Linoleum Flooring

If you find yourself in the market for something classic, something with style, then you might consider linoleum, which is different for vinyl. Linoleum has been popular for more than 150 years and today, is still a favorite choice for many people. Made from raw, natural materials, to include cork or wood powder, and ground limestone, linoleum is great in that it comes in beautiful colors.

Creating Linoleum

To create linoleum, all the ingredients are mixed, rolled out, and then designed with jute backing. Depending on the manufacturer, the thickness would vary. Interesting, for genuine linoleum, once rolled out, it must cure for up to 21 days. From there, cores are added to the material, which then makes it ready to be installed. This option is durable, and rich in color, perfect for many rooms of the home.

Polishing

Now, when you purchase genuine linoleum, it will not have any type of protective layer. For that reason, it must be polished, which will help prevent problems associated with staining. If you find your linoleum does become stained, it can be stripped and then the damaged area polished again. When linoleum is first installed, you would notice an odor, which actually come form the linseed oil. However, the odor is not harmful and it will wear off quickly.

Drying Process

You may or may not notice linoleum has a yellowish color after first being installed. Known as the drying process, this effect is perfectly natural and like the odor, will dissipate over time. For this reason, most manufactures recommend you take several samples home, allowing them to become accustomed to the room's light so the decision you make is right for your style and decorum. Finally, while you can go with a one-piece sheet of linoleum, we suggest you stick with tile, which is more modern.

Colors and Designs

As you shop around for linoleum, you will be amazed at the unusual colors and patterns. Many styles have a wonderful flecked design, which is gorgeous. Because of the wide range of colors and patterns, you can choose something understated, or go with a unique, dramatic effect. Obviously, the benefit here is that the design would work with any room, meaning you could transform the kitchen, living room, or even a bedroom from drab to fantastic.

Care and Cleaning

To protect linoleum, it is important that you keep it polished. Remember, this material is a no-wax floor. In addition, if you want, you can use below grade linoleum, which works well. However, we highly discourage this over concrete due to potential for excessive moisture. Finally, if you plan to install linoleum in the bathroom, it is important you pay close attention to what you buy. The reason is that some manufacturers will recommend linoleum, offering an excellent warranty, while others do not recommend it or provide a poor warranty.

Popularity

Linoleum is once again becoming a popular flooring material for a number of reasons. First, linoleum is gorgeous, available in a wide range of colors, patterns, and textures. Additionally, this type of flooring is strong and durable. Best of all, linoleum can easily last up to 40 years although to achieve this longevity, proper installation and maintenance are essential.

Wear

One of the best ways to keep your linoleum floor in tip-top condition is to keep it polished. With this, you can avoid stain damage. However, if for any reason your linoleum flooring should become stained, the good news is that damage can be fixed relatively easy. For this, you would simply strip the damaged area of the floor, and then apply polish again, which will help mask the area.

Without doubt, linoleum flooring offers one of the best wear layers of any material known due to the entire thickness being homogenous. In other words, unlike other types of flooring material, linoleum has color and pattern that goes completely through, not just on the surface. Because of this, if the floor were to become chipped, gouged, or just worn down due to daily wear and tear, you would still see color and/or pattern.

Warranties

In most cases, you will find linoleum manufacturers offering between five and 25 years for warranty. You can help your linoleum floor last long by sweeping, mopping with a neutral pH floor cleaner, using only what the manufacturers recommends, and keeping the floor polished. Remember, this particular material is porous. Therefore, it has to be polished occasionally, helping to retain the floor's beauty while also giving the linoleum a protective layer.

Typically, you can tell when it is time for your linoleum floor to be polished in that after giving it a good mopping, it will still have a dull appearance. Interestingly, you may find that only portions of the floor need a little TLC. For instance, areas of high traffic such as entry into the kitchen, a hallway, or entryway may need to be polished more often than your low traffic areas. Again, you can usually tell just by looking at the appearance and sheen.

Professional Installation

In most cases, linoleum should be installed by a professional. Unless you know how to install this flooring material and have the right tools, it is a job meant for the pros. The reason is that unlike vinyl and other types of flooring material, linoleum is much stiffer. For that reason, it requires skill in cutting and installation. Regardless, the key to a beautiful floor covered in linoleum is to start with a clean, smooth subfloor. Otherwise, you would end up with rippling and other unsightly problems.