson Group is the only company in New Zealand that sells exclusively commercial contract wallcoverings and represents the world biggest and best manufacturers.

When thinking of wall décor, most minds will automatically jump to wallpaper as the answer. In cases of high wear, like those in hotels, materials of a stronger build, such as wall coverings, are a better option. However, Swinson has noticed that a lot of designers are unaware of the differences between wallpaper and wallcoverings.


“Wallpaper is just that. Paper. Narrow domestic wallpaper. Most are not paper, but paper or polyester backed vinyl. Ours are heavy, and I mean really heavy, high wear 20-ounce Type 2 fabric backed vinyl,” said Swinson.

This vinyl is intended for use in commercial situations where high wear is a factor and robust strength, washable, scrubbable, and high tensile materials are necessary for long life and durability.

New Zealand is unfortunate in that many installers are wallpaper installers with little knowledge of the correct techniques necessary to hang vinyl. Special tools and adhesives are required. Swinson Group is also New Zealand’s only supplier of adhesives that are manufactured to hang heavy-duty fabric backed vinyl.

“We have extensive knowledge of installation techniques and try to impart this knowledge to installers.”

Swinson cares about his customers, so the biggest challenge in hotel design for the team is designing quality fit outs the look good now and will continue to look good throughout their expected 15-year life.

When it comes to fire and electrical safety, Swinson is also ahead of the game. “We are the only supplier in New Zealand that has had all of our wallcoverings tested to the New Zealand fire code under ISO 5660. A group two classification is generally required for new buildings as a minimum, and all of our products meet this standard.”

With decades of experience and 100 percent New Zealand owned, Swinson Group is the country’s best supplier of contract wallcoverings from the world’s best wallcovering brands.

To learn more visit or call 09 520 4742.