Anyone searching for high-quality flooring solutions has probably encountered linoleum flooring. This is a popular option to consider because it has many great advantages compared to others. Although it’s sometimes confused with vinyl flooring, linoleum is crafted using a blend of renewable natural materials. The materials used in the manufacturing process aren’t always the same but typical ingredients include linseed oil, powdered cork, ground limestone, and jute. Designs are directly embedded into the material.
Linoleum was patented in the 1860s and became immensely popular as a flooring option considering its great water resistance and overall durability. It was used predominantly for high-traffic rooms and functional areas of the home such as bathrooms and kitchens. Linoleum remained a viable flooring solution throughout the 20th century but it started to fall out of favor when cheaper vinyl flooring appeared near the middle of the century.
The more economical vinyl was more attractive for many homeowners but linoleum still managed to remain a popular choice until modern times. It’s typically a better investment in the long run because the protective qualities of linoleum don’t wear down as easily as vinyl. Let’s take a look at the most important benefits of linoleum flooring that made this material withstand the test of time.
1. Excellent Durability
Linoleum flooring options will usually outlive other flooring solutions such as vinyl. The secret of its increased durability lies in the addition of a limestone dust layer that delivers superior protection against wear and tear. Linoleum isn’t vulnerable to sunlight exposure so colorful designs will remain vibrant. There’s also great resistance to scratching and scuffing.
While most linoleum floors include this kind of protective layer, some of them don’t. It’s recommended to check the manufacturer’s specifications carefully to ensure that you’re getting the most durable linoleum solution for your home. Keep in mind that even with this great durability, linoleum can still be damaged by sharp objects such as metal furniture legs.
2. Natural Materials
Thanks to its all-natural material composition, linoleum is a favorite for people who wish to reduce their carbon footprint as much as possible. The mix of biodegradable ingredients provides resilience while preventing potential adverse health effects. Other flooring options might be harmful to people with allergies or sensitivities to volatile organic compounds.
The name of the material is actually based on its eco-friendliness. Linoleum is composed of “linum” and “oleum”, the Latin words for linen and oil, respectively. If you’re concerned about recycling, linoleum is an excellent choice. It can even be safely composted in the garden if you don’t want to bother with a trip to a dedicated recycling facility.
3. Reliable Water Resistance
If you want a reliable flooring solution for bathrooms, kitchens, or other areas prone to moisture, linoleum should be among your top choices. It offers solid all-around durability but also performs well in terms of water resistance. Compared to wood, linoleum is clearly superior but excessive moisture such as flooding can still be too damaging for this kind of floor. For occasional splashes and wet shoes, it’s safe to say that you will be pleased with a linoleum floor.
4. Improved Aesthetics
Linoleum is recommended for anyone interested in decorating the floor with a wide range of colors and patterns. It’s a great pick to improve the functionality as well as the aesthetics of the room. Select some bold motifs to draw attention to the floor or choose a more subdued visual effect such as faux marble. If you’re feeling more adventurous, it’s not particularly difficult to cut different linoleum materials and mix designs to create a one-of-a-kind look.
5. Simple Maintenance
Having a low-maintenance flooring option could be essential for many homeowners. Linoleum brings some notable benefits in this regard. It only requires occasional sweeping and mopping to maintain the floor in top shape. The protective layer of linoleum simplifies your cleaning job but abrasive particles can be damaging in the long run so they need to be removed during periodic cleanups.
When it comes to persisting stains or more serious damage, linoleum responds well to buffing out and allows for quick refinishes. The only important aspect to consider in terms of maintenance is the susceptibility to ambering. The protective coating can diminish after some time or when exposed directly to sunlight. Ambering refers to the resulting yellow tinge that may appear. Waxing could be required every two years to avoid this problem.
6. Multitude of Styles
Aside from being able to purchase linoleum flooring in multiple colors and patterns, you can also choose different styles. The usual formats available on the market include sheet, tile, and click-and-lock linoleum. The chosen style affects the final look of the floor but also the installation process.
If you have a large area that requires great coverage, sheet linoleum works best. It arrives in big rolls measuring between 6 and 12 feet in terms of width. This is also the optimal style for those who want a big variety of colors and patterns. Tile linoleum resembles other types of tiles such as ceramic but at a more reasonable cost. This style is simpler to install as well.
Another interesting style to consider is click-and-lock linoleum flooring. The planks or tiles of the material don’t require adhesive because they’re designed for easy attachment to a floor frame. It’s the recommended choice for floating floor systems.
7. Low Noise
Some types of flooring can perform better when it comes to noise reduction. It’s the case of linoleum whose cushioning effect makes it a great pick for a kid’s playroom. The enhanced durability combined with the natural compressing properties of linoleum can also prevent falling injuries. You’re getting a double benefit of reduced noise and comfortable cushioning by installing linoleum flooring.
While there are more affordable flooring options out there, linoleum comes out on top in terms of cost-effectiveness if you take into account various factors such as long-term resilience. Hardwood or ceramic flooring solutions can be much more expensive. Linoleum materials are relatively budget-friendly. The only considerable cost to keep in mind is the professional installation.
Although linoleum is a cost-effective flooring choice, it’s not particularly easy to DIY. It depends on the style of linoleum you prefer but typical sheets require the services of a contractor for a proper fit. It’s a more complex process because the surface has to be prepared and accurate cuts need to be made.