Linoleum Flooring - New Age Material

Qualities and maintenance of linoleum

Lino Flooring
Linoleum flooring has been around for well over a hundred years, however people still seem to think that linoleum flooring is synonymous with vinyl - they in fact completely different. So what is this material?

Linoleum Flooring Unmasked

Linoleum floors are generally all produced with natural ingredients. The primary ingredient is linseed oil which is obtained from plant called flax. Other common ingredients include cork, limestone, and natural resins. The backing is usually one of jute. Already we can see how ecologically friendly this material is.

Armstrong Linoleum - Marmorette
Armstrong Linoleum - Marmorette

Linoleum flooring is also extremely hard-wearing and can last up to forty years and handle heavy traffic over it. The primary reason for this is because the linseed oil starts to oxidize. Some experts have called this "blooming." Not only is it accompanied by an increase in strength, but the material also takes on a richer, deeper color from exposure to light. Infrequent light exposure will see the floor taking on a yellow hue - this can be quickly lifted with a bit of sunlight. Fine scratches do not show up as easily as they do on vinyl, the material is also a lot more flexible, it does not burn and it has an anti-static property i.e. it inherently repels dust particles.

It has already been mentioned that the ingredients in this material are very natural. In keeping with this green theme this type of flooring is fully biodegradable and there is no worry over indoor air quality associated with it. What this means is that, unlike vinyl, it does not release PVCs into the air.

The material itself comes in the form of sheets or tiles. It is advised that if you are installing sheets that you get a professional in as they can be quite tricky. But whatever option you decide, the material needs about a week to acclimatize to the conditions of the room to be worked on before any work can get underway. This will make sure that the linoleum does not extract or expand and upset the installation process. Water is the biggest enemy - you have to make sure that the sub-floor to be worked on is moisture free.

Linoleum Flooring Care and Maintenance

How do you look after you new floor? All that is called for is the occasional sweep and a run over with a damp mop and a little mild disinfectant. Due to its natural components it is recommended that harsh strong alkali /acid detergents (ammonia typically) are not used. In the event of damage there are one or two tips that have been offered:

* Mild scratches can be neutralized by some buffing and putting on a bit of water based polyurethane.

* Holes can be fixed by melting a wax crayon of the same color into the hole and letting it set.

To get the shine back into your flooring investment, add little baby oil to some tepid water and then use a mop to spread this across the surface.



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