Although the stereotyping of linoleum flooring as being dated and belonging to your grandma’s kitchen does exist, we think the generalizing is in itself obsolete.
If you like retro linoleum for your classic kitchen, or modern linoleum with all its up-to-date advantages, linoleum flooring has gotten a bad reputation and we think it’s time to change that. So with that in mind, here are the main reasons why you should pick linoleum flooring for your next project!
Easy to Maintain
Linoleum is one of the easiest flooring materials to be cleaned and maintained. Although the top layer protects from debris and scuffs, you will still need to scrub it regularly with gentle, non-ammonia-based cleaners. A simple sweep or vacuum regularly eliminates the abrasive soil particles that might scratch linoleum with time, as does the occasional damp mopping with warm water.
Stains can be cleaned quickly with a rag and a mild detergent. Since the color in linoleum extends through the material, whether it is dirty or scratched, you can buff out the damage and finish the surface. Linoleum, which is not manufactured to shield against amber, may also need to be polished and waxed every two to three years to avoid yellowing and also to protect the surface from scratches and water damage.
Beyond the stiffness that holds up under daily wear and tear, linoleum has a basic water resistance that you won’t find in flooring solutions like wood. This benefit makes it an intelligent choice for spaces that embrace outdoor wet shoes and snow-covered boots as well as those that see splashes, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
Linoleum floors should never be soaked in water, though, because excess moisture will cause the sides, corners, or seams to curl. Floods, burst pipes, and even high humidity may cause harm. Instead, study comparable vinyl tile choices for a more waterproof choice.
Most manufacturers back linoleum flooring with warranties of 25 years or more, but proper care and maintenance can increase the product’s lifetime to 40 years—more than double the estimated lifespan of vinyl flooring. Some of the durability of the commodity is due to its intrinsic color-fast construction: The color and pattern are written on the whole width of the material, not just on the top. Just make sure that your home contains linoleum flooring that has a protective coating added by manufacturers to prevent the surface from darkening or yellowing, particularly when exposed to direct sunlight—not necessarily included with any linoleum flooring option.
This safe surface coat strengthens the material’s resistance to soil and dirt, but linoleum is not absolutely impervious. Avoid damage from sharp items such as dents and tears, from high heels, metal furniture legs, and dropped knives.
A Variety of Options
Today’s linoleum comes in a range of colors, styles, and patterns, including designs that emulate the appearance of wood, stone, or marble. Linoleum’s appearance, however, is not the only choice to make; it is also available in a variety of installation options and overall looks.
Tile linoleum flooring is similar to ceramic, porcelain, and stone tiles but much less expensive.
Sheet linoleum flooring provides the widest range of designs and comes in jumbo-sized rolls that are ideal for large, open areas.
Click-and-lock linoleum is designed to be used as part of a floating floor system and comes in tiles or planks. Sheet and tile linoleum is typically glued in place, while click-and-lock flooring snaps into place on a floor frame and therefore does not require any additional adhesive.
The term linoleum reflects the natural origins of the substance, derived from the Latin words “linum,” meaning flax or linen, and “oleum,” meaning oil. Linoleum is also readily recyclable and biodegradable. Thanks to the wood components, after 25 to 40 years you can throw out the material guilt-free—take the used linoleum to an energy-recycling incineration plant or, if the discard pile is small enough, even compost it to your garden like you would do for mulch or wood chips. And its all-natural nature means that no toxic VOC (volatile organic compounds) is emitted.
With the growth of the do-it-yourself trend, flooring brands are now producing easy-to-install products that cater to adventurous homeowners and experienced professionals alike.
Previously, you could only buy linoleum in a sheet form that comes in big, heavy rolls. This rigid material is difficult to deal with and is better left to the pros to install.
Today, linoleum comes in tile and plank formats with a click-lock feature that’s held together like a puzzle. This floating floor can be built without any adhesives, nails, or staples.
Considerations When Looking to Buy Linoleum Flooring
As with any floor, if it appears to be too good to be true, it is probably. For several businesses now running on the Internet, it’s convenient to purchase anything that isn’t as described and isn’t as easy or difficult to return.
Sure, it may be more difficult to visit a flooring showroom or home improvement shop, but being able to see and experience the product will mean the difference between investing your money on a floor you’re going to enjoy and one you’re going to regret.
With a floor sample in hand, you can usually tell the difference between a reliable product and one that will break apart. Opt for a thicker linoleum for optimum longevity. The added heft would have more structural stability to tolerate changes in humidity and will wear longer.
It is also convenient to select a pre-finished linoleum with a stain-and UV-resistant coating that is applied in the factory. This durable finish will keep the floor looking longer and require less upkeep over time.
Linoleum is an inexpensive, versatile, waterproof, anti-microbial, durable, and sustainable flooring option. It can be used all over a property from the basement to the kitchen and all the rooms in between. Sure, it’s been around for a while, but with a plethora of stylish styles on the market these days, linoleum flooring is far from old-fashioned.
Seeing that linoleum is such a flexible flooring material, you can use it in such a way that it complements whatever design style you have, whether it’s rustic or retro or chic or contemporary. Honestly, what’s not to love? Linoleum flooring simply ticks most of the boxes that your ideal flooring requires.