What is Linoleum Flooring — The Flooring Outlet

What is Linoleum Flooring - The Flooring Outlet

What is Linoleum Flooring?

What is Linoleum Flooring?

What is Linoleum Flooring?

Linoleum Flooring was created by an Englishman, Frederik Walton in 1860 somewhat by accident. Mr. Walton took notice one day of a thin sheet or crust that was forming from the linseed oil that was on top of some paint. He took this layer of linseed oil and mixed it with some tree resins to give it flexibility and strength. Then he added cork dust, ground limestone and then wood flour to make a smooth finish and assure that the mixture binds well. Finally, he added some natural mineral pigments to add color. He then pressed his concoction known as linoleum cement onto a jute backing and voila! -out came linoleum flooring. The process for making linoleum flooring is still the same today and the first American manufacturing plant for linoleum was built on Staten Island in 1874.

Linseed and Linoleum

Linseed oil comes from the seeds of a flax plant and that is how linoleum got it’s name. Linoleum means flax oil in Latin. The linseed oil mixture is first oxidized either by the air or by heat for 14 to 21 days to give it a rubbery consistency. Then, the linoleum cement mixture becomes a floor when it is stretched out by two cylinders onto the jute backing in a process called calendared. Some shoppers have confused genuine linoleum with vinyl because it may look similar in some styles, but there is nothing similar about them. Vinyl is a synthetic product, but linoleum is made from all natural materials. In fact, Linoleum qualifies as “eco-friendly” because of this and for other reasons like the fact that it is biodegradable. There are a few manufacturers that will add a pyroxylin lacquer coating to the surface of their linoleum flooring to resist stains and scratches. It also makes it somewhat easier to clean. When linoleum flooring is ready to be shipped and installed, it will be packaged in rolls approximately 2.5 mm in thickness and 6 ½ feet wide. Most people buy it by the sheet.

Linoleum Flooring Advantages

What is Linoleum Flooring - The Flooring Outlet

The final linoleum flooring product is very durable, lasting more than 40 years and naturally beautiful with vivid, saturated colors in patterns of solid, marbled, flecked or graphic designs. Linoleum possesses some pretty unique properties such as being naturally anti-bacterial and hygienic. This feature makes it a good choice for kitchens and children’s playrooms and in some situations bathrooms. However, special manufacturer’s instructions regarding installations in bathrooms need to be followed to ensure protection of the warranty, like sealing the floor edges with silicone caulk to prevent moisture seepage. In addition, linoleum flooring should not be installed over concrete if there is a lot of moisture present. Unlike carpet fibers that can trap dirt, dust and moisture, linoleum flooring is also hypoallergenic which could greatly benefit people that suffer from asthma or other types of respiratory illnesses.

Linoleum Flooring Maintenance

Linoleum flooring requires proper care and maintenance. The floor should be cleaned regularly with special cleaners that are neutral in pH balance so as not to damage the surface. Cleaning also includes stripping off the old polish and reapplying new polish to the floor maybe two to three times a year, unless the special coating mentioned earlier has been applied by the manufacturer. It will then be as easy to care for as Vinyl Flooring. This polishing regiment will depend upon the amount of traffic the particular room sees. If the room sees only light traffic, polishing may only be necessary every other year. Linoleum flooring will appear dull when it needs polishing. The design of linoleum flooring has amazing resilience. For example, if the floor should become chipped, the design goes all through the layers so the pattern remains intact. However, linoleum is amazingly resistant to chipping, so this shouldn’t be much of a problem anyway. Linoleum is susceptible to damage from standing water, so caution should be exercised when installing in rooms where continuous moisture might be a problem.

Linoleum Flooring Affordability


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